PICTURE the scene: thousands of flag-waving nationalists occupying a historic building at the heart of England’s capital. They vastly outnumber the police in the vicinity. Absolutely determined to fulfil their collective mission. To assemble, to take to their feet … and to sing along with gusto to Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory.

I speak, of course, of the Last Night of the Proms. Surely you weren’t imagining anything more sinister? I certainly wasn’t trying to mislead you with my use of language.

Ruth Davidson seems to be confused. She’s confused, for starters, about the difference between inside and outside. Maybe this is because she herself has one foot in and one foot out of the Scottish Parliament – substituting for Douglas Ross at First Minister’s Questions while counting down the days until she can ditch Holyrood for good and take up her seat in the House of Lords.

She still has to slog it out for a few more months, so she is not yet a baroness, which is why it’s important that no-one calls her Baroness Davidson. She doesn’t like it, you see – it’s not very on-brand for the stand-in leader of the Scottish Tories to be a baroness.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson compares AUOB pro-independence protest to US Capitol riots

Yesterday the politician not yet known as Baroness Davidson spotted the perfect opportunity to draw a comparison between this month’s violent insurrection in the United States of America and a planned protest by All Under One Banner outside one of the UK Government’s new Scottish civil service “hubs”.

It was perfect, you see, because although one of these events involved heavily armed people storming into a building and causing chaos and the other will almost certainly involve unarmed people standing outside a building, they have one crucial thing in common: flags.

Non-Baroness Davidson knows a thing or two about flags, having proudly posed alongside a large one a week before the last Holyrood election back in 2015. She would perhaps wish to point out that she was not personally waving said Union flag – it just happened to be in shot when she posed inside, outside and astride a tank.

There’s a difference between flag-waving nationalists and military-loving Unionists who like posing beside large Union flags. Obviously.

“If only there were any recent international examples of flag-waving nationalists marching on government buildings…” she tweeted yesterday, accompanied by a pondering emoji, in response to All Under One Banner’s call to action.

One might have hoped the former Territorial Army signaller would know the difference between “marching on” and simply marching or indeed simply milling about, which is what a peaceful protest usually involves. At the most basic level, “marching on” involves forcing your way inside a building, whereas staging a protest outside it involves just that.

Forget Dad’s Army, with all that hanging around talking instead of fighting. Ruth’s Army would be much more action-packed if in every episode the protagonist was ordered simply to “march” to a given location but misunderstood it as “march on”, and wrongly believed she was being instructed to storm the premises. The producers of Scot Squad should feel free to develop this idea for one of the empty slots on the BBC Scotland channel.

Of course such trifling concerns as the actual meanings of words and phrases aren’t enough to stop Davidson from trying to compare peaceful protest of any variety with violent insurrection when it suits her political agenda.

This from the woman who not long ago bemoaned the failure of her Unionist colleagues to “put the boot in” after the 2014 independence referendum. It’s funny, isn’t it, that she has no problem with metaphors of violence when they are coming out of her own mouth, but seems concerned about threats of co-ordinated mob violence that exist only in her own fertile imagination.

READ MORE: Joe Biden removes Winston Churchill bust while redecorating Oval Office

Among those in the independence movement there will doubtless be a diversity of opinion about the wisdom of staging a protest at a building full (or most likely, largely empty) of civil servants – at any time, let alone during a pandemic when leaving the house is only permitted for essential purposes.

But it is instructive to note what Davidson is trying to do by linking “flag-waving nationalists marching” in Scotland to the violent scenes at the US Capitol, which no right-thinking person could possibly defend. She knows fine well which variety of “flag-waving nationalists” have ever caused trouble during any of the many All Under One Banner marches that have taken place all across Scotland – and it’s not been those waving Saltires.

With her remarks about this specific plan for a protest, she is attempting to paint any form of flag-waving and marching she doesn’t like as Trumpian, dangerous and destructive. It’s a sly move of which her boss Boris Johnson would no doubt approve, given his obsession with petty name-calling, brazen smears and increasingly bizarre and rambling challenges to the SNP.

Davidson might have pretended to take a stand against his Trump-like leadership by quitting – just as Ross did months later – but she’s quite happy to keep doing his dirty work in Scotland while waiting to cash in her reward. Expect her to put the boot in to Yes supporters a few more times before May.