Nicola Sturgeon was very professional and a gave good account of herself at the Holyrood Inquiry, as you would expect - she was after all schooled and mentored by Alex Salmond who is no slouch at political theatre himself.
The sting in the tail though is that the First Minister was unable to give convincing answers on a wide range of issues including:
- the blurring of lines between the business of the Scottish Government and the affairs of the SNP
- the purpose of the meeting held with Alex Salmond in her family home on 2 April 2018
- the lack of a proper record for the meeting held on 2 April 2018 despite the provisions of the Ministerial Code
- the alleged sharing of at least one complainant's name at the meeting on 2 April 2018
- the allegation that as First Minister she gave a clear undertaking to intervene in the complaints process
- the supporting evidence surrounding the meeting on 2 April 2018 (corroborated in written statements from Geoff Aberdein, Duncan Hamilton and Kevin Pringle)
- the purpose of meeting with Geoff Aberdein held in the Scottish Parliament on 29 March 2018
- the alleged sharing of at least one complainant's name with Geoff Aberdeen at the meeting in the Scottish Parliament held on 29 March 2018
- the prior contact with Geoff Aberdein and the reasons for involving Alex Salmond's former chief of staff in the complaints/investigation process
- the lack of action over an allegation that a member of the First Minister's staff shared the name of a complainant
- the reasons behind the collapse of Scottish Government's case in the judicial review brought by Alex Salmond
- the lack of rigorous and oversight in the investigation and length of time it took for the Scottish Government to realise its case was fatally flawed
- the damning assessment of the Scottish Government's case by external legal counsel on 31 October 2018
- the failure of the Scottish Government to provide all relevant documents to the criminal investigation which led to Police Scotland serving a search warrant
- the First Minister's conflicting statements to the Scottish Parliament and wider media
- the suppression of key evidence and withholding of key documents from the Holyrood Inquiry - despite two votes in the Scottish Parliament demanding Ministers release their legal advice
All in all I think it's reasonable to say the handling of the 'Salmond affair' represents the greatest shambles in the Scottish Government's 20 year history and so the obvious question to ask is:
"Why after all this has no one resigned, been asked to resign or simply been sacked?"
So should Nicola Sturgeon resign?
Well the former First Minister Henry McLeish resigned over far less serious allegations (a muddle not a fiddle) and if I remember correctly the SNP demanded at the time that Henry McLeish should stand down.
As did David McLetchie (Scottish Conservatives) and Wendy Alexander (Scottish Labour), as leaders of their own respective parties, over relatively minor infractions - again with the SNP insisting their leadership was compromised.
So maybe, given the proximity of the next elections, the most honourable thing to do would be for Nicola Sturgeon to say she will not stand again as First Minister to make room for some fresh blood and new thinking.
Because if that were to happen, the Scottish Parliament would have the opportunity to learn lessons, restore its reputation, review its procedures and strengthen its democratic institutions - hopefully on an all-party, cross-party, non-tribal basis.