“The Nasty Party”.
It was with those three words that Theresa May – in her description of how the Tories were seen by ordinary people – first came to national political prominence.
Now she is the Prime Minister who has called an election, not for the good of the country but for the partisan interests of the Tory party alone.
Be in no doubt, Mrs May and her colleagues want to complete a Tory takeover of the UK, Scotland included, by the most right-wing government in recent memory.
In doing so they want to crush all opposition, establishing themselves for years to come as custodians of an effective one-party state, where any opposition to the looming economic catastrophe of a hard Brexit is deemed almost treasonous.
And they are doing so in the knowledge that they face the most enfeebled, pathetic and chaotic Labour party in at least a generation.
The disastrous state of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is a tragedy for UK politics as a whole.
Let’s be realistic – whatever the parliamentary arithmetic after the election, Corbyn has no chance of walking into Number 10 as Prime Minister.
That means Scotland needs a party and politicians who will always put this nation’s needs first and who will stand up to May’s Tories.
For the last two years, the SNP has been the only strong and effective opposition of any kind at Westminster to the Conservatives.
And only the SNP will stand up for Scotland in the face of the bigger Tory majority which this election threatens.
And what of the “Nasty Party” itself?
Look at what they have done – first with no majority, propped up by the Lib Dems, and then with a slim majority.
They have piled austerity upon austerity, cutting public services, targeting some of the most vulnerable in society and undermining in the process the very ethos of the post-war welfare state.
Imagine what they would try to do with a bigger majority.
The character of the Tory party is as unpleasant and unpalatable as it ever was.
Their candidate selection for the local elections in Scotland has exposed a slew of extremists, spouting offensive and inflammatory bile. And make no mistake, the SNP will not do deals with the Tories at local level.
The ugly reality of the modern Tories is that they have become almost indistinguishable from UKIP in much of what they say and do – so much so that it is now a party with a policy platform which Nigel Farage himself could only have dreamt of a few years ago.
And when it comes to politics north of the border, this is clearly a party which now thinks it can do whatever it wants to Scotland and get away with it.
Only the SNP can make sure that they don’t.
There is no cost-free Tory vote in Scotland.
The PM’s own rhetoric is collapsing in a heap of hypocrisy, U-turns and contradictions. “Now is not the time” we are told – except when it suits the Tories of course.
May’s “Nasty Party” speech was supposed to be an acknowledgment of the kind of policies and attitudes that lost them the 1997 election and saw them wiped completely from the electoral map of Scotland.
They are no less toxic today.
And nothing they have said or done since means they deserve any less a fate on June the 8th.