The National:

ALEXANDRA Hall Hall, a former British diplomat, is “starting to question everything” she thought she knew about the UK and its institutions after more than 30 years of government service.

It’s a bold statement for someone with her career history to make – but what came next was even wilder.

On the evening of January 7, Hall Hall, former British ambassador to Georgia and Brexit counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington, logged onto social media to reveal that after all that time so close to the centre of power, she has decided that the UK is undemocratic, that it thrives on “shameless posturing and co-option of supposed patriotic icons”, and is becoming worse than ever under a Tory government running a “systematic effort to attack and undermine any institutions which counter its narrative”. She also took aim at the “inbalance of powers across the Union”. Whew. That’s a lot to take in.

Hall Hall quit her role as a diplomat back in December 2019, saying she was dismayed by Brexit “half-truths” coming from Westminster and tired of the “not totally honest” messages her employers were putting out. So, we already knew she was not too keen on this current government.

But this latest viral thread from the long-serving diplomat shows more than that. She is not just criticising the Tories – Hall Hall is dismantling the institutions of the UK itself.

Hall Hall’s post has brought in thousands and thousands of retweets at this point, and is truly going viral. We’ve seen lots of SNP figures resharing it – including SNP MP Hannah Bardell who retweeted every part of the thread individually and added: “It’s so spot on.”

READ MORE: Protesters shout over BBC Any Questions as Nigel Farage speaks

National readers, below is the thread in question. We’ll let you make your judgement – but we can’t imagine too many of you would disagree.

“I woke up this morning feeling strangely unsettled...and realised that despite (or perhaps, because of) 30+yrs in conventional govt service, I'm now starting to question everything I thought I once knew about my country and its institutions.

“Top down, our system is undemocratic - prerogative powers exercised on behalf of the Crown, unelected House of Lords, system that gives disproportionate powers to govt, elected with less than 50% vote, imbalance in powers across the Union, cozy nexus of donors, media, politicians.

“Populace kept distracted and entertained with never ending diet of shallow news and gossip about royals, toffs, socialites, models, sports, pop, soaps, crime, etc. Feelgood stories or trivia which gloss over the challenges and inequities which actually prevail in our society.

“But getting so much worse under this govt, with its systematic efforts to attack and undermine any institutions which counter its narrative or try to hold it to account - parl't, judiciary, NGOs, human rights experts, investigative journalists, standards watchdogs, liberals, etc;

“And most sickening of all, shameless posturing and co-option of supposed ‘patriotic’ icons - flags, Churchill, WW2, Britannia, the monarchy, the army, Spirit of the Blitz, pint glasses, and invented rows with external so-called enemies - the French, the EU, the Irish.

“Ignoring real threats confronting us - internal and external. Incompetent, self-serving govt at home, failing to tackle domestic challenges; posturing on global issues and our values overseas, while accepting dirty money, selling arms to dubious regimes, and cutting aid.

“I thought I was a fairly conventional, middle class, middle of the road, Brit - aware that the UK was not perfect, but fundamentally ok. Now, I'm much less sure, and believe a lot needs to change. Perhaps my parents were right...I am a radical after all. Anyone feel the same?”

Hall Hall received an overwhelming number of responses backing her up.

"Beautifully put, Alex - and describes a journey I know many people are on, including me,” said another former UK civil servant, Richard Haviland, who is now involved in the European Movement in Scotland.

READ MORE: Ex-UK civil servant says Brexit led to 'culture of lying and corruption'

Daibhidh Creighton wrote: “I'm Scottish but have lived in mainland Europe for 22 years. It's  given me a different perspective on the UK, which I have to say lags far behind in so many ways. I do wonder how many Brexit fans would change their views if they lived in an EU country for a bit...”

And Moria Macmillan told Hall Hall: “You can, I'm sure, understand why Scotland's survival depends on becoming independent and if achieved we would be so willing to work with the progressive people of England in making these changes, and be good neighbours.”

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