I FEEL the response to Boris Johnson’s analysis of Scottish devolution has been a tad harsh. In a private briefing on Monday night with MPs, the Prime Minister is reported to have described devolution as “a disaster”. Too right it’s been a disaster, Prime Minister, but only for you and the far-right cultists whom you’ve permitted to run your party.

Those who were present at this briefing were probably startled at such honesty from Johnson, something which is about as common as vegan sharks. Perhaps such refreshing candour from the Prime Minister will be regarded as the first green shoot of veracity in the post-Dominic Cummings era.

The chatter amongst the special advisers must have spread like news of a decent investment opportunity: “By jingo, Boris has actually said something he really means.” And yet, our response has been churlish in the extreme.

You can see why Johnson is exasperated by devolution. He and his party had been long assured by their glove puppets in Scottish Labour that devolution would leave the independence movement dead in the water. Why, dear old George Robertson, the red Baron of Port Ellen (insert laughing emojis here) had assured his Unionist chums that Scottish independence wouldn’t even last as long as the century in which it was conceived. In 1995, when he was plain old George Robertson, MP for Hamilton South, he said: “Devolution will kill nationalism stone dead.”

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Less than two decades later as the spectre of Scottish independence began to haunt his worst nightmares, the Baron began to panic. “The loudest cheers for the break-up of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies,” His Lordship told a Washington business group.

Later he would compare the battle for the Union with Abraham Lincoln’s fight against slavery in the American Civil War.

This was a comparison that only the very delusional or the very infantile would seriously entertain. Which is probably why it became the entire basis of Scottish Labour’s position in the first independence referendum.

Those of us who wondered why Baron Robbie seemed to be deploying allegories with American history and policy to US audiences received a confirmation of sorts a few years later. This was when the laird of Port Ellen became an advisor to the Washington-based Cohen Group, a “consulting and marketing” firm.

The Baron later became General-Secretary of Nato.

Shares in Russian and Chinese weapons manufacturers must have seen a sharp spike in their value when that announcement was made. I also had visions of those wee aliens in the old mashed potato television adverts pishing themselves at the humans stabbing potatoes “with their steely knives”.

It’s not difficult to understand Boris Johnson’s vexation at devolution. Life would have been so much easier in the knowledge that a key component of the United Kingdom was safely in the hands of a collection of the Tories’ Scottish Labour lickspittles. All that was required in those good old days to keep the tribunes of the people sweet was to hold out to them the prospect of a few gongs and life peerages as a reward for a career bending the knee to their superiors in Westminster.

By the time the SNP had gained power in Scotland in 2007 a collection of dutiful Scottish Labour stalwarts were beginning to form an orderly queue at the Westminster trough. Jack McConnell became Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale; Alistair Darling became Baron Darling of Roulanish and dear old George Foulkes is still to be seen slumbering away in the Upper House as Baron Foulkes of Cumnock.

Indeed if I were advising the UK Prime Minister I’d suggest getting these old political trenchermen together (a few bottles of decent Scotch and a small non-exec should do it Prime Minister) and I’d be asking them what in the name of the wee man was happening to Scotland while they were all collecting their baubles and telling the Tories that everything was cushty in the northern approaches.

Well, I think we all know what was happening while the UK Tories and their Labour scouts were asleep on the job. The people of Scotland began to realise that there was a clear divergence of doctrine and philosophy between Scotland and England in key areas such as education, health and attitudes towards immigrants and refugees.

AS Tony Blair and Gordon Brown squandered a three-term Labour government pandering to big business and reneging on commitments to reverse Margaret Thatcher’s anti-trade union legislation questions were being asked in Labour’s Scottish heartlands. Just what do this pair of political opportunists actually stand for?

As the New Labour project crashed and burned under the weight of its own hubris and Cool Britannia trinkets it morphed seamlessly into David Cameron’s Conservative government. Cameron, who possessed as few political scruples and principles as Tony Blair, benignly gave way to a hard-right form of Conservatism. This would immediately impose a one-sided austerity programme on the UK’s working-class communities while fashioning a suite of tax breaks and other fiscal inducements for its traditional fanbase.

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Inevitably, immigrants and refugees would come to be blamed for the resulting economic hardship in England’s northern communities. The Windrush generation would soon be receiving their orders to pack up and leave and Nigel Farage would weaponise extreme xenophobia and become the conscience of a new and insidious form of mainstream conservatism.

In Scotland, a collection of indolent and worthless Tory fanboys gained some seats at Westminster and deployed a studied policy of looking the other way as Scottish interests and existing devolved powers were being traduced during the Brexit process. With all this going on you needn’t have been a lifelong, Saltire-waving devotee of Scottish nationalism to have begun to view independence in a favourable light.

And all the while, Scottish Labour was asleep, only coming groggily and shambolically to life to shout “Feck!” and “Drink!” at appropriate times like old Father Jack on Craggy Island. You can see them still asleep in their comfy Holyrood chairs any day of the week.

Following Boris Johnson’s clumsy burst of honesty, Laura Kuenssberg’s ubiquitous Downing Street “source”, attempted to clarify his remarks. “Devolution is great but not when it’s used by separatists and nationalists to break up the United Kingdom.”

The truth of the matter is well-known to the 58% and counting of the Scottish population who now favour independence. English nationalists – not Scottish nationalists – have hastened the break-up of the United Kingdom. They’ve done this by turning their country into a theme park for the alt-right and a klondyke for global, organised crime.