YOU may not have caught the movie Network. Let me summarise. A TV journalist finally cracks, throws open the studio window and hollers: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more.” Reader, this morning I am with him. In spades.

Let’s be clear; this is not an invitation to “sow division”, or an injunction to “lose the heid”. This is a wake-up call to all independence supporters of any persuasion to recognise the scale of the new threats we face, and the absolute urgency of combatting them.

Many people of my generation argued long and hard even for the shilpit assembly on offer in 1979. We rejoiced at the arrival of a proper parliament in 1999, albeit with restricted powers. What is now coming down the track like a runaway train is a naked attempt to turn that parliament into the parish council many would always have preferred it to be.

Next May, and the Scottish elections are eight months distant. The Internal Market Bill – a catch-all for over-riding Holyrood’s existing competencies whilst threatening peace in Ireland and, at no extra charge, tearing up a treaty signed in our name – will come back to Westminster today. The wolves are not at the door, they’re in the kitchen.

Tomorrow, too, an amendment is to be laid by the SNP to try to prevent the second reading of this bill, which has achieved the remarkable feat of having two former prime ministers – one Tory, one Labour – jointly write to complain that “cavalier bombast” has replaced reasoned judgement. The top legal civil servant has resigned, in stark contrast to the risible Attorney General and former Vote Leave campaigner, who became a QC two minutes before her appointment.

Does anybody really believe that a government gone so rogue as to try to shut down Parliament illegally; which has cleared out the top rank of the civil service; boasted about breaking the law of the land, and harbours an 80-seat majority, is going to be freaked out by an amendment laid by a party it totally disdains? Dream on. We have to fight fire with fire. Thus far the Scottish Government has resisted calls to test its own ability to stage an independence referendum in the courts.

It has been left to the crowd-funded Martin Keating’s efforts to try to establish the necessity or otherwise of a Section 30 Order – efforts described by Scotland’s leading law officers as “premature, academic and hypothetical”. Well, they sure as hell aren’t any of the above as of now.

THIS is a moment to put all available hands to the pump. We have a wealth of legal and constitutional talent at our disposal at both Holyrood and Westminster. They need to make common cause, setting aside any perceived personal or historical rivalries, and formulating joint strategies.

This is too important for playground politics. It’s also too important for a pushback which only involves politicians – there is an army of enthusiasts out there and, trust me, some of them are beyond impatient.

I’m not talking about Headbangers United, the Amalgamated Union of Conspiracy Theorists, or the Permanently Angry Brigade. I refer to people who understand that “steady as she goes” won’t cut it when what the FM herself has described as “a bunch of incompetent chancers” are hell-bent on tearing down devolution, never mind facilitating independence. Of course it’s wonderful to have serial polls showing 55% or so favouring self-determination – but arguably less so if there is no legislature left in which to pursue it.

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Ditto the softly, softly campaign to bring No voters to Yes, whilst being careful that no Scots of an equine persuasion become unduly alarmed. These tactics are spot on when we have months or years to carefully construct the logic behind our case. Right now, in the face of the biggest threat to our Parliament and our future we have ever confronted, we have to rethink all that. No point in promising a new Earth if it has been scorched beyond redemption.

IN an ideal world, as people have argued, we could hope that come next May there will be a majority in Parliament for independence. But this world is not remotely ideal and come next May, there may be no Parliament left with two powers to rub together. The threats to it have been well rehearsed these past few torrid days.

They go way beyond finding your M&S haggis plastered with a Union flag. Much more serious is what is allowed to be in the food you eat, or how much lower animal welfare standards are dropped.

This is a UK Government, we learned yesterday, whose latest wheeze is to opt out of the Human Rights Act to help it send back desperate asylum seekers.

If that’s the value it puts on human lives, don’t get your hopes up for our four-legged friends.

Meanwhile, future economic and infrastructure priorities would be decided at Westminster even, perhaps especially, in areas which the Scotland Act determined would be the prerogative of Holyrood. We have already seen that droit du seigneur style of government practised during Brexit negotiations from which we were excluded, and a Joint Ministerial Council which proved unwelcoming to Scots ministers.

We have other utterly urgent concerns, I get that. We have a pandemic which may be running out of control again any day now. We have a climate-change crisis which, as California is currently demonstrating, may ultimately drive millions from their preferred homelands.

Yet, ask yourself. In the face of these twin terrors, whom would you trust to have your back? Do you want to face these dangers with the reins held by the likes of Johnson, Gove and Hancock, or do you want to ensure a Scottish Government takes Scottish decisions?

If the latter is your choice, we’ll need more than an app to protect our nation.