THE SNP has not had its troubles to seek of late, with assorted commentators in the anti-independence press gleefully predicting that it's game over for the party and independence is dead in the water.

However, it seems that the good people of Scotland might beg to differ.

An opinion poll commissioned by STV and carried out by IPSOS-Mori has found that a clear majority of people in Scotland support Scottish independence, with 54% backing independence and 46% opposed.

Clearly, despite the fond wishes of the anti-independence parties and their supporters in the Scottish media, the independence issue is not going to go away any time soon.

The poll also found that the SNP continues to enjoy a healthy lead of 10% over Labour in Westminster voting intention, with the SNP on 40% and Labour on 30%.

The Tories are languishing on a sorry 15%.

These figures would ensure that the SNP would retain the largest number of Westminster votes and seats at the next general election, with of course the important proviso that the party is able to motivate its supporters to turn out and vote.

The National: The Ipsos poll found support for independence at 54%The Ipsos poll found support for independence at 54%

Above all it was the failure of independence supporters to come out and vote for the SNP which allowed Labour to win the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, with the result that people there are now represented in Parliament by one of Starmer's most loyal lackeys: a man who will not vote against any of his boss's policies, no matter how unpalatable they might be to the people of Scotland.

Scots are still not enthused by Starmer's Labour party with its wholesale adoption of Conservative policies and its pretence of being opposed to nationalism even as it wraps itself in the British flag and apes the Tories on opposition to immigration.

That, plus Starmer's unwillingness to countenance any meaningful change to a Westminster Parliament and system which are manifestly unfit for purpose gives the SNP an opportunity to motivate its supporters at the next General Election by ensuring that independence is front and foremost in its campaign.

The continuing high levels of support for independence, despite the constant barrage of media negativity about the Scottish Government while Westminster wrongdoings are glossed over as quickly as possible, combined with the continuing failure of the Scottish media to give due attention to news stories which are good for the independence case, can be explained by the fact that it is impossible not to notice how poorly Scotland is being served by a dysfunctional Westminster system which is incapable of reform and unwilling to change.

Disdain for Scotland is clear in Michael Gove’s revelations

The most recent evidence of the contempt in which Scotland is held by the British Government came in the evidence given by Tory Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, who told the UK Covid Inquiry that the Conservatives were "f***ing up" during the early part of the pandemic in 2020.

He also told the Inquiry that the government in which he was a senior minister had failed to communicate properly with the devolved governments in Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The default Tory mode of communication with Scotland and Wales is to issue orders from on high, but since both public health and the NHS are devolved, Downing Street was unable to deal with Scotland and Wales in its preferred manner during the pandemic, and so like a wean with a pettit lip, Downing Street went into an almighty sulk and refused to speak to its counterparts in the devolved governments.

The result was that key changes in public health messaging were not communicated to the authorities in Scotland and Wales.

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In May 2020, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson replaced the direction to 'Stay Home' to 'Stay Alert' to help control the spread of the virus. The change was widely criticised at the time, as many felt it was confusing. How exactly do you "stay alert" for a virus that's invisible to the naked eye?

It was also thought that the change in messaging would encourage people to go out and mix socially at a time when there was no effective vaccine against covid and the death toll was rising by the thousands every week.

The Scottish and Welsh governments chose to retain the original wording, and Gove has now confirmed that they were not informed in advance of the change in wording.

The National: Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove, formerly the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, arrives to give evidence to the UK Covid-19 InquirySecretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove, formerly the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, arrives to give evidence to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry (Image: PA)

Although Gove denies that any adverse consequences resulted from this, the public health messaging of the Scottish Government was undermined at a critical time.

There was immense pressure from the anti-independence media and the Scottish Tories for Scotland not to diverge from UK Government policy.

The lives of Scots were put at risk because as part of the UK, Scotland is subject to Westminster's politics of petulance.

EU chief in plea to younger generation of UK citizens

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU Commission, has said that the next generation must reverse Brexit.

During an interview at the Politico 28 awards in Brussels she said that the UK was on a clear "direction of travel" towards rejoining the bloc.

It will have to wait for the next generation, at least in the rest of the UK, because the Conservatives have defined themselves by Brexit and Labour is far too timid to challenge the right wing consensus which now dominates in English politics.

However, there is already a widespread belief across the UK as a whole, which is even stronger in Scotland, that Brexit was a mistake.

READ MORE: Covid inquiry: Michael Gove says UK was ‘not well enough prepared’

This sentiment is even stronger amongst younger generations, a very similar pattern to support for independence in Scotland.

A number of opinion polls have shown that those supporting membership of the EU would easily win a referendum on EU membership were one to be held, which is precisely why neither Labour nor the Conservatives are prepared to allow one. This is much the same reason why they fiercely resist another referendum on Scottish independence, because they know that they'd lose.

But, eventually, they will lose. All they can do is to delay the inevitable.

The tragedy is that the dysfunction and self-interest of Anglo-British nationalism could wreak a huge amount of damage in the meantime.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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