WE’VE got a Prime Minister who has just announced that everyone is a Ukipper now. The concerns of the 48.1 per cent who voted to remain in the EU are ignored. Scotland is ignored. Northern Ireland is ignored. Gibraltar is ignored. We have a Government that says it’s striving for a deal for all, but which doesn’t understand the difference between democracy and majoritarianism.

When Theresa May made her Brexit speech, she closed her eyes, stuck her fingers in her ears, and started singing Rule Britannia at the top of her voice. She’s been doing that ever since. She can’t hear the outraged opposition to her xenophobic Little Britain plans, nor see how the rest of the EU is laughing at the UK. And she doesn’t care either. This is how she aims to achieve national unity and restore national pride. If this is supposed to make us proud to be British, Theresa May is doing a very poor job of it.

The UK is an utter embarrassment.

We heard a lot about pride during the last independence referendum, although rarely from independence supporters who felt that their pride in Scotland was self-evident and so didn’t feel the need to state it overtly. Saying that you want independence for your country, that you want to make your own decisions and to accept the responsibility for their consequences, is an implicit declaration of pride. That’s real pride, a quiet pride, the pride of confidence.

It was invariably Unionists who were keen to assure us loudly and vocally how proud they were to be Scottish. Their statements that “I’m a proud Scot” were equally invariably followed by a “but”. I’m a proud Scot, but I don’t think Scotland is capable of making its own way in the world. I’m a proud Scot, but I think we’re too poor to manage by ourselves. I’m a proud Scot, but believe that, uniquely among the countries of this world, that Scotland is incapable of having a currency. I’m a proud Scot, but my declarations of pride are a compensation mechanism for a bad case of the cringe. If you need to tell people how proud you are, you’re really just covering up for your insecurities.

Brexit has shown us exactly where Scotland stands within the UK.

It has shown us that Scotland doesn’t stand at all. It lies prostrate and face down, crushed by the boot of right-wing English nationalism. There can no longer be any doubt about where Scotland is in relation to the rest of the UK; the contempt and arrogance of a Tory Government and its hard-as-nails Brexit has shone a harsh light on the realities of the so-called United Kingdom. It’s just a veneer for a state in which Scotland counts for as much as an English local authority. The UK is not a partnership. It is not a joint project in which the four nations co-operate and collaborate – Scotland is subsumed by English political priorities, and a dying Labour Party will do nothing to help.

If Scotland wants to preserve our traditions of equality, tolerance and justice, our sense that we’re all Jock Tamson’s Bairns and how we are all collectively responsible for the wellbeing of society, then we must ensure that there are measures in place to assist those of us who struggle with ill-health and misfortune because any one of us could be in the same position.

We can only do so through independence. The UK has turned its back on the post-war social contract. Britain is the land of exploitation, of tax breaks for the rich, of public services that have been hollowed out to the point of collapse. Britain is declaring it’s no longer a European country, but a poundland USA with worse food and worse weather, where the rich can live comfortably but the poor are left to fend for themselves and the working classes are low paid and exploited. The irony is that if Scotland wants to preserve and defend the good things that the British state has created – the NHS, our public services, our education system – we can only do so with independence. Britain isn’t interested in them any more.

In the next referendum, let’s have no more proud Scot buttery nonsense and call it the pathetic cringing that it really is. If you genuinely believe that Scotland ought to remain a part of a post-Brexit Britain which runs roughshod over Scotland’s will, you’re not proud of Scotland at all. If you want Scotland to be isolated and impoverished by a mad Brexit plan to turn the UK into a tax haven for Russian oligarchs, you’re not proud.

You are saying you are proud of wanting to turn Scotland into a beggar that hopes to receive a few crumbs from the Westminster table. You’re declaring pride in a Scotland that’s been told in no uncertain terms that its concerns, needs, and desires are of no consequence in Westminster. You’re saying you’re proud of a Scotland whose role in the UK is to serve as the tartan window dressing which allows xenophobic English nationalists to pretend their nationalism isn’t nationalist at all. That’s not pride. That’s the cringe. Real proud Scots have more self-respect.