KEEP your friends close and your enemies closer would appear to be the principle behind Boris Johnson’s first set of nominations for peerages, which include some big-name Tory opponents to his Brexit scheming of last year. Remember when it seemed as though the likes of Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond might be able to derail the runaway train careering towards No Dealsville? Such innocent times.

Ruth Davidson would doubtless like to think she’s a big name, so will surely have been disappointed to see herself relegated to little more than a footnote in yesterday’s BBC coverage of the nominations, which are yet to be officially confirmed but are being seen as a peace offering from the Prime Minister.

She may have ridden the odd big beast in her bid to revive her party’s fortunes in Scotland, but she can’t compete with the human equivalent when it comes to grabbing headlines.

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Of course, Davidson didn’t actually vote against the Prime Minister – unlike Clarke and Hammond, who were promptly expelled from the Conservative party as punishment – but she did vote with her feet by standing down as the party’s leader in Scotland within weeks of him taking on the top job. And while Jackson Carlaw is still the clear favourite to step into her shoes, Michelle Ballantyne is doing a sterling job of reminding people that regardless of the cheery, up-for-it, modern facade promoted by Davidson, the Conservatives are

still the nasty party, poised to tell people on benefits they should stop having so many children and insisting there’s no “concrete evidence” that the rise in food bank use has anything to do with the disastrous implementation of Universal Credit over which her party has presided.

But hey, it’s not Davidson’s fault that those vying to be her successor are undoing all the positive PR work she did in the role. If anything it only highlights her skill for spin and her talent for twisting – qualities she is clearly hoping will have firms fighting for her consultancy services.

So will she be excited at the prospect of getting her ermine on and launching herself into the Lords, or has she bigger fish to fry? By bigger I mean more generously remunerated. The job she landed last year with Tulchan Communications would have netted her a tidy £50,000 for just 25 days of work per year, had she not turned it down in the wake of a huge outcry.

Presumably Tulchan would have expected her to do more than simply turn up, which is all a peer has to do to net his or her daily allowance, but 25 days of turning up at Westminster would net her less than £8000. Does Ruth get out of bed (and traipse to London, away from her young family) for less than £350 a day? Jay-Z may have proclaimed that you can’t knock the hustle, but he probably didn’t have attention-hungry Scottish politicians in mind. And I think he would agree that you can certainly knock a process that allows ex-politicians to be parachuted into law-making roles at the whim of Prime Ministers.

Even if the pay packet isn’t quite as plump as Ruth would like, you can’t put a price on keeping yourself in the papers. Maybe while she’s hanging out on the red benches she can share self-promotion tactics with Baroness Mone, who boldly proclaims herself “one of the United Kingdom’s most celebrated entrepreneurs ... a shining example of how flair and true grit can lead to global success”. Davidson probably has just as much right to claim herself “one of the United Kingdom’s most celebrated tank commanders and a shining example of how a brass neck and chummy manner can lead to a lifetime of lucrative public relations gigs”.

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Of course, while the odd shameless blagger might manage to work her way in, most of those in the House of Lords are worn-out or rejected politicians who have been put out to pasture. Given that Davidson is barely over 40, and was recently being tipped as a future Prime Minister, this all feels a little premature. However, the Lords need not be her final destination – she could kick about there for a while before having another go at being elected, or find her way into the Cabinet much sooner, without the inconvenience of any sort of public endorsement.

The political correspondents are playing down the chances of this happening, but let’s not rule it out. On one hand, the Cabinet must surely have a limited capacity for outright bluffers and blaggers, but on the other hand it takes one to know one, birds of a feather flock together, and Johnson might be unable to resist this further opportunity to stick two fingers up to the SNP even as he professes to be love-bombing Scotland. While Davidson is clearly no fan of Johnson, don’t be too sure she wouldn’t set aside her principles if she had the chance to walk into a key UK Government role.

Really, is it any wonder the majority of Scots believe the UK is “no longer a fully democratic country”, if indeed they ever did? Nicola Sturgeon may believe there will come a point where Boris Johnson is forced to back down and grant a second independence referendum, but hardly a day goes by without fresh displays of contempt for democracy and indeed for the sense of fair play for which the British are supposedly world-renowned. If Johnson thinks Baroness Davidson will be able to put a positive spin on his utter dismissal of her home country, he’s over-estimating her talents.