“THERE is a culture of secrecy and cover-up at the heart of this dysfunctional and incompetent SNP government,” Anas Sarwar declared at FMQs. 

Who told him? SNP MSPs hissed at each other in panic. Find the leaker. Kill him! 

The number of Freedom of Information requests going to a minister for “sign-off or cover up” had risen five-fold since 2020, the Scottish Labour leader went on.  

Mmm, better, better, muttered the Nat benches. 

“So can I ask the First Minister, what’s he got to hide?”

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Humza Yousaf was in a humorous mood. “There is nothing to hide,” he smiled, shredding the last of his party’s ten million membership cards.

“I want to ensure.. we are the most transparent Government on these islands.”

As for the ferries saga that Mr Sarwar mentioned earlier, the latest twist was openly declared. “That is not hiding away; that is transparency in action.”

As the SNP’s troops clapped loud enough to break HQ’s bugging gear, Mr Sarwar grinned in anticipation of his own comeback.

“He says he’s transparent - transparently hopeless.” 

He then accused Mr Yousaf of trying to “intimidate his critics”.

The FM lamented the “desperate, desperate stuff” from his opponent. Anas Sarwar was clearly “somebody who has lots of style but no substance”.

The non-Nat bits of the chamber howled in laughter. A thicket of Labour arms pointed ironically at the FM. The Presiding Officer called for calm. Mr Yousaf started to lose it.

He remembered Mr Sarwar had voiced doubts over the dismal deposit return scheme. Not that he'd ever intimidate a critic, but that obviously meant the bloke was Tory scum.

“Anas Sarwar is so desperate to attack the SNP he’s siding with the party that’s determined to undermine devolution,” the leader of the country burbled.

Mr Sarwar asked how many police probes the SNP had now. Equally dignified, Mr Yousaf said he was “a loser”. Hutchesons’ Grammar must wish it had expelled the pair of them. 

Later, the deplorable state of the Clyde and Hebrides ferries came up. Tory Donald Cameron urged compensation for folk unable to get on or off Mull at the moment.

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Mr Yousaf had a brilliant idea about ferries. When CalMac’s junkers didn’t show up, they had to pay a fine, so that money could be spent on ferries that did show up. 

These “penalty deductions” were already paying for £3million of the £9m bill to hire a new boat to cover break-downs.

“It is right that money is reinvested for the benefit of the resilience of the entire network,” he explained.

So if you want a better service, all you need is a lousy service to pay for it. Sorted.

It was yet more transparency - transparently mad.