In a year of errors and misjudgements by the Humza Yousaf administration I suppose another little one won’t make much difference. Mr Yousaf’s latest ill-advised step occurred towards the end of his resignation speech. The outgoing First Minister said: “Next week is a crucial milestone - we mark 25 years of devolution.”

There was never a worse time to celebrate 25 years of devolution than this day when the political class it has spawned was exposed as weak, unprincipled, self-serving and atavistic.

Mr Yousaf’s year-long tenure has been characterised chiefly by his failure to impose his own character on the office of First Minister. He had an early opportunity to break with his predecessor’s ruinous period in office by ditching the Bute House Agreement as his two rivals in the leadership contest had pledged to do.

Instead, he chose the path of least resistance. He promoted a cadre of inexperienced mediocrities into positions well beyond their capabilities and previous achievements.

Such was the adolescent bullying to which Ms Regan in particular was subject by her party colleagues in the Holyrood tea-rooms for daring to stand against him that she felt she had no other option than to join Alba. He then despatched Kate Forbes, Holyrood’s most capable politician, to the back benches.

All the while he indulged a Scottish Green party who, with each passing week, seemed to glory in embarrassing the government with ill-thought out schemes that crashed and burned, leaving the public finances several hundred millions of pounds lighter.


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When, at the very last, Mr Yousaf discovered his spine he moved decisively to remove the source of these humiliations by ditching the Bute House Agreement. Yet, four days later, he has been forced out of office by Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater - two serial failures who, like their party, have never won an electoral contest.

And then, rather than go to the country in these extraordinary circumstances, he falls on his sword because several bad actors in his party can’t bear the thought of having any connection to Alba, the only party which takes independence seriously.

Meanwhile, Mr Harvie has indicated he will save the Scottish Government’s hide by voting against Labour’s no-confidence motion. Let that sink in: Mr Harvie, having spent the last few days telling anyone daft enough to take him seriously that he has lost trust in Mr Yousaf and was on a mission to destroy his career, will back an administration still led by him … and for a few more months yet.

There’s more. In countries where politicians really do serve the people someone like Ms Forbes  would become the favourite to guide the SNP government through to the next Scottish election in 2026. Some of her colleagues won’t have it, though. Mr Harvie, whose foolish and troubling denial of the science and methodology of the Cass Review was a factor in Mr Yousaf ending the Bute House Agreement, is effectively holding the entire Government of Scotland – and those who voted for it – to ransom.

His tantrum has already forced Mr Yousaf out and it seems clear – judging by the momentum building on social media – that only a candidate personally approved by Mr Harvie will lead the Scottish Government safely and supinely to 2026. That’s another couple of years of pension contributions and wages many of the SNP lot could never command in the real world.

Politics in Scotland has become a punchline to a bad joke, an answer in a pub quiz. In which country did the democratically-elected leader of a party with ten election victories to its name fall to a party incapable of winning any?

In the three years since the last Scottish election, two First Ministers have come and gone in circumstances not yet fully explained and without the people’s consent.

The political elite have been found dreadfully wanting in this period. Nor have they proven themselves capable of acting in anyone’s interest but their own.

To restore the dignity of Holyrood and the integrity of devolution a Scottish election must be fought soon as a moral imperative. Only the people can sort this out.