WE have discovered that the UK is a country where the Prime Minister and, indeed, the Queen, can take decisions that are unlawful and face no consequences.

In a unanimous decision by 11 judges at the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister was found to have broken the law in his attempt to bypass parliamentary democracy. This kind of abuse is no minor matter and should have led very swiftly to Boris Johnson’s resignation.

Instead, the briefings from Number 10 spin doctors were that the highest court in the land was “wrong” and had over-reached. Suddenly, the credibility of the UK’s democracy was under fire from its own government.

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The Prime Minister said he “didn’t agree” with the Supreme Court decision. Think about that. He doesn’t agree with the highest court in the land and its independent judges whose job is to interpret and uphold the law. They could not have been clearer. The prorogation of Parliament was “unlawful, void and of no effect”.

There are plenty of people who disagree with judges, but unlike Boris Johnson, they tend to be in prison or serving a community sentence. Instead, a nation watched as its Prime Minister stormed out of the House of Commons bumbling about surrender.

Johnson was not alone in acting unlawfully. His Cabinet, who also have been briefing against the judiciary, offer no hint of remorse. Even Remain voter Amber Rudd, who was lied to and given personal assurances in Cabinet, said she hoped Boris Johnson would work with Parliament. Work with Parliament on what? He has just tried to bypass it. He should be out of a job.

The judges, government sources suggested, acted with the political motivation of preventing Brexit. Yet their defence of prorogation was that it was not about Brexit at all. What disgraceful petulance on the part of the Government.

If the Government cannot respect the rule of law, if it attempts to frustrate the workings of Parliament, and if the Prime Minister then deploys the language of the mob in defence, then what respect can he and his government expect from the public?

The National:

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Perhaps that is the point. Perhaps this government sees the incitement of a chaotic disintegration of our institutions as a winning strategy, but I am surprised to see it from the Conservatives.

On the same day as the Supreme Court decision, official impeachment proceedings began against President Donald Trump.

We know all about Trump’s ego in Scotland. In his approach to developing a new golf course in Aberdeenshire, Trump’s approach has been to try to get his own way at every turn, disregarding whatever local resident, planning law or geographical obstacle gets in his way.

Like Johnson, Trump is used to getting his own way and does not respond in a mature fashion when he does

not. Facing the threat of impeachment, he didn’t even deny the allegation that he’d asked a foreign leader to intervene in the Democrats’ 2020 selection race. Instead, the president of the United States tweeted: “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”

Boris Johnson may well come to the realisation that emulating Trump won’t impress anyone with critical thought. But while we may view the American president as a larger-than-life caricature, at least he is open to more scrutiny than our own head of state.

The Queen unlawfully ordered the prorogation of Parliament, and there is nothing anyone can do. She is above the law.

This has been a period characterised by an extraordinary series of attacks on our democracy, and the Supreme Court decision is a victory in defending those institutions. However, it has also revealed how archaic and out-of-date the UK’s constitution and democracy really is.

The lack of a written constitution has been laid bare. We the people have no rules within which those in power must operate and no clarity on what happens if they try to stretch the constitution beyond its traditional limits. But none of this is inevitable and all of this has a remedy.

Scotland needs a modern constitution which gives us all greater certainty and clarity about the rules of political power. We need to create a structure that prevents a situation where the head of state and political leadership are beyond the law. In other words, we need to build a functioning democracy.

As the past few weeks have shown, the United Kingdom is not behaving like one, and the more level-headed No voters in 2014 must surely be taking a fresh look at the opportunities an independent Scotland could offer.