FMQs sketch: Let's all play continuity bingo
HUMZA Yousaf was finally confirmed as first minister at FMQs today.
I know what you’re thinking. Wasn’t there a vote on Tuesday or some parchment doodling the other day?
Well, yes, if you want to be pedantic about ‘the law’.
But you’re not truly FM these days until you’ve been bawled at by climate change protesters leaping up about in the public gallery.
They laid on a spectacular for his debut.
After previously striking all at once and getting huckled out in seconds, humanity’s last hope had come up with a cunning plan. Do it differently.
Instead of one interruption, there was a bunch of them.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas had barely opened his trap when the first one struck.
After a brief suspension, he carried on to nip Mr Yousaf about his new minister for independence, Jamie Hepburn. Luckily for Mr Hepburn, he’s not being paid by results.
Mr Yousaf ignored the question and reached for his script.
“I am delighted to have the cabinet with the most women in it,” he bellowed. “I am delighted to have a cabinet with members under 40. I am delighted to…”
You knew he really wanted to say ‘I am delighted to be Humza Yousaf’, but somehow he wrestled the urge to the mat.
Mr Ross said he had been hoping “there might be another intervention from the gallery to stop that long rant”.
Right on cue, another protester rose to scream the names of oil fields.
It was Mr Ross’s biggest laugh in FMQs history.
Three more interruptions followed, until Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone wearily gave up and ordered the gallery be cleared.
Nat Stuart McMillan, worried about the voters of tomorrow escaping, asked if school pupils could stay. Think of the children!
The PO allowed it. The nippers looked aghast.
The chamber half-empty, the atmosphere evaporated quicker than the ozone layer.
As Mr Yousaf parroted his predecessor’s talking points, we played continuity bingo.
There was Brexit, Covid did it and ran away, the people love us, I’ll take no lessons from, the Tories are inhuman hog-people… House.
Towards the end, even Mr Yousaf’s family got up and left, followed by a wave of jealousy.
But the PO was determined to add extra time. Eventually we hit the hour mark.
The banks of schoolkids flagged visibly, hating their teachers, hating democracy.
It was like detention without end. Oh, think of the children!
On and on Mr Yousaf went, clubbing his audience with the cliches of Nicola Sturgeon and the charm of Alex Salmond in a lift.
Rarely has a debut felt so stale.
Sometimes the end of the world doesn’t seem half bad.