How did it come to this? Point scoring between the SNP and Labour has been played out by politicising a harrowing and deadly conflict in the Middle East.

The SNP’s attention-grabbing motion at Westminster, calling for an “immediate ceasefire” was clearly coming from a good place. So much so that Labour eventually, and controversially, brought forward its own very similar motion calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire", which passed.

Humza Yousaf’s party has held unwavering support for an immediate ceasefire into the brutal and horrid conflict in the Middle East from the start and there is no suggestion that the SNP’s position was coming from anywhere other than wanting an end to violence.

It is crystal clear that it was also about painting Labour as morally questionable. But this risks making everyone involved look fairly morally bankrupt. And that’s without mentioning the chaotic scenes in the House of Commons.

What is evident is that this has been a mess for Keir Starmer – for a second time.

Read more: Gaza ceasefire vote: SNP MPs walk out in protest at Speaker

In November, 56 of his MPs refused to back the Labour position on a Gaza ceasefire, resulting in prominent and effective frontbencher Jess Philips and seven of her colleagues resigning from the shadow cabinet.

There was no rebellion this time but the SNP calling on Labour to back their motion is pure politics at its worst – it will do nothing to halt the fighting in the Middle East.

It is election season, an extended season this year, as we still don’t yet know when the general election will be held other than probably this year – but it could be January 2025.

But election talk is already in full swing and the SNP are gunning for a resurgent Labour party.

Humza Yousaf’s flip-flopping support for the oil and gas sector could have come straight out of the Keir Starmer indecision playbook – but the SNP feel voters will back them being on the side of fossil fuel giants making huge profits during the cost-of-living crisis. Quite a gamble.

The SNP has, for some time, been on the march, making a song and dance about Labour’s moral suitability to form the next UK Government – despite being pretty blunt that they inevitably will win the general election.

Read more: Labour leader Keir Starmer demands 'ceasefire that lasts' in Gaza

The issues the SNP have been chipping away at include the bedroom tax, the rape clause and their softening on Brexit – a choice Labour has taken to placate former supports in the north of England who fled the party to back leaving the EU.

Labour is miles ahead in the polls across the UK – but is pretty neck-and-neck with the SNP in Scotland. The party is likely to be grappling with Mr Yousaf’s party across many central belt Westminster seats when Rishi Sunak does finally call the general election.

As well as placating potential Labour voters in the north of England, Sir Keir is also conscious not to alienate moderate voters who couldn’t stand Jeremy Corbyn – and his views on Palestine were toxic to many people casting their votes.

His unquestionable support for a Palestinian state, previous meetings with leaders of terrorist organisations including Hamas and Hezbollah painted a picture that Mr Corbyn was not to be trusted in Downing Street, and voters went for it.

Sir Keir has showed voters that Labour is different under him. Tory jibes that he supported Mr Corbyn no longer work, given that he turfed his predecessor out of the party following an investigation into antisemitism.

But the current Labour leader will do nothing to give the impression that the culture on Palestine under Mr Corbyn has returned to his party – even if it is, arguably, the moral position to take. It is all politics and optics. And it is pretty horrible stuff, given the issues being discussed.

The SNP are playing politics with them, but Labour have found themselves in a terrible mess.

Labour’s official position was not to support the SNP motion, and table their own motion, because there is a line in it that accuses the Israeli government of the “collective punishment” of Palestinians – something Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has been highlighting for months.

Read more: Labour rebellion could be off as Speaker selects Starmer Gaza motion

On Saturday, Scottish Labour conference passed a motion including the “collective punishment” line – raising questions about UK Labour’s stance and whether it is just because they don’t want to back the SNP.

Similarly, you could argue that the SNP included that line knowing full well it would stop Labour from backing it for political reasons – and not being broad enough that it gains as much support in the Commons as possible.

What this toe-curling episode has exposed is that both the SNP and Labour are desperate for votes in Scotland and nothing is off the table in trying to claim the moral high ground. But questions remain whether the whole sorry saga has any morality left attached to it.