IT’S difficult not to feel some level of sympathy for leaders when they have to stand in front of the nation’s media and tearfully announce their departure.

But the contents of Humza Yousaf’s farewell speech showed that, even as he prepared to leave Bute House for the final time, he had learned nothing from his year in charge.

Instead of acknowledging a litany of domestic failures, he focused on how he believed independence was “frustratingly” close.

Instead of standing by his correct choice to boot the Greens out of government, he seemed almost to offer them a retrospective olive branch.

And instead of admitting the SNP had run their course and completely fallen out of step with the rest of Scotland, he waxed lyrical about how he would always be in the nationalist family.

A year may seem like a brief time to hold the office of First Minister, and it is in comparison to his two high-profile predecessors.

But it’s still more than enough to make a meaningful difference to the people of Scotland.

Yet the evidence in Glasgow and beyond is that things only got worse.

Like his SNP colleagues, he offered warm words about tackling Scotland’s drugs deaths crisis, but those statistics are showing no sign of improvement.

The state of Glasgow’s streets in terms of litter and vermin has never been worse – something that should be a source of shame not just for a First Minister, but for an MSP who is elected by the people of Pollok to represent them.

NHS waiting lists are in turmoil, education standards are plummeting and major infrastructure projects have been put on hold.

He has continued the SNP habit of slashing local authority budgets to the bone, while whacking up personal taxes on hardworking Scots who observe no positive consequence.

It’s hard to see how he can reach for a single achievement from his time in office.

What’s more, any indication from him that he intended to be respectful and constructive with political opponents went right out the window when he declared the next SNP election strategy would be one to make Scotland “Tory free”.

The irony isn’t lost on us that he freed himself of office before managing to oust a single Conservative.

In fact, his only accomplishment worth celebrating is the one which led to his demise.

Kicking out the Greens from government may have brought his reign to a close, but it was a move that couldn’t come quick enough.

They will no doubt be patting themselves on the back that they managed to make themselves politically relevant for a short period of time.

But Mr Yousaf’s predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon, should never have brought them into the tent.

They only wrought harm and chaos, botching every area of responsibility they were handed and devising a range of dangerous and damaging policies.

Whoever is next in Bute House must think long and hard about how deserving they are at another crack of the whip.

Scotland has endured 17 years of a nationalist government, during which the only portfolio area which has increased in prestige is the constitution.

Every other devolved topic has been savagely neglected, and they are the ones that matter most to people and businesses.

That isn’t all at Mr Yousaf’s door – but he wasted a full year in failing to stop the rot.