THE UK’s parliamentary year draws to a close over a political landscape strewn with the wreckage of parties and campaigns, littered with the twitching corpses of those who until a month ago were running the country.

Politicians in London shift or switch positions so that it becomes scarcely possible to tell any longer what they stand for. Who knows? More to the point, who cares? The next few years will be fully taken up with the mechanics of Brexit, and that is likely to exhaust the collective capacity at Westminster for productive thought and action.

By comparison, Scotland must seem easy to deal with: just carry on with Project Fear and that will fox the Jocks. A sign of business as usual on this front has just come from the ideologist of the No campaign in 2014, Professor Jim Gallagher. As reported in the Herald, he called for the SNP to “deliver with certainty on things like EU membership, currency and public spending” – for all the world as if the Tory party of David Cameron, or indeed the Tory party of Theresa May, had delivered or was going to deliver with certainty on these things.

The tactic is to call for certainty where there can be no certainty – about the future, for example. EU membership cannot be delivered with certainty for Scotland because it is not yet an independent state. A currency cannot be delivered with certainty for Scotland because there is a range of options, ably set out this week by Craig Dalzell for Common Weal, which we should try out and choose from on the grounds of practical experience. As for public spending, since the UK has abandoned its targets there is little reason for Scotland to keep to them.

What we can be sure about, or at least more sure about, is the past. Scotland may find its prospects a trifle hazy, but the UK has in recent times had a woeful economic history. To me one of the best reasons for Scottish independence is to put an end to that history, and construct a new future for ourselves.

Economic policy has come to be run in the interests of the south of England, by both Labour and Tories, and in either case with some appalling results. That UK region has a more inflationary economy than Scotland has, geared to the quest for unearned income, windfall gains and unjustified enrichment. Its motor is the financial sector. All else has been sacrificed to its interests, especially to its desire to stay free of regulation – and for the bankers to keep their bonuses. If as a result living standards for the rest of us need to fall, well, that’s tough.

It has turned out an inflationary way to run an economy, and incidentally a confirmation of classic monetarist theory. The endless printing of money (or in post-millennial terms the infinite extension of credit) chased up prices in an inflation concealed by fiddled official statistics. But the inflation had to come out somewhere, and it came out in asset bubbles, especially in house prices.

Gordon Brown’s disasters should have delivered a terrible warning about asset bubbles, yet George Osborne diligently created more of them. They became the main instrument of his policy for a UK economy unable to achieve any other lift-off out of recession. If people could be persuaded they were sitting on a housing gold-mine, they might spend more money. Not in the world of Brexit they won’t. In Scotland house prices are already falling.

What independence can give us is something Scotland has never had before: policy designed for Scottish conditions rather than for the conditions of that other country over the Border. While the UK sought false booms, it fobbed Scotland off with regional policy and futile efforts to preserve traditional industry. They never worked. After 70 years of regional policy virtually all of traditional industry has vanished.

Instead we have an economy of oil not in any way under Scottish control, of a few financial giants owing nothing to regional policy, of utilities that are the products of privatisation – and otherwise of a host of small and medium enterprises sprung up not out of any action by government but from ordinary Scots’ efforts to use their skills and talents for the betterment of themselves, their families and their communities. They form 99 per cent of all Scottish enterprises, providing 55 per cent of employment and 40 per cent of turnover in the private sector.

It is from these enterprises that the economic growth of the future will come, first from letting them earn profits and then letting them invest their profits for the best return. Without economic growth of this kind and a higher income for the country there will be no independence.

I do not doubt the Scottish Government is well-disposed to these enterprises, but I am less convinced it has as yet come to any realistic assessment of their needs. In fact I would say it is still too much under the spell of the UK’s cast of thought even to make a start.

The UK is a big country with a big state used to enforcing its will from on high. Scotland is a small country, a fact of potential huge advantage if the Government changes its ways and takes the trouble to understand the economy as it appears from below, not from above (see Denmark, see Norway). Yet Scotland still acts the big state, airily seeking to impose on companies “purpose targets” for solidarity, sustainability, participation, cohesion – no doubt motherhood and apple pie as well. It is like listening to a long sermon from a particularly tedious minister.

Of course, big companies blithely sign up to all this abstraction: it might mean little in practice, it will help them to curry favour and they have nothing to lose. But what about the poor wee guy who has just opened for business on his own account and desperately seeks to increase his sales revenue to pay the overheads for his start-up? It is cash-flow that kills most businesses, and cash-flow does not leave much room for solidarity. If we ignore this basic fact of life we just do not get growth: behold Scotland.

A couple of weeks ago I reported that Sir Nicholas Macpherson, former permanent secretary to the UK Treasury, had apparently abandoned his opposition to independence and decided instead it presented Scotland with a “golden opportunity”. Here’s a place to start seizing that opportunity: instead of a small country with a big state, let’s go for a small country with a small state and a lot of small business. Size will take care of itself.