SHAKESPEARE hit the nail on the head so often and that takes some doing. The secret of the best writers’ brilliance in encapsulating the human condition comes in observations that stand the test of generations.

Our own Bard continues to deliver in the modern day (and please Glasgow City Council, don’t cancel the Lord Provost’s supper) and so, of course, does the Bard of Avon.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra recently premiered a new work by Composer in residence Anna Clyne called Sound And Fury. It drew inspiration from both Haydn and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, whose soliloquy following his wife’s death expresses his nihilism about life itself. As the national treasure of that orchestra (kids go free, you must book tickets) played, she had a recording of Sir Ian McKellan reciting the words over the music.

All of us will feel a shade of that throughout some times in our life. But the resonance I feel is for the diminished shadow that is the politics of the UK election now: Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

Watching all the noise, anger and bluster of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn and now even the LibDems will make these words of Macbeth ring very true.

The sound and fury of nothingness at a time which could not be more serious.

We have former Tory ministers calling on people not to vote Tory. We have former Labour ministers calling on people to vote Tory. We have Nigel Farage’s extremists standing aside for Boris Johnson’s extremists.

We have a vast number of MPs walking away, candidates being forced out for alleged crimes and misdemeanours.

The name-calling is at a juvenile all-time high. It is bursting through all barriers of grace, good conduct and decency. And no surprise, it is led by the actual Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Yesterday he said Jeremy Corbyn was guilty of “political self-obsession and onanism”. Before you reach for the dictionary, the word onanism means masturbation. Yes, that is right, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland just called Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition – both members of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council – a wanker.

Now before you say, “ach it was probably off the cuff, heat of the moment, passions of the debate, it’s an election after all”, it wasn’t. The Tories actually trailed this in a preview to the speech given to the media.

The playground name-calling is actually their strategy made manifest.

It is everywhere you look. The main content of the extremist Johnson’s attack on the extremist Corbyn was to do with his call for a referendum on Europe. The Tories now engage the most barren of barefaced cheeks in calling referendums chaos. Their own botched governance gave us a referendum without a White Paper prospectus on how a Leave vote would mean leaving responsibility for it to a completely chaotic omnishambles that has dominated Westminster for months and months and months.

Tories cause chaos and now they call for the focus to be on other issues. They are like a school bully punching a small boy over and over and then complaining to the headmaster about his bruised fist.

The biggest single development of the election is the decision by the Brexit Party to stand aside for the Conservatives. They had harboured the ambition to actually replace the Conservative Party but now have to make do with having simply taken it over.

I have spent most of my adult life telling myself never to doubt the intent of those I disagree with. In my short time as a child politician in the Scottish Parliament I could manage without difficulty. Politicians like Donald Dewar, Jack McConnell, David McLetchie and Jim Wallace I disagreed with very much. But I never, ever, doubted the spirit of their intent to do right by the people of Scotland. I think that remains true of the current crop at Holyrood but I hugely regret that I am not sure that I can believe it to be true of many involved at the very top of UK politics today.

When one of the biggest influences on the election is Aarron Banks we have reached a profoundly sorry pass. There appears to be a bit of a bad-boy tiff going on, but it also appears that when it comes to the Brexit game, money wins. Nigel will have to rage quietly in the corner of his local Wetherspoons.

What it should tell everyone is that the right-wing extremists have joined forces. Always remember the first to welcome the Johnson premiership itself was the cabal of strongmen populists led by Donald Trump and including some of the least savoury figures there are in world government today.

This is all desperately serious, which explains why so many serious people have called it a day.

Macbeth was right, but about Westminster politics which is “a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing”. Well actually signifying something – that it is time to tell our own and better tale.