CONFIDENCE is a natural by-product of success.

It is felt most acutely when you accomplish something outside of your comfort zone.

For me, it’s anything to do with computers. Last week, I phoned my sister to ask for her help with my screen, which had inexplicably reduced in size and was resistant to my attempts to restore order.

My sister was supremely unhelpful in my plight.

She told me she was out for cocktails with a friend and I’d just have to figure it out on my own. And after much harrumphing and some swearing, I did.

At that moment, I felt as elated as Elon Musk when he builds a new spaceship or destroys a perfectly good social media platform.

I’m currently in the process of teaching a 10-week-old puppy where he is supposed to pee (hint, for any canine friends reading: the answer is not my slippers).

READ MORE: Keir Starmer downplays Margaret Thatcher praise in BBC interview

On the rare occasion when he gets it right, his tail wags 10 to the dozen with excitement and pride. Sometimes he is so overcome with the sense of achievement that he does another excited wee when we get back in the house.

One step forward, two steps back.

Which brings us to Labour.

You might have noticed that the Labour party – both the Scottish version and the real one – has been standing a little taller of late.

For a party that had grown used to defeat and discord, it’s recent good fortune must be an intoxicating thing to be part of.

I’d be willing to bet a sizeable proportion of party activists and representatives currently have Things Can Only Get Better set as their morning alarm.

They’ve got plenty of reasons to be cheerful. Over the last year, Labour has experienced by-election victories a-plenty and had a consistent run of dizzyingly good poll numbers.

The National: Keir Starmer's attempts to woo the right-wing in England may backfire in ScotlandKeir Starmer's attempts to woo the right-wing in England may backfire in Scotland (Image: Jordan Pettit/PA)

It’s no wonder that party representatives now sit straighter in television interviews, looking well-rested and happy to be there.

Labour activists on social media have resumed their preferred position atop a very high horse.

With a victory at the next General Election looking certain, the party has its swagger back.

But the months ahead, Labour politicians would do well to implement some degree of restraint.

Over-confidence is a state where blunders are made.

You’ll no doubt have seen Keir Starmer’s opinion piece for The Telegraph at the weekend, where he heaped praise on Margaret Thatcher, of all people.

That’s the action of a leader who feels so certain of upcoming success that he doesn’t think his words need to be subject to a common sense or decency filter.

In the piece, he claimed that the former Tory Prime Minister brought “meaningful change” to the UK.

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Well, that’s one way of putting it.

Sir Keir also commended Mrs Thatcher for “setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

The only good thing to come from this bizarre re-writing of history by the Labour leader will be the footage from shoppers in Glasgow city centre when STV news sends somebody out to get their reaction.

It’s as though Sir Keir took Boris Johnson’s often-repeated criticism of him as a “flip-flopper” and decided, you know what, I’m going to do everything I can to live up to that title.

Just a few short years ago, Keir Starmer was campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister. And now he’s writing in the Telegraph praising a Tory prime minister who enacted policies which decimated working class communities and brought misery to millions.

If the Thatcher-fawning wasn’t bad enough, in the Telegraph piece, the Labour leader also parrots the Tory line on immigration and small boat crossings. It reveals the weakness of his character that he is willing to sacrifice the wellbeing and dignity of some of the most vulnerable people in society just to win a few cheap votes.

This latest gaffe from the Labour leader highlights just how little thought he gives to his colleagues north of the Border.

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Anas Sarwar has been forced to distance himself from the UK leader so often, at this point, it would be quicker and easier for him to have a “I Disagree With Keir” badge made up to wear to television interviews.

The truth is, Keir Starmer doesn’t care if his route to No 10 runs through Scotland or not, as long as he ends up where he wants to be.

He knows that his attempt to woo pro-Brexit, anti-immigration Tory voters will inevitably impact on Scottish Labour’s ability to win support from those who previously voted SNP.

There is no policy prospectus that appeals to both camps.

It is abundantly clear that Keir Starmer’s priority is winning back Tory voters in the South.

If Scottish Labour wins a chunk of seats from the SNP at the next General Election, that will be seen as an added bonus for the London leadership.

But, as ever, Scotland will be little more than an afterthought.