IT has been just over six months since the winter General Election. In this time, we have been hit square in the face by the biggest issue facing human beings in modern history, with the Covid-19 pandemic. During this six-month period we have also seen a consistent and stable rise in support for Scottish independence.

Our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has stood in front of a camera at the daily briefings almost every day since March, taking on questions from every media outlet in Scotland.

I can’t recall the First Minister speaking about Scottish independence during this time and rightly so, as these press briefings are about public health advice for the people of Scotland. What the briefings have done, though, is highlight the divergence between our Scottish Government and the one in Westminster even further.

While Boris Johnson has had an array of ministers bumbling through the UK briefings with confusing advice and dodgy slogans, Nicola Sturgeon has put people’s health and wellbeing at the forefront – showing us that Scotland is a country

I want to live in, and I believe some of those who perhaps voted No to independence in 2014 have come around to this realisation during the pandemic.

What is obvious is that the UK establishment is absolutely scared stiff. Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw this week claimed that the First Minister’s Covid-19 press briefings are an SNP party political broadcast. What a ridiculous thing to say at this time.

I don’t expect any less from Unionist parties in Scotland any more, they are clutching at straws, bleating on about borders and political gains from health broadcasts. It’s completely falling apart for Unionists in Scotland and it shows.

The polls are looking excellent for the SNP for the Holyrood election next year. We must, however, not be complacent in our attitude or we are no better than our opponents. The day we become arrogant and take votes for granted in Scotland is the day we become New Labour.

I understand the frustration of SNP members and the urgency to hold an independence referendum tomorrow. The polls indicate we are on the path towards the end goal.

I stood for election in December on a pledge to my constituents that we can choose to have a better future as an independent country out of Boris’s Britain.

The SNP have our mandate for a referendum – we already had one before that election and probably the election before that. What we didn’t have in those previous elections was a majority lead in the polls for independence.

What I don’t want to see is some sort of Catalan-style independence referendum. For one, I very much doubt those No voters I mentioned earlier who are impressed by the professionalism of the First Minister in the face of a global pandemic would go out to vote in an illegal referendum held without a Section 30 order.

Support for independence is only increasing the longer Boris Johnson – or whatever political actor – holds the keys to Downing Street. I would say to every single activist who went out delivering leaflets and chapping doors in December till their fingers turned blue – it is coming, it is only a matter of time.

It is trying at times to continue arguing the same point, but if we give up, they win. Believe me, I feel like I’m bouncing my head off a brick wall every time I ask a minister a question but they are only showing the contempt they have for our country and this in itself only strengthens the case for our independence.

When the referendum does come we need to be ready. We won’t be arguing over timing or what the plan was. We need to be ready to throw everything at the UK establishment we possibly can. The Tories will keep saying no for now but this is unsustainable at the rate the support for independence is increasing, with no sign of slowing.

As an MP, I have gone down to London for the last five years with the ambition for this job not to exist anymore. To do this, I attempt to show the complete ridiculousness of Westminster and highlight the disgraceful policies we would not have, had we secured the powers in Scotland.

The work the SNP team at Westminster have done in the last five years has dwarfed that of any other group there. We continue on a weekly basis to be the real opposition fighting and scrutinising for the people of Scotland, to show up the UK Government for what it is – an absolute shambles.

We are firing at it from all angles whether it’s the MPs in London, the MSPs in Edinburgh or the local councillors all over Scotland.

What people want most in politics is honesty and transparency above all else.

I believe that if we show this while highlighting the divergence between Scotland’s Government and the UK’s, we have nothing to worry about when the inevitable Section 30 order is finally granted.

The Holyrood election next year is shaping up to be unique and an election like one we have never had to contest. With the global pandemic it will be difficult to navigate the usual routes of campaigning for such a vital election.

Most importantly, though, let’s keep each other safe. If we continue on this path we will be an independent country soon enough.