THEY seek him here, they seek him there, they seek Tom Mason everywhere. Well, they would if they knew who the hell he was. Nicola Sturgeon didn’t, even after 18 months sharing a parliament with him.

At FMQs, she only learned of his existence when the Presiding Officer said he was up next. An open microphone caught her asking: “Tom Mason? Who’s Tom Mason?”

A fair question. The former deputy provost of Aberdeen is most obscure creature.

He arrived at Holyrood after fellow Tory Ross Thomson was elected as an MP, creating a vacancy on the North East list.

Young Ross, a prolific twit, has since achieved a degree of fame in his new role, giving clueless Brexiters a bad name.

Mr Mason has remained the province of connoisseurs. Silent, in a trademark black polo neck, he looks like the Milk Tray Man would these days - if he lived in a hedge.

So who is this regional man of mystery? He is the MSP most famous for not being dead. He has been blown up four times, including in Biafra, losing his left hand in the process.

More pertinently, he is also the last Tory on the North East list. If his luck ran out in a fifth explosion, he would not be replaced, and there would be an empty seat at Holyrood.

Out of party loyalty, he has thus avoided doing anything exciting that might tempt the reaper. In this regard, as the FM showed, he has been an outstanding success.

Ms Sturgeon was on firmer ground with Willie Rennie, with whom she is all too familiar.

As the LibDem leader tossed a bowl of cliché salad about a people’s vote, she propped her chin on her fist and gazed into the distance with infinite weariness. Her sigh was our sigh.

“I didn’t quite catch what he asked me,” she yawned, dragging herself upright. “However, I think that I got the gist.” She urged the Labour party to back a people’s vote.

“The Labour Party was once a beacon of hope in the world; now it is not even a beacon of hope for the Labour Party,” said Mr Rennie, perking up. “How chaotic does Brexit have to get before Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard get off their backsides to stop it?”

The PO said she needn’t answer, but the FM was full of Christmas spirit suddenly .

“I am always happy to offer my services to Labour if it is looking for real leadership, which it desperately needs right now.” Mr Leonard’s face turned holly berry red. He should get some camouflage tips from Mr Mason.