THEN he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, “Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.”

AMONG the more coherent arguments put forward by the Labour Party in Scotland for remaining in the UK union in 2014 was the “Good Samaritan” narrative.

Its chief protagonist was the former UK minister Douglas Alexander, the faithful son of a Church of Scotland minister. If it had been properly deployed by the leadership of his party during the independence referendum campaign it might have stemmed the haemorrhaging of its members in the five years since.

The “Good Samaritan” approach tugged on the universalist instincts of Labour members who were tempted to vote for Scottish independence or, even worse, seek a permanent new home thereafter within the SNP. Its greatest virtue was in portraying the working-class communities in the UK’s biggest cities as possessing several key similarities which united them in a common social and cultural bond.

It suggested that these were more important than the emotional pull of mere nationalism and that they conferred an obligation to come to the aid of brothers and sisters in distress. The inhumane social policies of an increasingly hard-right Tory government were afflicting disadvantaged communities across the UK. Better to stand and fight together at this point and come to each other’s aid than to divide our loyalties under different flags.

It was the most compelling argument for Labour voters such as me for remaining in the UK and making a common stand against the iniquities of this Tory administration. Many of us chose to reject it, though.

Alexander outlined this approach in a series of speeches not long before the date of the referendum but his message, just like the traveller in Luke:10:25, fell among thieves and was hijacked. Instead, Labour in Scotland opted to snuggle up with the Tories as a big Union Jack was wrapped tightly around them. It has been choking on the consequences of this catastrophic approach ever since.

READ MORE: Indyref2 will be about whether we want to sink into the swamp with England

The sincerity of Alexander’s message cannot be doubted but the passing of time has not been kind to it. At the end of September, five years will have elapsed since the first referendum on independence.

It’s looking increasingly likely that by then the UK will have been carried out of the European Union on a wave of cruel and anti-immigrant rhetoric and with no deal. It will have been brought to this place by a broken UK Government which was forced to subjugate any strands of decency it still possessed to the flutes and drums of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

The European elections will show just how much conservative England has fallen under the spell of Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson and their messages of hostility towards immigrants and Muslims. England is a country that has fallen in on itself and the scars of division will last for generations.

The National: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks at the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh

The Conservative Party is now listing ever more grotesquely to the right in a forlorn attempt to keep up with the tides of this social and cultural catastrophe. In 2014, they wrung their hands and beseeched Scotland not to leave the Union and spoke about the common ties of decency and Britishness which had bound us all together. Scottish independence would threaten this sense of common purpose; of shared history. Yet any unpleasantness or regret in the breaking up of the Union would have been nothing compared to the deep fissures and chasms which are now threatening to undermine England.

Ironically, that concept of British decency and fairness (if it ever existed at all) has been engulfed by something ugly and barren in the period of these torturous Brexit negotiations. It is Scotland that now strives to maintain the old sense of British decency and fairness which England has lost in the hostile environment of Ukip and the Brexit Party.

This country overwhelmingly rejected the ugly creed of Brexit and loathing of the “other” and has sent a message of welcome to the peoples and communities seeking refuge from war and genocide and a safe place to rear their children. In tomorrow’s European elections it will re-emphasise that message just as England tells the world it has completed its isolation by opting for a future characterised by fear and suspicion.

By the end of September, too, the new Prime Minister of the UK will probably be Boris Johnson and if not he then one from an assortment of Theresa May’s most reactionary ministers.

READ MORE: Scottish Conservatives set to back Boris Johnson for PM

On social media last week I expressed my perverse support for Johnson in his bid to lead the UK. A Johnson premiership would be the game-changer in tilting the scales in favour of the Yes movement during the second referendum on Scottish independence. “Let’s hope it’s Boris,” I tweeted in reply to a message from one of my old newspaper chums, Iain Martin.

The influential Conservative commentator had suggested that a new Tory leader would mean an early General Election. Martin’s response to me was to suggest that Johnson could get back for the Scottish Tories the 20% of Scottish voters who were intending to vote for the Brexit Party. It was an astute analysis and one that filled me with dread.

The Scottish Tories have recently dredged new depths of tribalism and division in seeking support in traditional working-class communities. It’s chilling to think what ugly messages Boris Johnson would produce to win voters back from Brexit.

So, this is what Scotland is facing since it voted to remain within the “security” and “safety” of the UK union: being dragged out of Europe against its will by a country whose past, present and future has been annexed by a gang of xenophobic little Englanders and facing the prospect of a hard-right demagogue prime minister in thrall to the empty values of Ukip. Underpinning all of this is the threat it poses to our immigrant communities, which are key to building a robust Scottish economy.

Douglas Alexander’s “Good Samaritan” argument for remaining in the Union has now been turned fully on its head. It’s now morally imperative that Scotland breaks free from damaged England. The break-up of this Union would be an act of redemption and encourage the rest of its constituent parts – the north-east of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – to put what we once knew as Great Britain out of its misery.