THE funny thing aboot First Minister’s Questions is that ye ayeweys wind up watchin it on a screen, even when ye’re actually there. Ye never got electit yersel, sae ye’re no alloued tae talk or fouter wi yer phone, an awbody’s sat facin awa fae ye in concentric quarter-circles o baldy crusts an Fisher-Price bowl cuts; sae there’s hee-haw else tae dae but keep an ee oot for yer favourites sleekin in late (Awww! Wee Kezia!) an watch the ongauns on the totey TV. Technically you could try listenin tae whit’s bein said, but tae describe that as a meaninfu choice is a cruelty o the kind that leads fowk tae caw zero-oor contracts “empowerin” or hamelessness a “lifestyle”.

No awbody is keen on surprises, an for fowk wha gang their dinger at the notion o a black James Bond, ah unnerstaun why FMQs is sic a comfortin an comfortable presence. It’s the same reason every TV cabinet in every auld fowks’ hame is filled wi John Wayne videos. It’s a script we aw ken. Leid will fly. Zingers will be zung. An at some pynt Richard Leonard will ask somethin patently mental then sit there for the rest o the session wi a luik o Woosteresque regret on his flat grey puss, like a diner at a sushi bar wha’s jist realised he ordered the wrang thing.

It’s aw David Attenborough stuff, richt eneuch. Life or deith. Dug eat dug. Naitur in the wild. Cept, o coorse, that it isnae. Scaiter the bandidos ony which wey we will, pit a bullet throu every Bible in every pootch ower every hert – nane o it maks ony odds. Next week, the deid will rise wance mair fae the stour, an the Magnificent Seven will Ride Again. An again. An again.

There’s a hale industry sprung up o late aroond the inerrant scrutiny o the e’er-jooglin needle o public opinion. When it cams tae personal liberty an freedom, it’s no Isis or the Bellshill Young Team ye’ve tae check ower yer shooder for, these days. It’s these fellas, the Watchers on the Waw, adders-up o Facebook likes an basket totals, subtractors o human dignity. Nice wark if ye can get it, eh, an if ye’re interestit in settin up in that line yersel, here’s wan weird trick that will make John Curtice hate ye – the SINGLE maist important pollin factor in Scottish politics is that Scottish politics is drap-deid borin.

Och, ah ken, ah ken; here we are, twa weeks awa fae the aff-screen backstory tae Planet o the Apes, an ah’m girnin aboot hou politics maks us feel deid inside. As if the muckle social disconnects that hae led us tae the grape-flavoured Kool-Aid are in ony wey relatit tae the fathomless rift atween the warld we actually líve in an the warld oor politicians like tae talk aboot. As if oor failure tae listen has onythin tae dae wi the age-auld politícal maxim o wan singer, wan sang.

This is no jist a Holyrood problem. At every level o every government aw ower the warld, politícians hiv drapped ony pretence at meaninfu communication wi their constituents. Tak a daunder oot tae yer local toon haw, yer coonty buildins. In the same wey that the fantoosh boots an grenade-víctim dives o professional fitba filter their wey doon tae the unner-7s, even the maist inconsequential o cooncil meetins noo plays oot like a modern reboot o 12 Angry Men performed bi characters fae Minecraft. The chair recognises Cooncillor Broon, lettin on tae dae his nut aboot the state o the auld bandstand. Are you not entertained?!

Weel, ah dout thon bandstand maitters tae somebody, an if it’s entertainment we’re luikin for fae oor politics, we’ve plenty o cautionary tales aboot that. Yet houiver else ye want tae describe it, there’s nae question that the rhetoric o, likesay, Donald Trump cams fae a real an fearsome place. It’s a strange kind o anti-poetry, a wilful, Oulipo-esque subversion o the norms o syntax an grammar; but, mair importantly, when Trump talks, ye actually ken whit he MEANS. The connection atween the wirds The Donald is graspin for an the dismal warld he uises thaim tae paint is skyrie clear. His vanity an his sloth, his racism an ignorance, his sair-made need for yer approval, they’re aw left hingin oot tae dry, like skid-merked scants on a back-green washin line. These are real things Trump is flappin his gums aboot. We can see thaim, connect wi thaim – hell, if we’re no aw we sometimes mak oot tae be, we can mebbe even empathise wi thaim. An when somebody wi a press badge praises Trump for bein presidential, whit they really mean is he wis … borin.

Lat on hou we will, the reason that a reality-TV star is wan drapped stitch awa fae Dr Strangelovin us aw tae Kingdom Come is that Donald Trump ISNAE politics as usual. He’s street theatre o the kind that ye can see or hear on ony service bus in the seven kingdoms, the kitchen-sink dramas that fizzle awa on the lawest frequencies o oor minds, drooned oot bi adverts an air-horns an the platitudinous gongs o even oor maist beluvit politícians.

When it comes tae the burden o oor individual choices in life, an the arc o the moral universe that thae choices add up tae, we shouldnae expect oor politícians tae dae the heavy liftin. But can we no at least expect thaim tae participate in oor strauchles, tae help oot wi the tools an vocabulary we sometimes need tae talk aboot thaim? There’s no a sowel amang us that haesnae won at some hard-earned corner o truth, an if that truth wis whit we talked aboot at Holyrood, raither than this languid pretence that awbody’s got it aw sussed oot, mebbe then we’d hae a nation wirth the wirkin for.

Because ah Jist. Cannae. Deal. Ah cannae pit up wi wan mair meenit o this; o bored, hauf-listenin backbenchers pullin the wrang facial expressions at their ain leader’s speeches; o weirdly inhuman theatrics, like a Noh play written in machine code, an ominous Japanese reimaginin o the Sharks fechtin the Jets; o questions that dinnae question, an answers that willnae answer, an interventions that chynge the path o naethin. Oor lives are no like that, an oor politícs shouldnae be either.

When Abraham Lincoln talked aboot “the better angels of our nature”; when Martin Luther King telt us aboot his dreams; they connectit us no jist tae each ither, but tae the people we wantit tae become, the story o Us that wis mair than jist stasis, the future o Us that wis mair than jist a flag. Oor journey is faur frae ower, First Mínister. We’re nane o us aw that we could be. Sae please, please, forget aboot the economy. Let’s talk aboot us.