I TRULY believe (and cynically even hope) that the UK is living through what is our “Trump phase”. In the last 12 years we have watched consecutive governments hack away at the public state and normalise inequality.

However, the last few years of this Conservative government have been the worst in living memory, without a doubt. I call it our “Trump phase” because it is defined by disinformation, corruption, incompetence and cruelty. I “hope” this is our phase because if it gets any worse, as a nation we will have gone past the point of no return.

Boris Johnson has taken the social contract that our democracy has been built on and is tearing it up in front of our eyes. He has broken the law numerous times and has been caught doing so.

That should be the end of the discussion and his government. More than 40% of his own MPs want him gone, only two MPs in the whole of Scotland think he should remain in office.

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Johnson, much like Trump did in the US, has pushed UK politics into uncharted territory. However, this is nothing to be celebrated. Johnson has somehow stumbled around accountability from one scandal to the next for decades now.

Boisterously mumbling from one jolly sentence to the next, plodding his way to the highest office in the country with a ruffle of his hair.

When politics has been governed by unwritten conventions for so many years, it is ill-equipped to deal with someone like Boris Johnson. If the only consequence or accountability you face can be met with a shrug of the shoulders … and that’s it, why would anyone respect the rules?

In uncharted territory, anything goes. From barbaric policies such as the rape clause and sending refugees to Rwanda to illegal parties in Downing Street – there is so much that has happened that would have rightly brought down any other government. Many in the Westminster bubble talk admirably about Johnson’s ability to “survive” scandal, and that framing is where the problem starts. He doesn’t “survive”, he “gets away with”. As I said in my speech in Westminster, when fascism creeps in, it doesn’t come knocking in leather jackboots.

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We have a war in Europe, an economy that is stagnating, a global pandemic, an NHS on its knees.

We face the worst cost of living crisis in a generation and have a government incapable of dealing with anything other than saving its own skin – a government intent on fighting manufactured culture wars and pitting people against one another to try to redirect growing resentment.

We live in such a desensitised state now that people are not surprised any more by blatant corruption from politicians and people in powerful positions. We live in such an unequal society where ordinary folk are often too busy making ends meet to have the time or means for activism.

Our under-represented communities, people in poverty, people whose human rights are debated daily, have been suffering so much in the last decade. Many do not have the luxury of time.

That is what the UK establishment has achieved – it’s Animal Farm on steroids. The fact of the matter is that Scotland has been playing its part in trying to improve things – we haven’t voted Conservative since the 1950s.

The most significant statement of protest that we can make as the people of Scotland is completely rejecting the UK political system in an independence referendum.

The wheels are now beginning to turn. This week our First Minister has emphasised once again that we will have a referendum in the first half of this Scottish Parliament.

We have had reports that more details on the independence referendum will be forthcoming next week.

While Conservatives in Scotland pretend Boris doesn’t exist and the sun shines out of Westminster’s dark looming halls, this metaphorical ship has hit an iceberg about five times now and I can’t emphasise enough how much I want to get on this bloody lifeboat.