AHOY there matey! Let’s set sail together towards FMQs, where a land of bitter squabbles and torturous puns awaits.

Officer cadet Ross had grown tired of his own repetitive questions about ferries, so instead he asked about his second-favourite sea-faring vessel, the good ship Precious Union.

He asked the First Minister if she welcomed the news that Rishi Sunak has announced a contract to build five Type 26 frigates on the Clyde, describing it as a decision that will “protect and strengthen our Scottish shipbuilding industry.”

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Nicola Sturgeon said of course it is good news, but she pointed out that this isn’t some benevolent gesture from the UK Government. Scotland is pretty good at building ships. From the way Douglas Ross described the news you’d think Rishi Sunak was funding them out of his own considerably deep pockets, rather than from taxpayers’ money – a pot which people in Scotland contribute to just the same as workers across the UK.

Douglas Ross went on (and on, and on): “If the nationalists ever manage to separate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom, these Royal Navy ships would almost certainly be built elsewhere, and the highly skilled Scottish jobs lost.’’

The year is 2040 and the Royal Navy is using superglue to plug the holes in the sub-standard ships it bought just to own the nats.

“If Douglas Ross wants to have a debate about the benefits or – as he would see it – otherwise, of independence, then I really welcome that’’, replied the First Minister.

“Let’s have that debate and then let the people of Scotland decide the outcome in a referendum. If Douglas Ross was really confident in his arguments, then he’d have the courage to have this debate, not just in the safety of the parliamentary debating chamber, but out there in towns and villages and communities all over Scotland.’’

I’d like to float the idea of a Sturgeon V Ross debate on independence that takes place on that wee party boat that sails under the Forth Bridge.

“I believe the skills and the expertise of our shipbuilders on the Clyde are world class – I believe they would compete successfully for work across the world, regardless of the constitutional future of Scotland’’ she added.

Feeling slightly seasick, Douglas Ross searched his mind for a Dad joke to bring himself some comfort.

“Of course, the First Minister has to deny the facts because the independence movement is SINKING. It’s absolutely SINKING. She is up separation creek without a paddle” he said.

Fair play to him though. That was actually one of his better ones.

As we caught the first glimpse of the shore on the horizon, we knew our voyage was nearing its end.

Before disembarking, Nicola Sturgeon took the opportunity to remind Douglas Ross that he doth protest too much.

“If Douglas Ross really believed what he just said about Scotland’s independence movement, he would be DESPERATE for an independence referendum – that fact that he is running scared, I think proves him wrong.”