IT is surely one of the best-known posers in philosophy – if a tree falls in a forest and there’s no-one around, does it make a sound?

Yesterday Theresa May gave us a new take on that classic – if the Prime Minister visits a village and nobody sees her, has she really been there at all?

READ MORE: Theresa May visits Scotland... here's our coverage

The PM could hardly be accused of crashing into Bridge of Weir yesterday as she continued a tour which had already taken her to Northern Ireland and Wales.

The PM’s arrival in the Renfrewshire community may have been trailed to the media – The National excepted – but locals we met had heard not even the faintest whisper of her presence.

“It’s a farce,” one man told us, as we asked him for his opinion on May’s visit to Bridge of Weir Leather, which supplies luxury hides for the European car industry.

“I didn’t even know she was here,” responded the manager of a main street establishment.

In fairness, May would have had to make an effort to have her presence felt by locals.

Not only was it blowing a hoolie, thanks to Storm Diana sweeping in, but it was dark and cold and miserable. Exactly the type of conditions that keep people indoors and in their cars.

So pedestrians were in short supply, but even if they hadn’t been, she was nowhere near the heart of the village.

Part of the Scottish Leather Group, the factory is a big presence in the area, which is home to around 5000 people, but it is set at its very periphery and the only onlookers at the gates were members of the huddled media pack.

“It’s beyond stage managed,” said Ken Mcdonald as he hurried from a local supermarket. “It’s a total farce. She’s gone to a place where she won’t come across any opposition.”

Gordian Mothersole, on his way home from work, wondered if someone had “programmed her sat-nav” to enable the “wee day oot to Scotland”.

“It’s nothing more than a tick-box exercise so she can say she listened to the people of Scotland,” he suggested.

Chris Gilzean, who was forced to give up work through ill-health, would have liked to have seen the PM to discuss his experiences with the welfare system.

But it was Brexit that brought May to town as she continues trying to build support for the deal she says will safeguard jobs and boost businesses like the leatherworks ahead of a crucial Commons vote next month.

The facility was established by the family of Roland Muirhead, who helped found the National Party of Scotland and then the SNP in 1934.

Today an MP from that party, Gavin Newlands, represents the area. Commenting on the visit, he said: “It was deeply disappointing that the Prime Minister did not even attempt to give advanced notice that she was visiting my constituency – as is standard parliamentary practice. She is visiting Scotland ostensibly to sell her blindfold Brexit deal, I wonder if she will note that my constituency voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union,

with 69.4% of voters choosing Remain in 2016.”

Retired businessman Alan Johnston was amongst those who wanted to remain, saying that May’s Brexit deal “is going to do no good for us”. And, despite all the noise from Downing Street about the benefits of the deal it seeks to pass, he saw little reason for any fanfare.

“Someone might get a good deal,” he said, “But it won’t be the Scottish public. When I was in business, I’d have loved to have come up against Theresa May and her team. I’d have made millions for the company.”