AS election day approaches tomorrow, self-serving Tory commentators and panicky politicians have been lining up to tell the people what this campaign is and isn’t about.

It should not be a referendum on Downing Street parties or on Boris Johnson, intone the journos and politicos – local elections should only be about precious local issues, say a group of people who will never have to worry about the cost of turning up a bar on the fire.

Of course any local candidate would be foolish indeed not to put ward and community issues at the very top of their programme, but that is not really the essential democratic point.

Local elections are actually about whatever the people choose to make them about. If the people wish to vote on Downing Street parties or Westminster sleaze or for that matter the Scottish Government’s ill-fated ferries contract then that is entirely up to them. In determining what an election should be about, the people are sovereign.

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Attempts to tell them what their voting choices should or should not be based on are merely an admission of the depth of Tory problems. It is the smell of political fear. And they are right to be afraid – very afraid.

Johnson is a rogue, a charlatan, and the only politician who currently looks more feeble than the Prime Minister is his spineless Scottish sidekick Douglas Ross.

If there is one thing more odious, or more disdained, than defending the indefensible conduct of the Prime Minister, it is his liegeman’s willingness to issue a red card to Johnson at the first sign of popular pressure only then to rescind it at the first sign of prime ministerial pressure.

Ross makes the Vicar of Bray look like a model of political consistency.

In any case, the whole business of confining the debate at elections is laced with hypocrisy. Political parties always fight elections on whatever they think will serve them best and then interpret the elections on whatever suits them best.

When Baroness Davidson was Tory leader in Scotland she fought every election on a single transferable leaflet claiming that the SNP were obsessed with the holding of an independence referendum.

The fact it is clear that, from 2017 at least, the SNP had no serious intention of holding any such thing was not allowed to interfere with the certainty of her position. The fact that in this election she is back, reconstituted like Countess Dracula in an old Hammer Horror movie, is a sign of Tory desperation, not of consistency.

In reality, there are precious few issues which do not touch both the national and the local. Take the Alba Party’s manifesto for tomorrow’s poll. Point one is having independence as an immediate priority.

Yes that is a national issue but it is also one which involves local government. We argue that all those who are elected as councillors should participate in an independence convention to drive the case for national freedom forward.

It’s also very clear that, without the support of local government, any hopes of having, or threatening to stage, a Scottish plebiscite as one alternative to a Section 30 referendum will be kicked into touch since local government operation would be necessary for such a ballot.

It is no accident that the Labour-Tory coalition running Aberdeen City has set its face against it. That is one of many reasons why it should be sent packing.

The second part of Alba’s programme is also a national campaign, but one which can only be implemented by local councils. Our five-point drive to meet the challenge of household budgets and to tackle head-on the national shame of child and family poverty, mostly would be carried forward as practical measures by local government but requires the pressure of Alba political success to unlock the Scottish Government finance to make it possible.

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Similarly, the defence and entrenchment of the rights of women and girls not to have our established sex-based spaces compromised by untrammelled legislation on gender recognition, is a matter of Scottish Government legislation but it is local government which would be in the direct line of fire if this controversy is not handled with sensitivity and care instead of being bludgeoned through.

The basic dividing line in Scottish politics is not between the local and the national but between Unionism and independence and those of us who support Scotland’s right of self-determination should be seeking the election of as many independistas as humanly possible.

That is why we advocate our supporters to vote Alba number one and then other independence backing candidates with their preference votes.

So heed not the siren voices seeking to take the politics out of politics. All politics are local and all local politics impinge on the national. All votes are mighty and in this election it is mighty important to vote.