DEPENDING on which way you choose to view such outcomes, the fact that every member of Humza Yousaf’s first cabinet is university-educated is either a cause for celebration or lamentation. Being a curmudgeonly sort of chiel, I’m in the latter camp.

On learning this, I immediately recalled an essay written three years ago by George Kerevan for Conter, the excellent political website. Mr Kerevan was analysing the cultural and social forces even then that were coming to dominate the SNP Government’s economic strategy.

In analysing what he described as the SNP’s shift to the right, Mr Kerevan highlighted their hollowing-out by “a new, conservative bureaucracy which acts in its own interests” and that, since 1999, it had come to be dominated “almost entirely by a parliamentary machine with its campaigning activities tied to elections”.

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“Consider the make-up of the SNP’s Holyrood group of MSPs,” he added. “The SNP won 63 seats in 2016 out of 129. Manual workers are conspicuous by their absence. Roughly a quarter of SNP MSPs come from a managerial, consulting or banking background. Classic middle-strata – lawyers, journalists, teachers and medical staff – make up another quarter. As do those from local government, being full-time councillors, officials, or both.”

Three years on from this analysis, the SNP have become even further removed from the people who propelled them to power in 2007 and have since helped maintain their dominion. They owed much of this to working-class disillusion with the Labour Party in Scotland and an intense lobbying campaign within the Scottish trade union movement.

Yet, it’s now virtually impossible to gain entry to the SNP’s platinum-card members’ lounge unless you are possessed of a degree or have been forged and shaped by the party machinery.

The fact, also, that only one member of the new cabinet represents a west of Scotland constituency is telling. During the 2014 independence referendum, support for Yes was at its strongest in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, precisely because it offered a departure from the profoundly capitalist excesses of the UK Government. Less than a decade later, these communities are now locked out of the government of Scotland.

Those celebrating the fact that Mr Yousaf’s cabinet is exclusively comprised of university graduates should perhaps pause their acclaim. Graduates they may be, but the top roles in the Scottish Government are now filled by people who have failed in each of their previous departments. This is exemplified by Mr Yousaf himself: the ultimate machine politician and one who perfectly epitomises the concept of “failing up”.

Shona Robison had previously been deemed so hopeless in government that her closest friend, Nicola Sturgeon, was forced to sack her. Angela Constance and Joe FitzPatrick (Holy Mother of God!) between them were responsible for the wholesale failure of Scotland’s governing elites to address Scotland’s drugs death crisis.

On the day that Mr Yousaf was handed the keys to Bute House, it was revealed that, on his watch as health secretary, hospital waiting-times had significantly lengthened in every category. Watching some of the others perform at Holyrood last week has felt like intruding on someone else’s acute distress.

Collectively, this lot are a shockingly bad advert for the quality of university education in Scotland.

Yet, according to Kezia Dugdale, former leader of Scottish Labour and now an academic on Scotland’s most pointless and self-indulgent university faculty, it’s all a cause for celebration.

Ms Dugdale tweeted: “Another fun fact for you: 50% of Scottish Cabinet are graduates of the University of Glasgow (smiley sunglasses emoji). The place to study if you believe in active citizenship and public service (big thumbs-up emoji).” Well, quite.

Ms Dugdale teaches at the John Smith Centre for Moonbeams and Unicorns at Glasgow University, where students are taught about “the positive case for politics and public service”. They do this “in three key ways: Research, Advocacy and Events and development programmes”.

In the real world, this translates to: “All aboard the gravy train."

Board members have included: Ed Balls (Blairite former UK shadow chancellor); Baroness Ruth Davidson (former TA tank commander); Elizabeth Smith (Baroness of Gilmorehill); Andrew Wilson (lobbyist and banking executive); Alison Thewliss (former Daily Record columnist). (Insert shocked, hands-over-mouth emoji).

READ MORE: Independence is a long way off, and some in SNP don't seem fussed

Perhaps though, belonging to Humza Yousaf’s Cabinet of all the Talentless may be a mixed blessing. I can’t see it providing polish and sparkle to your CV.

“So, Mr Fitzpatrick, tell us a little more about your time between 2023 and 2026.”

“Well, I was in Humza Yousaf’s Scottish cabinet.”

“And what exactly is Minister for Circular Wellbeing and Seashells?”

“Well, it’s about active citizenship; public service and the crucial role of sandcastles in delivering a sustainable, robust and robustly sustainable circular economy.”

“We’ll call you if you’re required for a second interview.”