IT is a singular fact that the arrogance of British Government ministers is inversely proportional to their ability to do their bloody jobs.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the office of the performance artiste Boris Johnson, especially with regard to his eminence grise Dominic “Specsavers” Cummings, as opposed to the oleaginous Michael Gove who is his eminence grease.

This mob of arrogant blowhards have now been forced to put England into lockdown, having failed to foresee a second wave of the virus.

That’s despite everybody and their granny warning them that a second wave was above the horizon – so much for the supposed superforecasting of Dominic Cummings. It is now clear that Dominic would struggle to forecast a nippy arse after eating a red-hot chicken vindaloo.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: Boris Johnson may break his furlough promise, he has form

The new lockdown was announced at a shambolic and much delayed press presentation given by Johnson. If nothing else, it taught us that we are governed by idiots who do not know how Powerpoint works and couldn’t even manage to ensure that their confusing graphs were formatted correctly for the screen. This came as a surprise even to those of us with a particularly low estimation of this government’s abilities, because we had all thought the graphs were the only thing that opponents of Scottish independence were any good at.

We also discovered this weekend, as if we didn’t know already, just how this so-called Union really works. Repeated requests from both the Scottish and Welsh governments and Northern English mayors for the extension of the furlough payment scheme were rebuffed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak when Scotland, Wales and much of northern England needed to go into stricter lockdown.

However, the second that London and the south-east needed to go into lockdown, the cash became magically available. Many of us in Scotland had thought that the fact that the weather only became newsworthy when it affected London, even though it was blowing a gale in Scotland, was merely a metaphor for the UK. But now we find that this is actually an operating principle, and yesterday we discovered the cash would only remain available as long as England needed it.

What was that about caring and sharing?

A Union isn’t worth the name if the UK is only willing to assist Scotland in a crisis once London and the south-east experience the exact same issues.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has been strangely quiet about all this, although by “strangely” I mean entirely predictably. Given that in every photo Douglas looks as though he is auditioning for a part as one of the evil chimpanzees in Planet of the Apes, it is now reasonable to wonder if, when the Scottish Tories were looking for a replacement for Surname Surname, what they had in mind was someone who combined in equal parts the qualities of Caesar, the evil chimp leader in Planet of the Apes, and the rubber-faced comedian Lee Evans.

What they got in Douglas is a man who combines in equal parts malignity and clownish incompetence. We saw more of this yesterday in Douglas’s much-vaunted speech to “Save the Union” at the Policy Exchange. About halfway through, as Douglas was detailing just how he was going “Save the Union”, a fire alarm went off.

That really is a metaphor for attempts to save the Union – it’s an emergency that they don’t know how to deal with, signalling that the Union really is on its last legs.

Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tories have been put in a particularly difficult position by the lockdown in England and the subsequent furlough extension.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Nicola Sturgeon must not alienate the SNP's footsoldiers

For months they have been complaining about the Scottish Government wanting to go into a stricter lockdown because, they said, the whole of the UK should have a united response to coronavirus. So now that England has gone into a stricter lockdown than Scotland, why aren’t they demanding that Scotland goes into a stricter lockdown, too?

The Conservatives have themselves destroyed any sense of shared common values in the UK, because what they are doing is imposing a Brexit on Scotland that we do not want and did not vote for. They have denied Scotland any input into the shape that Brexit is to take. If Scotland had had some say in the Brexit process, perhaps some compromise could have been reached that would have enabled people in Scotland, if not happy with Brexit, then at least to live with it.

Supposedly the great strength of the Union is that in a crisis, Scotland can rely on the greater powers of the UK to help us through a difficult time. Instead, we are now learning that Scotland is only getting assistance if and when London and the south-east need assistance, too.

It simply begs the question, what is this Union? Do we need to pray that London and the south-east of England get the same problems, because that’s the only way we are going to get any help? That, to me, is a very peculiar definition of solidarity.