Swinney and Forbes the Dream Ticket? – they send me to sleep - Vladimir McTavish

Kate Forbes MSP (L) and John Swinney MSP (R) attend the motion of no confidence vote in the Scottish Government on May 1Kate Forbes MSP (L) and John Swinney MSP (R) attend the motion of no confidence vote in the Scottish Government on May 1
Kate Forbes MSP (L) and John Swinney MSP (R) attend the motion of no confidence vote in the Scottish Government on May 1
​Last Saturday night, I was performing at one of my favourite gigs in Scotland, Icebreaker Comedy in Dundee. In the past, Humza Yousaf used to regularly be in the audience, quite often sitting on the front row, laughing enthusiastically.

When I reminded the promoter of this, they said “He’s not been coming much in the past year, he’s probably too busy.”

And, of course, last weekend, he was very busy indeed, desperately trying to find ways in which he could stay in his job.

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In the end, he walked. He was refreshingly honest, although somewhat naive, in his self-appraisal of how he had handled the situation.

He genuinely appeared surprised that the Greens were a bit peed-off about getting the bullet. OK, the Bute House Agreement had been on a shoogly peg. Few people on either side seemed happy with it.

A lot of SNP voters I talk to felt that the tail was wagging the dog. But he really did make a mess of how he chucked the Greens

If someone thinks they are turning up for a meeting only to find out they are being sacked, it really should be no surprise that they throw their toys out of the pram. At the very least, you should expect them to be a little bit angry.

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If someone is driving your car somewhat erratically and you want to take over at the wheel, throwing them out of the door while the engine is still in motion is a sure-fire way of making the car veer off the road and over a cliff. Although if the alternative is having Ash Regan in the driving seat, most of us would gladly go over the cliff.

With Kate Forbes ruling herself out and no-one else coming forward, John Swinney will be elected unopposed as the next SNP leader, meaning there will be no ballot of members.

Every political party has its system for choosing its leader. Labour has its own very complicated “electoral college” which nobody appears to understand, while Tory members have a final vote once MPs have whittled the list of candidates down to two.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Reform UK choose their leader from the winner of a fight in a pub car park.

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For the past 20 years, John Swinney has been the SNP’s go-to guy in times of crisis. A safe pair of hands, albeit a bit dull. He has the trustworthy demeanour of a high street bank manager. Well he did 20 years ago, when there were still banks on high streets.

He seems certain to give a top cabinet job to Kate Forbes. Forbes comes across as sincere, in the way most Sunday school teachers do, when they talk about Jesus. Way off the scale in terms of dullness.

So are Swinney and Forbes the Dream Ticket ? Yes, they can both send me to sleep. However, maybe dull is what the SNP and the whole of Scotland, needs right now.

I suspect what Humza needs right now is a real good laugh. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up on the front row of that comedy gig in Dundee.

After all, he’s going to have a lot more time on his hands from now on.

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