The National:

IT'S not muscular Unionism – that seems to have gone out of fashion – and, in all honesty, you can’t really file it under literary Unionism. Yet that’s not to say the collection of pro-Union essays collated by Andrew Bowie MP, and published by the Centre for Policy Studies, is without any gems of Tory prose style.

First a word about the CPS. The phrase think tank doesn’t quite seem appropriate, adjectivally at least. It was founded by the blessed Margaret Thatcher and the late Sir Keith Joseph, one of her early mentors.

(Sir Keith Joseph got himself in a wee bit of bother suggesting the poor and or intellectually inferior would do society a favour by not having weans.)

The National:

The CPS has moved on from those heady days, and Mr Bowie - one of the Scottish Tory MPs the PM felt able to overlook when parachuting Tory donor Malcolm Offord into the Lords and the Scotland Office - has assiduously sought views from all over the UK on the sanctity of the Union.

Fair play to the lad, he’s not short of big hitters. The introductions feature not just Michael Gove, whose ever expanding portfolio includes trying to find out what Boris means by levelling up, and Theresa May whose re-hiring of Messrs Johnson and Gove can be filed under one of the greatest acts of political self harm.

A wee flavour from Govey:

“Looking ahead, I believe the case for a United Kingdom grows stronger with every day that passes”.

So either his glasses steamed up on the dance floor or he subscribes to a fairly unique belief system. If it’s growing stronger daily, Mikey, how come all these essayists have been drafted in to say how much the Union matters?

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Mrs May, as you might imagine, takes less gung ho approach: “We may talk about Global Britain, but where would England be on the world stage without the rest of the UK?”

An extremely good question, my duck. Where indeed? And your anxiety is shared by many of your fellow scribblers. Ex foreign secretary William Hague has already tweeted about the collapse of global life as we know it if Scotland becomes independent.

And in his contribution he claims that when he was at the Foreign Office: “Our allies repeatedly raised their concerns with me about the Scottish referendum and the impact that separation would have on our ability to do good on the world stage.”

Really, William. I mean really? So there you are batting for Britain on the world stage and all folks can fret about is whether or not Scotland joins the family of nations in her own right?

You may recall that Lord George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO has been wont to suggest that Scottish independence would be a major worry for the White House – an administration which has one or two other rather more pressing concerns.

But he has a Unionist soulmate in ex defence secretary Michael Fallon who evidently believes that: “A fractured Britain would be more vulnerable to Russian aggression, more exposed to Islamist terrorism and less able to counter Chinese interference.”

Heavens. Who knew we were such multi taskers?

The cat comes out the bag more visibly when Hague and co fret about losing their permanent seat on the Security Council. They must have been fit to be tied when the Irish Republic got voted on the rotating variety as a small independent nation.

But let’s leave the last word to gentleman farmer (too rich to get his own hands dirty) Alister Jack, the man who is building Hadrian style hubs to keep the visigoths at bay.

The National:

Alister is among those essayists on whom it has dawned that England might actually be the bigger loser when Scotland goes it alone: “The loss of oil and gas reserves; abundant renewable energy; seafood; salmon; whisky. The loss of vital defence facilities such as the Faslane submarine base; the key RAF interceptor and maritime patrol airfield at Lossiemouth; the shipyards of the Clyde and Forth. These would be a tragedy for those south of the border.”

Yet Alister too seems afflicted with the same dodgy vision as wee Michael. He suggests Brexit “is now firmly in the rearview mirror”.

Tell that to your fellow farmers, and the fisherfolk, and everyone else whose European markets have dropped off a cliff, sunbeam.

Or tell it to the birds.