The National:

THE former head of Boris Johnson’s Union Unit has outlined how UK the Government should fight the “fanatical separatism” of the SNP.

Why a Number 10 which recently decided it no longer needs Luke Graham’s advice on promoting the Union should now need Luke Graham’s advice on promoting the Union we can’t say.

Either way, we have it in today’s Times, filled with platitudes and under the headline “We can’t defeat the SNP if we continue to devolve and forget”.

And being fired doesn’t seem to have dented Graham’s support of the Tory government. “I’ve had the honour and privilege to work in No 10 and it is clear that this government is dedicated to the Union and led by an optimistic prime minister”, he writes.

Graham, whose replacement Oliver Lewis quit after just two weeks, tells us that the way to beat the “fanatical separatism of the SNP” is to meet it with a “steely dedication to re-energise the United Kingdom”. However, he tells us that he opposes both federalism and further devolution of powers.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's team of Union advisers to 'triple in size to 30-50 staff'

So what are this former MP for Ochil and South Perthshire’s grand ideas to breathe new life into a stale Union?

Well, one is to bring in “more leading members of local communities and ‘normal’ people to add their voices to the debate”. Unfortunately for Graham, Boris Johnson’s tiptoeing around and sneaking through backdoors on any visit north of the Border suggests he might not like what “normal” Scottish people have to say.

LISTEN: Glaswegians tell Boris Johnson exactly what they think of him

The National:

Astonishingly, another argument Graham puts forward for the Union is that it is not just Scotland which has been let down by the Westminster government.

He calls for emphasis to be placed on the fact that “the challenges experienced by industries and sectors in Scotland” are the “same problems” as elsewhere in the UK.

Quite how arguing that the London government has let everyone down, not just Scotland, will help cement the Union is beyond us.

In that same paragraph, Graham states: “The under-35s need persuading of the myriad opportunities provided by the UK and its standing in the world.”

He’s right there. The latest poll on Scottish independence found it has overwhelming support among younger voters.

Once undecided voters are removed, it showed 72% of 16-24 year olds would vote Yes. Among 25-34 year olds, it is 66%. Those young people are going to need some convincing.

In fact, it’s not just them. The most recent poll also found that 65% of 35-44 year olds support independence, as well as 59% of 45-54s.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's senior aide ‘insisted’ on calling the SNP 'nationalists'

It seems just about everyone below retirement age (which would be 75 if certain Conservatives had their way) needs convincing of these “myriad of opportunities”. That will be a difficult task not least because the UK’s “standing in the world” has been severely diminished by the Tories’ ongoing Brexit disasters.

But Brexit is not something Graham wants to talk about. His article doesn’t mention it once.

What the former Union Unit man does say is that the Internal Market Act will be great for the UK Government as it will allow them to spend in devolved areas.

While some may call this a power grab, or a sidelining of Holyrood, the Senedd, and Stormont, Graham calls it “helping people, businesses and local authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland more directly”.

“The first examples of this being the recently announced Turing Scheme and the pilot introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund announced at the autumn spending review,” he says.

The irony of the Turing Scheme being held up as a benefit to the Union seems lost on him. Firstly, it’s only necessary as the London government failed to keep the UK in the Erasmus scheme despite the Prime Minister’s explicit promises to the contrary.

Secondly, the Turing scheme will cost £100 million a year and only send students abroad. Compared to the two-way, £3.6 billion-a-year Eramus scheme, it is clear that the UK’s is a “significantly weaker offer”.

READ MORE: The fatal design flaw in UK’s Erasmus-replacing 'Turing scheme'

Thirdly, the scheme has only come into existence because of a Brexit Scotland did not vote for negotiated by a Government that it did not elect. Nevertheless, Graham says people in the UK must “appreciate the values they share”, the implication being that Scots must ignore the paradigm-shifting, English nationalist values they do not.

“Above all,” Graham concludes, people must “feel comfortable being both Scottish and British”.

That the former head of the Union Unit’s grand idea to prevent the break-up of the UK boils down to a feeling does not bode well for No voters.

You can read Graham’s full article here.