SOME go big. Harold “Supermac” Macmillan’s reshuffle way back when was dubbed the “Night Of The Long Knives”. Pretty accurate considering he consigned a third of his cabinet to the discard pile.

Including a close friend and confidant. Ruthless maybe, but that’s a necessary ­characteristic in the top job.

Some go small, which is why Theresa May’s timid attempt to gain ­popularity in 2018 after her snap election the year ­ before became “the night of the blunt ­stiletto”. Yeah, we know she was a kitten heels ­wumman but give the headline writer a break!

She had been expected to ditch her gaffe-prone foreign secretary – one Boris ­Johnson – and you can bet she wishes she had before he quit, given he came back to haunt her and nick her job.

READ MORE: No ‘sanctuary’ as Rafah braces for onslaught

Not only was Boris a duff foreign ­secretary (and a terrible PM) but he turned out to be a poor chooser of his ­previous ­somewhat important role. Liz Truss, ­anyone? And he gave his ­favourite ­sycophant a cabinet-level job at the ­Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport.

As former Tory chair Lord Chris Patten waspishly observed “nobody should use Nadine Dorries and Culture in the same sentence”.

That brand of chumocracy was evident in our ain reshuffle this week when Neil Gray – one of Humza’s closest besties – was handed the health portfolio; not really a gig for apprentices – however eager – since it’s the highest spending department in town.

Had he gone for the dictum – hug your friends close but your enemies closer, he might have turned to his erstwhile rival Kate Forbes – who is arguably wasted as a mere backbencher at a time when the ­available talent pool is a mite shallow.

The National: Kate Forbes

That was certainly the prediction of many of my more excitable colleagues when the news broke that Mr Matheson was a goner. (As is so often the case, it was the cover-up rather than the crime wot did for him.

He was, however, one of the most experienced ministers in town, as Neil Gray is about to find out.) I would imagine that the freedom ­conferred on those outside the cabinet would have been a big consideration for Forbes, the still relatively new mum.

She’s well-liked in her own large and rural community because she has an instinctive understanding that ­centralisation is bad for the political soul of a country. Plus doorstep evidence that urban priorities tend to get rather more attention when the bean-counters get busy. (Though she was, herself, the chief bean-counter until the Humza Yousaf era dawned.) Perhaps more importantly for her, she has little need to keep schtum on any party policy she doesn’t care for. There’s no collective responsibility on the rearward seating.

It’s hardly a secret that some of Forbes’s views on social policy are anathema to many colleagues – and me for that ­matter – but they seemed to cope well enough when she was trusted with the role of ­finance secretary.

Is she waiting in the wings for an ­accident to befall her anointed successor?

Don’t know. But the suggestion she made that her last bid would be her last bid might prove to be a short-lived prediction in the longer term.

The point is that when the subs bench is overflowing with unused talent, an FM can afford to be super choosy when handing out ministerial sweeties. But when the cupboard is looking a wee thing bare, you can’t afford to body swerve obvious skills.

The resignation of a junior drugs and ­alcohol minister engendered rather less ­attention. It is rumoured that trouble at her own constituency ranch was a ­substantial factor in her decision.

However, the fact that we still have an appalling record on drug deaths suggests it wasn’t the ideal time to jump ship. On the credit side, the proposed uprating of minimum alcohol pricing found approval in all the right quarters.

READ MORE: John Curtice gives verdict on what new polls really mean for the SNP

In appointing a close pal to a big ­portfolio, Mr Yousaf might have allowed friendship and loyalty to be trump cards. Perhaps Mr Gray will soar above current expectation levels. Actually, he’ll have to if he wants to stem the advancing Labour tide. Not least since “Scottish” Labour is majoring on the NHS. As well as its ­mantra that “only Labour can beat the Tories”. Not so in Scotland.

Health is a recurring theme for Anas Sarwar at FMQs and his deputy Jackie Baillie rarely misses the Government and hits the wall when making her ­regular media appearances, the last of which was the Perth-based Any Questions? last Friday night.

Full disclosure, she’s my MSP, although we have long since agreed to differ on ­matters like Trident and indy. The ­former is a big employer in the constituency which may be of no little relevance.

Nor is it likely to lack relevance that her majority went up by pretty well precisely the number that the Tory vote went down at the last general election. My patch is no stranger to tactical voting.

As polling guru Sir John Curtice noted the other day, Labour gains, in Scotland as well as the UK, could be as a result of voter disgust at some of the more ­egregious Tory disasters like partygate and the hasty budget of economic giant Liz Truss.

However, he also noted that the ­independence movement was in a ­healthier state than the post-Sturgeon SNP.

All this is not a peculiarly Scottish ­dilemma. Let’s face it, if Rishi Sunak had thought his own talent pool was ­overflowing, he’d hardly have given one of the top Cabinet posts to a predecessor at Number 10. You can imagine that Dave and Sam Cam were also happy with the House of Lords, job for life sweetener ­attached.

It’s a handsome enough bribe if you like that sort of thing. Heaven forfend that a Scottish government ever plays the ermine game. You might think that ­Westminster MPs get altogether too comfy on the green benches – and some do – but the backsides parked on the red benches along the corridor are ­comfier still.

READ MORE: New Lords include Tory donors, MSP and youngest ever life peer

That bloated chamber has all the perks and none of the bother of having to ­consult an electorate every five years. We’ve travelled a very long way from the conceit that the Lords contain an unrivalled repository of wisdom.

And yes, I do know some peers work hard at making a go of it. But the growing band of Commons rejects and retreads are good for nothing more than sniping and sneering from the sidelines. Plus what the hell is supposedly multi-cultural Britain doing with a posse of bishops?

You may just have noticed, by the way, that we are well past the centenary of Labour’s first promise to abolish this chamber. And the latest iteration has recently joined so many pledges in the shredder. That poor machine must be in line for a replacement given the major league dump that landed in its lap this last week.

I listened to the wannabe ­chancellor on the airwaves the other morning ­trying vainly to convince her ­interviewer that she would still be a green, green ­chancellor despite ditching most of the money attached to that ambition.

She sounded much more like what she used to be, what she still is ­intellectually, a Bank of England economist. Like ­leopards, they find it damned difficult to rub out their spots.

What I find heartening is that no matter the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune visited on the Scottish Government, the Yes movement – according to one poll this last week – topped 50% again.

Whatever the die-hard Unionists may suggest, independence supporters are still a potent force in the land. We’ll be more potent still if the internecine warriors could put a sock in it.