IN 2004, Channel 4 aired a documentary about posh, foul-mouthed family.

The F***ing Fulfords was quintessential watercooler TV.

It was a fascinating insight into the asset-rich, cash-poor fringes of the aristocracy. The oddball family rattled around in their leaky inherited estate with accents that would make the Queen sound common, all the while hunting down the back of their sofa for loose change.

I thought of the Fulford family when the red-on-red Scottish Labour vs John McDonnell row erupted this week. Picture the scene. You are the third-largest party in the Scottish Parliament.

You have seven out of 59 MPs at Westminster. In your most recent electoral test, you hobbled in in fifth place and secured less than 10% of the vote.

Your leader is so anonymous that even your party faithful would struggle to pick him out of a line-up.

Nobody is less justified in its machismo than the Scottish Labour Party. But the echoes of past success have them drunk with delusion. Unable to accept that they are no longer a big beast of Scottish politics, they have decided just to carry on as though they were.

You’ve got to fake it to make it, after all.

Scottish Labour seem to think that if they swagger around radiating enough Big D**k Energy we’ll forget that they haven’t won an election in quite some time.

John McDonnell arrived in Scotland this week and announced the time of death of the Scottish branch office. When he said that it would be undemocratic for Westminster to block a future independence referendum, it was with intent. This was not an off-the-cuff remark and the shadow chancellor did not mis-speak.

READ MORE Scots Tories and Labour content to be pathetic supplicants

His U-turn on Labour policy is a clear indication of how he views his party’s chances of winning in Scotland He places little hope on his colleagues keeping their seats, let alone gaining enough to secure a majority Labour government.

He is courting the SNP because it’s always a good idea to back the winning horse.

There is a deal to be done and John McDonnell isn’t arrogant enough to believe the SNP will help Labour without getting something in return.

This infuriates the increasingly tribal Scottish Labour, who hate the SNP more than they hate their own party leader.

As Scottish Labour struggled against their anti-democratic position of “no to indy, come what may”, they were asked under what circumstances they would see indyref2 as a legitimate way forward for Scotland. Unfortunately for Scottish Labour politicians, them laying out their terms and conditions for indyref2 carries about as much weight as the Monster Raving Loony party rocking up to Downing Street and demanding that Christmas is cancelled.

READ MORE: Labour turmoil deepens as top official quits amid indyref civil war

The egomania on display goes some way to explaining the party’s diminished status in Scottish politics. The once-dominant force grew complacent and entitled over their decades of popularity. Even now, after five years of historic electoral humiliations, they talk of “winning back” the seats they see as rightfully theirs.

You get the sense they still haven’t grasped their own irrelevance. Adopting Trumpian tactics, they make false claims about the level of support for independence and a second referendum that flies in the face of polling evidence.

And so, to the mandate.

Pre-2014, deciding which party get to enact their manifesto was relatively simple. All they had to do was win an election, form a government and get the relevant legislation through parliament.

But now – and solely on the issue of indyref2 – winning isn’t enough. Winning every election isn’t enough. Not if you’re Scottish Labour and experiencing the worst political hangover of your life. The latest demand is that the SNP win the 2021 election with an outright majority – something that the proportional system of voting at Holyrood is designed to avoid.

All the elections and manifesto commitments that have come before don’t count because, reasons.

On BBC radio on Thursday, Scottish Labour MP Paul Sweeney said that the SNP’s winning manifesto would have to be explicit on a second independence referendum. Explicit! he repeated. EX-PLI-CIT.

He claims the SNP buried the commitment to indyref2 deep in their last manifesto. Those poor souls who voted for the Scottish National Party must have been duped because who could have haven known that a vote for the SNP wasn’t a vote to safeguard our precious Union?

As Scottish Labour politicians took to the airways, the demands kept on coming.

A confirmatory vote if Scotland voted Yes. A supermajority. A multiple-choice question on the ballot. Six months without rain and 20 million quid to Scottish Labour HQ in unmarked notes.

While McDonnell may have shown a refreshing grip on reality – something sorely lacking in these topsy-turvy political times – his Scottish colleagues are spinning out of control. Like hyped-up children wasted on E-numbers they scream: “I want, I want, I want.”

They want elections results to be ignored because they don’t want a referendum. They want polls disregarded because they don’t think Scotland wants another “divisive” independence referendum.

They want manifesto commitments made by the winning party ignored but Labour’s commitment to blocking indyref2 upheld, as a kind of booby prize in recognition of their incompetence.

They stamp their feet and turn on the waterworks and think that if they keep screaming, somebody will listen. If insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, what do we call a party that keeps losing elections but still thinks it calls the shots?

We call it Scottish Labour.