TOMORROW it’s the local elections, a vote that has been overshadowed by Theresa May’s decision to call a General Election that no-one wanted while she’s refusing to countenance an independence referendum on the grounds that it’s not wanted. Despite the fact that the SNP and the Greens have already passed a Bill in the Scottish Parliament to make a formal request for a Section 30 order to hold a legally binding referendum, acting on the mandate the SNP were given in the 2016 Holyrood elections, the Scottish Tories are determined to make tomorrow’s local elections and next month’s General Election all about preventing an independence referendum.

The Conservatives are desperate to make both elections about independence because they don’t want any scrutiny of their cruel and heartless policies. Theresa May is likely to achieve her crushing parliamentary majority next month, and Scotland along with the rest the UK will be subjected to the full blast of the icy winds of absolute Tory rule. Last weekend Theresa May had an interview on the BBC, and when she wasn’t repeating her favourite soundbites like a demented neo-conservative parrot, she was asked about the rise in food banks. There are complex reasons why people use food banks, said Theresa, strongly and stably waving away the subject so she could get back to her favourite tautologies. But the reasons aren’t complex at all. People go to food banks because they’re hungry. They go to food banks because they can’t make ends meet. They increasingly go to food banks even though they’re working. They go to food banks because of the policies of Theresa May.

The pitiless and inhumane politics of Conservativsm which are increasingly dominating the UK mean that when there is another referendum, it’s very likely to produce a Yes vote. According to a poll this week, 57 per cent of Scots would prefer independence in the EU to life in a Tory-run Brexit Britain. That will be why Theresa May keeps saying now is not the time. It’s because her time is running out. She can’t stop Scotland from drifting away, she just hopes to avoid it while she’s Prime Minister and gets the blame.

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The polls also show that there’s a chasm in political opinion between older voters and younger voters in Scotland. Older voters are far more likely to support the Union and to vote Tory. Support for independence and opposition to the Tories is highest amongst younger voters. By a considerable margin, the younger generations support independence. As time passes, support for the Union will inevitably decline. That means we are no longer arguing about whether Scotland should become an independent country. We’re just arguing about when.

In order to forestall the inevitable demise of the UK, the Tories are attempting to turn every vote into a vote not to have a vote. What’s the Conservative policy on bin collections in Glasgow? We don’t want another referendum. What do the Tories think should be done to make sure that there are more rubbish bins in public parks in Paisley? We said no and we meant it. What plans do the Scottish Conservatives have for improving public transport in Cowdenbeath and giving Wullie Rennie more shifts driving the bus to Kelty? The SNP are obsessed with a referendum.

What tomorrow’s elections are likely to show is that the faultlines of Scotland’s politics have now finally shifted into a pattern that will remain in place until the inevitable day when independence supporters outnumber supporters of the Union. It’s the politics of the Union versus the politics of independence, the politics of the past versus the politics of the future. The greatest loser in this realignment is going to be the Labour Party, which is now in its final death throes and is faced with the very real prospect of losing control over its last bastions of power, above all in Glasgow.

After the votes are counted on Friday it’s highly likely that Labour will not be in power anywhere in Scotland. That’s a historic shift. A development in Scottish politics that’s as remarkable as Theresa May getting through an entire interview without saying strong and stable. Although Labour losing control of Glasgow is actually likely to happen in this universe, unlike Theresa giving a soundbite-free interview, which is only likely to happen if we were all to fall through a wormhole into an alternate reality where Ruth Davidson is able to walk past a tank without leaping on it for a photo op. That reality does exist somewhere in the multiverse, although to be honest you’re more likely to find a universe in which Murdo Fraser is safe with a Twitter account.

With the exception of a brief period at the end of the 1960s into the 70s, Labour has controlled Scotland’s largest city since before the Second World War. Now Labour is finally getting buried in the city where it once reigned supreme and unchallenged. The long, lingering death of the Labour Party in Scotland will have reached its final chapter, and with its burial it will be the Labour Party in Scotland which has been put in a box, and not Scottish independence. It’s going to be a lovely coffin, and it will be the first time since the 1950s that Labour in Scotland has nailed it.

We’re now heading for a Scotland where Glesca Labour cooncillor is no longer a byword for incompetent self-serving managerialism masquerading as socialism. Instead it will be a byword for a period in Scottish history that’s disappeared along with single-ends, Glesca caurs, and no spitting signs on the smoke-filled top decks of buses. Glasgow is about to make its final transformation into Scotland’s largest pro-independence city, a Yes butterfly crawling out of its chrysalis. At long last Glasgow is going to start looking to the future instead of being mired in the past. Instead of being a warning light, the city can be a beacon in the darkness of Tory Britain and a lighthouse pointing to a better future for Scotland. Let’s make it happen.