WHETHER it has been officially called or not, and with the UK Supreme Court yet to rule on the lawfulness of Holyrood holding an independence referendum without the consent of Downing Street, the second independence referendum campaign is already very much underway.

For the British nationalists who, despite Brexit and an increasingly right-wing populist Conservative party, still can't bring themselves to admit that they are in fact nationalists, it has begun like that last panicked week of the 2014 campaign.

The campaign start is reminiscent of the publication of a poll giving Yes a slender lead spooked a Better Together Campaign and shook it out of its complacent belief that it was going to crush the Yes campaign.

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This time around they will not make the same mistake. The Conservatives and their allies know that they could lose, they can see the polls too, and for all the online bravado of the staunch mob, more serious heads know that Better Together 2.0 is in serious trouble as it goes into a new campaign with the polls effectively neck and neck.

And this is with a Conservative party which is overtly hostile, not just to the devolution settlement, but to the very concept of the United Kingdom as a union of four distinct nations. There can be no new Vow, no plausible promise of further devolution or any guarantee that a future Westminster government will not seek to undermine the powers of Holyrood.

So what we see instead are desperate attempts to deflect the blame for the current multiple crises which beset this ailing union that isn't a union from Westminster to the Scottish Government. So, we see Labour MSPs attack the Scottish Government for not nationalising the energy companies, even though this is a power reserved to Westminster.

Following a call from Nicola Sturgeon for the energy companies to be nationalised in order to keep bills in check, Labour's Mercedes Villalba took to Twitter to demand : "What's stopping her?" That would be Westminster and the Scotland Act that are stopping her, Mercedes, restrictions on the freedom of action of the Scottish Parliament that the Labour party fully supports.

Meanwhile, Conservative MSP Sandesh Gulhane repeatedly refused to answer a question put to him on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland about what steps the Westminster government should take in order to help vulnerable households deal with soaring energy bills. Instead, he preferred to use the question as a launchpad for some whataboutery regarding the Scottish Government, and even though energy policy is reserved to Westminster, as are the vast majority of tax raising and borrowing powers, Gulhane continued to insist that Holyrood has all the powers and resources that it needs to tackle the crisis by itself.

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Their comments come after the First Minister warned that many families face "devastation and destitution" if the looming rises in the energy price cap are allowed to go ahead. She insisted that the nationalisation of the energy companies must be "on the table" although she acknowledged that the devolved government lacks the power to do so and is dependent on the new Conservative Prime Minister taking action. Truss, the likely victor in the Tory leadership contest, is ideologically opposed to nationalisation, which is ironic considering the number of times she has been publicly owned.

Naturally, there was no recognition from either Gulhane or Villalba that the reason we are in this mess in the first place is because of decisions made by British Governments.

In the referendum campaign ahead, we are going to see a lot more opponents of independence blaming Holyrood for Westminster's sins. Westminster is currently rudderless, Johnson has given up doing his job while his likely successor's sole remedy to the problems that assail us is tax cuts that will largely benefit the better off. But Labour and the Conservatives both reserve their ire for a Scottish Government which, in their view, is not doing enough to clear up a mess that is not of its making and gives a free pass to those who created the mess in the first place.