A NEW poll published this weekend, this time for Business for Scotland, shows that support for independence continues to grow. It now stands at 54%. This represents the highest level of support for independence for years, and comes after a series of polls which have put support for independence in the lead. Importantly, at 54% support for independence in this poll is outwith the usual 3% margin of error in opinion polling. Together, these facts mean that we can be confident that there is now a solid majority in Scotland who desire independence, and that support is continuing to rise gradually.

There are plenty within the independence movement who are frustrated that support for independence is not a great deal higher. However a slow and steady increase in support means that support is likely to be solid and secure. If there was to be a sudden and sharp swing in support for independence due to external circumstances, that increase could just as easily swing back again and prove to be ephemeral.

Worryingly for the Labour party in Scotland, this new poll shows that only half of their remaining voters support opposition to independence. The new hard line British nationalism being imposed upon the branch office by the MP for Red Morningside is not going to help the party's fortunes in the slightest. Indeed it looks set only to damage Labour's credibility even further. We shall file this under oh dear, how sad, never mind.

There are several reasons for the increase in support for independence. It must be said it's not due to campaigning for independence on the part of the Scottish Government, which has been notable only for its absence from the independence debate. However, we are in the midst of the biggest global crisis since the Second World War, and by focusing on the pandemic the Scottish Government is building confidence in Scotland's ability to deal successfully with problems on a global scale.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

READ MORE: Support for Scottish independence soars to 54 per cent

That translates into increased support for independence as voters realise that Scotland could cope with even the biggest challenges Yet most of the growth in support is due to disenchantment with an unpopular and incompetent British Government. The Conservatives in Westminster are presiding over the highest death toll from the virus in Europe, and according to the OECD will also be responsible for the economy which suffers the greatest damage. The British state has failed dismally to protect either its citizens or its economy. The Conservative compound their failures with an arrogance and disdain, and a pig-headed refusal to back down from the hardest Brexit imaginable.

Nowhere in any of this have the interests or needs of Scotland been taken into account. Scotland's man at the Cabinet table, the government minister who is supposedly responsible for representing Scotland in the British Government, has been all but invisible during this crisis. On the rare occasions that Governor General Alister Jack pops his head above the parapet it's not to stand up for Scotland's interests but to mount party political attacks upon the SNP. If Scotland can't be represented at a UK level, if Scotland can't have that strong voice within the UK that we were promised in 2014, then a lot of people will simply draw their own conclusions and decide that we may as well be independent.

Partly the rise in support is due to those British nationalist fascists purportedly defending statues in George Square, hurling abuse, kicking, punching, and beating up anyone whom they suspected of disagreeing with them. All they do is to associate British nationalism with extremism, with intolerance, and with hatred. For all that the Scottish media desperately tries to distance British nationalism from their hate-fests, every time they soil our streets with their vile presence, they add a few more votes to the pro-independence column. More importantly they give the independence movement an important campaigning tool. It allows us to rebut accusations of cybernattery from British nationalists by pointing to very real instances of British nationalist violence in our streets. It destroys the moral high ground which Better Together laid claim to in 2014.

It is now becoming clear to most people in Scotland that we have no future within the UK. The British state lurches from crisis to crisis, led by arrogant fools with no concern other than their own careers. It is clear that this is a UK which has no place for Scotland, and which will never reflect the desires of the Scottish electorate. With poll after poll showing majority support, independence is well on the way to becoming the settled will of the people of Scotland. British nationalism is becoming the preserve of a bitter rump of nostalgists. More and more people in Scotland are coming to the conclusion that this country of ours needs to go its own way. The UK is the past, an independent Scotland is the future.

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