THE only difference between the Scottish Tory party and a Cheerleaders Club is that most of them are miserable. The Ruth Davidson Glee Club, otherwise known as the Scottish Conservatives or the political wing of the British nationalist Scottish press, is having its party conference in Aberdeen in a few weeks. British nationalist gatherings in Scotland are always fascinating affairs. They prove the impossible. It is actually possible to cringe and strut at the same time.

Only some Conservatives are going to be allowed to attend the event. According to reports, Ruth Davidson has banned the leading Brexiteers from attending. Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg will not be getting invites from Ruth, and neither will Liam Fox or Michael Gove. They’re considered too toxic by just about everyone with at least a handful of functioning neurones, which amazingly includes a couple of Conservative MSPs. The Scottish Conservatives would prefer to pretend that the Brexiteer bunch don’t exist. Most of the rest of Scotland would prefer to pretend that the Scottish Conservatives don’t exist, but sadly the newspapers don’t allow us that option.

It’s funny that the party that complains the most about people on the right of politics being no-platformed by students is so happy to indulge in some no-platforming of its own. The phrase Ruthie snowflakes springs to mind. Whereas students typically no-platform their political opponents, Ruth Davidson has no-platformed leading lights in her own party. The contenders for the Conservative party leadership have been no-platformed because Ruth is embarrassed by their political toxicity, which is pretty close to an acknowledgement from the Scottish Tories that their own party is a toe-curling waste of space.

The Scottish Conservatives are clearly hoping that no one in Scotland was paying any attention to the claims of Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™ during the last General Election. They were campaigning to keep Scotland under the rule of those very politicians that they now don’t want at their conference in Aberdeen, because they claim that they’re too toxic.

Mind you, if the Scottish Conservatives really were serious about banning everyone who was toxic, they’d be holding their conference in an empty room. The Conservative councillors who made sectarian and bigoted comments on social media will still be there.

But Ruth says that they’ve had diversity training, so that’s OK. The rest of us don’t need special training to know that bigotry is wrong, but then we’re not Conservatives who promote British nationalism in Scotland. The British nationalism in Scotland beloved of the Scottish Conservatives is the toxic heart of a poisonous party. It’s really jaffa cake nationalism, because it’s got an orangey bit in the middle.

What’s going on in the Tory party at Westminster just now makes one of those paintings of the depths of Hell by Hieronymus Bosch look like the illustrations to a children’s book about how to play nice and get along with other children. There are few spines on the Conservative benches, but there are plenty of rear ends. Tory party politicians these days don’t know whether they’re coming or going, but you can tell when they’re going because each of their backs has a knife sticking out of it.

The Scottish Conservatives are seeking to distance themselves from this internecine warfare, so the only Cabinet minister who will be addressing their conference will be David Mundell. That’s indicative of just how much influence the Scottish Tories really have. The most influential speaker at their conference will be a man who has less influence in the Cabinet than whoever it is who decides what biscuits should be served with the tea and coffee. Since not a single one of the new Scottish Conservative MPs was promoted even to the lofty heights of bag-carrier for the deputy under-secretary of state for picking up David Davis’s dry cleaning, that means that Westminster Conservatives still think that Mundell, the minister of state for being confused with a stuffed toy, is the most competent and capable of all Scottish Conservative MPs. The most surprising thing about the news that Ruth Davidson has banned cabinet ministers from attending her conference is that she thinks that any of them have a high enough opinion of the Scottish Tories that they might want to attend it.

Theresa May is terrified of the Hard Brexit lobby, but at least she acknowledges their existence. She bows in fear before their every demand because politically she’s a craven coward. Ruth Davidson wants to pretend that the Hard Brexit lobby which drives and dominates her party doesn’t exist. She hides away and hopes that her cries of No Surrender to another independence referendum will drown out the screams of a party leadership which is busy knifing one another in the back and destroying the national interest in the process. It doesn’t really matter if the Scottish Conservative conference won’t offer the Hardline Brexiteer fantasists a platform to air their fictions, Scottish Tory MPs will still trot faithfully along and do their bidding in the voting lobbies of Westminster.

Still, Ruth is very much like her boss in one important respect. Both live in a fantasy land and are trying to sell a fairy story to the public.

Theresa wants us to buy her bespoke Brexit deal which will allow the UK to have the same access to the EU as it currently has, but which will still see it leave the customs union and the single market. Theresa is determinedly pursuing this deal even though the EU has made it very plain that it’s not an option. Ruth wants to cut taxes while raising spending on public services, she wants to speak up for Scotland by not saying anything at all, and she wants to pretend that Brexit isn’t really happening but if there are negative effects they’ll all be the fault of Thatessempee. Ruth’s No to another referendum is Theresa May’s special bespoke Brexit deal. It’s the empty slogan that wallpapers over the void beneath.

Ruth once promised Scotland’s voters that she’d stand up to the Hard Brexit lobby. She promised that Scotland’s Conservative MPs would vote as a bloc to protect Scotland’s interests. Instead Ruth tries to hide the spittle flecked Brexit bunch away from the Scottish electorate, while her wee band of spineless wonders vote along with them in Westminster. All this means that, remarkably, Ruth Davidson has fewer policies, and is even more of a political coward than Theresa May. No wonder her star is on the wane.