JACKSON Carlaw kicked off his leadership campaign this week with a macho display of bravado and bluster, leaving viewers wondering: who he could have possibly learned that from?

He claimed he had spent the last 18 months "taking on" Nicola Sturgeon and asked for Tory members to elect him as their leader so he could spend the next 18 months "taking her down".

Fighting talk indeed.

"I will walk 500 miles" he said (yes, really) "and then 500 more to take the fight to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP". Perhaps quoting a song written by prominent Yes campaigners wasn’t the best idea but this is Jackson Carlaw we’re talking about here. None of his ideas are very good.

So, when he stood up at FMQs on Thursday, we were expecting big things. Big tough guy things. He might have chosen to peel a pineapple using just his teeth, for no other reason than to prove that he could.

Unfortunately, Jackson Carlaw isn’t as tough as the germs that fly around the Scottish Parliament. When he opened his mouth to speak, out came a squeak.

He croaked through a series of questions about the OECD and – having lost his voice – he also lost his chance to TAKE HER DOWN. Poor wee soul, there’s always next week.

One person who was in full voice – and would almost certainly win in an arm-wrestle against anybody on the Tory benches – was Alison Johnstone.

She reminded the chamber that in 2014, Ruth Davidson said: "No means we stay in. It means we are members of the European Union." "Now we’re a fortnight away from losing our status and rights as EU citizens. Does the First Minister agree with me that the people of Scotland deserve so much better?" She asked Nicola Sturgeon to commit to using all the powers of the Scottish Government to stand against "this assault on our rights". In response the First Minister said that the Scottish Government would use all the powers at its disposal to mitigate Brexit, adding that Scotland also deserves the right to decide its own future.

"The Conservatives are running scared of Scotland having that choice, but they will not stop it. Democracy denial will not prevail." Amidst muttering from Tory MSPs, the First Minister turned her attention to them and quoted what one of their own leaflets said about indyref2 during the General Election campaign.

"On Thursday, you will decide whether or not there will be an independence referendum. The only way to stop it is to vote Scottish Conservative." It was hard to hear what Carlaw squeaked back in response, but it sounded like "aye, but we didn’t put it on the side of a bus, so it doesn’t count!" Nicola Sturgeon’s voice boomed out across the chamber, showing Carlaw what he could have done if only he had paid due attention to the importance of regular hand washing during flu season. "Well, the Scottish people DIDN’T vote Scottish Conservative!" "THEY put the issue on the ballot paper! They LOST! It’s time to give Scotland the chance to choose our own future."