WHAT is the wi-fi like in the Swiss Alps? Theresa May is still there on holiday, in case you were wondering, and is due back at her desk on Monday. Having spoken highly of the area as the perfect place to find some peace and quiet, one wonders if it has been able to work its magic this year. If she has been able to read the papers online, probably not.

There has certainly been a fair amount of posturing by her Cabinet colleagues since she went away. Not as much as might have been expected given the outcome of the General Election, but just enough to confirm that the threat against her remains. But it is not just the usual suspects who have been busy this time.

A few days after Mrs May started her holiday, Ruth Davidson published a think piece calling for a reboot of capitalism to make it fairer, and for the leadership to come out fighting for Conservatism. Now, on the eve of the boss’s return, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives has been busy on the laptop again, this time urging a rethink on the party’s target of cutting net migration to the tens of thousands.

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Taken together, it is the old Conservative double whammy, but this time directed not at the opposition. An accident of timing, or evidence that the greatest threat to Mrs May comes not from her colleagues in the south but her pal in the north?

She is an intriguing sort, Ms Davidson. Though she will hardly welcome the comparison, there is a lot of the young Anthony Blair about her: a fresh face in a tired party; a good communicator; interested in ideas but not too interested; able to cross the old divides and stake out new electoral territory. Above all, she has the air of a winner.

Even before her General Election success, in which she oversaw an increase in the number of Scots Tory MPs from panda level to football team quota, Ms Davidson was attracting a lot of attention inside and outwith the party. She had a sense of humour, she was Scottish, she was gay, she was in all ways a recognisably ordinary bod but at the same time different to what had gone before. She was the answer to anyone who still thought of the Conservatives as the “nasty party”, as the woman who would one day be leader called it.

She also had the great good fortune to take over the Scottish Conservatives in 2011, the year the SNP shredded the electoral rulebook and won a majority at Holyrood. The only way forward for the SNP from there, as far as the Scottish Parliament was concerned, was down. Though there would be the SNP landslide at the 2015 General Election to come, the tide would in time turn there too, and Ms Davidson, given the disarray of Labour in Scotland, would be best placed to benefit. By accident or design, Ms Davidson has been in the right place at the right time and has known, or been well advised, what to do about it. How very Tony Blair.

After her party’s Scottish General Election success, Ms Davidson lost no time in cashing in on her new standing within the party. It was she who was first in front of the cameras concerned about the deal with the DUP, given its opposition to gay marriage. It was she who, ripping a page out of Mrs May’s speech on arrival in Downing Street, called for Conservatism to do more to tackle inequality. And now it is she who has dared to question her party’s stance in immigration.

“The British Government,” she wrote in the Daily Telegraph, “has failed to hit its self-imposed ‘tens of thousands’ target in any year. Brexit is a big reset button and should – in theory– make that much easier to do so. But we have to ask whether the target continues to be the right one?” One of the reforms she proposes is taking overseas students out of the numbers, something Downing Street is against.

Two things are worth noting here, apart from her chutzpah. One, her distancing of herself from Downing Street, speaking of the “British Government” as though it was an entity apart. Then there is that all-important question mark when she is querying the tens of thousands target. Ms Davidson may challenge party policy but, as with her refusal to denounce her government’s shameful rules on child tax credits, which force rape victims to disclose what has happened to them if they want to claim an exemption from the two child limit, she will only go so far. This is a rebel with a pause button.

What, then, is Ms Davidson aiming for with all these manoeuvres? Besides Tony Blair, there is one other person who comes to mind when thinking of her. She might like this one slightly better, but probably not by much. Here goes, anyway: Sophie Tucker, aka The Last of the Red Hot Mamas and the entertainer who had a hit with the song How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?). It is not solely because of Ms Davidson’s predilection (in which she bows only to Willie Rennie) for visiting farms. It is the song, a hymn to the broadened horizons of US soldiers after the First World War. It encapsulates the choice ahead of Ms Davidson. How is Scotland going to keep her down on the farm now that she can drop into Downing Street any time she wants? Assuming Scotland does, of course.

The party outwith Scotland would clearly like to see more of her. Writing in The Times yesterday, Paul Goodman, editor of the ConservativeHome website, named Ms Davidson, alongside Jacob Rees-Mogg, as flavours of the moment with his readership. Both, he notes, are new faces not associated with the current old order; they have the Corbyn factor of “authenticity”; and they are good communicators.

If I was to bet the farm, it would not be on Ms Davidson quitting Holyrood for Westminster just yet. Small fish, big pond, and all that. Then there is the attraction of becoming the first Conservative First Minister. Hand of history, etc. In the meantime, with all to be decided on the shape of Brexit, Ms Davidson is set to become an ever more prominent player, which will in turn benefit her party at Holyrood. She is the one with access to Downing Street, not Nicola Sturgeon, and on the evidence of this summer she is going to use it. This red-hot mama is just warming up.