WHAT a few weeks it has been for the “Scottish” Labour Party and the “Scottish” Conservative and Unionist Party. Both have been totally humiliated by their leaderships in London. They are not parties in the normal sense of a sovereign political organisation.

They are branch offices of UK political parties. Both are told what to do and regardless whether they like it or not, and at the end of the day are content to remain pathetic supplicants.

It is a sweet irony that at the time that Scottish independence has taken the opinion poll lead, the leaders of the two main pro-UK parties in Scotland have been stressing their independence from London.

And at the same time they have been opposing the people of Scotland having a democratic say over their own future. It has been political Twister on steroids and the contortions have been painful and impossible to maintain.

While Boris Johnson is driving us headlong towards a hard Brexit, his Scottish Tory “leader” Ruth Davidson says she is opposed to a No-Deal Brexit.

So what? Who cares? Certainly not Boris Johnson, his new Secretary of State for Scotland or cabinet of hard-line cronies.

In truth, Davidson is only a “leader” in name. She is not even in charge of Scottish Tory MPs or MSPs. If she were, she would have marshalled them with great PR effect as the parliamentary rearguard that will stop a No-Deal Brexit in its tracks. She hasn’t because she can’t.

Meanwhile, “Scottish” Labour has perfectly demonstrated this week that it has zero influence over the Corbyn/McDonnell leadership of the UK Labour Party.

READ MORE: Labour turmoil deepens as top official quits amid indyref civil war

When Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told an Edinburgh Festival Fringe audience that he thought that people in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament should decide if there should be another independence referendum, “Scottish” Labour went into meltdown.

Edinburgh South’s Ian Murray was on Newsnight and BBC bulletins to defend the “principled” position of supporting a second Brexit referendum, because circumstances have changed, but oppose a second independence referendum, despite the fact that circumstances have demonstrably changed.

Scottish Labour “leader” Richard Leonard convinced nobody with his telephone call to John McDonnell, least of all John McDonnell, and not even his own colleagues in Holyrood, who issued a “right-wing, kamikaze Unionist faction” statement without his agreement.

The statement, apparently supported by a majority of MSPs, stated: “We deplore any attempts to undermine the official policy position of the Scottish Labour Party and we express serious concerns about an apparent change in Labour’s position on a matter of vital importance to the future of Scotland and of the Scottish Labour Party itself.”

Meanwhile a senior Scottish Labour source told the Common Space website: “This is the action of wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is not about offering support after the comments from John MacDonnell this week, rather it’s about trying to undermine Richard Leonard, Jeremy Corbyn and the socialist leadership of Labour north and south of the Border”.

READ MORE:Scottish Labour still completely deluded

All of this has lost sight of the matter of principle: namely that it is the people of Scotland who should determine the future of Scotland. A mandate for a Scottish independence referendum has already been secured by the SNP in three elections and was supported by a majority vote in the Scottish Parliament.

A growing number of people in UK parties are acknowledging that denying a referendum is not sustainable. This week both John McDonnell of Labour and David Mundell of the Tories said as much.

In the meantime, you really know that the case for Unionism is in trouble with voices raising the dreaded F-word: Federalism.

Readers will remember the infamous pledge by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the 2014 independence referendum campaign that: “We’re going to be, within a year or two, as close to a federal state as you can be in a country where one nation is 85% of the population.”

Firstly, it hasn’t happened, secondly it can’t happen. There isn’t a single model of working federalism in the world where one constituent part has more than 80% of the population. The only attempted example that I can remember is the Serbian-Montenegrin federation which lasted only 14 years from 1992-2006.

I don’t hold out great hope for the Tory and Labour branch offices in Scotland. Not only are they opposed to Scottish independence, they are opposed to being sovereign political parties worthy of respect from their own colleagues in London.

Why should voters in Scotland trust either party which has so little respect for itself? Scotland deserves better than their branch office mentality.