IT’S possible, I think, both to empathise with Humza Yousaf for being filmed taking a fall at his place of work and to mock his somewhat supercilious response to it. The cabinet minister for Health and Social Care was rushing to be present at a Holyrood debate when he lost control of a delinquent walking-frame and crashed to the floor.

The ungainly ambulatory device served only to add a comic aspect to Mr Yousaf’s tumble. The presence of an aide who was carrying Mr Yousaf’s walking-stick and rushing to keep pace with his boss and his souped-up four-wheeled walker didn’t really ease the strain of withholding laughter either. If you haven't seen it, you'll find it on our website.

The Health Secretary had engaged the services of this turbo-walker following a well-publicised sports injury. His desire not to let this impede his return to work is, of course, commendable and we should all be thankful for it.

Being in charge of the largest government department in Scotland means that a mere common-or-garden walker could never have been enough. Mr Yousaf is a young man who likes to convey vibrancy and rude health (as all young men do).

WATCH THE VIDEO: Humza Yousaf spat with BBC's Glenn Campbell over mobility scooter fall film

To be observed hobbling from one important debate to another perched on a walking-stick doesn’t really cut the brand. Personally, I’d have been looking for one of those mobility scooters that you often see jouking around the east end of Glasgow (and which are fitfully deployed for purposes other than ease of movement).

These vehicles carry certain societal connotations though, and are perhaps not to the taste of a thrusting cabinet secretary full of pep and badminton.

A few thoughts immediately sprang to mind when you saw the footage of Mr Yousaf’s plummet. What was he doing careering about the treacherously refulgent floors of Holyrood anyway? Could one of his colleagues not just have telephoned ahead to Nicola to say her Number One minister might be a bit late owing to his physical inconvenience?

And I’m surely not alone in this next one, but it rather looked to me as though Mr Yousaf had decided to add some gaiety to his day by doing what we all like to do occasionally when trying to escape monotony. “Right, Quentin; I’ll race you to the end of the corridor.”

Nor can I have been the only one who looked covetously at Mr Yousaf’s sonic walker and thought that it could be just the boy for getting home smoothly after a few swalettes at the local.

There was also an as yet unspoken aspect to this little vignette which added to the surreal. The footage was circulated on Twitter by Glenn Campbell, BBC Scotland’s Political Editor.

Prior to this, Mr Campbell had never really struck you as the sort of chap who departs even slightly from the script. You may even have formed the impression that in Mr Campbell’s household the chosen method for the Emptying of the Bins only came about after an appropriate critical path analysis had been conducted.

I mean, if it had been Tam Cowan or Elaine C Smith who had been responsible accompanied by something pithier than “Humza Yousaf does not appear to be having a good day at work,” I don’t think anyone would have been in the least put out. As it was, Mr Yousaf was more than a little put out.

Afterwards he tweeted: “All for media scrutiny & never shy away from it. Just not sure there is need or purpose to tweet out a video of me falling over while injured. If anyone else had fallen over while on crutches, a knee scooter, or in a wheelchair would your first instinct be to film it & tweet out?”

READ MORE: Politicians versus the people

Well, perhaps. On the other hand; the SNP pays its Matalan army of spinners and fluffers to advise in such matters. I’d have been telling Mr Yousaf to have responded with a self-deprecatory apercu such as: “Note to self: lay off the Leccy Soop at lunchtime.” Alistair Campbell once said of New Labour: “We don’t do God.” Not only does the SNP not do God; it doesn’t do humour either. Within minutes a posse of party lickspittles came charging to Mr Yousaf’s side spitting sanctimony. Predictably, some of their supporters even observed in it evidence of the BBC’s ‘hatred’ of the SNP. Behave yourselves.

Humza Yousaf is not “anyone else”; he’s the second most powerful person in Scotland. We pay him very handsomely to serve at our pleasure. In exchange for amassing a handsome pension and portfolio of interests on his way to the lobbying job that awaits him when his political career is finished we get to own him for a few years. Very occasionally this means having a giggle at his and his colleagues’ maladroitness – both physical and intellectual.

I think too that there’s a lesson in this for me and some of my esteemed colleagues in the newspaper trade. Some in this very organ have lately expressed their disdain for what they regard as unacceptably scurvy responses in below-the-line comments about our published work and our own literary pratfalls (If you get to the end of this piece you might even glimpse a few of these for yourselves in the comments bit).

Yet, in the same way as we assume ownership of our politicians’ lives for a few years so must journalists accept that we also serve at our readers’ pleasure. In this we must expect the bad and the ugly as well as the good. We can’t haughtily assume that all expressions of discontent will be clothed in the same finely-stitched locutions that we strain to chisel out.

It’s been suggested that there are Russian bots behind some of these, or that the unruly nature of the comments contaminates public discourse. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Some of us should be happy that the readers think our work is actually worth insulting.

Journalists arguing for a suspension of critical and uncouth comments will never be a good look and signifies delusions of grandeur. In the refined words of the song-writing trio, Van Halen, Van Halen and Roth we all require to roll with the punches and get to what’s real.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.