THERESA May came to Scotland, and according to preliminary reports she was going to offer Scotland some special temporary powers which we were assured were going to be so fabulous that we’d all decide that there was no point in pursuing that self-determination lark. Who needs independence when you can have a handful of temporary powers, said no one ever. Who needs self-determination when we have Theresa’s determination eh?

Sadly it turned out that the only special power on offer was the power of invisibility, which is the exact same special power that Scotland got granted after the 2014 referendum. But now is not the time for that superpower. Now is not the time for talking about a second referendum, said Theresa, talking about a second referendum. Now is not the time for tautological soundbites.

Now is not the time for a Prime Minister who comes to Scotland on a PR exercise and says absolutely nothing of any substance at all. Now is the time for meaningless buzzwords, but then it’s always the time for those with Theresa.

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We’re supposed to be getting a Brexit deal that’s so good that we won’t want independence. Which is as inviting and tempting an offer as telling us that we’ll have a swimming with sharks experience that’s so great that we won’t need a metal cage. But then it’s senseless to expect sense from Theresa May. Our Prime Minister says she comes in search of consensus with the Scottish Government. And that is true, but only if you redefine consensus to mean – give up on your mandate, forget the policies which you were elected on, abandon your voters, and do exactly what I tell you.

There was precious little in the way of a search for consensus. All we got were a few new variations on Theresa’s favourite gnomic tropes, although no reporter was brave, or foolhardy enough, to ask her what Brexit means Brexit actually means. We did learn that now is still not the time, and that now is not the time for telling us when she thinks the time is, and that’s a sentence which makes more sense than anything that came out of Theresa’s gob on her visit to Scotland.

The Union is still precious, which seemingly means that she wants to lock Scotland in an airless vault and keep the key herself. And we got a new one, the Union of the four nations of the United Kingdom is an unstoppable force. Although Theresa told us nothing about the purpose to which that force is directed, other than a headlong rush off a Brexit cliff. Although we know that the unstoppable force is directed by Theresa all by herself. She told us nothing about the constitutional crisis that’s going to happen when Theresa’s unstoppable force meets the immovable objections of Nicola Sturgeon and a Scottish Parliament vote for a second referendum. Nothing that is, other than more tautological and content-free soundbites. It takes a very real political skill to make David Cameron seem statesmanlike and serious, but Theresa May managed just that. She’s a rare and special breed of politician, an ideologue without any ideas.

She delivered her collection of vacuities in front of a captive audience of civil servants in the Department for International Development in East Kilbride, who were allegedly told by their managers beforehand to applaud her. Their faces said it all though. They looked like they’d far rather be sitting through a seminar on reinforced concrete, complete with a video of it drying. Reinforced concrete has better listening skills than the Prime Minister. After the speech, her staff issued a press release tagged from “East Kilbridge”, and then they wonder why people say she’s out of touch with Scotland. Kilbridge, for those as geographically challenged as the Prime Minister’s office, is just outside Basildon. Perhaps they were just longing to be in Basildon because they’d have felt more welcome.

East Kilbride is the same town where there were thousands of civil servants who had jobs in the tax office, jobs which we were told would only be safe if Scotland voted No in 2014. So Scotland voted No and the jobs went anyway. It’s hardly surprising the workers in the DfID had to be instructed to applaud. It was a speech with no substance, no details, no plans, no ideas, just a collection of assertions and empty assurances about how important Theresa’s Union is to Theresa. She was so interested in engagement and discussion that she didn’t take any questions.

The swimming with the Brexit sharks doesn’t seem any more attractive than it did before she came to Scotland. The only reason she bothered was so that she could make like she is paying heed to Scottish concerns, so she can tell her supporters that she’s listening and consulting when she’s merely going through the motions. There she was, delivering a speech about the importance of a union, how we are stronger together, how we are interconnected, just before she triggers the process of leaving a union. But then Theresa’s only interested in unions in which she gets to be in charge. Actually, we’re being ungracious. It was terribly thoughtful of her to tour the constituent parts of the UK to tell us that we’re getting a hard Brexit whether we like it or not. If only she’d bothered earlier.

After her lecture to the bored civil servants of not-Basildon, Theresa had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in which she did an impression of Darth Vader trying to persuade Luke to the dark side of the Brexit farce. Nicola gave her one of those typically Scottish “Aye. Right. Ye think so?” looks in return, and that was about as close as minds got to meeting.

The much hyped new powers came to nothing at all. Theresa blew her last chance to save her precious union. Her visit was a PR exercise designed to allow her to pretend that she’s listening and consulting, when she came to lecture and command.

The unstoppable force was stopped in its tracks, and the Scottish Parliament voted for a second independence referendum, because when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, it’s the immovable object which always wins.