The National:

BRIAN Cox is just the latest Scot to run into Unionist sniper fire for daring to have an opinion about his native land, despite being in the US most of the time. I’m thinking, as Catherine Tate is wont to say, he won’t be much “bovvered”.

Cox has a long track record of supporting the independence movement, and was one of the first celebrities to line up in a photocall for prominent supporters of the 2014 Referendum.

Like fellow international star Alan Cumming, another in that legendary line-up, he’s always had a very keen interest in what’s happening in the place he grew up.

Both men regularly make trips back to Scotland to lend weight and stardust to a variety of pro-indy causes. We shouldn’t underestimate that kind of contribution. Like it or not, the views of the glitterati resonate with legions of their fans, and we shouldn’t diss their efforts.

Sean Connery used to get pelters for supporting independence, largely because he’d settled in the Bahamas. Yet he too was never slow to answer the call to spread a little tinsel around independence efforts. I doubt there were many prouder Scots at the formal opening of the Scottish Parliament.

READ MORE: Brian Cox: Nicola Sturgeon is doing an astonishing job leading Scotland

The fact is that Scots are a wandering tribe, though not always from choice! The clearances found many of them making homes in North America and Canada, whilst there is a more than liberal sprinkling around Commonwealth outposts like Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

There are Caledonian Societies worldwide from Russia to Japan and all over the USA. Ditto Highland Games and St Andrew’s Societies. Their dress codes may be a mite alternative, but their hearts still beat to a piping drum. We could berate them for failing to live in the country they profess to love, or we could utilise their passion and their pulling power to our advantage, like the Irish have done so well.

This year Global Scot is 20 years old, what we might call the business arm of the diaspora. It gives Scottish businesses with an eye to expansion the opportunity to make contact with major business players worldwide. Leaders who have solid Scottish connections. We have Global Scots all over the shop from Taipei to Melbourne.

Slowly and surely we are building our discrete embassy presences abroad in places like China, Ireland, France, Germany, America, Canada and Brussels in Belgium, heartland of the EU. The further away England rows from this vast European marketplace, the more Scotland cosies up to what it hopes will be a fairly seamless re-entry process.

WATCH: Alan Cumming says the case for Yes is 'more obvious' than ever

The Unionist media like to portray these initiatives as splurging/wasting resources. Cannier souls recognise the need to lay foundation stones for Scotland’s future world presence.

In truth though, the Scottish showcase in New York of Tartan Week does lack a certain appeal for those of us of a nervous sartorial disposition. Neither Jack McConnell in a short pinstriped kilt nor Alex Salmond in a Stetson quite caught the modern mood at the annual Tartan Week catwalk parade.

Tartan Week was virtual this year for most overseas guests, but you can bet your cotton knee-length sox, that New York’s assorted Scotland facing clubs and societies gave it laldy. It’s traditional!