I’d like, briefly, to interrupt the orgy of shaming over Lorna Slater’s travel choices.

Both media and social media have, over the past week, been awash with stories of her crimes against public transport which are, firstly, that last week she took a private boat to Rum, rather than a CalMac ferry, and secondly that, according to the Daily Mail, she took a 350-mile 'eco-trip' in a ministerial car to the Dundreggan rewilding project last year.

That boat hire was obviously not the best optics in a Scotland whose ferry system is broken and whose island communities also feel betrayed and under threat from the marine protection plan consultation. It was a reminder that any minister who travels to the isles should be getting on a CalMac ferry, or not going at all.

Those difficult feelings were fully channelled by Tory MSP Donald Cameron, who spoke of Slater's "hypocrisy", saying: "The Greens are forever lecturing the public on the need to use public transport, yet she’s happy for the Scottish Government to charter a private boat to take her to and from Rum.”

Never mind that the development officer of the Isle of Rum Community Trust told the BBC this was all “a storm in a teacup” and that “a taxi charter boat is a normal part of island life”.

READ MORE: Lorna Slater under fire for private chartered boat amid ferries crisis

But enough of the boat for now – perhaps more revealing of the cultural climate is the ministerial car “eco-trip” story which followed hot on the heels of boatgate.

My immediate urge, on reading the story, was to take a look at the ministerial car use records for the past year. How bad was Slater’s use? And how, I wondered, did Slater, and her fellow Green minister, Patrick Harvie, compare with others?

I trawled through a year of the most recently published data, totting up figures for various ministers. What stood out was Patrick Harvie who managed a grand total of just three rides in a year. But even Lorna Slater, with her 67 trips over the whole year (with return trips counted as two), was at the low end of the scale, standing out among a cohort of ministers many of whom clock up more than 20 a month, some more than 30.

Admittedly the journey Slater did to Dundreggan was long-distance, and could have been done partially by train – but let’s not forget that ministerial cars are electric and studies suggest that a trip in an EV, if packed with passengers, is slightly less emissions than the same distance train ride.

Still, I get why people are upset. The ministerial car smacks of inequality – even, and perhaps especially, when it’s made excusable by the fact that it was probably electric. There she is, zipping here, there and everywhere in her chauffeur-driven ministerial vehicle, when, say, 'I’m having to sell my car because I now live in a low emissions zone'.

READ MORE: Scotland's low emission zones: Which cars will be banned?

It’s one rule for them, another for us. Or is it?

I sometimes think that actually it’s one rule for them, another rule for us, and yet another for the green activist and politician, whose emissions, however low, make them an easy target for accusations of hypocrisy.

Partly that’s because there’s an instinctive backlash against anything or anyone that appears to be asserting a moral imperative. We hit back at the green activist who has chosen to fly to that climate summit, and not at those higher up the chain who wantonly fly their private jets, partly because those billionaires aren’t telling us how we ought to live.

It’s fascinating to see how people seem to be equally offended by the idea of Slater taking a ministerial car as they are of Rishi Sunak riding a helicopter down to Southampton when he could have taken the train.

Ever since I read The New Climate Wars by the climate scientist Michael Mann - which describes personal carbon footprint shaming as a "wedge issue", exploited to break apart the climate movement and distract from the push for system-level change -  I've been watching the way most emissions-shaming is heaped on green politicians.

READ MORE: Why flight-shaming is bad for the planet

But the problem is I also happen to believe that what we do in our personal lives does matter. How a politician lives does count. In fact, all ministers should be opting for public transport where that’s the normal mode of travel for most people.

That’s because our politicians should experience the world as most of the people they work for do. It's also because, just as personal attempts to reduce carbon footprint expose us to the challenges of navigating emissions reduction, so too traveling in the low-emissions transport of the majority gives us the real-life experience of the problems of that.

I’m sure Lorna Slater knows all this. But, whatever the reasons for her boat trip decision, it was never, in a Scotland whose ferry system is broken, and whose island communities feel deserted, not going to look like bad politics – and never not going to be exploited in a green backlash.