IF you can’t think of anything nice to say, say nothing. It is advice that some politicians might want to heed.

Not just politicians, but anyone with ambitions of political office in the future.

Hardly a month goes by without some politician discovered saying something outrageously offensive.

It is not just the extreme end of politics, but elected representatives in the mainstream parties offering word of wisdom that would be more traditionally suited to a national front rally or a UKIP branch meeting.

The latest casualty is Gillian Martin, who only yesterday was celebrating being announced as a junior minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s newly reshuffled government team.

However a blog from eight years before she was elected resurfaced in which she referred to “hairy knuckled, lipstick-wearing transgender laydees”.

She admitted, after Nicola Sturgeon removed her from a list of new ministerial appointments, the language was “inappropriate and offensive”

In the same week a Labour councilor was heard shouting “seig heil” at a council meeting.

Gerry Convery was in a North Lanarkshire Council meeting about a council underspend and he said the words “just slipped out”. It was when an SNP councillor rejected a call from Labour to use the money to top up school clothing grants he shouted out the words.

Later he said: “People say things in the height of frustration. There was no content, no thought behind it. It just came out.”

And that is the problem. There was no thought. Maybe he should just slip out of politics, if that is the best contribution he can make.

During an exchange on the Gillian Martin issue the First Minister warned her opponents “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

There is a lot of glass in Holyrood. It is meant to signify openness and transparency in Enric Miralles design.

Perhaps there is now a different interpretation.

Martin and Convery maybe at the more extreme end of politicians overstepping the mark with their language.

However, you only need to sit in the Holyrood chamber during First Minister’s Questions or a heated debate to witness behaviour that would get you the sack in any other workplace.

Much was made at the outset of devolution that the Scottish Parliament would not descend into the Ya-boo politics of Westminster.

At times some of the MSPs in Holyrood are worse than their Westminster colleagues.

MSPS are heckled and shouted down when trying to make speeches, petty arguments are had between MSPs and it is not just the backbenchers who indulge in this.

They don’t all behave in this way, but those who do need to have a think about their behaviour and ask ‘how does it look?’

Most of our MSPs have had important jobs outside politics before they were elected.

I doubt they would have behaved like that in meetings with colleagues, especially when their boss is in the room.

A fair few of them are former teachers. They would not have tolerated it from their pupils.

Quite a few have a legal background and they would have been chucked out of court if they had shouted across the court room they way they do at Holyrood.

It doesn’t happen in committees at Holyrood where conveners have a firm grip and rules are adhered to but there is something about the debating chamber where MSPs sit with their colleagues and a tribal. safety in numbers, mentality takes over.

I have honestly been at better behaved football matches.

Why do MSPs need to sit in a block with their party colleagues? Is there any benefit to democracy by having government party benches and opposition benches?

Like an unruly primary school class, if they can’t behave themselves maybe they need to be split up and put in different seats.

Who said that? Quiet at the back there.