Welcome back to politics!

I mean it most sincerely when I say I hope you’ve enjoyed your maternity leave. I remember how hard it was to leave my little ones each time and return to the cut and thrust of work, torn between my old and my new, totally changed self. I wish you luck in navigating this challenging yet exciting time, a time of new beginnings in the most positive sense and providing for that wonderful new person who fills your every waking thought and deed.

Mind you, I had hoped your return to politics would be more interesting than just banging the same old anti-independence drum and the same old grievance politics. I wondered if you’d have a new take on the current situation after your time out, for possible fresh analysis and objective insight, for ideas on innovative ways for the Tory party in Scotland to grasp the changing scenery of our times. After all, political debate is much more interesting when the opposition has got its act together.

Because while you were away, all has changed. If a week’s a long time in politics, six months is an eternity! The Union is on the brink of collapse and Scotland has an opportunity to do it differently from the past, to forge a new path and create an exciting future. Surely you want to be on this journey as much as the rest of us? Surely you must see that the old system is broken, that democracy itself is under threat, that dark forces surround, that the UK as we once knew it is teetering on the event horizon of a newly discovered black hole.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson backtracks on Section 30 view ahead of return

I’m sure you’ve noticed just how much turmoil the country is in at the hands of your party at Westminster. The slow drip, drip, drip of far-right politics has infected the political discourse to such an extent that those who have courted it in your own party, those who have played fast and loose with racism, prejudice and bigotry, encouraged myths and untruths on migration to grow legs and fester, could end up being the very undoing of the Conservative cause. And as they ruin your party, so shall they ruin the whole country through greed, opportunism and self-interest as their version of Brexit crashes out of Europe and into catastrophe.

Yet still Theresa May ploughs on with the same old, tired and unworkable arguments while her chickens come home to roost. The Faustian pact she made with the DUP after the disaster of the snap election in 2017 has scuppered her only chance of getting through her lacklustre and inadequate Withdrawal Agreement.

The National:

Did you see Lyra McKee’s funeral in Derry last week? Did you watch as the priest held politicians to account for letting things deteriorate to such an extent that an innocent life has been taken, that an incredible young woman in her prime was cut down by hate and sectarian stupidity, stoked and inflamed by Brexiteers’ denial of the past Troubles and carelessness about a possible return to a hard border? Did you watch the priest address Lyra’s girlfriend with respect and understanding for the love and loss she felt for her partner? The DUP’s Arlene Foster heard all this, and yet for all her courage at standing with the people of Republican Creggan in Derry to support them at their lowest point in 21 years, her entrenched beliefs will not permit her to even look again at allowing Northern Ireland to progress to a position where all loving couples are treated equally before the law. And it is into these reactionary hands that your Conservative Prime Minister has placed the European future of the UK.

Now you’re back, Ruth, you’ve made some big statements. You’ve promised that compromise is key. You’ve promised to oppose proposals for indyref2. You’ve said you’ve “plenty to aim at” on your return. What about compromise from your end, what about reaching out to voters with exciting new plans, of ownership of the mistakes made by your party and how you plan to fix them? Indeed are we ever going to hear anything positive from the Tory corner – we know what you are against but what on earth are you for?

I’m sure you will have noted just how embarrassingly far your party has fallen in the polls, and how it is still losing ground on a daily basis. For the Tories in Scotland the only way is down.

So, is it not time to try something new? Instead of compromise, what about consensus? Instead of out-of-date and overused arguments, what about new vision, new hope? Because what Scotland needs now are politicians with the courage of their convictions, with the strength to stand up for what they believe in, for what they know to be important, to recognise the democratic wishes of the voters, to honour shared values and collective responsibility to all our citizens.

For those who can’t rise to the challenge, the story will be written without their names and without their contribution. For those without the imagination to reach out beyond traditional political divides will be forgotten by history and unforgiven at the ballot box. Now is the time for change but the window is closing. As you will have had every reason to ponder in recent times, it’s all about the future.