The National:

A GROWING trait among those on the right – from fringe alt-right figures to elite populists – is to avoid any sense of coherent argumentation.

You have the likes of Ben Shapiro, one of the darlings of the alt-right, avoiding robust debate with anyone who isn’t a snivelling second-year art student and embarrassing himself on UK TV by accusing Andrew Neil of being “on the left” (no, really). His main argument during that exchange appeared to be “I have thousands of YouTube subscribers, who are you?”

Then you have elected politicians, educated at Eton with a silver spoon lodged firmly in their mouths who have embraced the Orwellian x Trumpian tactic of constantly bemoaning the “elites”.

Step forward Jacob Rees-Mogg, who after being quizzed about Boris Johnson’s connections to a billionaire hedge fund manager who has allegedly been putting pressure on the Government to secure a No-Deal Brexit – an outcome he stands to benefit from financially – engaged in some staggering whataboutery.

The Leader of the House not only delved back a full 27 years to illustrate his point – though, it must be said, that is a thoroughly modern example for the Right Honourable Member of the 18th Century – he made a very tenuous link, at best, in order to do so.

After being questioned by Labour MP Valerie Vaz about claims Crispin Odey has been putting pressure on Johnson to prorogue Parliament since July – claims Odey denies – Rees-Mogg didn’t deny that Odey stood to make money from a No-Deal Brexit.

Rather, he pointed to a different hedge fund manager who back in 1992 made more money than Odey stands to make from Brexit. He said: “One of the major funders, allegedly, of the Remain campaign, the sort of Remoaner funder-in-chief, is one George Soros, who made a billion pounds when sterling crashed out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, which is five times as much as Mr Odey is said to have made.”

The Leader of the House of Commons also felt the need to point out the non-sequitur that Odey was a friend and supporter of his: “So I fear all she is saying is that Mr Soros is a better hedge fund manager than my good friend Crispin Odey, who is a great friend of mine and, indeed, supporter of mine.”

It’s true that Soros, in the months leading up to Black Wednesday, sold almost $40 billion ($30bn) in foreign currency through making bets that sterling would be devalued as it exited the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

However, as Rees-Mogg himself acknowledges, there is no evidence that Soros is the Remainer funder-in-chief.

But don’t let facts get in the way of a populist rant...

MEANWHILE, news that the unicorn representing Scotland on the gates of Buckingham Palace was knocked off and severely damaged led some to speculate that the creature was attempting to gain independence.

Typically, the lion next to it – of course, representing England – stayed in place as the representation of Scotland lay motionless with a severed limb.

Rather than this illustrating independence, we believe this is a depiction – a foreshadowing, if you will – of what will happen should Scotland remain as part of this dysfunctional Union. Namely that England will continue to look after its own interests while the others are made to suffer even more.