I DON’T know about you, but after another long week of torturous party-political mudslinging, which on Tuesday night slumped to a pre-election nadir, with the most insipid, ill-informed and vacuous leaders' debate yet, I need a holiday.

It really was the pits, an all-time low in party political televised debates. I’d have thought that was impossible, given the puerile shouty dross that we’ve been served up by some of our leaders who are lacking in the power of conversation but, sadly, not the power of speech.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the constant nipping, bickering and interrupting from the Famous 5 that set my brain on boil, juvenile behaviour that riles me to the point of launching my shoe at the screen, but the asinine questions, the childish party grenades, that were lobbed needlessly into the fray by the normally assured and reliable moderator Glenn Campbell.

As if the depressing click-baiting of another independence referendum and what currency we might use in the event (groats probably) wasn’t bad enough, he also inappropriately steered the debate into the stormy and divisive waters of a new royal yacht.

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Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the wee donkey! Businesses across all sectors are teetering on the edge of the economic abyss, with unemployment amongst our young soaring, and child poverty on the rise. Demand is outstripping supply at food banks and drug deaths are now the highest in Europe. Cancers and other deadly diseases are being left undetected, creating a time bomb for our under-pressure NHS, and our nation's mental health is in serious risk of bursting at the seams.

At a time when recovery is at the very heart of every rational-thinking Scot, what did Glenn and his bosses at the Beeb think was a more appropriate topic of national importance than all of that? The new royal yacht.

I’m surprised he didn’t suggest a name for the damn thing, Glen Boaty McBoatface would have been perfect. But if boats had to steam into this turgid debate, then surely a mention of the two multi-million pound taxpayer-funded CalMac ferries lying unfinished at Ferguson Marine, on the Firth of Clyde, should have been made?

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Yip, without a doubt, no matter the result of this election, I definitely need a holiday, if only to escape this maelstrom of political madness and government ineptitude. Preferably a twice a yearly six-month break in the sun.

Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. The UK ban on non-essential international travel is expected to be lifted on May 17, with countries ranked under the new traffic light system, which classes foreign countries in a green, amber or red status depending on their success in suppressing covid. A system that even our ultra-cautious FM Nicola Sturgeon is understood to favour. However, the UK Government has still to decide which countries will get the green light, those which are deemed safe enough to travel to without holidaymakers having to quarantine on their return. That will no doubt need four-nation approval, if these travel corridors are to work effectively.

As for those who are seeking sun, sea and sangria, particularly families on a budget, the sky-high costs of lateral flow testing before and after travelling will need to be considered as will holiday insurance, if they can get it, as it will be expensive and probably not worth the paper it’s written on.

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No, after taking the chance on four different occasions last year to try and escape the UK, only to be grounded by covid lockdowns and fleeced by the insurance companies, I don’t think my pockets can afford to take another hammering.

So maybe it's best that this year I forget the sun and the sangria, pack the wellies, winter warmers, waterproofs and humongous carry-out and go on a staycation, here in Scotland, possibly beside the sea. I was thinking of taking a wee trip by ferry to the Western Isles. Oh, wait a minute!

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