IN the daylight hours before damp, whisky-soaked dentures chowed down on dark, squishy lumps of haggis, well-meaning English folk in yonder Hoose o’ Commons wished us all a happy Burns Night.

It was kind of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer. They’re not to know that the annual celebration passes 95 per cent of Scots by. Like the rest of the world, they assume we’re all oot on oor gas-lit, manure-strewn streets jigging uproariously around our distressed donkeys like drunken pixies.

In reality, we’re indoors munching M&Ms and watching Sort Your Life Out With Stacey Solomon. The five per cent respecting tradition are farty types from clubs: golf, Rotary, dogging.

Still, to paraphrase the Bard, we must see ourselves as England sees us: whingeing scroungers with halitosis of the hairstyle.

No such follicular affliction for the SNP’s Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, whose desolate cranium stands ready to nut any who would deny proud Scotia her emancipation from honeyed tyranny.

The head has gone to his power. But I do wish he’d do up his jacket. I’ve no wish to sound like his mother, particularly not in gender-fluid Scotland where I might find, to my own surprise, the arrangement legally ratified by lunchtime.

But if Stephen did up his jacket he’d look less of a yob. That said, at Prime Minister’s Questions, he started with all the politeness of an Edinburgh dowager: “May I” – ooh! Pass that wee plate of fancies, Mrs Colquhoun – “ask the Prime Minister what advice would he have for individuals seeking to protect their personal finances?”

See, he’s clever, this boy. Always has an intriguing opener. We’re never quite sure where he’s going. Here’s where he went: “Should they seek out a future chair of the BBC to help secure an £800,000 loan? Should they set up a trust in Gibraltar and hope that HMRC simply don’t notice?

“Or should they do as others have done and simply apply for non-dom status?”

Crivvens, that was below Rishi’s nipple-high belt, being a reference to his wife’s former tax avoiding arrangements.

Mr Sunak ignored the questions one by one, declaring himself tangentially “proud of the record of this Government in supporting the most vulnerable in society”. I see.

Flynn flyted Rishie for not answering, and queried the PM’s integrity after he’d backed a Home Secretary deemed a security risk, a Tory Party chairman chased by the tax authorities for millions, and a former Prime Minister exposed for an alleged “cosy financial relationship” with the chair of the BBC.

“Is it little wonder,” said the SNP man, “that people in Scotland may well just consider the Tory Party to be a parcel of rrrogues?” Wee, sleekit, if not timorous Burns reference there.

The PM replied with 13 seconds of waffle about “due process” and a pledge to “deliver”. I hate to sound pompous (naw, secretly love it) but this was verging on the disrespectful. At least his predecessor might have told Stephen with a chortle to cheer up and perform a “Highland Flynn” for the lieges.

Earlier, proceedings proper had kicked off in the traditional manner with Rishi being questioned by the aforementioned Starmer, their respective safe hands locked together sweatily over a floral doily in another arm-wresting stalemate.

It’s a stramash at the office party between two middle managers over who has the biggest stapler. You could picture both in cream-coloured aprons and jaunty little hats, clutching clipboards at an ice cream salesmen’s conference in Cleethorpes.

That said, Sunak tried distancing himself from his suited soulmate, after Sir Keir questioned him about a former Chancellor in charge of tax avoiding, er, tax.

“The difference between him and me,” he averred, “is that I stand by my values and my principles even when it is difficult.”

And it was difficult now. Sir Keir stroked an imaginary handlebar moustache and taunted Rishi wickedly: “Is he starting to wonder if this job is just too big for him?”

It was a cruel jibe, given the PM’s lack of height. Mr Sunak complained it was “petty”, as he stretched despairingly to his full 5ft 6in and hiked his troosers away up his shins. Maybe he should start wearing a kilt. At least then, sported traditionally, he could let his undefiled credo swing freely.

In the meantime, as it’s Burns Night, that’s me away for away for a plate of egg and chips washed down by a large a gin and tonic with a wee umbrella in it. After which, I’ll probably go out for a dance with my donkey.