Just when it seems Israel has finally exhausted its last morsel of humanity, it continues to find new and excruciating ways to shock.

Defying even modest expectations of restraint in its ongoing pogrom against blameless Palestinian civilians, it persists with its relentless, biblical determination to make the battle for control of Gaza its own, modern-day Armageddon.

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been sacrificed so far, collateral damage in the Jewish state’s blunderbuss pursuit of Hamas, with the death toll expected to top 30,000 before it bows to the inevitable conclusion that you cannot destroy an idea.

In the meantime, the rest of the world watches on as Israel continues to rewrite the means and scale of barbarity perpetrated by a liberal democracy against a non-combatant population.

As well as falling under a relentless hail of Israeli shells and bullets, since Hamas’s brutal and unforgiveable incursion of October 7, there is a parallel death toll of innocents caused by hunger and disease, as aid supplies are blocked on the border with Egypt.

New mothers are so emaciated, due to lack of nourishment, that they are unable to breastfeed their babies. This week it was reported that two-month-old Mahmoud Fattouh died at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, because of acute malnutrition.

News footage showed the infant’s distressed mother urgently seeking assistance, as he struggled for breath. He was swiftly admitted to the intensive care unit, where a paramedic noted that he had gone without food for several days, attributing it to the severe scarcity of baby formula milk in Gaza.

As baby Mahmoud was losing his short fight for life, back in the UK Stephen Flynn was struggling to control his anger. Not at the senseless loss of life, the continuing violence - almost 70,000 Palestinians have also been wounded since October 7 - or the failure of the international community to broker a cessation of, or at the very least, an extended pause in, hostilities.

What was exercising him to the point of distraction, was a breach of parliamentary protocol in the House of Commons, following his attempt to have a "meaningful vote" on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The wording of Mr Flynn’s Opposition Day motion posed a problem for the Labour party, which has resolutely opposed a ceasefire, to avoid any suggestion of antisemitism, and Sir Keir Starmer sought to amend it to head off an embarrassing rebellion among his own MPs.

While not against the parliamentary rules, it is a convention that such motions tabled by one party should not be amended by another, but that was over-ruled by Speaker Sir Lyndsay Hoyle, a former Labour MP.

The Herald: While the SNP expressed outrage over Commons procedures, Israel continued its bombardment of GazaWhile the SNP expressed outrage over Commons procedures, Israel continued its bombardment of Gaza (Image: PA)

So incensed was Mr Flynn that he led a walkout of the SNP group from the Commons chamber. Clearly, where arcane rules about parliamentary procedure are at stake, the ceasefire could wait.

As the MP continued to fulminate and bloviate about who had the right to draft and amend parliamentary motions, a further 100 people were being killed by Israeli strikes on the Gaza strip in a single 24-hour period.

They included 24 people, mostly women and children, slaughtered by an Israeli strike on a home in Deir el-Balah, sheltering dozens of displaced Palestinians.

Among Mr Flynn’s "achievements" of the past week has been to unite the SNP with the Conservatives as they marched, in lockstep, against the perceived bureaucratic crimes of Hoyle and his supposed co-conspirators in the Labour Party.

Whatever the merits of the way in which the Gaza debate was managed or mismanaged, it is nothing compared with the towering arrogance of Mr Flynn and his acolytes.

I was abroad as events unfolded, and I shared the same bemused perspective as foreign onlookers who wondered aloud what has become of British politics and perspective.

Mr Flynn’s first delusion was to suppose that any of it mattered. The days when Britain exercised any influence or involvement in the region are distant and forgotten.

The debate was only ever going to be a symbolic demonstration of solidarity with the inhabitants of Gaza, and so the way it was conducted, and how it was perceived, were important.

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Disregarding that, his vanity and hatred of Labour clearly got the better of him, facilitating the impression that he considered both of those to be of a higher priority than the plight of dead, injured and sick Palestinians.

Politicians, with the occasional notable exception, are peculiarly prone to attention-seeking but, even by their normal standards, this was an exceptional display of hubris.

I was a political journalist for several years and, of all the jobs I have done, I found dealing with politicians one of the biggest challenges.

As well as speaking in a form of coded, reality-denying language, their relationships are entirely transactional.

The closest political double-act of the past generation was between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon who appeared to enjoy as close a professional relationship as it was possible to have, until they were no longer colleagues and they embarked on an unseemly bare-knuckle fight to destroy one another.

What normal people would regard as a straightforward and unambiguous conversation, where a politician is involved, it can be interpreted to mean something entirely different, with the retrospective addition of myriad caveats and parentheses.

I had an early lesson in this strange doublespeak in the late 1990s when reporting on coalition talks between Labour and the LibDems, to form the Scottish Parliament’s first administration.

Labour had recently introduced university tuition fees, implementing the findings of the Dearing and Garrick commission reports. The LibDems, however, insisted they had to honour a manifesto commitment to scrap tuition fees, as the price of their involvement in government.

Without wishing to allow a minor inconvenience like an election pledge to get in the way of taking their seats at Cabinet and sliding into their ministerial cars, senior LibDems claimed victory, following protracted negotiations with their Labour counterparts.

Simply by substituting tuition fees with a graduate endowment, they were able to insist that fees had been abolished, while Labour claimed it had not shifted from the principle of students having to pay towards the cost of their university education.

Meanwhile voters - those actually affected by the measures - were left scratching their heads, wondering if they really were going mad.

When the world is impacted by something as truly awful and historically significant as what’s happening in Gaza, we expect our politicians to take a practical and moral lead. Events of the past week have shown that the current crop are simply not up to the job.

Carlos Alba ran the media campaign for Ken MacIntosh’s bid to become Scottish Labour leader against Kezia Dugdale