THIS will disappoint many of you, but I’ve no desire to become First Minister of Scotland.

For a start, it involves some travelling, which I deplore. I used to be made to travel, sometimes even abroad, in the line of duty, and wanted to go home by the time we were at departures in the airport.

Even when I went to pleasant places for supposed pleasure, I’d be restive from the off, and breathe a sigh of relief as the return journey (always the best one) ended and familiar places – seashores, town halls, chip shops – came into view.

I was discomfited, therefore, to read that many or even most middle-aged people are obsessed with travel and have a list of buckets into which they’ve placed countries they want to visit before making the final journey to Hell, which is what they deserve.

Most of these headstrong hedonists already have foreign trips booked for this year, which suggests they’ve too much money and that the state should be taxing them more. I, meanwhile, deserve a bonus for staying at home and supporting the local economy.

For 10 years, apart from short periods looking after chickens (six) in East Lothian, and cats (two) in Morningside, I haven’t stayed anywhere away from home, other than Skye several times a year.

Most of my friends go abroad frequently and never return changed or noticeably broader in the mind. Broader in the hips, yes. And, if they were impressed with a better life elsewhere (usually America), the magic never lasts and they soon forget it as the pleasing tedium of life in Scotland reclaims their wayward souls.

Mention of “Scotland” reminds me that some bearded lout with halitosis of the personality alluded earlier to the controversial semi-country’s First Minister.

She’s had the audacity to set forth abroad, to yonder America, with the aim of representing Scotia Minor to the lieges there. However, as ever in a small-minded small country, somebody said this was a waste of taxpayers’ money, itself a fair description of the individual under advisement: Jamie Greene MSP.

I’m unfamiliar with this fish, though my researchers tell me that, last year, independence supporters dubbed him “the thickest politician in Scotland”. That seems harsh, particularly on Labour’s James Kelly who, for several years, held this crown unchallenged.

I’ve seen James perform and am surprised he isn’t still repeating primary school. He’s quite extraordinarily dense. Intrigued, therefore, by the Conservatives’ Mr Greene, I checked him out on Wikipedia where, right enough, his picture revealed a head that wouldn’t look out of place sticking out of the soil on an allotment.

Just out of interest, or indeed otherwise, I looked up Mr Kelly too and found his nomenclature “disambiguated” from a pirate, crimper, saloon keeper, and member of Irish heavy metal band Altar of Plagues. Any of whom would probably make a better MSP.

Now, not being bright myself, you might think I’d extend a hand of solidarity to such individuals. But the difference between us is that I don’t stand for parliament. It’s not just that I’m too dense. I could never tow a party line. I’ve never made a speech. And, despite attending Holyrood twice a week for many years, never understood motions, amendments and standing orders.

But even I, if I so chose, could easily find myself elected as a list MSP, like Jamie and James, in effect the leftovers from elections. They’re elected indirectly from the list, which is a free pass to Holyrood for losers (literally).

For my taxpayer’s money, it’s time we re-evaluated this system, so that we get elected representatives who are well-travelled, oratorically confident, brave, bright and well turned out. Not people like me.

CHIPS news, and the controversial comestibles could shrink by 1in after last year’s wonky weather, according to top lardologists. The potato crop may have been grievously affected, leaving smaller, misshapen spuds, from which sculpting a decent-sized chip might become impossible.

As if that weren’t grim enough news, nutritionists are calling for fish and chips portions to be reduced in size by inflicting smaller cartons on consumers. How dastardly of them.

Every Friday recently, I had a humungous fish supper served in a 13in-wide box, and here’s what these food boffins don’t factor in: driving home with this monstrous supper safely strapped in to the passenger’s seat, the aroma would sometimes cause a tear of happiness to fall down my cheek, and I found myself experiencing the unusual feeling that life might be worth living after all.

They say that being happy is good for our health and, in that sense, I estimate that each fish supper has added a month to my life. To reduce them in size would diminish our joy, making us sullen and unproductive, with deleterious consequences for the health service and economy.

If this coming year is truly to feature little chips in little cartons, I fear for the country, and would advise the Samaritans to draft in extra troops.

HOW amusing to read that Scottish islands are producing guides on how to use single-track roads for visitors.

Visitors would be within their rights to reply: “Why don’t you join up all the passing places and make normal, two-lane roads, as they have in the rest of the world?”

I’ve never understood single-track roads. Before they were forced to create passing places, did the clots who built them not envisage the possibility of traffic coming the other way?

Presumably, as with everything in our increasingly wealthy society, expense will be the reason for leaving them so ridiculously user-unfriendly. In the poor past, people could build roads but, in the rich present, we can’t even widen them a little.

It’s the same with the South Edinburgh Suburban Railway. The Victorians built it from scratch: trains, track, stations and staff to run them. Now we can’t afford to reopen it, even with the infrastructure already in place.

All we can afford these days are massive salaries for fat cats and footballers. It’s called progress. You wouldn’t understand.