MY first lesson in politics was delivered by my dad, a committed trade unionist and Labour supporter. “The first thing you need to understand,” he told me, “is that when a Labour government gets elected, the flight of money follows soon after.” By this he meant the frenzied scramble of those who preach patriotism to take their money out of the country and hide it in pirate jurisdictions. “Rather this than the horror of actually sharing some of it,” he added.

There are many falsehoods when the merits of capitalism versus socialism are debated. The first one comes when you’re told you need to drop your idealism. This is followed by a tutorial about how you’re now entering the real world. In this reality only capitalism provides the wealth that creates jobs. Any questions about the nature of these jobs are unwelcome – ones about them being low-paid and unprotected from the whims of market forces or an avaricious boss.

Every few years we’re urged to be stoic when this delusion results, inevitably, in a financial pandemic. These have lately become as common as seasonal flu. The downfall of Enron, the state-sponsored greed of Carillion, RBS and the 2008 banking crisis and the £1 billion (and rising) coronavirus PPE scandal in 2020. These are all united by two forces: a psychotic belief that you can never have enough and an implacable ruthlessness in dealing with those who stand in your way.

These people destroyed our mining industry at a point when it was still profitable and then raided our North Sea oil receipts for the £7bn to pay off pit workers. They float the concept of wealth creation. This requires us to suspend the laws of common decency and fairness in return for them providing jobs out of their innate goodness. The reality is somewhat more prosaic. If these people could find a way of making money without having to employ actual people do you think they’d hesitate for a second?

It’s happening right in front of us today. Already we seem to have forgotten how those companies with billions on their balance sheets chose to throw their lowest-paid workers to the wolves in the first Covid wave to placate their billionaire investors. Large pension funds are still refusing to grant amnesties for the small businesses who rent the units on their property portfolios.

It isn’t socialism which causes financial scandals to occur. Socialism doesn’t send the flower of our youth into wars against third-world countries ill-equipped – or rely on breakfast television to fawn over them and kiss it all better before getting the Queen to hand out a few trinkets, this being a cheaper option than providing them with a decent pension.

It’s not working-class people who routinely betray this country by handing security secrets to our enemies or assisting them in their plans to invade. Historically, that’s been the exclusive preserve of our royal family, Fleet Street newspaper barons and those Oxford elites who thought Stalinism was an exciting new parlour game.

Those who profit from inequality never tire in their pursuit of it. They take comfort in the certain knowledge that the rest of us will fall asleep at crucial moments or have our attention diverted. As Scotland makes a second determined push for independence they are busy at work.

There is a curious response from some Scottish nationalists when questions arise surrounding the honesty and competence of the current SNP Government. “Let’s just get independence first and we can sort all that afterwards.” It’s a beguiling strategy but naïve in the extreme. It rests on the fantasy that while we’re all parking our concerns about neo-liberalism big business and the corporate elites are all taking a wee sabbatical too.

It’s why Nicola Sturgeon’s pet lobbying firm representing many of those elites authored the party’s Growth Commission. Thus a Trojan horse is already present within the party hierarchy to ensure that certain interests will run unencumbered by delinquent ideas about collectivism and financial equality in the new Scotland.

And so, our economy will continue to be shaped by the Bank of England and the opportunity to free ourselves from EU state aid obligations will be overlooked. Independence, my arse. After all, we need to show the EU that we’re good little capitalists so that we can get back into their banking club and be proper little supporters of Nato.

Have you ever wondered why the rules governing state aid are so keenly prosecuted? This is merely a device by which large global corporations can travel easily across national boundaries using their vast economic muscle to undercut local economies and hoover up public sector contracts. The full tax rate is rarely paid and the profits fly out of the country.

The SNP shouldn’t get to duck these questions just because they are the main vehicle of independence. Why, for instance, is our future economic direction of travel being influenced by Scotland’s biggest private landowner with the shadowy presence of a certain lobbying firm lurking in the background? Why is the party leadership spending millions in legal fees to prevent the truth of the Alex Salmond affair being held up to the light? And why after 13 years of SNP rule does our care sector remain largely in the hands of capitalists who see old age and infirmity as a means of increasing their property and share portfolios?

Why is half of Scotland still owned by a few hundred individuals? We have the most intense pattern of feudalism in Europe. And why are large chunks of Scotland’s natural heritage eternally on sale to the luxury homes and country club sector? This perhaps is why the party has hitched what passes for an ethical code to the fake progressiveness of woke ideology which derives its morality from the Salem witch trials.

Thus the SNP is happy to receive political migrants from working-class communities in Labour’s heartlands but demands that they wash out their mouths and bow to a retraining programme to cleanse their minds of old ideas about bringing up their families. The party leadership uses this repressive agenda to cover the fact that it has absolutely nothing to offer Scotland’s poorest communities.

The gerrymandering of this weekend’s annual conference has been arranged to ensure that no new meaningful policies emerge and that all discussion of anything that might oblige the leadership to pursue alternative routes to a second referendum is suppressed.

This party is in danger of selling an independent Scotland to the corporate interests currently holding sway in Boris Johnson’s England. We need to talk about this now and not wait until independence – by then it might be too late.