WATCHING the waves of attack on devolution is a dispiriting reminder that our parliament in Edinburgh is held in open contempt by many in Westminster .

Renewed attacks on Scotland’s powers seem more than coincidental. We are ­facing a pre-election period in which the very ­concept of democracy for Scotland is being strategically undermined.

Three different areas of national ­importance have seen Scotland marginalised in recent weeks. Firstly, the Rwanda protocols discussed in Westminster on Tuesday included an impassioned speech by Alison Thewliss (below) and a legal ­intervention by Joanna Cherry, both of which went largely ignored.

The National: Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss

Few were interested in the Scottish ­dimension and what sovereignty means in a landscape of different legal jurisdictions.

In the eyes of the Conservatives in ­particular, Scotland has simply become a pest, an unwelcome roadblock as policy steamrollers on.

On numerous moments during the UK Covid Inquiry – whether it was health communication messaging or ­marginally different phasing of lockdown – ­Scotland was portrayed as an untrained dog ­determined to bark its own message.

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At no stage did either the then-prime minister Boris Johnson or the then-chancellor Rishi Sunak countenance the idea that Scotland may have got some things right nor was there any self-reflection that maybe – just maybe – London got some things badly wrong.

Then came the arrival of David ­Cameron back into mainstream politics. If you needed evidence of the current ­attitudes to Scotland, it came in the form of a letter from the hastily knighted lord.

The National: David Cameron returns to the Cabinet (James Manning/PA)

Cameron’s first contribution to statesmanship was to create division within the realm. He wrote to Holyrood on Sunday to scold Humza Yousaf about a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at COP28 in Dubai.

No one can quite pin down what the First Minister’s crime was – ­possibly his agreement with the 159 other ­countries that support a ceasefire in Gaza, whilst the UK clings to an ever-­arcane American message.

The reason given in the letter was about protocol, and because an official from the Foreign and Commonwealth ­Development Office (FCDO) was not ­present at the meeting.

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Gaza was under horrific siege and this was what Cameron prioritised. It was stern stuff. In his letter, the recently-anointed Foreign Secretary said the ­absence of an official “contravenes the protocols in our guidance on FCDO ­support to devolved Government ­ministers’ overseas visits”.

Using language that smacked of the haughtiness of Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, Cameron went on to say: “I remain open to discussing a constructive way ­forward. However, any further breaches of the protocol of ministerial meetings having an FCDO official present will ­result in no further FCDO facilitation of ­meetings or logistical support.”

Cameron was born to sneer. He has grown up in a world of privilege and ­noblesse oblige. A descendant of King ­William IV, who went to the exclusive private Eton College and then Oxford University. Now by sleight of hand and appointment of the King, Cameron is a baron for life.

His first instinct in his new role was to “put Scotland back in its box” and ­chastise who that have travelled abroad to stimulate business, advance partnerships and raise Scotland’s profile globally.

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Depressingly, the Scottish media ­reported on Cameron’s letter, treating it as a commandment from on high, rather than a text worthy of scrutiny.

Most newspapers ignored the latent hypocrisies of the letter. It was simply enough that it was attacking the Scottish Government – beyond that who cares?

Let me share a different observation. Cameron’s last role before being enobled involved backing a multi-billion-dollar plan to build a metropolis in the Indian Ocean which critics fear may one day act as a Chinese military outpost.

He had been visiting a brand new ­complex called Port City, built on 269 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, ­Colombo.

According to the sales jargon, Port City will become “a premiere residential, ­retail and business destination, offering unmatched planned city living along the warm waters of the Indian Ocean”.

You can put your mum’s co-op book on it not being cheap …

But I have more pressing questions – at what point in the last few months of his life as a private citizen did he decide to go against Britain’s cautious concerns about China’s global expansion, and was there a character from Yes Minister in the room?

Here is how Humza Yousaf might reply to the Foreign Secretary’s patronising letter.

The National: EMBARGOED TO 1430 SATURDAY DECEMBER 2..File photo dated 16/06/2023 of First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf, who said the Scottish Government will give another £2 million to address climate change loss and damage. At the Cop28 summit in

“Mr Cameron, thank you for your reminder of protocol. Your most recent overseas trip prior to joining the House of Lords was a promotional tour of Sri Lanka, which has been described as a ‘private ­visit’ and where you attended various functions to promote the Port City ­complex which is billed as a Chinese-funded rival to ­Singapore and Dubai.

“You met in private with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe with no British civil servant, FCDO official or embassy staff present. How was this meeting facilitated? Was the UK ­Government or any senior civil ­servant made aware that you would be lending your support so fulsomely to China? Were you in receipt of any remuneration for your visit either directly or via the ­offices of the consultancy KPMG? How were travel, transport and ­accommodation costs for yourself and your wife paid and by whom?

“Did you share your experiences with the Prime Minister before or during the period when you were being fast-tracked as Foreign Secretary? Have you since provided a memorandum of that trip and if so – in the spirit of transparency – may it be shared with the Scottish Government who have a devolved role in business ­development and stay across all relevant areas of potential business growth for Scottish companies?

“Finally, I have copied this response to your junior cabinet colleague Alister Jack who seems more exercised by scorned protocol than in creating opportunities for Scotland.”

The National: Alister Jack was visiting Vietnam (PA)

Think about this. Despite, the events of the last six months, whether it be the ­Covid Inquiry, the COP conference or the war in Gaza, the first missive from the new Foreign Secretary was that ­Scotland should be scolded. This from a ­politician who did not have the backbone to ­manage the chaotic outcome of a referendum on Brexit which he enabled to placate ­extremists in how own party.

Worse still, Scotland has been boxed into a system where our politicians need the prior permission of Jack before they can act meaningfully abroad.

My contempt for these two posh boys is unrestrained. Jack is supposed to be a minister championing Scotland yet he seems at his most energised when he’s fighting over minor territorial squabbles.

I confess when it comes to the tense ­discourse of constitutional politics, I ­sometimes come across as a wimp, ­preferring the language of ­conciliation rather than trading insults. Words like “traitor”, “quisling” and “parcel of rogues” would never otherwise cross my lips, but the current Secretary of State for Scotland does not make that an easy promise to keep.

Appointed to his role by Boris ­Johnson in 2019, reappointed by Liz Truss in 2022, and then retained by Sunak, Jack has the questionable authority of ­being backed by a hat-trick of prime ­ministerial duds, none of whom were voted into ­office by the people of Scotland.

He has the job because he is the last man standing – what a miserable achievement. And watch as he joins a long list of the undeserving who will be rewarded.