For Alex Salmond's part, he still clearly has his sights set on a debate with David Cameron, which would fit perfectly with a narrative of 'Scottish Government versus Westminster Government'. Only after Cameron has agreed to this, or else exited the debate altogether, will Salmond debate a "substitute" such as Alistair Darling.
Basically, the whole world is falling apart. Nadine Dorries' never-ending quest for people to look and listen to her should probably not surprise, but her attempt to become Deputy Speaker was somehow even more ridiculous than her decision to wear Mick Dundee clothes and eat wallaby bollocks for a few weeks.
I know from own time working in Government that policymaking is frustratingly hard. Change is difficult. Most policy is complex. In the few examples where policy is simple tend to be expensive. Like diets that promise you can eat as much as you like and still lose weight, the nationalist promise of effort-free and cost-free change is too good to be true.
Salmond thinks that suggesting a debt free start is good politics, but people understand there are consequences. If you declare yourself bankrupt you don't start anew with a fresh slate, your bad credit history follows you around for the rest of your life. The consequences for borrowing, business and mortgages would be dire.