Emerging from a background of shouted Arabic demands for various despots to remove themselves, Scotland's minor political stramashes seem of little consequence this week, but the two phenomena are not unconnected.
We have Jim Devine who is about to be removed from our political ambit because of misuse of the power to falsify expense claims and who was then declared bankrupt.
We have Wendy Alexander removing herself from Parliament because (in the eyes of some, not entirely, unbiased commentators) she was to be denied a position of power in a future Labour administration. Or at least the position she told everyone she was getting apparently. This analysis ignores the considerable power of motherhood.
We also have Bill Aitken probably regretting he has the power of speech as his mouth was stretched beyond its limit by his insertion of his size twelve foot in his forensic examination of the morals and mode of employment of a Glasgow rape victim. His resignation was drawn out and painful and showed clearly that Tory leaders actually have no power of discipline over a member of the party who will be out of sight in eight weeks any way.
We also have the powerful in all political parties fastening on the supposed admittance by Colonel Ghaddafi, whose own grasp on power seems tenuos in the extreme, that he was indeed responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. The outsider may well be confused by the common cause shown by both current and former First Ministers in applauding the Scottish judicial system and averring that there was never any doubt in their minds that the conviction of Mr Megrahi was as sound as a bell. The Scottish Justice Minister was only exercising his considerable power of compassion to a dying man and that he had no power to exercise the transfer of the said prisoner under any shady transfer deal cooked up by the former powerhouse of the Labour Government, because that power was never on the table for this particular political prisoner. The said Justice Minister did have the power to get himself off to Barlinnie to discuss cancer care under the SNP administration and the escalating price of camels with Mr Megrahi. His subsequent explanation that he just happened to be passing also had the power to produce hoots of derision. Readers wanting a more balanced view of the Lockerbie affair should read the powerful blog of Robert Black, http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com.
Firth of Scotland, William Hague has the power of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to lend power to his elbow. Like a modern day Palmerston he lost no time in issuing a powerful message to Libya by sending a gunboat. The subsequent suspicion that it was a late bargain entry in David Camerons travelling arms fair was heightened by the news that this particular frigate was about to be pensioned off. Perhaps the Southern Sudan may buy it cheap. Meanwhile his Cabinet colleague (for now) Liam Fox announced that he needed four nuclear powered submarines to play with in his bath because with only three he felt naked and unprotected. Useful indeed they have proved in the current Middle Eastern hoo har.
All in all then what is the connection between the power of the people in the despot ridden Middle East and the maunderings of the British political class. I make no excuse for summoning Rabbie:
"O wad some Power the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!"
On the one hand a people struggling for power and here at home a people who cannot seem be trusted to resist the corruption that power bestows.