THIS column is meant tae be topical, sae A maun stert this ane by speirin readers tae forgie me fur scrievin anent the noo auld news that is the shamefu presence o Mark McDonald in Holyrood.

It’s noo ae month since he taen the dumfoonerin decision tae return tae Pairlament, unmindfu o the caas fur his resignation fae across the political spectrum – includin fae the first female First Minister o Scotland an his aforesyne pairty leader – as weel as the pleas o a female victim fur him tae bide awa.

Though the hale bourach micht no be front page news onymair, fur thaim o us, like masel, whae wark at Holyrood, it hisnae gaed awa at aa.

An lest McDonald conflummix the deein doon o the stushie ower his return wi ony degree o acceptance o his presence, let me mak a few things clear tae him fae the een o a young lass whae warks there.

Ivery email fae his office is a scunnerin reminder o the fack that a government minister can resign his ministerial post in shame but naetheless haud ontae the privilege, status, an siller o an MSP.

The sicht o him in the Gairden Lobby gies me the boke. The simple act o steppin intae a lift is filled wi dreid at the prospeck o finnin masel stuck in an enclosed space wi him. A ken mony ithers whae feel the same.

Forby A’m anely at risk o encoonterin him through chance. Whit o the quines, like the female posties, whae maun engage wi him in his dingy wee basement office as pairt o their job? Dae they feel comfortable? Dis he care?

A can barely begin tae jalouse hoo muckle warse this aa maun be fur his victims whae aye wark in the biggin.

Noo A ken that McDonald threaps that he’s “chynged”, an that he maun bide on as an MSP fur tae demonstrate that. But as he’s statit hisel, Holyrood is a national pairlament in which “it is a privilege an honour tae serve”.

Forby gin he had learnt onythin anent hoo his behaviour impacts wimmen, an really resolvit tae chynge that fur the better, he wouldnae be there. Real chynge in character would hae meant resignation. It would hae meant reflectin on the fack that his return would athoot doot gar further muckle distress tae his victims – an be a source o muckle discomfort an insult tae aamaist ivery ither quine in Holyrood forby.

Fur aa his talk o chynge, the chiel his succeedit anely in makkin clear that naethin his chynged at aa. The message tae men is clear – ye can get awa wi it.

A hantle o sleekit techniques can be yaised tae help ye in this, which hae been expertly demonstratit by McDonald o late.

Ne’er admit tae mair nor whit’s public. Resign early ower the first wee thing that comes tae licht an the rest micht ne’er come oot. Gin fowk think ye did a guid an honourable thing in resignin ower sic a “wee mistake”, ye micht e’en come oot o this in a better position. Grantit, this ane didnae wark oot fur McDonald in the lang term, but pynts fur tryin at the stert.

Whitivver dis come oot, mak siccar tae manipulate the debate. Jouk awa fae mair serious offences by focusin attention on a “joke” that gaed agley in a text message. This will win ye pity, especially fae men, witch hunt an aa that.

Dinnae forget the classic: blame the victim. Efter aa, it’s no your fault that the lass didnae unnerstaun yer quirky sense o humour. A mean, whit young quine wouldnae find a message fae a 37-year-auld man jokin aboot “fingerin” funny?

McDonald’s resignation statement is stappit fou o victim blamin. See, fur exemple, the pairt whaur he maks muckle o his gaun tae a behaviour coach fur tae “better unnerstaun hoo aspects o [his] behaviour micht be seen by ithers”. Thon lassies, aye interpretin his behaviour in unco weys, whit’s a man tae dae.

Forby ye can pley doon whit ye’ve done by bein as vague as possible at aa times. Tae quote fae McDonald’s stoater o a resignation statement again: “A hae acceptit that ma behaviour taewart twa individuals fell ablow the level o professionalism that they were entitled tae expect o me.”

This sentence contains a braw example o anither technique forby: at nae point should ye refer tae “victims” or “wimmen”. Aye stick tae terms like ‘individuals’ or “complainants”.

An, o coorse, fling ony caas tae resign a deafie an ignore the voices o victims. It micht be a trauchle at times, but gin ye keep yer heid doon an see the initial bourach through, eventually it’ll aa dee doon, an ye’ll be able tae get back on wi yer life – mibbe e’en get re-electit in a few years’ time.

Meanwhile, the message tae wimmen is jist as clear – dinnae bather wi the fash o reportin it.

It’s clear that men like Mark McDonald cannae be trustit tae dae the richt thing on thair ain.

It’s time fur voters tae hae the pooer tae force thaim tae.