I DON’T know about you, but I still haven’t recovered from the General Election result. A sense of dread has followed me since the moment the exit poll was announced.

If there are stages of electoral grief, then anger surely must be one of them. But where should we direct our anger?

Towards the Conservative party, for running a sordid election campaign full of lies and smears? Or perhaps the media, for the unforced errors they made and – with some notable exceptions – their failure to adapt to our new political landscape?

Or maybe, as some already have, we could get angry with the voters in England and Wales who gave the odious Boris Johnson a thumping great majority to do with as he wishes.

Anger comes easily at times like this.

READ MORE: Kirsty Strickland: BBC Unionists admit that the game’s a bogey

It is also futile. The newly emboldened Conservative Government aren’t scared of anger. They are counting on an unproductive howl of rage when they flex their muscles in the new year.

They want us to exhaust ourselves with protest and the collective indignation of our social media echo chambers. This Government doesn’t care about our disappointment, our anger or even our fears. The only thing they care about is maintaining the power they have won.

They are relying on the disunity of their opponents. Given the experience of the past five years they are safely betting on those of the centre and of the left – of Remain and Yes and everybody who thinks they can’t be trusted – being too busy tearing lumps out of one another to organise effectively against them.

Organisation requires cool heads and moderation. It necessitates compromise and co-ordination and for political parties and activists to do more than just complain about a government that will inevitably seek to stretch the limits of its authority.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

I was heartened by Nicola Sturgeon’s speech from Bute House on her plans to seek the transfer of powers from Westminster to Scotland so that an independence referendum can be held.

Not because I am under any illusion that Boris Johnson will acquiesce, but because of the tone she struck.

At times it seems that we have become too consumed by partisanship, anger or impatience to recognise that the First Minister remains a – dare I say it – strong and stable leader, at a time when politicians of her calibre are so scarce.

In her statement she said: “This is not the time for Scotland to give up on reasoned and democratic argument. It is the time to pursue it even more confidently. Let’s assert our rights as an equal nation and partner.”

She is right. For the First Minister to suddenly morph into a reactionary rabble-rouser of a politician would be a great strategic error. On The Andrew Marr Show recently, and again during questions from journalists after her speech, she was asked about the possibility of civil disobedience and an advisory referendum. There’s a reason for that.

It’s because her unfocused anger – and ours – is exactly what opponents of independence are counting on. What better way to move the conversation on from the democratic right of the people of Scotland to choose their own future than to be gifted the opportunity to paint the Yes movement as a ragtag band of thugs and opportunists?

Indyref2 will come. It’s not a question of if, but when, and Boris Johnson’s worst nightmare is that he faces a unified campaign that exposes him for the uniquely unappealing figure he is.

This isn’t about the moral high ground or “when they go low, we go high”, but a recognition of the fact that Yes is stronger and more agile than it was in 2014, and it’s ours for the taking if we keep the heid.

Labour, too, have choices to make. Both in Scotland, where there are signs that some Labour figures are slowly coming to the realisation that it is unconstitutional to keep saying no regardless of electoral circumstance, and for the UK party too.

Down south, their problems are many. As the fallout from the General Election intensifies and MPs and activists look to apportion blame, there is a risk that their anger will see them repeat the mistakes they have made in the past.

One of the Tories’ greatest strengths is their ability to get over internal disagreements quickly.

The National: Prime Minister Boris Johnson

They dispatch their leaders with ruthless efficiency and then smile and rally round. They crave power so much that they are willing to put their own egos and interpersonal dramas aside. Labour need to learn from this – and quickly.

If they allow anger and hurt to enter their leadership contest, then they might as well concede the next election now.

Boris Johnson has all the power he has ever wanted and there is no indication he will exercise it responsibly.

The only real headache in his immediate future is the prospect of indyref2.

If Labour could see past their tribal anger towards the SNP they would have the opportunity to help make that headache a reality. Can they stop fighting long enough to grasp it?