Long ago, lost now in the mists of time, before there was a Scottish parliament, I toiled down the cliché mines of Scottish political journalism. As a youngster addicted to politics and newspapers I suppose I was always going to find reporting anything exciting. But still, even factoring in youthful enthusiasm on my part, Scotland then in the early and mid-1990s was quite a story.

The Scottish Labour party had been the 1980s celtic redoubt, a hold out for a UK party bested by Thatcher. By the turn of the decade, Scots such as Smith, Dewar, Brown, Cook, Robertson and Wilson, were on track to play major roles in the next Labour government under Tony Blair, born and schooled in Scotland. It seemed that Scottishness was about half, perhaps even more, of the Labour party. Throw in some juicy local government scandals in Scotland, party headquarters chicanery, and trade union manipulation, and journalistic heaven was the result.

The SNP – at that point a bunch of tartan Tories shifting leftwards – in those days seemed almost charming, and I got to know some of its senior figures well. The Scottish Tories were fighting like mad to introduce Scottish voters to the idea that the economy should be more enterprising, and the health and education systems reformed and improved, which has still not happened. The Tories were wiped out in 1997. The Liberals such as Jim Wallace were a dedicated and public-spirited bunch.

Then came the Scottish parliament in 1999. I was a sceptic, fearing that it would let in the SNP and risk breaking up a UK which is – to me – as much about familial feeling and community and culture as it is about economics.

The Union and the economy was more resilient in the face of constitutional change than us sceptics feared, a point which ultra-Remainers might consider when they talk of Brexit as though it is the fall and sacking of Carthage.

Devolution happened and the world carried on spinning. There was an opening of the Edinburgh parliament in 1999, with Concorde flying down Princes Street. What a sight that was.

But there was a problem for the politicians and the journalists. We two tribes had a shared interest in claiming ahead of devolution that it would be exciting. The politicians wanted attention, while the journalists wanted an exciting story – and media expansion with pay rises.

Unfortunately, just as the web cut right through the advertising and cover price model that supported titles such as The Scotsman (which I edited for three years) it turned out that devolution was extremely boring. Not just standard issue boring like a meeting of a Commons committee after that chap Banks has got up and left for lunch. No. Much worse than that. Like a town council meeting minus the glamour. Deeply boring.

Yes, of course, there were some moments of frenzy, and plenty of quiet day to day work by MSPs which must have made some difference. But really in twenty years not much has happened. 

One very big thing happened, and that was the independence referendum of 2014. The excitement with which it was undertaken was revealing because it demonstrated that the devohacks – those Scottish politicians and journalists who for forty years have loved devolution and the constitutional wrangle and prefer it to any other subject – could only get truly excited by the constitution and a sense of growing crisis over more powers for Scotland. An additional benefit during the referendum was that the rest of the UK – which since after the Hanoverian era has taken a friendly, benign, if baffled, view of Scotland – had to pay attention.

Scots said no to independence, but thanks to an extremely stupid stunt mid-campaign called “The Vow” (literally drafted by the editor of the Daily Record in the pub on a beer mat) the result was brushed aside and the Scottish political and media class moved onto yet another argument about more powers to which the main parties signed up fearing that to do otherwise would make them look anti-Scottish. The SNP signed up, of course, and then instantly said (with a smirk) that the Vow had been betrayed and Scotland was being let down, and… God save us… on and on. You may have heard of Devomax. The SNP response on these occasions is what the Scottish Tory leader calls amusingly “Grievomax.”

Today, the author of the Vow, the now former Record editor – Murray Foote – who has turned PR man, declared for independence on the spurious basis that Westminster is trying to destroy Scottish devolution during Brexit, which it isn’t.  The “look at us” walk out in the Commons by the SNP is thus the latest attempt to make domestic Scottish politics seem more dramatic, vital and interesting than it is.

This episode is now being analysed to death in Scotland, by the same 50 devo-obsessed souls, while the general taxpayer at his or her work, I’ll wager, pays almost no attention.

The reason I mention all this, in my anecdotage, is by way of illustrating the broader context in which the latest confected row is taking place.

This is also my plea to journalists in London to not – repeat not – take the SNP at its own estimation. It is not Scotland. The prediction that Brexit will kill the Union has turned out to be bogus, because a majority of voters (who might go for independence some day) are sensible and don’t think a second constitutional upheaval, this time involving currency problems, is sensible while there is already another underway, that is Brexit.

Some of my friends in Scotland will say, no doubt, that this is me just being down on Scottish journalism now I live in “that London.” On the contrary, we political hacks in London can be pretty insular and self-regarding when we choose. The Brexit stuff is interminable and getting much more attention than stories of consequence such as the Italy crisis and the Fed’s rate hike.

Such sniping is not a purely London-Edinburgh phenomenon and the Scots shouldn’t take it personally that Holyrood is boring and its media class is condemned to find ways to pretend this is not the case. New York looks down on London. San Francisco now looks down on New York. The latest fashion among smart people is to say that China is the world leader and everything else is boring, which is what people used to say about Japan for five minutes in the 1980s.

Balls to all that. I’m in Sweden today. And it is very interesting. I was in Scotland, in Glasgow, yesterday and it was very interesting too. But Holyrood politics? That is – Ruth Davidson aside – really rather boring.