I don't know about the Scottish cringe, but I found Thursday's Edinburgh Question Time toe-curling. It was a nightmare version of the referendum campaign, complete with an omni-rant from George Galloway, the Respect MP, forming a devil's alliance with the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage - a demented glove-puppet - to claim, mendaciously, that the latter had been the victim of ugly anti-English behaviour when he last appeared in Scotland.
I felt some sympathy for the journalist Lesley Riddoch, trying confusedly to make a moderate non-party case for voting Yes against those two unionist foghorns. The SNP Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, made the cardinal error of attacking the programme for bias. This never works because it looks like an attack on David Dimbleby, who is of course a national institution. Robertson may have had a case since he was outnumbered three to one, but in these situations you just have to suck it up because whingeing antagonises viewers.
Having worked on BBC programmes like Question Time I'm sure there was no political bias intended by the producers. It doesn't work that way. They just wanted a good old confrontation, a rammy, and because it was Scotland they knew they could get away with it. If it had been Question Time the week before, say, the Eastleigh by-election in Hampshire, rather than Donside in Aberdeen, they wouldn't have dared pack the panel with eccentrics and nationalists representing constituencies in another country.
But better get used to this, because I suspect the QT spat is what next year's referendum campaign will be like, only on a larger scale. The SNP are wrong to assume that they will get favourable treatment from the broadcasters in 2014. The 'story' of the referendum will be nationalists trying to break up Britain and setting Scot against English. We have seen nothing yet.