What does politics need? After the last three weeks a nice lie down in a darkened room might be just the ticket. Alas, with a general election on the way the chances of that happening are zero.

Still, it had been just days since Scotland’s new First Minister appealed for less shouting in politics and more conversation, fewer rammies and more harmony. Would this advice survive on contact with the Sunday politics shows?

First along to illustrate this new, more civil, politics was Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton. Readers may recall the peer from his days as plain David Cameron, Conservative party leader and scrapper-in-chief alongside George Osborne.

Controversial in and out of office, Mr Cameron was made a lord and brought back into the fold as foreign secretary. Thus elevated above the fray, he no longer has to engage with the grubby business of day-to-day party politics any more. His job is to observe the world from on high, like the angels.

Or it was for a few minutes, anyway. On Sky News’ Sunday with Trevor Phillips, Lord Cameron was asked about the defection of right-wing Tory MP Natalie Elphicke to Labour. What would the former public relations executive say about a move that had backfired with Labour MPs and party members?

Nothing, initially. In true grandee fashion he had not paid it much attention. But then he let rip, calling Elphicke’s defection “naked opportunism, by Labour as much as anything”.

“I’m not a fan of defectors,” he said. “I took over from one in Witney and I think it always leaves a legacy of upset and betrayal, and everything else.

“I thought this was just naked opportunism, by Labour as much as anything. This is quite a right-wing Conservative MP suddenly welcomed into the Labour fold having never supported any of their policies, people or approaches.”

It was a polished performance, one that had Phillips comparing Lord Cameron with his boss, Rishi Sunak, and praising the former’s communication skills. “Why can’t he do what you do?” asked Phillips after showing clips of the current and former leaders on social media.

Maybe, Phillips suggested, the Tories might want to take a leaf out of the SNP’s book and change the man at the top? Cameron was not falling for that one. The prime minister was a good man, doing a good job and “the plan is working”, he said.

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At the start of BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Lord Cameron was shown sitting with shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth. It is customary at this point for the two guests to laugh in an excessively hearty fashion at some observation of Kuenssberg’s. Cameron was up for it, but Mr Ashworth looked furious. If you had to spend a Sunday defending Natalie Elphicke you might feel the same.

He tried. Phillips asked about claims, reported in the Sunday papers, that Ms Elphicke lobbied the then-justice secretary in 2020 to interfere in her then-husband’s sex offences trial. Mr Ashworth replied: “She said that is nonsense and not her interpretation of the meeting. I obviously wasn’t in the meeting so I don’t know.”

That was not the only unappetising item in Mr Ashworth’s breakfast bun. On Tuesday there will be a crunch meeting between Labour and the unions on workers’ rights. The fear in some sections of the party is that this policy might go the way of the £28 billion green investment plan and be watered down.

Not so, said Mr Ashworth, a Labour government would be getting rid of such policies as fire and rehire and giving workers a right to switch off. But when that would happen he did not say. Would it be the first day, as promised by Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, or would employers be allowed to delay the reforms?

Phillips ended his show on a lighter note with an item about which songs best summed up Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer. According to a survey, Mr Sunak’s tune would be Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, while Sir Keir was closely associated with New Radicals’ You Get What You Give.

Andrew Marr, a guest on Phillips’ show, said Messrs Sunak and Starmer could do with livening up their image. What politics lacked today, said the broadcaster, were “storytellers”, leaders who could set out a narrative, a vision, that inspired others.

The newest party leader in town, John Swinney, was having a Sunday off from the media, as was his deputy, Kate Forbes. In their place on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show was Neil Gray, the health secretary. The former journalist, rated by his new boss as a skilled communicator, is expected to do the bulk of heavy lifting on the Sunday shows from now on.

More familiar faces featured as The Sunday Show looked back at 25 years of the Scottish Parliament. Former First Minister Henry McLeish spoke about the positive achievements, among them that young Scots now regarded Holyrood as their “first parliament”.

It was not all straight As on the report card, however. The one negative aspect of devolution had been that politics in Holyrood has remained toxic and tribal, said Mr McLeish.

“When I was in politics we used to regard people as opponents but now people have to be political enemies.” Grudge, grievance and revenge politics had to stop, “no matter what the future of Scotland is”.

The last words went to two memorable MSPs from the parliament’s past - Robin Harper, the first elected green politician in the UK, and Rosie Kane of the Scottish Socialists, who was famously sworn in with “my oath is to the people” written on her palm.

Did Ms Kane think that devolution had worked? Yes, in as much as it had brought politics closer to people, but this was only a stepping stone towards independence.

Both would encourage young people to get involved in politics.

“You must speak up,” said Mr Harper, while the advice from Citizen Kane was, “Tread very carefully and be true to yourself.”

Wise words.