Humza Yousaf's fall

Humza Yousaf has resigned as Scotland's new First Minister.(Photo: STV News)

A year ago, we suggested that Humza Yousaf would do well to survive after his unconvincing election as SNP leader and thus Scotland's First Minister. He hasn't. This Monday he joined the ever-growing list of 'progressive' political leaders who have resigned early – Nicola Sturgeon, Jacinda Ardern, Mark Drakeford and Leo Varadkar.

Yousaf announced that he was resigning because he was facing a vote of no confidence which he was likely to lose. How this came about is revealing. The SNP had an agreement with the Greens called the Bute House Agreement which gave the Greens two cabinet posts and the SNP a majority in Parliament.

As a result, the Green tail frequently wagged the SNP dog. This was particularly seen in the 'progressive/woke' causes that the Scottish Government was increasingly promoting – not least on the trans issue. It was this that brought Yousaf down.

The Greens were prepared to go along with the Scottish government backing away from its 'legally binding' climate emission targets for 2030. But they were furious at the possibility that the Scottish Government might accept the Cass report and stop the abusive practice of providing puberty blockers to children. As many had suspected, this only proved that the Scottish Green Party were more concerned about their progressive/regressive ideology than they were about the climate. And so, Humza Yousaf unceremoniously dumped them, and the Greens took a hissy fit and announced that they would vote in a no confidence motion this week.

In a delicious ironic twist, the balance in the Scottish Parliament is so fine, that the only person who could save Yousaf was the Alba MP, Ash Regan – who had resigned from the SNP because of its pro-trans, anti-women policy. It appears that Regan, whose party leader is Alex Salmond, was prepared to do so. Salmond told Talk TV that Yousaf had phoned Regan on Monday morning at 7am thanking her for her proposals (which were mild and vague) and indicating that he would accept them. But by midday he was announcing his resignation because he could not 'compromise his values'. What happened?

Someone from the SNP contacted the Sunday Times on Sunday evening to give them an exclusive that Humza Yousaf was going to resign and be replaced by the former leader John Swinney. And yet on Monday morning he was negotiating to stay in his job. The most likely explanation is that the Sturgeonites were horrified that the Salmond party would have any say and pushed Humza before he could jump!

It's all such a mess. But a great example of what happens when the revolution eats itself.

The general consensus about Humza is that he is a nice guy but way out of his depth. He has in effect failed in every one of his government roles – not least in this latter. Whether it was gas boilers, the failed deposit return scheme, the ferry fiasco, the one in seven Scots on an NHS waiting list, the sharp decline in the once famed Scottish education system, the failed climate change targets, or the illiberal Hate Crime Act, everything he touched turned to dust. But it was the obsession with trans ideology which finally destroyed him. So much so that here in Australia he was described as the First Minister who was brought down by JK Rowling!

But who will replace him? Becoming leader of the SNP just now is the very definition of a poisoned chalice because they are expected to lose heavily in the next General Election.

The only candidate who would have any possibility of making the SNP independence appeal to a wider section of the public is Kate Forbes. Articulate, intelligent, a woman of substance with a proven record - what's not to like? The 'trouble' is that she is a Bible-believing Christian. In a tolerant multicultural, liberal society that should not be a problem, but as we already noted, Scotland is not a tolerant, multicultural, liberal society.

In fact, such is the devotion to the green/progressive religion that anyone deemed to be a blasphemer is automatically to be excluded, if not burnt at the stake as a witch. Already the campaign against Forbes has begun. It is likely that Swinney will be endorsed as the 'continuity' caretaker candidate – because he will likely mend the bridges between the SNP and the Greens. Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Greens, is an extremist who would rather blow up the whole government than accept Kate Forbes. If he got his way it would probably be the education secretary, Jenny Gilruth, who would become leader. She has impeccable Green credentials: inexperienced, a Sturgeon clone, 'married' to the former Labour leader, Keziah Dugdale, and of course totally committed to whatever woke ideology is currently going the rounds.

The whole thing is an incredible - and for this Scot - sad but predictable mess. In the race to prove the adage 'go woke, go broke', I suspect that Scotland might even beat Ireland or New Zealand.

There are Christians in Scotland who are tempted to despair. But those of us who sing the psalms take great comfort in these words:

"Foiled by the Lord are the plans of the nations.

Thwarted by him are the people's designs.

But the Lord's purposes stand firm for ever.

His plans endure through all ages and times."

(Psalm 33:10-11 from Sing Psalms – The Free Church of Scotland)

David Robertson is the minister of Scots Kirk Presbyterian Church in Newcastle, New South Wales. He blogs at The Wee Flea.