The National:

As I sit down to write this column it is 3.06pm on a bright and dry Sunday at the beginning of my week-long October holiday. I should probably go for a walk before the six-month Scottish winter takes hold, or wave to a few loved ones through their living room windows before Covid leaves us locked in our homes again.

And yet here I am, writing about a tweet. And it isn’t even mine.

The communication in question came from Andrew Bowie, the Tory MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (and vice chair of the Conservative Party) and caught my attention for one simple reason: it is an absolute gift to the Yes campaign.

Bowie tells us that the Internal Market Bill - which, in case you've forgotten, is the one that breaks international law - is "just the start", presumably because his bosses in London have every intention of doubling-and-tripling-down on their Anglocentrism and disdain for devolution.

It doesn't matter that the Bill is widely opposed, or that Scotland's national government has refused to consent to its implementation, or that it risks - to take just one horrifying example - forcing us to allow unqualified staff to call themselves teachers and work in Scotland’s schools.

Never mind any of that: Westminster knows best, and you should really shut up, know your place, and show a bit of appreciation for all they do for you.

Their house, their rules.

Eat your cereal.

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And if you don’t like it? If you think that Scotland’s government and parliament – both of which enjoy far more democratic legitimacy than their counterparts in London – should be respected? If you think breaking internal law so you can teach the bloody Jocks a lesson isn’t a good way to run a country? If you’re still labouring under the illusion that the UK is a partnership of equals?

Well Andrew Bowie MP has a reply for you: "The UK Govt is back in Scotland. Get used to it.”

Independence campaigners should be thrilled to see tweets like Bowie's

What really matters here isn't the words themselves - it's the tone. Dripping in condescension, arrogance and that particularly pathetic Imperial nostalgia that defines so much of the UK's politics, Bowie's tweet reads like it should have ended with the word "SUCKERS" and a cry-laugh emoji.

The tweet is ultimately little more than juvenile trolling dressed up as politics – readers may draw their own conclusions about its author – but it still gives us an insight into the mindset that now dominates the thinking of the anti-independence What stands out most clearly is the futile attempt at a tough-guy act, which we are presumably supposed to interpret as a sign that the Tories will now be ‘taking the fight to the Nats’.

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The problem, at least for Bowie, is that puffed bravado and posturing isn't a sign of strength, and it certainly isn't going to do the pro-union campaign - such as it is - any good.

Instead it highlights a central truth about the constitutional status quo: the United Kingdom isn’t a partnership of equals, but rather one of subservience and domination.

No to Yes is very much the direction of travel these days, and you'd have to have been living under a rock to miss the shift in the polls showing that a majority now support independence.

There have also been some famous faces switching sides: Murray Foote, editor of the Daily Record when it published The Vow, is now the SNP's top media spinner, and just a few weeks ago actor and motorcycle enthusiast Ewan McGregor told US TV host Bill Maher that "it's time" to end the union.

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The tide has well and truly turned, helped along by the behaviour of a corrupt and incompetent Boris Johnson government that seems to resent the very existence, never mind the mechanics, of devolution.

In this context, independence campaigners should be thrilled to see tweets like Bowie's. He may have boosted his credentials among the hard core of flag waving nationalists that now make up so much of his party's base, but in doing so he has nudged us just a little bit closer to Yes.