Douglas Ross was nervous before FMQs. As the minutes ticked down, he looked pained. 

He doodled on his notes, slurped his water, twiddled with his cuffs.

Forcing up his quivering chin, he stared into the middle distance like some exquisitely suffering monkey-eared saint.

The reason was that absolute Jeremy Hunt of a Chancellor.

Despite Mr Ross begging him not to, he’d only extended the windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas profits in the budget. 

Mr Ross, who had railed against this very thing, was now the owner of the biggest riddy in Scotland.

He was “deeply disappointed” at his colleague’s “wrong decision”, he said.

He was also, he knew, in for a terrific kicking from a delighted First Minister. 

Like every politician trying to dodge a blow, he tried to play it serious, slowing and lowering his voice to discuss the grave state of the NHS in the hope Humza wouldn’t hit him.

But the pressure showed. He couldn’t stay cool. He was sensitive as a flayed peach.

After the FM tutted at him, Mr Ross accused him of saying “That’s stupid”. 

Mr Yousaf screwed up his face. “I didn’t say that,” he snorted and urged him to retract it. 

“What did you say?” Mr Ross yapped.

“I didn’t say anything! Mr Ross, having clearly been left out to dry by his own colleagues, is desperate to just make up what has been said or not been said.”

The Presiding Officer tried to keep things lofty, but there was a long way down to go.

Mr Ross tried to raise the blockbuster ambulance queues at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary but got distracted by health secretary Neil Gray conferring with the boss.

“I can repeat this if the First Minister is getting advice,” Mr Ross twitched.

After SNP groans, the Tory leader resumed only to freeze within seconds as the word “manchild” drifted across the chamber from the vicinity of Angus Robertson. 

“What?!” exploded Mr Ross. “Manchild,” his deputy Meghan Gallacher helpfully explained.

“Is that the response we’re going to get from a cabinet secretary in this Scottish Government?” Mr Ross shrieked, pointing a shaking mitt at the Constitution Secretary.

“I can’t believe that Angus Robertson is smirking.” 

As everyone knows Mr Robertson is always smirking, Mr Ross’s meltdown was now official.

The torture continued when the FM was asked if agreed with Mr Ross about the windfall tax extension being “a step in the wrong direction”.

Mr Yousaf hesitated to say it, but, yes, he did agree with the sad twit.

“Apparently, Douglas Ross threatened to resign, but he is still sitting here. I wonder whether he sold out the North East for a peerage? I’m sure that, in time, we will find out.” 

Whether such humiliation could ever be worth it is another question.