APPARENTLY St Stephen was the first Christian martyr. Stoned to death by a public angered by his views. I doubt today’s audience would wish a similar fate on two contemporary Stephens – Daisley and Noon.

The latter spent some time studying to be a Jesuit priest in the last few years, so I ­imagine he’s rather better versed on ­sainthood and all its works than a mere wumman who ­travels agnostically through such minefields.

Of Mr Daisley’s belief system – outside of his staunch Unionism, I know nought.

The two Stephens

It’s fair to say, though, that this duo, from opposite ends of the constitutional ­spectrum, got up a fair number of noses last week. Mr Noon, erstwhile SNP strategist at the time of the last referendum, has been ­giving interviews to the effect that we must now strive for compromise and consensus.

Still an indy supporter himself, he ­wonders aloud if contemporary indy ­supporters shouldn’t contemplate gaining 90% of what they want in order to let the No camp feel more comfortable. Of which, rather more, later.

Meanwhile Mr Daisley, who plies his trade in the Daily Mail, also writes a column for The Spectator, house mag of the Tory tribe. Not exactly a man of the left, then. Each to their own and all that. But his most recent Spectator ponderings would make the ­average saint incandescent. (If the saint in question was St Andrew.)

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The burden of Daisley’s argument seems to be that whoever the new PM appoints to mind the Union should get their tacketies on from the off, and stop giving anything ­resembling an inch to uppity devolved ­administrations with ideas well above their lowly station.

Let me give you the smallest flavour:

“1) The United Kingdom should continue to exist as currently constituted.

2) In the UK, sovereignty resides ­exclusively at Westminster, or ‘the crown-in-parliament under God’.

3) The devolved institutions in Scotland and Wales operate within a framework ­defined by principles 1) and 2) and should be forbidden, by statute if necessary, from any actions contrary to these principles.”

Mr Daisley, warms to that theme with some gusto saying that Westminster should legislate to preclude any referendum and, moreover: “In everything ministers say and do in relation to Scotland, they should first imagine saying or doing the same thing in relation to Yorkshire.”

The most you can say for all of which is that Mr D will never get skelfs in his ­backside from spending any time on the fence.

The ecumenical approach

Mr Noon, fresh from his Jesuitical ­training in Canada and back in ­Scotland with a university research post, has ­adopted what we might call a rather more ecumenical approach to the current ­constitutional impasse. A sort of love thy neighbour in spite of some dodgy views ­approach.

Again, a brief flavour from a recent blog post:

“(That) makes me believe that there is not as much of a gulf between independence and greater autonomy – what you might even call independence within the UK – as the polarised debate might lead us to believe (despite important differences).

“There is black and white, but also a significant amount of grey. There is a long stretch of this journey that pro-Union and pro-independence people could walk ­together now, even if the nature of the ­final destination is not yet agreed.”

Have to admit I struggle just a bit with an image of Douglas Ross and Nicola ­Sturgeon walking hand in hand to a future world of consensus; their path strewn with constitutional rose petals. But not as much as they would.

The thorny fact is that anything ­resembling independence within in the UK is not remotely on offer. Mr Daisley is not alone in wanting to remove the teeth, preferably without anaesthesia, from any devolved administration.

Stephen Noon said Yes supporters must look to build consensus with Unionists

And, as the upmarket Secretary of State against Scotland rather inelegantly put it: we should just shut up and “suck it up”. Aye, right, Alister. Will you be offering the same bended knee to Liz as you did Boris? Building more Trojan horses thinly ­disguised as UK hubs?

What has been happening apace is not the road to Devo Max but the shortest ­possible route to devolution minimus. Folk who cling to the myth that if the ­Tories go and Keir Starmer occupies Number 10 there will be a sea change in attitudes to Scotland should check the back of their heads for buttons.

Mr Starmer, and his solitary Scottish representative on Westminster earth, are the staunchest of Unionists. As is the man charged with coming up with template 435 on a reconstructed UK – one, Gordon Brown. They are absolutely entitled to that view: they are not entitled to try and sell it as the settled will of the Scottish people.

Stephen Noon said Yes supporters must look to build consensus with Unionists

The script they all use – that we have more important fish to fry at this time of crisis – is a pretty well word for word ­repetition of the mantra recited ad ­nauseum by the Scottish Tories. Tells you all you need to know.

Mr Noon asks very politely – as befits a man nearly of the cloth – if 90% of what independence-minded Scots want would not be preferable to the 100% which would properly piss off the diehard ­Unionists. Whence exactly this 90% is likely to ­emanate from remains a rather greater mystery than the Turin shroud.

Now IS the time

My own view, honed over very many years of broken promises, shredded vows, and pretendy commissions, is that the current crisis is very precisely the time for Scotland to take a different path.

The likely incoming PM is pro Trident, pro fracking, pro drilling for fossil fuels, anti the NI protocol, anti knowledge and most certainly not in the market for ­doing business with the “attention seeker” in Bute House.

On the matter of consensus and ­compromise Liz Truss makes Stephen Daisley sound a bit of a wuss.

Our own priorities are not theirs. We need a complete re-think of an ­energy ­policy which is currently penalising ­Scottish consumers for their government making good their promise on renewables. Both grid connection and standing ­charges for Scotland are ­absurdly high.

We need to protect our NHS from the avaricious intent of American Big ­Pharma which already has a foot in too many doors in England. We need to re-calibrate a world in which CEOs can pocket 109 times the wages of their employees ­regardless of the competence of their companies.

We need to repair the bridges ­casually broken with our European partners. I’d ­argue too that we need to create our own economic base freed from Bank of ­England controls and released from the need to pander to the demands of the South East of England.

Released too from the ignominy of a block grant which resembles nothing so much as begrudged pocket money from a bad tempered parent. A grant which ­Scottish finance secretaries are ­precluded from augmenting by borrowing, and a budget they are required by law to ­balance.

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Not so incidentally, you may just have noticed that the much vaunted sterling, which was trading at $1.64 to the pound at the time of the 2014 referendum, is now stumbling about at $1.16. And continuing to sink.

Global Britain, the great prize offered by the pro Leave Brexit camp, was always a mirage and its proponents are hastily ­revising the supposed Brexit bonus scheme to a period in the future when they will be safely six feet under.

We can, however, still salvage a global Scotland. Not an all singing, all dancing one, but an entity commensurate with our size and reach. One not run, however the electoral chips may ultimately fall, by the likes of a Truss or a Johnson.

Fair play. Johnson has at least solved the energy crisis. We must all buy a new kettle.