The philosopher Wittgenstein once observed that there can never be surprises in logic, a remark which explains perfectly my own complete lack of surprise at Boris Johnson’s views on devolution.

That lack of surprise is of course also founded on practical experience of the UK Tory Government. I have spent more than four years representing Scotland on the UK Joint Ministerial Committee and if there was the slightest Tory enthusiasm for devolution I think I would have detected it by now.

Old style Tories never really understood what it was about, but as it had saved their party from complete extinction in Scotland they recognised its utility. The current Johnson administration, and their blue guard elected in 2017 and 2019, are even more ignorant but are also now very hostile, hating as they do any challenge – from Edinburgh or Europe – to the outmoded nonsense of Westminster’s absolute sovereignty.

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Johnson believes few things deeply and I don’t think that he is a dyed in the wool Brexiteer but Brexit was the populist bandwagon which enabled him to achieve his lifetime ambition. So of course he will give strident voice to, in his gaffe prone, playing to any crowd, archaic and bombastic way, the beliefs of a creed which has at its centre the “world beating” glories of “Global Britain” and the absolute right of those who run that strange fiction of a place to do whatever they want, without let or hinderance as the post imperial British passport still says.

His outburst on Monday was consequentially entirely unsurprising.

Moreover the choice of audience was logical too. The northern group of Tory MPs are born again Brexiteers, contemptuous of any who disagree with that obviously disastrous project (which according to opinion surveys is now the majority of the British people) and determined to make England great again. “England” of course being their careless shorthand for a much bigger territory that is properly called something else.

You can almost hear them humming along – Land of Hope and Glory, or a ditty from Gilbert and Sullivan – as Boris denounces the very idea of permitting, let alone encouraging, any difference or diversity amongst the four nations that go to make up these islands.

Moreover, Johnson’s legislative and policy actions confirm the point. The Internal Market Bill is a deliberate attempt to undermine and diminish devolution whilst his constant rhetoric about the “ precious union” give further testament to his stance.

It must be difficult to be a Scottish Tory in the midst of all this. Some simply keep their head down and hope that the agony will end. Others, particularly the zealots, become ever more aggressive and angry, furiously externalising what must be a huge internal conflict between being Scottish and supporting a party that shows nothing but disdain and contempt for the people among whom you live.

Two examples prove the point. Oliver Mundell is more a libertarian than a Conservative but his refusal on Thursday to back the essential actions needed to suppress a deadly pandemic are part and parcel of what is becoming the Brexiteers’ destructive world view. Farage and Bannon are in that space already and many grassroots Tories would like to be, given the slightest encouragement by their leaders.

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For Mundell to blow that dog whistle just to try and burnish his right wing credentials is dangerous and wrong but it is a logical consequence of the electoral and intellectual dilemma in which he finds himself.

Yet Mundell is a model of restraint and civility compared to his party leader in Scotland. The best that can be said for Douglas Ross’s self indulgent and embarrassing performance at Wednesday’s Scottish Affairs Committee – the clip of which has gone viral – is that Perry Mason he ain’t.

Of course Mundell, Ross and the others are panicking. In less than six months they must face the electorate who will be asking a simple question.

Who can Scotland trust to take forward our national rebuilding after the pandemic, and how must we tackle that task ?

The choice is between a party which, led from elsewhere, ridicules Scottish democracy and belittles every attempt the nation makes to improve itself or one which believes in the ability and dignity of all our fellow citizens and is prepared to work tirelessly to see Scotland succeed, at home and abroad.

There is an inevitable logic to that choice. It is not surprising that the polls are pointing to it.