Jibes, jeopardy and journalists - Dundee was perhaps the perfect backdrop for Humza Yousaf's embryonic attempt at redirecting a premiership that has gone quite flamboyantly off course.

In a week of unplanned and unexpected events, on Friday at lunchtime the First Minister paid a last minute visit to Hillcrest Housing Association's development of new flats in the city.

It came as a surprise to residents and to the reporters who were expecting Mr Yousaf to be in Glasgow.

Word, however, began to spread just before 9am that the planned visit to the University of Strathclyde had been suddenly binned, becoming official just less than an hour later.

The Herald:

Mention was also beginning to be made of an unexpected visit to Dundee but the details were vague - a cynic might say the short notice was an attempt to avoid the inevitable scrum of media showing up.

Despite a late calling notice, the ploy failed and Mr Yousaf was faced with a wall of cameras and questions in a small carpark at the centre of the brown brick flatted development.

If anyone thought there might be any depth of interest in the Scottish Government's announcement of £80 million in funding for affordable housing and homelessness, they had another think coming.

The focus was entirely on the question of the week - will Mr Yousaf stay or will he go?

Will he end his relationship with the position of First Minister before he is dumped from it? The SNP leader was bullish throughout questioning by successive reporters: he's going nowhere. So he says now.

This, of course, was the First Minister attempting to position his post-Greens government as one of practical matters, of one capable of tackling the issues voters really care about.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf defiant about his future at Dundee visit

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The SNP has been governing on a #BeKind philosophy, a desperation to be "progressive" at all costs, despite a persistently vague notion of what the word actually means.

Housing, conversely, is a tangible issue and one mercifully far from the culture war rhetoric.

An insider told The Herald there had been a frantic scrambling on Thursday for good news to announce. "When they came to [my department]," the source said, "We told them to get to f*ck."

Millions of pounds in funding might sound relatively straightforward as far as good news goes but it does not come without its problems.

At a national level, the Scottish Government cut £196m from the country’s affordable housing budget; figures last month show housing associations built the lowest number of new homes last year than at any point since 1988.

More locally, the Hillcrest project is years late, over budget and suffered teething problems during the building process.

A trio of curious residents had turned out to assess the fray - two avowed SNP voters and a third not yet old enough to cast a ballot.

Gemma Donaldson, 29, and Georgia-Ann Barclay, 28, are sharing a flat at the Hillcrest development having waited four years for a socially rented home to become available.

They are delighted with the property, as is their nine-month-old puppy Fry who assessed the media with a languid yawn and went for a little nap.

What do they think about the breakdown in the relationship between the Scottish Greens and the SNP?

"I have always voted SNP," Ms Barclay said, "Because they are inclusive. I like that they worked with the Greens in government and I'm worried about what happens now."

Ms Donaldson, looking over at where Mr Yousaf was being grilled by the latest in a line of broadcast journalists, added: "She likes Nicola Sturgeon better."

The Herald:

"Don't say that," Ms Barclay said, alarmed at being overheard, as though this might be the breaking burden of Humza Yousaf's self-esteem. "Though it's true," she added.

Just last week Mr Yousaf lent his weight to a fundraising event organised by the SNP MP Tommy Sheppard.

Held in Portobello Town Hall, the evening was hosted by the crime author Val McDermid, whose questioning of Mr Sheppard and of Mr Yousaf gently explored one or two of the slew of recent issues that have plagued the First Minister. Little would he have realised that exactly a week later his job would be on the line. But, at what must feel like an age ago, Ms McDermid asked him how he copes with the criticisms levelled as part of the job.

She said criticisms; Mr Yousaf referred to the "shit that's thrown at him".

In response, the FM said he meditates every day and focuses on the positives in his life. What are the positives of his current situation, The Herald asked Mr Yousaf in Dundee.

Other than the £80m funding announcement.

"I'm grateful for lots of things in life," he said, referencing his small daughter. "I woke up this morning with my four-year-old, soon to be five, in my bed and was able to spend some time getting her ready for nursery, to brush her hair, to get her changed, to get her ready, so I'm grateful for all the things in my life - family, friends.

"But also I am genuinely grateful to ... not just grateful ... it's a huge honour for me to be leader of, not just my party, but my country and it's my intention to fight that vote of no confidence and I intend to win it."

As he spoke, on the back of his jacket were three loose red threads and it feels almost unfair to mention them because the metaphor is too easy.

Mr Yousaf also said he is confident that he has the backing of his cabinet as being the right person to lead the SNP through the forthcoming general election and any possible snap Holyrood election forced by the two no confidence motions.

"They have been messaging me multiple messages," he said, "And I have spoken to the MSP group and the ministerial group and a number of councillors too and they absolutely agree that it's time to move on from the Bute House Agreement."

Mr Yousaf is now to face two no confidence motions - one in his leadership, lodged by the Scottish Tories; and one in his government, lodged by Scottish Labour.

One party insider, who supports the end of the Bute House Agreement but not how the breakup was handled, told The Herald they are less confident in Mr Yousaf's future than the First Minister professes himself to be.

"He is damned either way," they said. "He can try to focus on these concrete issues like housing, but voters are canny to cynical moves.

"The party has been tainted by association with the unserious passions of the Greens and Humza is now tainted, not only by association, but by dithering when he should have been decisive and cut them loose.

"He is trying to rebuild his reputation on a building site. You don't restore voter faith against a backdrop where the jokes write themselves."

That it will take more than bricks to rebuild his premiership? That he needs PPE to protect him from his detractors? At this point the only certainty for Humza Yousaf is that there is a punchline coming, funny or not.