WITH the resignation of Ruth Davidson ringing in our ears, what does this mean for the future of the Conservative Party in Scotland, and more importantly for the independence agenda?

It is pretty obvious that her absence from Scottish politics will be quite catastrophic for the Tory Party in Scotland. After eight years at the helm she will be difficult to replace and her political presence as a big hitter will be difficult to emulate regardless of who becomes the leader of her party.

I do not believe it is a time to be magnanimous and personally I have found Ruth Davidson’s approach to be based on tedious rhetoric, lacking in principle, devoid of substance and playing to the crowd at every opportunity.

Her “purple patch” period was during the 2017 General Election when she assumed a high profile beyond Scotland and became the doyen of the English Conservatives. Coupled with the one-message mantra of “No to Independence” she was able to hit a nerve in a Scotland weary of referenda and a lukewarm SNP campaign whose supporters did not turn out to vote.

As a consequence, the Tory Party “revival” in Scotland became synonymous with the “Ruth Davidson Party”. Their success in Scotland propped up the lame duck Theresa May’s slim Westminster majority and sent 13 MPs to London. The dynamic changed, but the SNP still remained the majority party in Scotland and Westminster. All changed for Ruth Davidson, close confidant of May, with the advent of Boris Johnson – her dislike of his style, right-wing politics and stance on Brexit brought her into direct conflict with the newly anointed PM.

Boris Johnson, an ultra-right-winger, has surrounded himself with a cabal of right-wing thinkers and hard-line

No-Deal Brexiteers. His actions and political appointments to date clearly indicate a move back to old-style right-wing conservatism, of strong Union, of control from the centre, of hardline right-wing policies in welfare, in social care, on enterprise. Of low taxation for the rich, of a bare-faced desire for the old days of Empire. There is no place in this Tory Party for social democracy, for tolerance, for support for the poor and the destitute.

The proroguing of Parliament says it all and we should all now be prepared for an assault on democracy and our democratic rights. There is little doubt that Boris Johnson’s actions are not random and are the consequences of a well-thought-out strategy by an inner sanctum of handpicked right-wingers and advisers hell bent on achieving their reactionary goals by bypassing Parliament and appealing directly to the populous.

Where is Scotland’s future now? As I have said previously in a “look to the future”, I indicated that if Johnson became Prime Minister then a major assault would be instigated against the Scottish Parliament, independence and on our hard-fought devolved powers.

It’s quite clear to me that Ruth Davidson’s position was totally untenable. She did not fit the Boris mould. There was also payback for the comments and actions Davidson took against Johnson’s bid to become PM. I suggest she was given an ultimatum of leave your post as leader of the Tories in Scotland or you will be totally marginalised. She has given plausible reasons for relinquishing her post, but such spin does not hide the fact that “her time was up!”.

He will replace her with a leader with Boris credentials, of that I am certain, and the Tory Scottish branch office will toe the line. Scottish Tory MPs and the majority of MSPs have already deserted Davidson, ready to pledge their loyalty to their next right-wing leader. Any guesses as to who?

Already the writing is on the wall. UK Government in Scotland Hubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. A Tory grandee No-Deal Scottish Secretary already a Boris mouth-piece. Direct funding of capital projects bypassing Holyrood. Devolved issues and funding being held back. Section 30 unlikely to happen. Clear indications of a determined assault to Unionise Scotland as a conscious policy, with the ultimate aim to dissolve the Scottish Parliament. Jacob Rees-Mogg the legal guru will state “there is no law in place or in the Scotland Bill to prevent the dissolution of the Holyrood Parliament”.

Perhaps the appointment of a Boris clone as the Tory Party leader in Scotland may be the act that will hasten independence.

Watch this space!

Dan Wood