A NEW report from Tax Justice UK shows that the “great British public” demands that the Government increase spending and crucially also supports increases in taxes on wealth.

When I say the public, I’m meaning the people who took part in focus groups for this campaigning and advocacy organisation’s research, mainly in new Conservative seats in the newly dubbed “blue wall” areas of England. London and Reading were also included in the research.

I’m not referring to Scotland. The research wasn’t carried out in our nation, which has the fairest taxation system in the whole of the UK. When the Scottish Government modestly raised taxes for those earning more than £33,000 last year, those on the wealthier end of the earning spectrum generally welcomed the change. More tax means more finance for better public services for everyone, unless of course it is “modified” by Westminster block grant reductions. It’s a no-brainer as far as the majority of Scots are concerned. Well, all those except the Scottish Tories who don’t seem to get the concept of the importance of tax as a wider social responsibility, who were flabbergasted and totally wrong-footed by the positive response to this tax reform.

They should perhaps have a glance at the annual “world happiness indices” which year after year are topped by Nordic countries with political systems which advocate progressive taxation combined with public service excellence.

But, getting back to those south of the Border, there’s an interesting point to be made which demonstrates a political shift much broader than just the UK as a whole. Because the biggest takeaway from this research by Tax Justice UK shows that virtually no-one interviewed in these constituencies in England wanted tax cuts. Most want the system to be much fairer, closing the kind of loopholes that mean a hard-working citizen on a standard wage pays more tax than someone far wealthier who lives off shares and dividends.

Does this remind you of the takeaway from another recent election? Last week I talked about the Republic of Ireland, and the desire of the electorate for change and for fairer distribution of wealth. Voters in Ireland opted for Sinn Fein and other leftist parties who had campaigned with social justice at the heart of their manifestos in order to address the issues of astronomical housing costs, health care and pensions. In Ireland the low tax model of the “old firm” of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have long passed their sell-by dates.

The difference between Ireland and England in this case is who they have chosen to enact this change. The Irish have tacked left and voted for a new team of left-of-centre politicians, where they felt the old guard had failed to meet the challenges of a booming economy securing benefits to the whole nation. In England’s case, voters swung further to the right and were lumbered with Boris Johnson. No prophet has ever espoused more falsehoods than this numptie.

Herein lies the contradiction. Just about everyone interviewed by Tax Justice UK was deeply sceptical about politicians delivering on their promises and they trusted neither Labour or the Conservatives to do the job properly. And yet they chose one of the most dishonest Prime Ministers in living history, backed up by a team of shysters and myth-pedlars of the highest order – Cummings and Gove are strangers to truth with a whole line-up of yes men in the new cabinet ready to parrot the spin.

My daughter’s primary school class would no doubt be outraged (on their WhatsApp Group!) if they were treated by their teacher in the way that BoJo treats his cabinet. With the insouciance that comes with their breeding they describe themselves as the “people’s government”.

However the reality is a gang of elitist public-school boys and wealthy tax-dodgers jostling for position in the new Johnson dawn. As for “levelling up”, well, that’s got about as much sincerity as the claim of compassionate Conservatism from ex-Etonian David Cameron. It’s hard to imagine Johnson and his new chancellor introducing a tax policy which ensures these wealthy supporters and friends paying a proportionate amount of tax on their ill-gotten gains. Even Boris Johnson’s sister admitted her brother was beholden to financiers and disaster capitalists. Your family love you, warts and all. Its seems that a big chunk of the English electorate is happy to take a chance on the warts.

So, here’s the thing. There is a big difference between Scotland, Ireland and England. Enough English Voters gambled on Johnson to get him into power because they felt they had no choice. Many traditional Labour supporters took a risk – they decided on better the devil you know, better the leader who promised to get Brexit done. They’ve now got five long years to see if there’s any substance to Johnson-style politics. My guess is that it will not take a full term to find him out.

Meanwhile, in the Celtic realm, we have options available and voters have grabbed these choices with both hands. In Scotland, we woke up and smelt the coffee a long time ago, 13 years almost in fact, with support for the SNP and a nation built on social justice, fairness and equality rising year on year. Ireland has chosen a similar route, although with far greater opportunity, as an independent country to effect this change into a better nation that serves all her people, not just a few fat cats at the top.

For England, Scotland and Ireland, there is something of a waiting game. England, to see if Johnson makes good on his spending pledges or even manages to keep any commitments at all from his manifesto; Ireland to see who will actually lead their government and whether this much wanted public demand for change comes into effect; and Scotland, about to be clobbered by Brexit, our devolution dismantled, our economy diminished, but the wheels in motion to realise our dream of independence in Europe.

A waiting game perhaps, but we should not choose to dwell ere long in the waiting room of history.