The contest to be SNP Deputy Party Leader triggered by the standing down of the former incumbent, Stewart Hosie [whose white y-fronts, outed by his mistress, are now a feature of the iconography of political satire] is headed by the party’s capable long time Leader at Westminster, Moray’s Angus Robertson.
However, the flotsam from the recent and unexpected vote for Brexit, has thrown up a challenge from a beached carpetbagger – SNP MEP, Alyn Smith.
With the UK coming out of Europe, Smith is looking at a possible job loss and has been motivated to fend quickly for himself.
With one of the lowest attendance records in the european parliament, Smith then stirred himself to grab the lifebelt of publicity in a stirring yell in the chamber in Brussels of what sounded like the Gaelic equivalent of Joanna Lumley’s rendering of the Gurkha war cry – Ayo Gorkhali.
His full volume theatrics then produced the shout: ‘Scotland did not let you down. Please do not let Scotland down’ – and was followed by a standing ovation in the best am-dram traditions.
That stunt propelled Mr Smith to the forefront of public awareness – cutely succeeded by his announcement that he was standing for Deputy Party Leader.
His claim is that his insider knowledge of the workings of the EU will be useful to Scotland in its role within the UK’s post-Brexit negotiations with the EU.
Mr Smith may not have been most distinguished of the grossly larded MEPs but he is smart and has certainly been in the european parliament since 2004.
Will First Minister Nicola Sturgeon see Smith as more useful to her in the coming years than Robertson – who has been an MP since 2001, who speaks German fluently and who has had a pre-politics professional career as a journalist at several bases in Europe?
This will be an interesting one to watch.