I BELIEVE East Lothian residents expect comment on last week’s Westminster spectacle.

My position is well known: I would prefer a fully autonomous Scottish Parliament with constructive relations with our UK neighbours and Europe. Constitutionally, however, we are where we are: the SNP played completely by the rules.

The SNP gets just three days per year to set the House of Commons debate agenda. It proposed an immediate ceasefire to stop the Gaza slaughter and condemned “the collective punishment” of civilians. The latter term recognises that collective punishment is illegal, prohibited by the 1899 Hague Convention II (ratified by the UK). The Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), shaped by experiences in the Second World War and adopted by Israel, the USA, the UK and others, also prohibits collective punishment: “[no] protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

After the horrifying Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, the UN Secretary General warned these terrors “cannot justify collective punishment of the Palestinian people”. The SNP forced a House of Commons ceasefire vote; to support it, 70 Labour MPs rebelled against Keir Starmer, but the vote was defeated. Holyrood voted overwhelmingly for a ceasefire, a motion backed and amended by Scottish Labour. FM Humza Yousaf declared: “Collective punishment can never be justified.”

Last week, Starmer’s Labour wouldn’t back the SNP’s motion, despite its crystal-clear legality and historical context, and ceasefire demands across the international community. Even President Biden warned Israel “don’t be consumed” by rage.

The SNP were prevented from calling a legitimised vote by cynical Tories, Labour spin and an unbelievable interference in Commons procedures by the Speaker himself. All this stopped the SNP’s ‘immediate ceasefire’ vote in its tracks, leaving Madame Deputy Speaker to ‘nod through’ Labour’s u-turn amendment. A visibly upset Speaker apologised, too late.

Gaza’s very survival, in the face of extermination, must not be deflected by Westminster’s grotesque political failure. Stephen Flynn will try again, but an anti-democratic, toxic, racist whirlwind has been unleashed.

Dangerous rhetoric and reckless politics? Not for Scotland: General Election now.