I HAVE been following the American election with interest. In 2016, Donald Trump was politically very much an unknown quantity. We knew he was a blowhard and a bit of a conman, but now we have had four years of him as president and people have actually seen how he has performed – or not.

Over the past four years, people have seen his venality and his corruption of his office, not to mention his complete disregard for anyone but himself. He is quite happy to traduce democracy and stoke the fires of racism as well as playing to the far right. He has increased divisions in an already divided country. Yet so many American electors have looked at all of that and said to themselves, “yup, we will have four more years of that”.

On this side of the pond, we cannot pat ourselves on the back. Really the only thing the UK had going for it for a long time was that we were able to say “at least it’s not as bad as having Donald Trump in charge”.

But it is just as bad here now, because we have Boris bloody Johnson. Despite the overwhelming evidence of the incompetence and corruption of the Conservatives, they still enjoy a lead over Labour in UK terms. If there was a general election tomorrow, the Conservatives would be returned to power with a working majority.

That means we in Scotland are expected to share a polity with people who have seen for themselves the vile, evil, xenophobic, racist, corrupt, lying, conniving, chaotic, shambolic dipsh*ttery that is the Conservative Party, presided over by an entitled clown whose sole qualifications for his job is his unwavering sense of his own privilege. Yet the voters in England are still saying to themselves “I’ll have some more of that”. Oh, and Scotland, you’re going to have some more of it too.

A vote against independence is a vote to have your government chosen for you by people who do not care about truth and who are happy with conduct that is nothing less than corruption and cronyism. There have been perfect examples of this with the award of big NHS contracts to firms whose directors’ qualifications appear to be the fact that they have donated millions of pounds to the Tory Party. We have become a banana republic without the bananas or the republic.

Corruption has now become normalised under this Tory Government and that’s what being a part of the United Kingdom now means – we are expected to have our UK Government chosen for us by people who are content to condone corruption and who don’t care about truth or basic competence. It seems that all they care about is two world wars, one World Cup, poppies and “up yours Delors”. The only thing the Tory Government is halfway competent about is pissing off Scotland.

Meanwhile, we are watching the US election utterly powerless to affect the outcome, despite the effects it will have on us. Our interests and voices don’t even figure. Now people in England know what it’s like for Scotland at every general election.