IT was a much acclaimed movie that morphed into an award winning stage play. Network featured a TV host, at the end of his tether, finally opening a window and shouting “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”.

My sentiments precisely. And those of so many indy supporters standing impotently on the sidelines as Scottish businesses and industries go down the tubes, aided and abetted by a London government whose short-sighted incompetence knows no bounds.

We’re mad as hell and we don’t want to take it any more. As pertinently, we don’t want our government to take it any more.

The other day the First Minister said that we should have a say in an Australian trade deal which threatens both our farmers and our hard won animal welfare standards. We should have a vote. Thing is we could have votes from here to Christmas and it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. ­Holyrood has been utterly emasculated by the Internal Market Act.

The current mantra is that Scotland can rebuild better as an independent country post pandemic. Here is a non news flash. There may never be a post pandemic. But there sure as hell will be no bricks of ­consequence with which to re-build our country if we allow our assets to be serially dismantled whilst we wring our hands and mourn the lack of consultation.

Look what Brexit has done to our ­fishing and seafood industries. Look what US ­sanctions have done to our whisky trade. The tools we need to protect the country – the level of vaccine supplies, the border controls – are determined elsewhere.

We have been frozen out of any conversations on our future from the toom tabard of the Joint Ministerial Council, to Brexit or G7 and the upcoming COP26 in which we have precious little say, but are handily placed to take any ensuing blame thanks to the location.

Let us examine the reasons given for our apparent inability to rise as a nation again; to get off our knees. The First Minister says she needs to be totally focussed on the ­pandemic.

We have a Director of Public Health, we have a chief Medical Officer, we have a ­Cabinet Secretary for Health, we have a chief Nursing officer all with a raft of ­deputies attached. All with over a year’s ­experience of dealing with this horror show.

Not to mention a highly involved team of experts in academia many of them in our own advisory unit. If the FM shifted her unwavering focus, we can cope.

We are told it is vital to win over the soft No voters. It will certainly be necessary. Yet pretty pointless if we lose a matched set of Yes voters who are currently

disappearing like snow off a dyke. They could do with a bit of wooing too. In fact they could do with some tangible re-assurance that their efforts are not destined to be buried in some new patch of long grass.

My namesake at Westminster, who feels able to celebrate spending two decades in that chamber, frequently asserts that if we lose another referendum, hopes of independence will be lost for another 20 years. Tell you what. I’d rather campaign with all my might and main and lose, than sit in the smouldering ashes of a once proud country. You can’t win if you don’t take part. Scotland the Feart is not what I signed up for.

We know from the post Brexit bourach that a narrow win is not enough. Yet you won’t get anything better than that if you don’t get out there enthusing voters, and offering them a better vision for their ­future than the shambles of a government in London.

I’ve lost count of the number of ­Unionist pressure groups set up in the last couple of years. Where is ours? Where is our ­Independence Unit; our Referendum Unit? Wwhere is our gameplan for the Scotland we want?

Admittedly the initiatives from the Gove bunker fail to show any grasp of what motivates the other tartan army. The one which got foot weary marching all over the country. The latest wheeze is “allowing” Scottish MP’s to vote on English laws. As your man says in Fawlty Towers, Que? Whit?

The whole point of ­becoming ­independent is having full and untrammelled control over our own laws, and ­letting England do the same. In any event, the Westminster arithmetic suggests any Scottish input would be an irrelevance. Rather like now.

The voices for independence rest on a spectrum. But scunnerdom now features right along it. Those who defected to Alba thought the best way to move the show along was to start a new party. That’s never been my view, and, judging by the recent election result, not the view of ­sufficient voters to make a real difference.

There are those in the solid centre of the Yes movement, still hanging on to their motivation but having their passion drained by inactivity. And at what we might call the soft Yes end are those who may have come late to the party and are wondering who forgot to lay on a band and a bar.

OUR government has to wake up and smell the disenchantment. The Yes family is a large one, but like any other family it hates being taken for granted. The opposition parties in Scotland are perfectly right to flag up areas which it feels are not being dealt with effectively enough. That’s their job.

And in a post-independence landscape these are charges which have to be taken seriously.

Yet let’s not forget these parties are playing on that pitch because they have set their face against appearing on the independence battleground. In denying even the democratic imperative of a ­referendum, they have abdicated the right to dictate how Scotland’s future should be fashioned.

The indy game should, by now, be the most important game in town. Our political World Cup and Euros rolled into one. Without independence, we have no voice, no protective armour, no dignity.

What after all can the opponents ­offer? The other day I read a former Tory MEP say that the Scottish Government would pay for its mistakes. Unlike that ­master strategist Boris Johnson? Unlike the ­hapless Hancock; unlike a geographically challenged foreign secretary? And what respectable, compassionate country, could argue for the Home Office post to be held by the malign Patel?

Douglas Ross, now restored to his home pitch after his away fixture in the Commons, criticises Scottish policies at every turn.

Yet when his puppet masters do a deal which will undermine the livelihoods of his own rural constituents his silence is deafening.

His voters deserve better, and he needs reminding for whose interests he was elected to fight. You may remember this part time linesman said that breaking the ministerial code was a straight red, yet all of Johnson’s cabinet and the ­impoverished man’s Churchill sit tight in their gilded offices. And from Mr Ross, not a peep. ­Perhaps his whistle has jammed.

I ASK folk in all honesty, regardless of their party inclinations and loyalties, can they really put their hands on their hearts and say that Johnson and Co are the best we can do?

Losing a by election to a party sitting at 7% in the polls is not the start of a ­revolution. Having an articulate new ­Labour leader whose ability to eschew open goals could get him a start for ­Scotland, is not a man on the brink of government.

So it’s up to us. We can hang about ­waiting for miracles, or we can get a ­serious campaign under way.

We’re mad as hell. We shouldn’t have to take it any more.