IN most jobs, in most spheres of life, there’s a consequence for failure. If you slave away at a low-paid job in a warehouse and you fail to make up your hours, you’ll get sacked. If you answer phones in a call centre and you fail to make your targets, you’ll get disciplined. If you miss your bus and are late to your appointment at the job centre you’ll get sanctioned and face going hungry and having your power cut off.

But that doesn’t apply if you’re a Unionist politician. If you’re a Conservative MEP who’s going to lose his job because his party decided to placate its right wing with an EU referendum that went disastrously wrong, and who then stands for a seat in Westminster and fails to get elected, you’ll get appointed to the House of Lords and the job in government that you were going to get anyway had you been elected. It’s not really much of a consequence for failure, but negative consequences don’t apply to Tories. The consequences of Conservative failure are borne by the rest of us.

There’s been outrage that Tory MEP Ian Duncan has been rewarded with a seat in the Lords after failing to get elected during the General Election. What exactly is the point of having elections if the guy the voters rejected still gets the government job that he was standing for election for? It makes a mockery of democracy. It’s the sort of thing that happens in a one-party state, and it comes from a party which has spent the past few years complaining that Scotland is a one-party state because it hasn’t voted for the Tories in sufficiently large numbers. Now the Conservatives have just informed the electorate of Scotland that it doesn’t matter who we vote for, we’re going to be governed by whomever the Conservatives choose for us. It’s a massive two fingers from the Tory party to the democratic process.

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None of this is new of course. Back in 1997 Michael Forsyth led the Scottish Conservatives to their greatest defeat in electoral history. He was the front man, the leader of the party, Secretary of State for Scotland in the government of John Major, and presented the Scottish Conservative manifesto to the people of Scotland, who took one look at it and regarded it with much the same expression as you’d give to something deeply unpleasant that had been squashed into the sole of your shoe. “Oh no,” said the people of Scotland, “we’re not allowing that into the house.”

The result was that Michael Forsyth lost his own seat, a seat which had been a safe Conservative seat when it was created in 1983, and he lost the seats of every other Conservative MP in Scotland. The people of Scotland told Michael Forsyth that he could stick his manifesto in the nether regions they were booting him in, they didn’t want him anywhere near power, and they didn’t just want his party nowhere near government, they didn’t want it in opposition either. Democratic rejections do not come any more emphatic or comprehensive.

If Michael Forsyth was a teacher who had failed as spectacularly and extensively, he’d have been marched out of the school and made subject to a restraining order banning him from approaching within 300 metres of any place of education. If he was a plumber, he’d have had his wrench wrenched off him and a suction cup superglued to his head. But Forsyth is a Tory politician, so he was rewarded with a seat in the House of Lords from which he continues to pontificate and preach and influence our laws and public policy. During the EU referendum, Forsyth actually had the gall to campaign for a Leave vote, because he claimed it was terribly unfair that we were governed by people we didn’t elect and couldn't vote out of office. You don’t say, Michael.

Michael Forsyth is the undead vampire of politics – not even an electoral stake through the heart could finish him off. Dracula would be so impressed. And now he’s been joined by Ian Duncan, who was resurrected in less time than it took Frankenstein to create his monster. We’ve already got the hirsute Mundell as Cousin It, so now with Ian we’ve got the full set of Halloween monsters.

At least with Michael Forsyth the Tories had the decency to wait two years after his electoral rejection before appointing him to the Lords. With Ian Duncan they’ve not even waited two weeks. Ian is the dough boy of politics – knead him down and after a few days he rises again. There hasn’t been a quicker resurrection since that Galilean guy. Don’t vote Tory, get Tories anyway. Vote Tories out, get Tories anyway. And then our political classes wonder why people are losing faith in the political system.

There is speculation that Ian Duncan was in line for a position in the Scotland Office because Cousin It needed assistance from a human brain, even if it was one that was transplanted into a resurrected body. Duncan’s failure to get elected earlier this month meant the Tories had to resort to Plan B. We should be grateful they at least had a Plan B for something – they sure as hell don’t have a Plan A for Brexit, for minority government, or indeed for much else.

What we’re witnessing is a democratic outrage, but it’s not as if democracy ever had a great deal to do with the Scotland Office anyway. The Scotland Office was created to give Scotland a voice in the UK Government, but it’s long since become the voice of the UK Government in Scotland. Since we’ve got a UK Government that wasn’t elected by the people of Scotland, it makes no real difference that the members of the Scotland Office aren’t representatives of Scotland either.

Still, it’s nice to see that all those Unionist commentators who complained that Scotland was a one-party state are going to be up in arms about Duncan’s appointment. I’m sure they’ll get around to being incensed about it just as soon as they’re finished holding Ruth Davidson to account for voting against the Housing Bill Scotland in 2014 and voting down stricter regulation for landlords, or asking her what she thinks about the appointment of a Justice Secretary who has consistently voted against LGBTQ rights after supposedly getting assurances on that very topic from Theresa May. It’s going to be a long wait. Meanwhile, what passes for democracy in the UK becomes the laughing stock of the world.