THERE’S a momentum developing in Scotland, and it’s not the one that supports Jeremy Corbyn. The wheels have come off that particular bandwagon. Jo Swinson’s momentum is stuck in a rut of LibDem hypocrisy. Meanwhile, the Tory bandwagon is stuck playing “we don’t want another referendum” on a loop, hoping that voters won’t notice that they support a hard Brexit that’s only going to damage Scotland, or notice that Ruth Davidson isn’t their leader any more.

The only consolation for the Tories is that their Boris-bus crash of a Scottish campaign isn’t quite as cringe-makingly awful as Prince Andrew’s interview with Emily Maitlis. Boris Johnson loved it. He officially no longer holds the record for the most embarrassing interview in this General Election campaign.

But only just. Even some who were ministers in the Conservative Cabinet just a few months ago, such as Phillip Hammond and David Gauke – no fans of Scottish independence – are now warning that a Conservative majority in the Commons would be a disaster. The Scottish Conservatives weren’t responsible for the trashing of the devolution settlement because they were off having a pizza in Woking at the time. Like the prince, the Tories have certainly demonstrated that empathy is an alien concept to them, as indeed is any evidence that they grasp the fundamentals of Scotland’s democratic decisions within this precious Union that they keep banging on about. In the Conservatives, we have a party whose only electoral commitment to Scotland is a promise that they’re going to ignore the result of Scottish elections.

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Maybe the only reason why the Tories aren’t looking more worried in public is because they’ve lost the ability to sweat. Morality? Boris Johnson and Andrew Windsor think that’s for plebs. I’m starting to think that David Icke might have been right when he said that the British establishment was made up of shapeshifting alien lizards. Reptiles don’t sweat either.

The real momentum in Scotland is the one that leads to independence. It’s not even being driven by the SNP. The motor driving the independence movement forward is the way in which the British nationalist parties are treating Scotland. Those former Conservative ministers who were expelled from the party by the swivel-eyed ideologues surrounding Boris Johnson can see that very clearly. When senior members of your own party are going around telling everyone who will listen that you’re a threat to democracy and the rule of law, and are going to trash the economy, that’s a sign that your party have long since lost touch which any of the principles which make a party fit for power in a democracy.

However, in Scotland the British nationalist parties are concentrating their energy on attacking the SNP in the hope they can delay, divert, and distract from the independence train coming down the track. Such attempts are doomed to failure.

It doesn’t matter how many times they call for the resignation of an SNP Health Secretary who wasn’t actually the Health Secretary at the time of the incident provoking their ire. It doesn’t matter how many times they tell us Nicola Sturgeon has a casual disregard for Post-it notes.

None of those attacks change the fundamental dynamic which is driving the demand for independence forward. They don’t change the way in which Scotland has been treated with contempt by governments in Westminster. They don’t change the Brexit that Scotland doesn’t want which is being foisted upon us. They don’t change the fact that the anti-independence parties are uniting to tell Scotland it can’t have what it votes for no matter how often it votes for it.

Nicola Sturgeon was perfectly correct when she wrote in the Sunday National at the weekend that Brexit is not the cause of the breakdown in British politics, but merely the worst symptom of it. The British political system has been in decline for decades, a creaking collection of conventions, customs, precedents, and practices which was designed for the 19th century when Britannia ruled the waves is clearly unfit for the needs of a modern democracy in the 21st century.

It’s a system in which digital interference refers to what posh public school boys get up to in secret after the lights go out in the dormitories, not to successful Russian attempts to create chaos and confusion in British politics. We’d know a lot more about that if the Conservatives hadn’t blocked the publication of a Commons report into Russian meddling.

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Coming on top of the mess of Brexit, the naked disdain and contempt shown to Scotland, the result is a breakdown of public trust in British politics. It’s a breakdown that is so complete that no-one can offer a serious proposal for fixing it. We will doubtless hear yet more pie in the sky suggestions for British federalism from the usual suspects, but back in the real world there’s as much chance of that happening as there is of Boris Johnson learning to understand how a mop works. He only creates messes, he doesn’t clear them up.

It’s the breakdown in British politics which represents the material change in circumstances which both drives the independence movement forward and justifies another independence referendum, not Brexit itself. Even if Brexit can be prevented, which seems unlikely, it won’t change the underlying disease that is destroying the British political system.

Those commentators who claim stopping Brexit means an end to hopes of independence have simply got it wrong. Brexit is accelerating the process, but it’s not the reason for it. The underlying dynamic of a British political system that’s unresponsive to Scotland’s needs and interests would soon reassert itself. There’s only one way in which the UK is going to go, and that’s towards independence for its constituent parts.

In the more immediate term, we first have to ensure there’s a massive majority for pro-independence parties in this General Election. Whatever happens over the next few weeks, the priority for Scotland has to be making sure that the Westminster establishment realises that the people of Scotland will not be taken for granted, and that we insist upon the right to choose our own future.

Let’s give them something to make them sweat.