THIS may shock you, but I’m not convinced the Conservative and Unionist Party is actually that keen on devolution, or the people of Scotland making decisions, having a say or getting the governments we vote for.

I have been at Westminster almost a year now and have, as I always do, spent time talking to other people to try to understand their perspectives. In the 1990s I studied at Leeds University, Nottingham Law School and worked in London, so it is not like England is strange to me. I should be able to work out where they are coming from. But note my use of the word perspective – I don’t mean it as another word for opinion, I mean that we in Scotland or Leeds, Nottingham or indeed London, see the world from a different place.

I believe in the sovereignty of the Scottish people. It is an absolute, and I believe that a country of five-and-a-bit million people can, through our modern, more intimate, proportionate democracy, make better decisions for ourselves than Westminster and its broken system. I think that working within the rules-based structured co-operation of a partnership of equals as represented by the EU we’ll achieve more than we will alone, sovereignty can be pooled to greater achievements.

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My new MP colleagues, particularly those Conservatives from the north of England, believe in the sovereignty of Westminster: the Queen and Westminster are sovereign, in first-past-the-post winner takes all and we’ve an 80-seat majority so shut up and know your place.

They truly do believe that the world revolves around Westminster and the world should bend to our will – look at the psychology underpinning the bluster on trade talks and the future relationship with the EU. Everyone will give us special deals because we’re special. Well, spending 15 years in Brussels will teach you that everyone thinks they’re as special as everyone else, a lesson many of my new colleagues seem unlikely to take on until they’re forced to.

They talk the language of one-nation conservatism and to be fair I think most mean it sincerely, they just haven’t really thought through what it means when faced with the reality of the multinational United Kingdom as it actually exists. I have lost track of the amount of times in debate or privately I have been told by Tory MPs that Scotland is, in fact, represented on the world stage by the UK so we don’t need to be independent. They are genuinely nonplussed at my response that I’m well aware of that, I just think it isn’t doing much of a job and we could do better. It simply does not compute for them because they simply cannot see things from our perspective. To an extent why would they, but if one seeks to be a Unionist it strikes me as sensible to understand the Union one is defending.

So Boris Johnson’s latest gaffe is truly revealing, precisely because it is not a gaffe at all, it is what he and a big swathe of the Tory party genuinely thinks. The people of Scotland shouldn’t make decisions for ourselves, we should send people to Westminster and make them there. We Scots are above ourselves, are perfectly well represented and served by Westminster so we should stop being uppity Jocks and know our place.

They talk the language of one-nation Conservatism, and the language of Unionism too, but the one nation they’re talking about is England. It is surely not just me that finds the very name of the “Northern Research Group” of newly elected Tory MPs underlines that they do not, in truth, see Scotland as the same thing as them. They’re to our south! What are we, the Faroes? Iceland? I’m not sure most of them have examined it that deeply (or thought about us at all), but they certainly do not see us as part of the same psychological space as them. Remember too how successive Labour leaders like Ed Miliband, Jeremy Corbyn and lately Keir Starmer have talked about “coming up to Scotland” – we’re a different place.

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So spare a thought for the hapless band of Scottish Tories, especially as they face a Holyrood election which is going to be dominated by trust, competence and Brexit and they have to defend Boris Johnson and all his works. The party in Scotland is going through a wholesale evolution too and we in the Yes movement need to help them with that – remember they are the Conservative and Unionist Party, increasingly they are not the same concepts. There are people in Scotland who like low taxes, small and efficient government, individual liberty, who saw the Union as a way to preserve that. There are others who are Unionists and will argue any point, however ideologically inconsistent, on that basis. We have seen this evolution in Stirling, they’re the Unionist Party, increasingly not greatly ideological at all. And increasingly at odds with where the people of Scotland are.

The Tories opposed devolution in the first place because they thought Westminster worked fine for us. They campaigned for a No vote in 1997, as was their right, but they lost. Some Scottish Conservatives have adapted and are genuinely working in our national parliament to bring about the low tax small government Scotland they want to see. They’re held back by their colleagues, who are there to defend London rule at all costs, and by a UK Tory establishment that from top to bottom barely gives Scotland a thought at all.

To protect and preserve devolution, the idea that Scottish people should make decisions at all, the only way is independence.