AT the weekend, I was distracted from the latest SNP chaos by the uniquely deafening noise that only a large group of nine-year-old girls can produce.

It was my daughter’s birthday and, as usual, it was migraine-inducing. Kids’ parties are not for the faint of heart.

The sheer administrative burden alone should be an achievement that it is acceptable to reference in a job interview.

Then there’s the people management the day involves. Now that the SNP are looking for a new chief executive, might I suggest they head-hunt a mum who regularly hosts parties for her kids without breaking a sweat?

That rules me out, of course. We all know parenting is just hard but I somehow manage to make it even harder than it looks.

I would have found the whole thing an ordeal even if it weren’t for the fact that I was trying to check Twitter alongside pouring diluting juice, diffusing fights before they got properly started and trying not to fret that there would be injuries resulting from the over-exuberant efforts during musical statues.

The SNP has seemed intent on tearing itself apart ever since Nicola Sturgeon announced her resignation.

It’s what I imagine would have happened at my daughter’s birthday if I’d have left her dad in charge while I nipped outside for a vape and five minutes’ peace.

Depending on who you ask, Nicola Sturgeon is either one of the main causes of the discord or the glue that stopped the dam from breaking before now.

That’s an argument for another day, or a particularly spirited half-hour on Twitter.

Needless to say, things are not going well for our party of government.

The row over party membership figures was an utterly stupid, pointless own goal.

Earlier in the week, the party were dragged kicking and screaming into revealing their membership figures. This confirmed that – despite previous assurances to the contrary – the SNP have suffered a significant drop in members.

Membership of the SNP is still hefty, when viewed as a population share – especially when compared to Labour and the Tories.

But by guarding that drop in numbers so ferociously, the party set itself up for inevitable trouble. This was made a certainty when – for reasons only known to party HQ – they kept the true nature of their membership figures from their own media team, leading to the bombshell resignation of SNP media honcho Murray Foote.

Then, after a clamour of voices demanding he step down, Peter Murrell announced that he would be resigning as SNP chief executive.

In his resignation statement, Mr Murrell said: “Responsibility for the SNP’s responses to media queries about our membership number lies with me as chief executive.

“While there was no intent to mislead, I accept that this has been the outcome.”

He said that he had been planning to stand down after the leadership contest, but had decided to do so now, to avoid distracting further from the campaign.

That ship has long since sailed, I fear.

Amid the warm tributes to Mr Murrell on his long service with the SNP, there were barbs and pointed remarks from SNP figures about the need for a long-overdue fresh start.

As the old guard makes room for the new, fundamental change is somewhat inevitable.

It’s true that under this crop of key and long-standing SNP figures, the SNP have been crafted into a hugely successful political force.

But any party that thinks itself immune from stagnation and complacency is one at risk of losing sight of not only itself, but the priorities of the people it serves.

In the aftermath of the 2015 General Election, when the SNP hoovered up nearly every Scottish seat and politics was turned on its head, some Labour voices were in denial.

They refused to recognise the magnitude of what had happened. Instead, they spoke as though “their” voters were just suffering from a mild bout of idiocy that they would soon recover from.

The SNP shouldn’t take their position as the main party of independence for granted.

They have been lent many votes by independence supporters who feel they have nowhere else to go.

I don’t think anybody believes that just because the SNP are currently at war with themselves, Anas Sarwar’s Labour Party are suddenly a more attractive prospect to indy-supporting lefties.

They’re not “coming home to Labour” any time soon. But Labour will be the main beneficiaries of the anger – or apathy – of disgruntled SNP voters.

If they don’t think the party is working for them – if they view today’s SNP as a sneaky, out-of-touch, chaotic outfit – then they will simply stay home come polling day.

I’ve always been of the view that it’s better to get it all out in the open. Whether it’s in personal relationships or political parties, there is growth to be found in disagreement and working through issues.

In the immediate future, the party are going to continue to embarrass themselves.

No period of change is without its gaffes. The state the SNP will be left in when it has excised its demons is anybody’s guess – but change is definitely coming, whether the party likes it or not.