SPARE a thought for a political columnist. Newspaper deadlines mean articles need to be filed many hours before publication, but these days the long term in British politics is approximately the same length of time as the advert break on Sky News. That’s what passes for the stability of the UK that Scotland was sold in 2014.

There’s been a week of chaos in British politics. In the space of one week, the Prime Minister managed to lose his majority, lost control of the Brexit debate in the Commons, alienated a large faction of his party, got stabbed in the back by his own brother, threatened to break the law, lost a cabinet minister, and was repeatedly refused his wish for an early General Election.

There are reports that other resignations could be in the offing. Given this meltdown, voters in Scotland are increasingly viewing the Conservative party with the kind of contempt that’s normally reserved for a plateful of veal cutlets at a vegan wedding. However, that view is not shared south of the border, where a significant number of voters in the rest of the UK still think that Johnson is doing a good enough job that support for the Conservatives has actually increased.

British politics is so lost to reason now that Boris Johnson could disembowel Paddington Bear live on TV while drowning him in a vat of Liam Fox’s innovative British jam. But even that outrage against a British cultural icon would only provoke a segment of the anti-immigration Brexiters to praise him. “That’s our #PeoplesPrimeMinister teaching Peruvian immigrants a lesson for preferring marmalade made from foreign citrus fruit with their breakfast,” they’d say. “Remainer traitor toast, that’s what it is.”

This begs the question of what the Conservatives would have to do in order to lose support in the rest of the UK. While there were far-right rioters in the streets of London, thousands marched peacefully in Perth for Scottish independence without a single arrest in an inclusive and good-natured protest.

Scotland doesn’t need the rest of the UK in order to preserve our democracy and stability.

The extreme right of British nationalism has been empowered by the actions of this British government. There was a large rise in Islamophobic attacks in the wake of Boris Johnson’s infamous “letterbox” article in the Telegraph. The contagion has spread into Scotland’s streets.

The traditional anti-Irish racism of British nationalist extremism in Scotland has been emboldened too. This isn’t “sectarianism”. You don’t have to agree with Irish republicanism, you don’t have to agree with them demonstrating in Scotland, but these are peaceful events which are under attack by right-wing extremist British nationalists. This is fascism on the march, and it has been unleashed by a British government that doesn’t care about the consequences of its actions.

This week, Parliament is due to be prorogued by the Prime Minister in order to prevent the Commons from eroding his already collapsing authority any further. What originally must have seemed to him as a wizard wheeze to prevent challenges to his power is now a trap for him, as he will be unable to secure the General Election that he so desperately wants. He was supposed to be the gung-ho man of action, but it didn’t take long for him to turn into a bumbling and shambolic fool who is a victim of events instead of the author of them.

No one can tell how all this is going to play out. Last week’s rollercoaster will be followed by another this week. Everything could change within the space of a Sky News advert break. However, the lessons for Scotland from this clusterbùrach ought to be clear.

We are as much a hostage of events as the Prime Minister, only the difference is that we are not the architects of our own misfortune as he is. We are the victims of his entitlement, a British nationalist entitlement that is unleashing violence on our streets.

We do know that an election is coming soon, although we don’t know the exact date. It’s imperative in that election that Scotland returns as many pro-independence MPs as possible, and with due apologies to the Greens, realistically that can only mean SNP MPs.

An opinion poll published over the weekend carried out in Conservative constituencies in Scotland showed that the SNP is well ahead in the seats currently held by the

spineless 13. It is plausible to hope that all 13 seats could fall to the SNP. Labour is also polling poorly, and the SNP can hope to pick up most of their seats too.

The task of the independence movement in this coming Westminster General Election is to strive to wipe out the anti-independence parties in this country, and to deepen the political chasm that has opened up between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

We need to strengthen the hand of the Scottish Government as it renews its drive to secure a Section 30 order from Westminster. The SNP already has a mandate for another independence referendum, but we must ensure that the anti-independence parties can no longer point to a loss of seats by the SNP at the most recent General Election and claim that gives them the right to block another referendum.

But the SNP leadership must do its part too, and ensure that the question of independence is front and foremost in its election campaign. They have to campaign for independence with the same enthusiasm and determination which they have displayed for preventing Brexit.

There can be no more hiding behind meaningless slogans like “Stronger for Scotland”. Only a party which is seen to commit to independence can ensure that the independence supporters who stayed at home in 2017 will come out to vote for them. We are ready to do our part – the SNP leadership must do theirs too. The British state is lost to reason, which is all the more reason why we must keep the heid.