IN a tale of four nations, there is less to unite and more to divide as Johnson and his Brexit buddies gear up to take the UK for a ride on the Big Dipper.

With a General Election on the cards, there is everything to play for and much to lose for the citizens of these divided isles. Can Johnson convince enough voters that it’s better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t ie Corbyn? The thought of two deeply unpopular leaders battling for the hollow crown is really quite depressing.

Will buccaneering Boris complete his coup by pulling an election victory by blaming the Remainers and the EU for spoiling his attempts to get a deal, and then crash out in a blaze of Union Jack glory on October 31?

For Johnson, it is the ultimate gamble. And as I write this, all bets are off on success for this tin-pot wannabe dictator because the supposed “equal partners” in this dysfunctional family of nations have had enough of being pushed around and bullied.

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Analysis from YouGov polls in Northern Ireland suggests the DUP may struggle to hang on to three of their 10 seats should a snap election be on the cards, with the Alliance party and their strong Remain stance set to wrestle power from the unionists’ grasp. Alliance Party Leader, Naomi Long, caused an upset at the recent European elections when she became her party’s first-ever MEP at the European Parliament as one of two Remain-supporting MEPs out of three, the Brexiteers outflanked on both sides.

Not surprising really in a country where 57% voted to Remain in 2016, and where recent polling has shown that 60% want to keep their links with the south and stick the border down the sea if needs be rather than across the land to prevent a return to the Troubles.

But the DUP aren’t listening, they’re stuck on repeat when it comes to the backstop, with a stubborn refusal to countenance any other way than their very own highway while taking full advantage of a dormant Stormont. But with Foster and co focused on their power trip at Westminster and securing a Brexit that bears no regulatory divergence from the rest of the UK, whatever the cost, it looks like the Northern Irish voters have other plans to take back control. Johnson is already struggling with numbers in the Commons; three down and possibly more to go will put a big spanner in the works.

More power to their elbows, as my pal’s Irish mother would say. Because, ironically, the Brexit slogan dreamed up by Leave pseudo-maverick and arch-baddie-in-chief, Dominic Cummings, to “take back control” from the European Union, has now been appropriated by the Remain voting nations within the UK.

Across the water from the North, there is a similar feeling about the UK Government and their Scottish representatives in our land. With the leaderless Scottish Tories running scared, it’s very unlikely that their useless bums on seats at Westminster will be returned by a voting public sick to the back teeth of watching their lives and their prosperity put at risk by these spineless nonentities.

Top prize for lack of utility in defending Scotland was normally kept as a special honour for Fluffy Mundell, who has now been replaced by an even more beholden Secretary of State known in his constituency as “Alister Absent Jack”. And you’d have to be zipped up the back not to have noticed that the 12 other Tory MPs have hardly covered themselves in glory in their short time at the House of Commons.

The National: Boris Johnson waves at the press with Alister 'Absent' JackBoris Johnson waves at the press with Alister 'Absent' Jack

Scotland is not at the forefront of their minds nor is the good of their constituents. Ross Thomson, with his head up Boris Johnson’s backstop; Douglas Ross distracted by his linesman duties; Colin Clark happy to throw the baby out with the bath water and take his place in the hard-right Ministerial club of Brexiteers; oh and Kirstene Hair ... well, the less said about her, and her gross lack of understanding of the job description, of reserved versus devolved matters, of actually everything and anything, the better. To name some of the few.

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Significantly not one Scottish Tory has put their head above the parapet, not one of them ready to stick their neck out and stop disaster for their constituents, their constituents who voted to Remain in the EU, who definitely do not want to crash out without a deal, without a hope, without medicine, food, fuel, a future. Yes, the sound you can hear is a nail being hammered into their political coffin. To quote from a recent banner I saw at a “Stop the Coup” get-together, “what a parcel of prorogues in a nation”.

We have nothing to fear from an election and much potentially to gain. That does not mean we should hand election timing to “King Boris” on a plate. We need to be sure of two things. Firstly, that he can’t pull any fast ones during the campaign and secondly that we seek a mandate worth having, to make the election worth winning.

So, I’m up for a Celtic alliance of nations to stop Tory England’s Brexit. An Independent Scotland as voted for in a proper electoral test, and a future for the North and South of Ireland as agreed by their people through democratic means. Then we can work together to secure the best for our nations, in an equal partnership with the EU, free from the ties that bind and undermine. And Wales are very welcome too once they’ve got their act together.

How does that sound? Channelling Donald Dewar at his best, I must say, “I like that”.