RUTH Davidson, Saviour of the Union (Failed), popped up in the papers over the weekend to give us her sage advice. She’s had enough of the love-bombing. The Union will not be saved by Westminster being reasonable and actually listening to the Scottish electorate.

You see, the current crisis in which British nationalism in Scotland now finds itself has nothing to do with the Conservatives trashing the Vow and David Cameron standing on the steps of Downing Street the morning after the referendum to tell us it was really all about England and demoting Scottish MPs in the Commons to second-class status.

It’s got nothing to do with how the British nationalist parties played devolution Jenga in the Smith Commission, with the result that we had David Mundell boasting that the promised new tax powers for Holyrood were designed to be nothing more than a political trap for the SNP.

When the Conservatives used their majority of English MPs to vote down every single amendment to the Scotland Act put forward by non-Conservative MPs, they were really just being nice.

It’s got nothing to do with Brexit and how Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against its will by a Conservative Government which it didn’t vote for and which has embraced Brexit as an opportunity to undermine the devolution settlement. It’s got nothing to do with a British Government’s mishandling of the epidemic which has resulted in the UK suffering the highest death toll in Europe and the greatest economic damage. Meanwhile, the Scottish Government only discovered what the British Government had planned when ministers read about it in the media along with the rest of us.

No. It’s got nothing to do with any of those things. According to Ruth Davidson, the real reason why British nationalism in Scotland is in crisis and support for independence has soared to 54% is because the Conservatives are too nice.

With that kind of political insight, Marie Antoinette could have prevented the French Revolution by opening a patisserie. So when Ruth led the “No to Indyref2 we said No and we meant it” campaigns in 2015, 2016 and 2017, she really meant it in a caring and compassionate sort of way.

Ruth now says opponents of independence should have stuck the boot in after the No campaign won the referendum in 2014. Ruth has made a habit of using violent metaphors which if used by SNP politicians would have resulted in pearl-clutching headlines in the anti-independence press.

However, her friends in the media have never called her out for it because it might have tarnished the cheeky jovial character that they wished to promote. The truth is that Ruth’s jokey and moderate image was always as much of a media construct as that of the performance artiste who goes by the stage name Boris Johnson.

Sticking the boot in is a particularly unfortunate choice of words because that’s exactly what some British nationalists did, quite literally, in George Square the day after the vote.

“We wanted to be bigger people,” said Ruth about her party as it vied with Labour to ensure that none of the promises the Better Together campaign made in 2014 would have any substance. She clearly means “nice” as in the very nice way in which the Conservatives made sure that their promise that no British government would alter the powers of Holyrood without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament had no meaning or substance. They were really doing us a favour when they lied to us. It was for our own good.

Back in the real world, as opposed to the fevered imaginings of British nationalist politicians who continue to refuse to face up to the structural failures of the British state, the SNP’s post independence surge began within days of the referendum. It was driven by angry and upset independence supporters who were determined to ensure that the British parties kept the promises they had made to the people of Scotland.

That surge occurred not because the Conservatives and their allies in Better Together were “too nice”, but because there was every indication even within hours of the result of the referendum being announced that they were going to ignore the promises and commitments they had made.

It’s a point that has been made before but is worth repeating because British nationalists politicians refuse to get it – you don’t get to insist that the losers in a referendum accept the result when you have no intention of fulfilling the promises and commitments that you made in order to win it.

One of those promises was that Scotland would be listened to and respected as an equal partner in a union. Another was that Scotland’s position within the EU would be secure. And that the powers of the Scottish Parliament could only ever be altered with the express consent of the Scottish Parliament.

Yet none of those promises has been kept by the very same people who now assert that the result of the referendum must be respected. Tell you what Ruth, we’ll respect it the moment you and your party respect the promises you made to Scotland, the promises that you started breaking on the morning of September 19, 2014.

Ruth tells us that she is now helping the Johnson administration develop a “new story for the Union”. This new story will be as much of a fairytale as the last one. It’s not a new story that the UK needs, it’s a radical and fundamental change in its political structures. It’s that devo-max, the full-fat federalism that Gordon Brown promised us all in the last fevered days of the referendum campaign.

But there is no chance of that happening because it would mean that Ruth Davidson and her party would have to own up to their disreputable, lying, deceptive behaviour and doing something about it instead of blaming the demise of the UK on the SNP.

The Conservatives haven’t ceased putting the boot in since 2014. If Ruth thinks the reason that support for independence has risen to 54% because the Conservatives have been too nice, just wait to see how high it soars once her party takes her advice.