I’M warming to Stephen Flynn, the leader of the SNP MPs inWestminster.

If he was a football manager, he would be a cross between Jim Duffy and Sir Alex Ferguson. The shining bald pate reassuringly visible and the distinctive burr in his voice which at once conveys a rolling Scottish “R” and a refusal to soften the voice for southern ears.

This week, he asked a zinger of a question, one layered with taunting wit and acidic accusation.

He pretended to be seeking financial advice for a fictitious constituent and called on the wisdom of the rudderless Rishi Sunak.

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What road should they go down to secure their wealth, he asked? “Should they seek a future BBC chair to rustle up a £800,000 loan, should they set up a trust in Gibraltar and hope HMRC don’t notice, or should they do as others have and apply for non-dom status?”

It was deliciously savage, ending with the non-dom barb – a bullet in the direction of Sunak’s own family affairs. It was clear that Flynn had done enough to unsettle the Tory high-command and even received grudging sniggers of respect from all the opposition benches.

The uncomfortable faces, squirming body language and overall sense of guilt by association left Rishi Sunak floundering like an Arbroath smokie in a fishmonger’s pocket. His response was a pathetic surrender to mouthy platitudes about his pride in the Government.

The lawyer and activist Peter Stefanovic filled the vacuum and listed exactly what his government achievements amount to: the biggest drop in living standards since records began, the highest taxation since the Second World War, wages falling at their fastest rate for more than two decades and the worst trade performance on record.

If that was not humiliation enough, President Biden added insult to injury by taking the podium at a White House press briefing and made a baffled attempt to pronounce Sunak’s name. This is where the “special relationship” now sits – the Yanks don’t even know who the Prime Minister is anymore.

They have killed the relationships they once held dear and the Union is next.

Although Stephen Flynn and his predecessor Ian Blackford both regularly scored points at the expense of the Government, Flynn seems sharper. He has dispensed with the notepad and the opening niceties and cuts to the chase more quickly. It seems to have prevented the backwoodsmen of Tory prejudice heckling from the cheap seats.

It has been a very convincing start so far and one I hope Stephen keeps up.

What is less clear is what is being planned away from the theatre of Prime Minister’s Questions. Flynn is the leader of a disparate and at times warring group of politicians living in exile, away from home.

We know that the Westminster group is prone to internal conflicts and not shy of intrigue and scheming. When Flynn’s victory over Alison Thewliss was announced, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had to state that it was “not a coup”.

So, how is Flynn doing on rebuilding the regiment?

First up, leadership is a mystifying art.

Every MBA degree in the world has components or entire degrees dedicated to managerial leadership, many of them internally contradictory.

One of the settled theories of good leadership is priorities and the so-called “hierarchy of objectives” – what is important and what is less so? Once you have settled on strategy, the real leadership is taking the troops with you.

What Flynn should prioritise is not as easy as it seems. SNP politicians have two key roles and they are not always fully aligned. They have to advance the case for independence and they have to be good wards of their constituency.

Many people vote for the SNP for constitutional reasons, but others have voted for the politician they consider will be the most convincing candidate for their wee bit hill and glen. That can mean those that work hard in their community, sometimes in the least fashionable areas of society.

My own MP, Anne McLaughlin in Glasgow North East, has worked doggedly on the Green Deal loan mis-selling scandal – a UK Government scheme in which many cash-strapped people were tricked into signing up for a questionable decarbonisation project. It is unfashionable work, but wins respect in communities more so than flag-waving.

But Stephen Flynn must surely be aware of a growing sense of frustration about the slow pace to independence. Among the more impatient indy activists, there is a mood that some MPs are “settling down rather than settling up”.

In other words, they are too attracted to the London salaries, guaranteed pensions, the grand lifestyle and generous expenses of Westminster than the less certain and rockier road to independence.

Personally, I am not convinced that cynicism or self-interest is really as big a guiding factor as some claim, but myths percolate in the absence of tangible actions.

Most of the MPs I know have Scotland’s future firmly in their hearts and minds. But I am not naive either and many online, including those that have defected to Alba, profoundly disagree – this is a circle that Stephen Flynn has to square.

He has to lead a team effective at Westminster but unambiguously committed to independence.

Shaping a pro-independence presence at Westminster is far from easy and the effort to do so must go beyond set-piece opportunities like Prime Minister’s Questions.

But what to do? Many voters seem to resent puerile protests or empty gestures while others want to see a strategy of democratic disruption that underlines the predicament Scotland finds itself in. Again, that will not be easy to reconcile.

Sunak is there for the taking and has weakened his position by refusing to sack Nadhim Zahawi over his preposterous tax affairs. The SNP need to go after him and those that pander to him.

Another area of screeching weakness waiting to be exploited is Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the weak and supine Speaker of the House, who last week allowed Rishi Sunak to completely avoid Flynn’s question about financial transparency in high office, allowing Sunak to deflect on to a prepared list of Government announcements.

Hoyle is an Achilles’ heel for the status quo. He is in awe of process, dazzled by high office and repelled by Scottish independence. Hoyle is a weak link in a system geared to reducing democracy and a legitimate target when Scottish MPs are marginalised or heckled when they speak.

Another sitting duck is the Viceroy of the North, Alister Jack, Scotland’s Secretary of State and one of the most ineffectual politicians of modern times.

You may not know this, but the Viceroy presides over Scottish Questions on the first Wednesday of every month. It is currently a wheezing nonentity so devoid of relevance that not even BBC Scotland can be bothered to hand it the Ventolin inhaler of publicity.

There is an opportunity to turn the heat up and make the session a constitutional embarrassment for the Tories. Our MPs need to spark confrontations that neither the broadcasters nor the newspapers can easily ignore.

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Finally, I like to know what’s going on, and although I am a voracious follower of Scottish politics, I do not feel fully informed about what our Westminster MPs are up to.

I want a more assertive monthly report that updates me about committee work and the unseen work that I’m sure goes on day to day. I don’t care what form it takes, but periodic tweets by diligent MPs is not enough.

Stephen Flynn has had a great week – he even answered his own question with a nod to the Bard on Burns Day by citing those in our past that were bought and sold for English gold.

“Is it any wonder that people in Scotland consider the Tory Party to be a parcel of rogues?” he pronounced.

More please.