AS a nation, Scots have a distinct tendency to beat ourselves up. Generations of living in a country that not allowed to act like a normal country, a country which has taught itself for hundreds of years that one of its languages is dead and useless and the other isn’t really a language, long years of trying to square the circle of Scottishness with the square of Britishness, has left us with a deep rooted sense that everything, everywhere, is all about to go terribly wrong.

It’s the Scottish Cringe, and it’s a by-product of Scotland’s inferior position within the British state.

Every summer, during the silly season when the newspapers struggle to fill their pages because all the politicians have gone off on holiday, the Cringe rears its ugly head in the shape of a dispute or fall out within the independence movement.

This year it’s Stuart Campbell’s idea for a new party. Last year it was gender balance. Something happens which causes one part of the independence movement to disagree with another part, and then the overwhelmingly anti-independence press in Scotland whips this up into an existential crisis. And it always gains traction because we’re Scottish, and to be Scottish means we hae oor doots.

So this year we all got worked up into a lather about the hypothetical prospect of a party which exists merely as a notion and not as a plan and which will in any event only be required should a number of things come to pass which may never come to pass.

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The Cringe, in the shape of our doubts and fears about our ability to wrest independence from the jaws of Westminster, is used to distract us from what is staring us in the face, which is that we have a Westminster government which is less stable than a drunk man standing one legged on top of a pile of uneven wooden blocks balancing on a beach ball.

What is staring us in the face is that this unstable Government heads a UK which is heading for a No-Deal Brexit, there is the likelihood of a snap General Election, and meanwhile we have an official opposition and remain parties in Westminster which are no more likely to get their collective act together than Kanye West is likely to discover his inner humility.

Between now and the next Holyrood elections due in 2021, the British political landscape is going to change in radical ways, ways which are only likely to make more people move towards support of independence.

It was always thought that there would be a shift towards support for independence in Scotland if two things happened, a Boris Johnson Government, and Brexit. Only one of those events has actually taken place and already we’ve had an opinion poll showing majority support for independence and majority support for an early independence referendum. When Brexit does happen, that boost to independence is only going to increase. Given the disarray of the Remainer parties at Westminster, it is looking increasingly likely that Brexit cannot be avoided.

There are still many people in Scotland who are hoping and praying that Brexit can be avoided, and that they won’t be forced to choose between remaining a part of the UK and remaining a part of the EU.

When Brexit does happen, forced through by an intransigent Conservative Government which has paid no heed at all to the opinions of Remainers, those people will be forced to make a choice. Significantly, that choice will not have been forced upon them by those of us who support Scottish independence.

It will be the Westminster Government which is the focus of their ire and distress. Forced into a choice, many of them will choose independence, and those who have already come over to support for independence will have their decision confirmed and validated.

In the highly likely event that there is a snap General Election, the prospects for Ruth Davidson’s Vote Ruth Davidson for More Ruth Davidson party look especially dire. She’s a busted flush, ignored and sidelined by the Westminster Government.

She will not be able to pose as a strong voice for Scotland within the UK, and her one trick Scotland doesn’t want another referendum schtick will be threadbare and unconvincing. Polls suggest that a total wipeout of the Conservatives in Scotland, as happened in 1997, is quite possible. Those same polls suggest that the SNP will make substantial gains at the expense of both the Tories and Labour.

A Conservative party standing on a mandate of refusing another independence referendum, which has been roundly rejected at the polls in Scotland, will no longer be able to maintain its current line that there’s no appetite in Scotland for an independence referendum.

The immediate goal of the independence movement must be to prepare for that election. We have to be united and resolute in our demand for an early referendum, and get behind the only party with a realistic chance of winning Westminster seats on a pro-independence platform.

For its part the SNP must not repeat the mistakes of 2017, and shy away from talking about independence. A mandate for a referendum must be front and foremost in the party’s manifesto.

An overwhelming victory for the SNP in elections for the legislative body which does actually have power over the constitution would create a cast iron mandate for a referendum that not even the Tories could deny, especially not when they are reeling from a Scottish annihilation

The positive thing about a proposal for a new Yes party is that it’s a timely reminder that we have many options open to us, there are several paths available which can potentially lead to independence. However we have have to deal with our issues in a sensible order.

Yes, there may very well come a time when it’s necessary to form a new Yes party in order to hold the SNP to account. But that time is not now. Right now our priority as a movement is to make sure that we maximise the support that the SNP receives in an early UK General Election, we capitalise upon the boost in support for independence that Brexit will bring about, and that we continue to pile on the political pressure for a referendum.

So when you’re overcome with doom and gloom. When you think that everything is terrible and it’s aw gaun wrang – remember, we are winning.