OPPONENTS of constitutional change often assert that the views of Scots are little different from those elsewhere on this island. The facts suggest otherwise, and this was confirmed in a recent survey.

According to polling company YouGov, only a minority of Scots think the monarchy should continue in the future. This is in sharp contrast to England where 60% are happy for the royals to carry on.

Further, a mere 28% of Scots think King Charles is in touch with the experiences of the public. While a clear Scottish majority believe he is out of touch. Only people in Northern ­Ireland have a lower rating of royal competence.

There was also a clear difference of ­opinion between Scots and others when asked this ­question: “Thinking about the role they play for the country, and money they receive from the sovereign grant, do you think the royal family are good or bad value for money?”

Only a minority of Scots agreed, while for England 55% felt the Royals gave good value.

Remarkably, only a minuscule 6% of Scots say they are very interested in the royal family. While 69% say they are “not at all interested “in them. The poorest rating across all four ­countries.

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It is hugely important to note these scores would be even poorer except for the fact that older people disproportionally favour the ­royals.

Only 32% of young people between 18-24 think the monarchy should continue. By contrast, more than three-quarters of the over-60s think the royals are doing just fine. The monarchy is very much an old person’s thing. Unless things change dramatically, the royals are on borrowed time.

These are sobering statistics in the run-up to the coronation on May 6. While the media may insist there is universal approval for the royals, many do not agree.

But does it matter much that Scots are ­unenthusiastic about royal flummery compared to their neighbours? Yes, it does. Big time.

You see the role occupied by the monarchy in the UK is so much more than mere display.

The King underpins the British constitution. The monarch, not the prime minister, is the head of state.

(Presently, Britain has a King and a Prime ­Minister, neither of whom has been elected by the people. So much for democracy.) Under the banjaxed British constitution, the prime minister is appointed by the monarch before he/she can continue on to appoint “His Majesty’s Government”.

Likewise, all parliamentarians must swear an oath to His Majesty and his successors before they can assume their places. This also applies to many others who hold public office, ­including the armed services.

The King is also head of the Church of ­England. An odd position, some might think, for someone who claims to embrace the idea of a multi-faith society. At his coronation, the new king will be draped in the trappings of the ­British state with the occasional nod to the ­traditions elsewhere.

Union flags will abound. The King, in a very meaningful way, is Britain.

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So, it is of enormous significance that Scots reject the royals. In a very real sense, they are also rejecting Britain. It is nonsense to suggest that people who reject the head of state have confidence in the state itself.

And Britannia still waives the rules. Its ­principles are for sale to the highest bidder, but not for those in need.

Morality and ethics compel those in a civilised society to help others. As John Donne said: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”

Any of us might find ourselves in straitened times. For most of us, there IS such a thing as society. But not for Tories. For them, self-regard is all. They will do whatever it takes to stay in power. And this includes trampling over ­human rights. In this, they are supported by His ­Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. The latter are convulsed with fear they may not capture the anti-immigrant vote.

Last week at Prime Minister’s Questions, ­challenged by the SNP ahead of the third ­reading of the Illegal Immigration Bill (IBL), Prime Minister Sunak refused to say whether a child fleeing the conflict in Sudan would be ­deported if they arrived in Britain on a small boat from France. Instead, he dodged the ­question.

According to The Guardian, the UN high commissioner for refugees has no such qualms and named the IBL for what it is: “an asylum ban – extinguishing the right to seek refugee protection in the United ­Kingdom”.

It’s an indiscriminate approach that will see many thousands of refugees unfairly turned away. More than three-quarters of asylum claims assessed last year were found to be valid. In future, all of those will be ­ automatically ­rejected.

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