IT shows how low expectations are of outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May that, during the first few lines of her speech in Stirling on Thursday, I was briefly impressed.

She had arrived in Scotland – for the first time since last November – to remind us of the virtues of the “precious Union” and how precious it is to her personally.

While that claim may be as dubious as her commitment to ending the “burning injustices” in society, she started off well.

She acknowledged the “political earthquake” of the 2014 independence referendum and noted the SNP’s success in the General Election that came after. She recognised how divisive the EU referendum campaign and vote to Leave had been and why it sticks in the craw of Remain-voting Scotland.

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Unfortunately for us, May and her precious Union, that appeared to be the totality of her understanding on the interplaying factors that drive the desire for independence.

She went on to say she had “no hesitation” in “firmly” refusing Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a Section 30 order to hold indyref2: because of the circular logic that says Scotland is part of the UK, therefore cannot make it’s own decisions about which referendums to have, even if backed by its parliament.

It is the same cognitive dissonance which saw LibDem leadership contender Jo Swinson tie herself in knots during a Sky News interview, where she tried to explain why a People’s Vote was democratic, but indyref2 was an outrage.

As the Prime Minister departed the stage in Stirling, having delivered what was to be her last speech in Scotland, you wonder the extent to which she understands the magnitude of her own failure to protect the Union.

In her brief and chaotic period as Prime Minister she has presided over the gradual dismantling of the very Union she claims to love. Her arrogance towards the devolved Governments during the Brexit negotiations was matched only by her indifference to the breakdown of trust that inevitably followed.

The National:

Her callous disregard for the unique challenges and political fragility in Northern Ireland demonstrated not only a lack of understanding – but a lack of care.

By beating the drum of English nationalism, through her talk of remain “saboteurs” and “no deal is better than a bad deal” she has directly contributed to the lurch to the right of her own party. It is through this whipping up of both expectations and anger, that we have arrived at a situation where Tory party members say they are happy to break up the Union if it means getting Brexit over the line.

We’ve certainly come a long way from “We love you Scotland, don’t leave”.

READ MORE: READ: What Jeremy Hunt said when we grilled him on indyref2

It could be argued that Theresa May has done more to untangle the social threads of the Union than the at times tepid SNP politicians have in the years since the EU referendum vote.

Perhaps that is smart politics on their part, as they sit back and let the hard-Brexit Conservative party make their case for them.

There’s a sense that the outgoing Prime Minister has loosened the jar – now somebody just needs to make the decision to unscrew it.

Die-hard Unionists have disengaged with the ongoing debate with their refusal to concede that perhaps Scotland should at the very least get a say about where we go from here.

Polling shows that, under certain circumstances, No/Remain voters will move to Yes. But we should be wary of framing the benefits of Scotland becoming independent through the ineptitude of one man.

The positive case for independence was what made the 2014 so vibrant and different to the EU referendum that followed. But polling does suggest that the unique unsuitability of Boris Johnson – both politically and personally – to lead the UK could be the event that finally tips many soft-No voters to Yes.

In a recent Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times, 53% said they would back independence if Boris Johnson became prime minister, with 47% against.

Sir John Curtice said of the recent polling: “It would seem that the Brexit impasse has motivated some Remain supporters in recent months to re-evaluate their attitudes towards the union.”

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He added: “If so, then we do not need to rely on the answers to hypothetical polling questions to conclude that the outcome of the Brexit process could potentially change the balance of support for independence versus staying in the union.”

Given there is no scandal or display of incompetence that Tory members haven’t already “priced in” with regards to Boris Johnson, it seems almost certain that in a few short weeks, he will become our Prime Minister.

As she shuffles away from centre stage Theresa May will have to watch on as Boris Johnson finishes what she is unaware she has started. Because from everything we know, it won’t be Nicola Sturgeon who finally unscrews the jar and breaks up the UK – that will be done at the hand of the monster that Theresa May helped to create.