THIS week we witnessed the triple whammy of Westminster disregard and undermining of Scottish public institutions. The attack on Scottish judges and courts follows years of barely disguised contempt for both the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament.

Within minutes of Scotland’s highest court finding against the prorogation of Parliament by the Westminster Government, the briefing started. Sources at 10 Downing Street accused the Court of Session of being politically biased, telling The Sun: “We note that last week the High Court in London did not rule that prorogation was unlawful. The legal activists chose the Scottish courts for a reason.”

The attack on the Court of Session was continued by UK Government business minister Kwasi Kwarteng. When asked about the Scottish court’s judgment on BBC, he said: “Many people are saying – I’m not saying this – but, many people … are saying that the judges are biased. The judges are getting involved in politics.”

He continued the “I’m not saying, but others are” theme with: “I think that they are impartial, but I’m saying that many people, many Leave voters, many people up and down the country, are beginning to question the partiality of the judges.”

Less slippery, but more directly offensive, was the accusation by Tory MP Andrew Bridgen of political pressure on Scottish judges: “I think there will be a suspicion that political pressure may have been placed on them. It’s interesting that it’s the Scottish higher court that has done this, turned over a decision by a lower court, but these cases have been brought in Northern Ireland and elsewhere and haven’t come to the same conclusion, have they?”

While other Government ministers and supporters where wheeled out in a damage-limitation exercise, it was too late. The harm had been done. Scotland’s courts and judges were held in contempt by senior sources in the UK Government and Tory party.

For years we have come to expect this in relation to the their relations with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament. Repeated discourtesy and ignoring of views, suggestions and decisions has become the norm. The most egregious example has been on Brexit, where the views from Scotland, and Wales for that matter, have been totally ignored.

A regular example for the subordinate relationship with the rest of the islands is the British-Irish Council, where meetings are attended by the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales; Chief Ministers of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands as well as the Taoiseach, but usually not the UK Prime Minister, who can’t be bothered or thinks it’s beneath them.

The Westminster disregard for the Scottish Government, Parliament and courts stands in stark contrast with the solidarity and support of EU states and institutions for Ireland. Ultimately, however, the biggest disregard has been for the people of Scotland. Not only was there a 62% vote for remaining in the European Union, but there have been repeated electoral victories for the SNP with manifesto commitments to hold an independence referendum in circumstances such as being taken out of the EU against the wishes of people in Scotland. That commitment has been supported by a majority vote in the Scottish Parliament and is the policy of the Scottish Government.

Throughout the whole sorry Brexit saga the UK Government has been exposed for not giving a stuff about the views of the different home nations. Meanwhile, Scottish Tories have done absolutely nothing to stand up for the Scottish interest, preferring instead to suck up to Boris Johnson.

Whatever happened to the idea of a powerful bloc at Westminster, holding the balance of power like the DUP? Nothing. Whatever happened to “Operation Arse”, ensuring that Boris Johnson didn’t become Prime Minister? Nothing. Whatever happened to the Ruth Davidson Scottish Tory party that was supposed to appeal to moderate voters?

If it ever existed, it has certainly evaporated. Her MPs have signed up to Boris Johnson’s Westminster prorogation and she has resigned to spend more time with her family and less with her party, although pledging her loyalty to BoJo and his Government.

Now the opinion polls show that the Tories are in big trouble in Scotland. Conservative MPs could soon be back down to low single figures when the snap UK General Election takes place.

The Tories have denigrated Scotland’s courts, Parliament and Government, are careering towards a No-Deal Brexit and now face the wrath of the electorate. By attacking respected institutions in Scotland, the Tories have shown that they don’t have Scottish interests at heart. They have kowtowed to the Boris Johnson Brexit project.

That includes the unlawful muzzling of UK parliamentary oversight. The Tories may want to silence Parliament, but they can’t replace the electorate. Whenever the early General Election comes they will pay a heavy price in Scotland and they thoroughly deserve it.