WESTMINSTER was the place for Scots to be yesterday. Following an arguably controversial decision on independence by the Supreme Court in yonder London, Scottish MPs got more than a fair crack of the whip, so to say, during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, led by announcing portentously: “The very idea that the United Kingdom is a voluntary Union of nations is now dead and buried.”

Allan Dorans (SNP) said Scotland was “shackled and imprisoned” in the Union, while Chris Law said the ruling “clearly exposed the myth” that we were in it by consent.

Others pretty much ululated along similar lines, with Amy Callaghan asking, “Can the Prime Minister tell us how a nation can leave this so-called voluntary union?”, and Kirsten Oswald, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, saying: “Is he seriously telling us that this is a voluntary Union of equals?”

The “he” under advisement was Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of that ilk, who declined to get over-excited about the issue, but merely rhubarbed the usual guff about “working together”. Why, doing just that had resulted in a splendid museum in Dundee, he averred at one point.

Former Tory PM Theresa May, wearing a torque round her neck worthy of Boudicca, got more into the philosophical and spiritual aspects of the issue, saying: “Scotland is a proud nation with a unique heritage.” Yes, as is every other nation. But do go on. “It is a valued member of our family of nations.” She didn’t say which family. Addams, by the sound of it.

Lady May said the ruling gave the SNP the opportunity, “for once”, to put the people of Scotland first. Yes, just like the Conservatives have traditionally done.

The issue continued after PMQs in a much-emptied chamber, with the SNP packed into one corner, as Mr Blackford raised it as an “urgent question”. Batting for England was Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, a man so low-key he could limbo-dance under Timpsons’ counter wearing a top hat. He has the repertoire of a remedial parrot coming out of a coma. If he was a meerkat, his feet would be sticking up.

He doesn’t even have lucid intervals but just reads from a script. He’d be as well just standing up and singing Old Man River. Yesterday, he even told Scots they’d never had it so good: “The benefits of being part of the United Kingdom have never been more apparent.”

Mr Blackford begged to differ, averring furthermore that, having won eight elections in a row, the SNP’s mandate for a referendum was clear. Unfortunately, and unbelievably for this sketch’s purposes, Ian’s mind was still on sausages as he hollered: “Scotland didn’t vote for breakfast … er, Brexit.”

No kidding. I’ve checked it – and the resultant chortling from members – back. At a pinch, it might have been “breakfit”, whatever that is, but honestly, this sketch writes itself some days.

Alister wasn’t swallowing this guff about breakfast but claimed that, with less than a third of Scots voting SNP, there was no mandate.

Former Tory Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, complained about people in Scotland having to wait for an ambulance, a phenomenon completely unknown in Mother England. “This is the time to move on,” he added.

Good call: cheerio.

To a succession of English Tory MPs reminding us how lucky we were “that the UK Parliament … gave Scotland a referendum” (Sir Bernard Jenkin) or of their “enormous fondness and love for Scotland” (Richard Graham), Alister’s stock answer was: “My honourable friend is absolutely right.”

To the succession of SNP MPs making the same point over and over about a mandate, Alister answered over and over: “I refer to the answer I gave earlier.”

Gavin Newlands (SNP) complained of this “smug, patronising and cloth-eared response”, while Owen Thompson said that, after countless members asking how Scots could exercise their democratic right, what was the answer?

Riposted Alister, ingeniously: “The answer I gave earlier.” He might as well have said: “I refer to the rendition of Old Man River I gave previously.”

Dave Doogan (SNP) said this referring to previous answers was “nothing short of parody”, while his colleague Douglas Chapman thought it nothing short of parroty, in the sense of a certain famous comedy sketch, averring: “This Union has ceased to be. It is bereft of life. It is a dead Union.”

Retorted Mr Jack: “OK, we’ve resorted to quoting Monty Python. That doesn’t surprise me. I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave earlier.”

Oh yes. What answer was that again?

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