SLEEKIT is not a nice word, but according to the Urban Dictionary it means “an extremely oleaginous nature: slimy, sly, weasel-like”, with Tony Blair offered as an example.

But in describing our First Minister last week, that was the implication of the outgoing Prime Minister of Greater England: “Over the last three years I have learned that while other parties can be relied on to work with the UK Government in good faith to make devolution a success, an SNP Scottish Government will only ever seek to further the agenda of separation.”

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As she stood at the lectern she metaphorically held up a mirror but instead of seeing perfidious Albion as the reflection, in the best traditions of Harry Potter she contrived to see Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers as the ghoul.

Her speech continued the ethnocentric Tory trajectory on the road to an Orwellian dystopia where no democratic niceties are observed, and as we all know:

Westminster ignores the 62% of the Scottish electorate who voted to remain in the EU and is now dragging us out of the European Union against our will.

• Westminster ignores “Scotland’s Place in Europe”, the alternative Brexit strategies tabled by the Scottish Government to suit our circumstances.

• The Sewel Convention enshrined in the Scotland Act is not worth the paper it’s written on according to the Supreme Court.

• Westminster ignores the SNP’s 50 amendments to Article 50 and oh, emboldened by what might well be seen as supine responses, Mundell carelessly screws up the timetable for the Clause 11 amendments but in the process ultimately makes transparent the power grab and the declaration of war on the devolution settlement.

• The Supreme Court “siding” where the Scottish Parliament’s Continuity Bill is held for scrutiny so that it can be overtaken and overruled by Westminster’s EU Withdrawal Bill.

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The democratic deficit is too great for Scotland to overcome. Don’t forget even 56 SNP MPs were insufficient to get any amendments adopted to the Scotland Bill. And to highlight the parody of the coronation of a new Prime Minister, Perth was the only Scottish hustings and there are 11 more to come.

So let’s be clear: the English Parliament of Boris Johnson with its absolute power of the Crown in Parliament has the numbers to do what it likes in protecting England’s interests no matter how self-righteous we get about our treasured Scots law and the Claim of Right.

Mendacity is the stock in trade of the celebrity vicar’s daughter and her precious Tory party. On at least six occasions between October 2016 and March 20 2017 she trumpeted that there would be no General Election, then some four weeks later declared her intentions on April 18 2017.

If, as they return to their shires and coastal communities, the Tory faithful don’t repudiate, even to themselves, the lies that they were spun at their Stirling outing, their sycophantic tartan jockery will condemn them as fifth columnists of a foreign power acting against the interest of their fellow citizens and our democratically elected government. A government which has been in power for 12 years against the odds of a rigged electoral system; a government with a triple mandate for how they are conducting themselves; a government with approval ratings well above those of that other place.

However, in an otherwise vacuous and anodyne speech there is one vital nugget: “…if we do not use every policy lever within our reach to strengthen that Union, no-one else will.”

It’s too messy just to slowly strangle Holyrood – too many protests and aggravation. It needs to be decapitated. And whilst her speech aired the notion of a new Act of Union but dismissed it as an unlikely proposition, beware the pretext of a Government of National Unity emerging between now and October 31.

Iain Bruce