THE dug doesn’t like to blow his own trumpet, what with his paws lacking an opposable thumb and all that, but I did predict that this year we’d start to see opinion polls showing a consistent majority for independence. It’s already begun.

We’ve now had three opinion polls where those in favour of Scottish independence tally 50% or above. The fieldwork for these polls was carried out before Brexit had actually happened and it’s highly likely that once the reality of a UK outwith the EU begins to be felt that support for independence as the most realistic route back into the EU will only grow.

We’ve also seen polling evidence that the Scottish public take a particularly jaundiced view of British democracy. In Scotland, the British state is not so much considered the gold standard for democratic accountability, but more a cheap chocolate coin covered in gold-coloured foil. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and rots your teeth. According to the poll carried out by the Scots Goes Pop! blog, 56% of voters in Scotland think that the UK is no longer a fully democratic country.

After all, if the result of Scottish elections can be repeatedly and blatantly ignored and traduced by a Westminster Government which uses support in the rest of the UK to override Scottish opinion on Scottish matters – like the crucial question of whether Scotland wishes to have a referendum on its place within the UK – it calls into question the very fundamentals of democracy.

How can you call yourself a democratic country if a ballot is won and it’s still ignored? It’s all very well for the Tories and their fellow travellers to demand that the 2014 referendum result is respected, but their demands might have slightly more traction if they respected the outcome of every democratic event in Scotland since. There’s no sign that they’re prepared to do so.

READ MORE: Why calling indyref2 without Section 30 may not be a mistake

Instead of democracy, Boris Johnson is giving us a series of cinema advertisements extolling the virtues of the UK. Apparently the people of Scotland will be happy to overlook the democratic shortcomings of the British state because of an advert they see in the cinema between a puff piece for the local curry shop and the main feature. If there’s to be truth in advertising then it will feature a gravelly voiced announcer intoning: “In a world where your vote is ignored.”

The problem here for Boris Johnson is that everyone in Scotland knows that an advert for the UK is like an advert for a bank – we know that the person who writes the advert isn’t the one who gives out the loans. A cinema advert has even less political relevance than a Vow made by the leaders of the main UK parties on the front page of a Scottish newspaper in the lead-up to the referendum, and we all know how that one turned out.

When your credibility has been destroyed, you’re not going to get it back by demanding that people trust you. You have to do something about it, and that’s precisely what Boris Johnson isn’t prepared to do. He’s got his majority in the Commons and can do what he likes.

It’s going to take a lot more than a cheesy cinema advert to save the UK, but in Britain it’s the tinfoil appearance of things that’s more important than the actual substance. A series of cinema adverts means that the British Government can pretend that it’s doing something to “save the Union” instead of actually doing anything concrete which might actually lead to saving the Union – like recognising the legitimate democratic aspirations of Scotland.

It’s a bit like a landlord deciding they can deal the structural failure which is threatening to bring an overcrowded apartment block down by giving the occupants a leaflet about the joys of communal bathrooms.

READ MORE: Why on earth do the SNP need to win yet another mandate?

The people of Scotland are more aware of the true nature of the British state than Boris Johnson gives us credit for, which is why according to that same recent poll from the Scot Goes Pop! blog a substantial majority would support attempts to hold a referendum without a Section 30 order. That’s a remarkable finding considering the media barrage we’ve experienced over the past few months which characterise such a referendum as “illegal” or as a “wildcat” vote. People in Scotland recognise that if this country is to have its democratic demands met then eventually the intransigence of Boris Johnson will have to be tackled head-on.

It’s clear that the what the British Government and the Tories are hoping for is that events will lead to support for independence dropping away, and all they have to do is to sit tight and weather the storm.

They are hoping that unrelated events such as the scandal surrounding Derek Mackay, or the forthcoming Alex Salmond trial, will wear away support for the SNP and for independence. Following last week’s revelations about Mackay we’ve already seen the predictable articles in the Scottish media that the episode signals the beginning of the end for the SNP. We’ve seen such articles repeatedly since 2009, but it’s never been all over for the SNP, and it won’t be now.

That’s because support for the SNP is fundamentally driven by support for independence, and in turn support for independence is driven by the actions of the British state – not by the actions of the SNP.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Scandal sells but the SNP will get through

Scandals involving prominent SNP politicians, constant criticisms of Scottish public services which are always subject to budgetary and macroeconomic constraints imposed by Westminster, will not dent support in Scotland for independence. That’s because what really drives the desire for Scottish self-determination is the way in which the democratic aspirations of the people of Scotland cannot be accommodated by the failing structures of a British state.

Figures in the Labour Party who call for a fundamental constitutional reorganisation of the UK in order to save the Union are correct, that’s the only way to ensure that Scotland remains a part of the UK.

Their problem is that there is no appetite in the rest of the UK for the reforms that Scotland needs. That’s why support for independence is only going to continue to grow, irrespective of what else happens in British or Scottish politics this year.