PERIODICALLY one kenspeckle Scot or another is described as someone who “could start a fight in an empty room.”

Listen, that’s a ­description of the entire Scottish nation. To say we’re a disputatious lot is to fashion a right wee masterpiece of understatement.

Just a pity then ,that the inclination to argue, combat, and insist that up with this or that we wullnae put is reserved for ­internecine family arguments rather than taking the fight to those who have variously treated Scotland as an irritant, a ­punchbag, a pretendy nation with ideas above its given station.

Dr Nos come and go but the message is aye the same: get back in yer box ye ­ungrateful Jocks.

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A variation on this national infighting hobby is to stamp feet and declare it’s our bat and our ba’ and we’re going hame. ­Under which heading comes the ­resignation from the SNP Westminster’s front bench of my namesake – absolutely no relation – Mr Pete Wishart.

I’ve lang syne taken the sound advice not to send a tweet if I’m a) very angry or b) have partaken of a swally or three. And most especially not to press send when both obtain! Perhaps Mr Wishart might have ­deployed similar tactics before dispatching his resignation letter – the kind best fielded with asbestos tongs.

There have been a couple of occasions in the past when I’ve wondered whether ­Westminster had clasped Mr Wishart all too warmly to its dangerously seductive bosom. One was when he invited us a year ago to celebrate his then score of years in the Commons. The other was in 2019 when he declared his intention to stand as the post-Bercow Commons Speaker.

What was he thinking! Bad enough to ply your trade in the epicentre of establishment Britain without openly expressing a desire to get right in there with the bricks. SNP MPs are not sent to London to cuddle up; they’re there to dismantle a failed union.

It is widely believed that Mr Wishart and defence spokesperson Stewart ­McDonald fled the scene before they were ­written out of the new plot lines. But at least Mr McDonald, the recipient of various ­recent awards, chose to leave with dignity more or less intact. I’m guessing he was savvy enough to know that hissy fits are not a good look.

Cue assorted colleagues insisting there is no split in the camp (aye right), that new deputy leader Mhairi Black is ­unsuited to what is essentially, they ­assert, an ­administrative backstage role, that Stephen Flynn was unwise to signal a probable clearout of the old guard.

Well of bloody course there are ­various factions in play here. The Yes family is Scottish after all. There are folk who think the First Minister walks on water, folk who think her tortoise and hare ­impersonation ill-advised, folk who have splintered off from the mother ship ­altogether and have managed to convince themselves that the best route to victory is to snipe more than sourly from the ­sidelines.

Yet the Yes family is also in the end a family. A family which needs to ­acknowledge being at war with itself is unlikely to attract new or hesitant ­adherents. A family which allegedly is signed up to the same end game.

We’ve all been at Christmas gatherings where folk who wouldn’t normally be caught in the same county share a glass and a laugh and proclaim, if not exactly undying devotion, at least an amiable enough truce.

As for the new Commons team, a few ­observations. The first is that if Mhairi Black turns into an ­enthusiastic ­administrator, then my shot at ­joining the Scotland midfield can’t be long ­delayed. On her day she can give the kind of ­electrifying speech which misses no targets and hits the wall instead.

More please.

Mhairi too has occasionally shown signs of liking life down there too much as witness her self confessed friendship with a certain Jacob Rees-Mogg. Take it from a broad who’s been round the block a bit, hen; he’s poison.

What the Flynn/Black combo have in spades though, is relative youth. No need for excessive deference, no stomach, let’s hope, for letting the lesser spotted Tory neanderthals treat them like dog dirt on shoe soles.

Talking of which breed, the contempt and sheer arrogance displayed by that ­mobile anachronism, the Secretary of State for Scotland, is ever more ­disgusting. Presumably, having gained a peerage by giving slavish loyalty to whomsoever emerged next from the revolving door at Number 10, he feels no further need to pretend to respect his country or their elected representatives. Elected, note, ­unlike latest sidekick “Lord” ­Malcolm Offord who bought his own ermine via donations to the cause of Conservative Unionism.

Alister Jack’s response to the new look SNP Commons team was to say how ­essential it was for Scotland’s “two ­governments to work together … the ­people of Scotland rightly expect their two governments to improve all our lives.” To illustrate which he flagged up ­“successful collaborations.”.

History is not improved, Alister, by ­being serially rewritten. First off, most Tory administrations have ignored ­Scottish attempts to collaborate from a very great height. There was zero ­consultation with Holyrood over Brexit, or during the many years when ­assorted ministers were ­dispatched to yawn through joint ­Ministerial Council ­meetings when the prime minister of the day couldn’t find the time or the inclination.

Then we have the fiction of the naked bribery being re-packaged with Union Jack bows as if Holyrood and they were both unaware that the convention was not to interfere in devolved areas.

Then again you fixed that did you not with an Internal Market Act which ­basically ditched that principle? Of course, Gordon Brown’s mega report suggested that a Labour administration would give the so called Sewel ­Convention statutory status. See Vows, Calman and Smith Commissions passim. Fool me once, and all that… I SEE Dover House man is also agitated that there may be an tendency on behalf of the new line up in Westminster to be less inclined to do as they’re telt by folk up the line. Personally I’ve never been overly concerned about folk thinking for themselves provided they keep a beady eye on the main prize.

I note, in passing, psephological guru John Curtice has publicly proclaimed that Keir Starmer has concluded a ­Scottish ­Labour revival isn’t essential to his ­electoral cause so long as he can win back Labour defectors from the famed “red wall” seats.

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These defectors were numerous in the Leave voting camp which might also ­explain why Sir Keir, a Remain voter, has set his face against mentioning Brexit except to promise no return to single markets, freedom of movement etc. And heaven forfend he should mention how it’s tanking huge swathes of the economy.

I am idly wondering just how well that tactic will play with another Labour ­voting tribe, the young and educated who also voted Remain and who have seen a lot of their ambitions go up in ­Eurosceptical flames. Like Scotland, London voted by a sizeable majority to stay in the EU, and, like Scotland, once played host to a lot of Labour voters. Perhaps Sir Keir has ­calculated that they have no other home to go to. We do.

Anyway, early days. The new team Flynn has some heavy hitters including some properly feisty women. He’s shrewdly given portfolios to some who stood against him. 
What matters is how they tackle a weak UK Cabinet and a new PM who turns out to have a spine fashioned from jelly rather than anything more solid. A man who buckles in the face of any and every contentious vote.
Team Flynn will be judged by the ferocity and single-minded attack on team Sunak. Go get him guys.