AS we thrill to the sans-culottes of Kenmure Street, crowding around an immigration van to defeat the operations of the British state, we should note some other less surging, but no less subversive stooshies around us.

I am particularly tickled by the following spectacle. We have a Scottish Green as the Holyrood Parliament’s new Presiding Officer, the estimable Alison Johnstone. She was confirmed only a few hours after Patrick Harvie, her party’s co-leader, had made his traditional anti-monarchical, pro-presidential amendment during his oath to the Queen.

Along with many MSPs (starting from the First Minister outwards), Harvie pledged his “allegiance with the people of Scotland who elected this Parliament and who are sovereign”. And then he “looked forward to the day when they can choose their own elected head of state”.

Having met Ms Johnstone a few times, I am sure her manners will bear up when having to steer Brenda round the corridors of Holyrood, on her occasional daunder to the Parliament.

But outright Scottish republicans having to diplomatically handle British royals? This feels like more than a few straws in the wind, a mild indicator of some new Scottish political weather.

Could there be a new momentum towards an indy Scotland that didn’t just park the issue of the monarchy (let them have Commonwealth bicycles)? How many in an indy majority would, sooner or later, vote either negatively for abolition or positively for a republic?

Recent polls suggest a greater degree of Scottish cooling towards the monarchy, compared to the rest of these islands (though there are no majorities against). The investigations website The Ferret pulled them together in mid-March.

An Opinium poll had 44% of Scots supporting the monarchy, with 37% backing a republic – the narrowest “regional” margin in a UK poll. Survation found the same Scottish percentage for republicanism, the second highest after London (it’s always worth noting how red the non-elite metropolis can be).

YouGov shows “Scotland with the lowest regional level of monarchy support, at 50%, and the highest support for republicanism at 33%”. A Sky News March 17 poll even had Scotland evenly split, each option across the whole population getting 37%. Maybe unsurprisingly, Yes voters were 56% for a republic and No’s 54% for monarchy.

All of this polling occurred over a six-month window of royal calamity. This includes the lingering stench of Prince Andrew’s association with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Not to mention the sharp malodour of Meghan Markle’s revelations of Buck House racism, worrying over the skin colour of her first baby.

READ MORE: Alison Johnstone becomes first Green MSP to be elected Presiding Officer

The hundreds of thousands who voiced the BBC’s biggest ever audience complaint, about the extent of the coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, might also signify a decent wobble in the Windsors’ social foundations.

There’s a rule of thumb for tech-based audience interaction. As little as 1% of an interested audience actively responds to an initiative or enterprise, using emails, digital forms and calls. Behind that, it’s assumed there is a vast hinterland of observers and adherents, quietly nodding away.

So there may well be mass disgruntlement with royalty—appreciably bigger in Scotland. But at this rate of decay, we’d easily still be countenancing a 22nd-century British monarchy.

The SNP have long since bitten the royal bullet. Under their plans, any independence would seek to occupy the quirky post-imperial restroom of the Commonwealth. The Queen – or coming King – would be ceremonial (not constitutional or legal) head of the Scottish state.

Alex Salmond made the decisive calculation many years ago. The retention of the Windsors could be borne, if they were reframed as a cultural comfort-blanket for distressed Unionists, post-indy.

Fearing that their loyalties and traditions would be utterly unravelled in a year-zero New Scotland, a vestigial monarchy would provide a deep reassurance of continuity (along with Doctor Who on-tap at the BBC and the Common Travel Area). The Firm would be contracted to deliver a discrete service: look, here’s the “social union”, manifested on several visits each year.

But as the MSP swearing-ins the other day showed, the progressive Scottish political classes are perfectly well aware of the bigger issues at stake here. It matters that there is a difference between sovereignty resting with The Crown-in-Parliament (the Westminster default) and sovereignty resting with the people of Scotland.

Indeed, if the case for a second indyref gets anywhere near the Supreme Court, the weight of that Scottish tradition of popular sovereignty may well appear in its deliberations and submissions.

During the Brexit negotiations, we saw how close an unelected Queen (and a long-dead clause attributed to Henry VIII) came to becoming decisive players in a stalemated Westminster. I’d assume, post a Yes vote, there would be a democratic consensus amongst all parties. Such feudal-era, pre-modern weirdness should be avoided.

But at what point might the Republic of Scotland be avidly embraced? Under what conditions? I doubt that it will emerge from the post-Yes negotiation process itself. A proportionate Scottish saving on the Royal’s official budget, the Sovereign Grant (£69.4 million at a UK level, in 2019-2020) isn’t that much. The Crown Estate’s assets (worth nearly £300m) have already been devolved to Holyrood.

WE might get into an argument about the 20,000-odd acres that comprise the Balmoral estate. But that might rest on a deeper reckoning – that is, with the egregious pattern of land ownership in Scotland overall, currently divvied up between Dukes and Danish tycoons and Emirati Princes.

There will be, in the indy early years, a general anxiety to maximise the value and productivity of native Scottish resources. The Windsors’ assets may be swept up in a’ that. But my own feeling is that the removal of the monarchy from Scotland may depend on the civic fervour of the indy moment itself.

The Greens will be enjoyably squirming on the first royal visit. But their increasing prominence in Scottish politics may be part of a wider mega-trend in Europe and the West, where progressive votes move away from parties of “labour” and towards those of “the planet”.

The National:

So I can easily imagine a left-green bloc, influential in a future indy Holyrood, pushing for a referendum to bring about a coherent Scottish republic. It may catch the spirit of the opening decade of full sovereignty.

I would anticipate that spirit to be the pursuit of a “common weal”: Scots working hard among themselves to substantiate and progress their new nation. In that mood, there won’t be much patience for privileged visitors, in all their unearned status and authority, however gracious they are.

It’s not easy to dispel what, in 1981, Tom Nairn once called “the sweet odour of decay, arising from this mountainous dunghill of unfinished bourgeois business”.

By this he meant the lingering presence of the aristocracy on an island that didn’t have a strong enough Revolution, over the 17th and 18th centuries, to decisively clear them out.

Rather than some overdue toppling-over, a bustling and pragmatic Scotland might just leave royalty in its wake, as technological advance and climate catastrophe demand all of our passions and talents.

They won’t be the only celebrities whose allure dims, as the headlamps of crisis get bigger in the tunnel. But mere, powerless celebrities they must become anyway. A society of action – where the solidarity of Kenmure Street is the norm, not the exception – will reliably get Scotland to a republic beyond monarchy.