AS the COP26 conference completes its opening formalities and gets down to serious business, one small area of Glasgow is now officially United Nations territory and so has escaped Westminster rule, at least for a short time.

Perhaps the reason Boris Johnson was so determined to ensure that the Scottish First Minister has no official role at the summit is because he’s afraid that she’d ask the UN to keep Finnieston. Given the woeful administration of the entire UK by the Johnson regime, and its repeated failure to abide by its commitments and obligations, the UN would surely have agreed to do so.

The clocks went back over the weekend, but this being Brexit Britain, they had to go back to the 1950s, and if it was a clock that was made in the European Union, it had to go back to where it came from.

We’ve got trade wars with France, empty supermarket shelves, declining exports, and a self-inflicted labour shortage afflicting the vital social care, medical, and transport sectors, just as Covid case rates surge.

WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon interviewed on major CNN show as COP26 shines spotlight on Scotland

Meanwhile the British Government is undermining the devolution settlement, adopting anti-democratic measures designed to put obstacles in the way of exercising the right to vote which will disproportionately affect demographic groups which tend not to support the Conservatives.

As this is happening, the Conservatives are buoyed up by dark money and dodgy donors whom they reward with titles and seats in the Lords. And these are the people whom we are supposed to believe can save the planet.

The focus of the conference is rightly on the pressing and urgent need to tackle the climate crisis, but with international eyes on Scotland for the next two weeks, attention will also be paid to the hypocrisy and inadequacies of the British state and how its promises and commitments to Scotland, the people of the UK, and the world are most often honoured in the breach, and what is actually delivered falls far short of what was promised.

On the weekend the COP conference opened, French president Emmanuel Macron warned the UK that its credibility is on the line over its failure to adhere to the deal it made with the EU in order to secure Brexit. Macron said: “It is not just for the Europeans but all of [the UK’s] partners. Because when you spend years negotiating a treaty and then a few months later you do the opposite of what was decided on the aspects that suit you the least, it is not a big sign of your credibility.”

It was a clear warning to the world that even if the UK does sign up to a deal with the rest of the world to reduce carbon emissions and keep global warming below the critical 1.5C threshold by the end of this century, the British government is quite likely to trash its commitments the second the Conservative Party seeks a large donation from one of the oil giants.

A case in point is that the keynote opening speech was delivered by Prince Charles, who uttered the usual platitudes about the need for everyone to pull together and take the climate crisis seriously in order to save the planet and ensure that young people have a future.

Given the perfidy of Albion, it is fitting that the UK’s choicto deliver the opening speech a profligate wastrel of a man whose entitlement and privilege knows no bounds, and who shows by his behaviour that he does not believe he personally must make the sacrifices he calls on from others.

The British media has been very quiet about how exactly Charles and his entourage got to Glasgow for the conference, and an extensive online search over the weekend failed to turn up any information about his mode of travel. However, it’s a safe bet that he didn’t travel from London by electric car, because had he done so we’d have had to suffer a Nicholas Witchellathon of sycophancy about the lengths the royals will go to in order to practise what they preach.

Based on the prince’s usual behaviour it’s most likely that he arrived by private jet or RAF helicopter, both methods of travel which are grossly polluting in terms of the amount of carbon they release into the atmosphere. However, with the British royal family, as with the British ruling classes and establishment in general, it’s very much a case of do as one says, not as one does.

READ MORE: Tories fume as new Nicola Sturgeon ad calls Scotland a 'nation in waiting'

This is the same prince who, according to a recent book by former LibDem MP and coalition minister Norman Baker, while on a visit to Canada in the late 1980s, ordered a Canadian air force jet to fly from Vancouver to Winnipeg and back in order to retrieve a shoehorn that his valet had accidentally left behind. Never mind the carbon footprint, heaven forfend that the pampered heir to the throne should have to put on his own shoes like a normal person.

And that in a nutshell sums up the attitudes of the British state and its ruling classes. Other people, the little people, do the hard graft, make the sacrifices, but the British exceptionalism which is the guiding principle of Anglo-British nationalism ensures that the British ruling classes do not feel that they are bound by the promises that they make. After all, the Prime Minister’s former adviser Dominic Cummings, a man who looks like Frodo if he had kept the ring, recently admitted that “cheating foreigners” was a core part of the Prime Minister’s job.

What all this tells us is that in a future independence referendum campaign, we know for a fact that any promise made by the anti-independence parties in order to secure a No result will be traduced and broken the second that the votes are counted.

The British state has no credibility left. Scotland knows that from painful and bitter experience, the rest of the world knows it too. Diplomatic niceties might prevent other nations from intervening directly, but when we do have that referendum the rest of Europe and the world will be willing Scotland to vote to escape the entitled liars and cheats of Westminster.