RANK hypocrisy can take many shapes and forms with some seemingly unwitting but the end result is always the same.

When a billionaire, for example, donates to a food bank or another charitable cause the cries of hypocrisy almost always go up despite it not being hypocritical at all.

It’s just a nice thing to do but, of course, there are folk who will equate their great wealth with the people who need the charity and claim hypocrisy – as if it’s their fault alone there is such a wide gap.

But when it comes to sheer breathtaking hypocrisy, however, there are no people on the planet more adept at it than politicians who have turned it into something of an art form.

Whether it is called out or not tends to be dependent on what political party they are a member of.

Read More: Taggart would not approve of new Police Scotland no crime pilot scheme

This week, however, saw hypocrisy reach unparalleled new heights, probably, in a remarkable stooshie over satirical cartoons published by the BBC.

The biggest outrage on this occasion was a clip depicting Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater from Radio Scotland’s Noising Up which was described as “unnecessarily nasty” by an MSP.

Other party leaders and political figures were also satirised by the show. In the clip satirising Ms Slater, who grew up in Canada, she was labelled the “minister for green skills, circular economy, biodiversity, short-haul flights and maple syrup”.

The animation about “Limo Lorna” also referenced press reports about her use of ministerial cars.

The character promoted a series called “Lorna Slater’s Great Green limousine journeys”, described as a “3,000-mile taxpayer-funded journey around Scotland”.

Admittedly, it is a pretty lame gag that even Billy Connolly would struggle to make funny and probably explains why there hasn’t been satire on BBC Scotland for many years. But I’m not convinced it was worth the rather over the top reaction it prompted from some quarters . It prompted po-faced Equalities Minister Emma Roddick to describe it as “unnecessarily nasty”, while SNP colleague and Culture Minister Christina McKelvie called it “dreadful”.

But the award for sheer hypocrisy goes to straight-faced and humourless Green MSP Mark Ruskell who responded: “What’s funny about needing a car to do your job?”.

Read More: Even Sir Andy Murray is a target for short-sighted wealth-haters

He is absolutely right on that score and that should be it. However, Mr Ruskell and Ms Slater are both members of the party which has very publicly declared war on the motorist.

Basically what he is saying is that what is OK for Ms Slater as a government minister is not OK for the rest of us who drive cars. To them, we are the problem and we cannot use the excuse of needing to drive our cars to work.

Many of us, of course, don’t need to drive our cars to work and many of us would not do so if there was a reliable public transport service as a n alternative.

But for many Scots there isn’t one so they have no choice, otherwise they can’t get around. Of course, the Greens have form for this sort of thing that should not be allowed to go unchecked or be drowned out in a torrent of vitriol on social media that led the BBC to drop the cartoons.

Who can forget the Greens’ bizarre response to Boris Johnson’s ill-judged quip about Mrs Thatcher closing down the coal mines on environmental grounds.

Read More: The schoolboy's scarf that maps the highs and lows of football

It was said in jest but was a crass remark that was roundly condemned by all political opponents – and rightly so. It is not something to joke about.

However, step forward Scottish Greens Central Scotland MSP Gillian Mackay for breathtaking hypocrisy, when she said: “Thatcher’s decimation of the coal industry had absolutely nothing to do with environmentalism and everything to do with her despicable anti-trade union ideology. Communities across Scotland were decimated by these cruel and vindictive policies which destroyed industry and left workers high and dry.”

Now, if she had left it at the first sentence then all would have been fine, but to mourn the death of an industry that has caused more pollution than virtually all others is quite the thing for a Green.

The Greens hate coal mines and would have welcomed their closure, and it is guaranteed that they would have “destroyed the industry and left workers high and dry” as well – and at a faster rate.

It is also something they are proposing to do at the moment with the oil and gas industry and it should be resisted until a proper plan is in place for a smooth transition. Otherwise “communities will be decimated and workers left high and dry” – and we can’t have that now, can we?