The National:

THE local elections were about local issues, right? I mean, we all heard the Scottish Tories harp on about that – for all the good it did them.

Even the parties who stood to gain from the fact that the current Conservative Prime Minister is also a criminal were reminding the electorate that these are local elections about local issues.

You would have to be truly disingenuous to claim that the results of the vote – which saw the SNP returned as the largest group on 21 of Scotland’s 32 councils – were in some way a mandate for independence or a referendum.

That mandate came in 2021 when a majority of Yes-supporting MSPs were elected to Holyrood anyway.

But wait, what’s that? It sounds like an unelected peer coming to lecture Scotland on democracy. Just what we needed.

Sure enough, former Labour first minister Jack McConnell has spoken out.

No-one asked him to, but then we don’t think anyone asks him to claim thousands of pounds a month of public cash to fly down to London to speak in the Lords either.

This time, “Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale” wrote on Twitter: “Scotland is stuck. Excluding independents etc, leave the UK (SNP & Green) parties poll 45.6% Stay in UK (Scot Lab, Tory and LD) parties poll 54.4%.

“Almost exactly the 2014 referendum. Can we just park this and prioritise education recovery, economic growth and social cohesion.”

The entire thing is obviously nonsense, as the only way to know how Scots think on the issue of independence would be to ask them – not make dodgy inferences based on local elections (which had a turnout of around 43% by the way).

But nonsense never stopped Scottish Labour. Just ask Anas Sarwar, the party’s current leader who’s out and about touting the “great revival” he’s overseen – gaining just 20 council seats on the party’s historic low result in 2017.

Fortunately, not all Scots are convinced that we should “park” plans for an independence referendum because local elections were held.

READ MORE: Senior Scottish Tories 'want party to move on from hardline anti-indyref2 stance'

SNP MP Anne McLaughlin replied: “Can we just park the Union instead so we can prioritise all these things without one hand tied behind our backs?”

Journalist James McEnaney added: “I see an unelected Lord wants us all to stop talking about a major political issue he doesn't like. Democracy, eh?”

It seems that votes in Scotland are only about independence when it suits the Unionists.

If they’re so confident in their case, why are they so scared of indyref2? With any luck, we’ll find out next year.