LIZ Truss was elected leader of the Conservative Party yesterday, and today goes to see the Queen in Balmoral and will be appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

If you were under the impression that the UK was a fully-fledged political democracy, this Tory contest should have dissuaded anyone of such a fallacy.

Most independence supporters will never have fallen for this, but it is still useful to be reminded how thin and recent it is what passes for British democracy is. First, the last UK prime minister elected and then thrown out by the public was Ted Heath – elected in 1970 and kicked out in 1974. Since then, up to Truss, the UK has had 10 prime ministers and not one has come and gone with the imprint of a popular mandate.

Second, people only got one person one vote across the UK in 1969 when Northern Ireland abolished plural voting which underpinned the Protestant Unionist ascendancy at Stormont; previously, plural voting was abolished at UK general elections from 1949.

Third, Winston Churchill might be the Tories’ oft-cited national hero apart from Thatcher. He was prime minister for nine years in two stints but never ever won the popular vote. Three times he faced Labour’s Clement Attlee, and three times – 1945, 1950, 1951 – Labour won the popular vote; in the last, the Tories won a narrow parliamentary majority due to the UK breakdown of votes.

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The underlying takeaway from these and other points is that the UK has never ever been a political democracy. It is a country where parliamentary sovereignty means that MPs supposedly have the ultimate say in how the UK is run rather than the popular will.

In reality, political power sits outside the Commons, and democratic forums in the person and office of the Prime Minster and their unelected advisers.

This brings us to Scotland and the democratic question here. It is a fairly recent occurrence in Scotland to experience UK Tory governments we did not vote for. The first post-war occasion this happened was 1970 with Ted Heath, and it has subsequently happened in eight of the past 11 UK general elections – which is a pattern and diminution of democratic accountability.

The Tories, lest we forget, used to be popular in Scotland. It isn’t just winning a majority of the vote in 1955 but across the three general elections of that decade – 1951, 1955, 1959 – all of which elected UK Tory governments also saw the Tories win the popular vote in Scotland.

We have changed dramatically from those days and are hardly the country and political culture we were then. This is true of Scotland but also of the UK.

Take that 1970 watershed. The Scottish Labour Party officially said then, weeks before the election in their evidence to the Kilbrandon Commission on the Constitution, that there was no “separate political will for Scotland”.

Not only that, but Labour was “prepared to put up with the short period in which a Conservative government might be the [UK] administration” because “we can more than make good” any damage under a future Labour government.

That seems like a long time ago and from another political universe. Thirty out of the past 43 years have seen Tory governments elected which Scotland did not vote for. The same is true of Wales. And all of this leads to bad government, weakening accountability and a Toryism which barely understands and respects modern Scotland and Wales.

Which brings us to Liz Truss and her tribute act to Thatcherism, while acknowledging that the UK Government has failed economically and socially for the past decade when the country has had Tory administrations. Comprehensively trashing your own record in office is the sort of thing that happens in internal Labour faction-fighting and never ends well. Now Tories are at it, 12 years in, telling us that their brutal austerity was a mistake, which is an insult to our collective memories and intelligences.

We are about to go on a bumpy ride, where the Tories think they own “the national interest” of the UK and can trash constitutional norms, due process, the rule of law and democratic checks and balances. “Take Back Control” has become an ominous threat – one which is about the unrestrained return of Lord Hailsham’s “elective dictatorship.”

The new Tory agenda will belatedly try to do something on energy prices and household bills, but it will involve all sorts of uncomfortable gear changes as the language of unrepentant Thatcherism meets the reality of demands for higher public spending and a bigger state.

Hence the comments from Truss at the weekend that the regressive nature of cancelling National Insurance rises – which give disproportionate financial support to the wealthy and less to the poor. Asked by Laura Kuenssberg if “this is fair”, Truss replied that redistribution to the wealthy and widening inequality was “fair.” An unusual Tory honesty about their motives and priorities which will haunt Truss.

Scotland is going to get a mixture of love, tough love and the muscular Unionism of being told to shut up and get back in the box. Already in the weekend papers, the idea that a future independence referendum should have to command the support of a majority of all electors in Scotland, not just voters, is being floated.

Even the 1979 referendum only had a 40% threshold of all electors, so this goes one step further, using the sort of Tory gerrymandered franchise that they think legitimate for trade unions and strike ballots. This from a Government which has turned the UK upside down on a 52:48 vote for Brexit representing 37% of the UK electorate. Truss herself was only elected Tory leader by 47.2% of all 172,437 members.

Three fundamentals are going on in this. The first is that the problem is not just Truss, Johnson, May and Cameron, and the cast of flawed politicians with diminishing qualities.

A core problem is toxic Toryism and the degeneration of an outlook which once embraced a social contract across classes, ages, backgrounds, regions and nations of the UK.

The second is that Tory Unionism once underpinned the above with an understanding of the “four nations” of the UK, standing for decentralism and localism, and against the over-bearing claims of the central state. Now Toryism sees the idea of the “four nations” of the UK as some kind of Scottish nationalist plot to undermine the Union.

The Tory case for the Union now everyday undermines the logic and case for Unionism and hence weakens the argument for the Union.

Finally, underpinning all of this – an increasingly toxic Toryism, the demise of Tory Unionism – is a version of the British state collapsing in on itself and a platform for a venal, corrupt, self-serving, kleptocratic class and politics with no interest in such things as public service and the public good.

These historic shifts have been aided by a hardline Brexit which has seen the return of the ancient regime of absolutism which many thought had been killed off by the Blair constitutional reforms, but which the Tories are intent on dismantling (a British Bill of Rights; potential withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights).

Rather, their vision of the future is of a post-imperial British state issuing its orders while burning down the last remnants of the post-war social contract, while they – without any sense of previous Tory noblesse oblige – run government, state and public policy for their insider class supporters and base.

This is not really Toryism as we understand it – but the Conservative Party of Churchill, Macmillan and Heath died a long time ago.