HERE we go again. Yesterday was a day ending with “y”, so of course the UK Government has come up with another madcap plan to try to thwart Scottish independence.

According to reports in the Sunday Times, ministers are considering a referendum bill that would require more than half of Scotland’s entire electorate – rather than a simple majority – to vote for independence before Scotland is permitted to leave the Union.

Take a deep breath here folks, because there’s more.

Before we even get to the democracy-denying, goalpost-shifting vote, the UK Government has some other demands. In order to allow a vote to go ahead, there would need to be “evidence” for more than a year that at least 60% of voters in Scotland wanted a referendum.

Presumably, that “evidence” would have to be in the form of opinion polls, rather than actual votes, because we know election results don’t count in Scotland.

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This latest nonsense is the political equivalent of swearing at a train that has pulled out of the station before you could board it. If they are going to spin the daft ideas wheel and try any old trick to stop the inevitable, why not go even further?

The UK Government could say that Scots can only vote in indyref2 if more than 60% of the population stands in a field on the last Thursday of December and shouts “FREEDOM” at the moon.

Stick in a clause that would strike anybody who had ever said anything nice about Nicola Sturgeon off the electoral roll. Ban the under-30s from voting unless they promise to take a legally-binding oath of allegiance to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Raid the homes of those believed to be in possession of 2014 Yes memorabilia and punish them accordingly.

If the UK Government is going to use dirty tricks to keep us in the Union, they might as well be creative about it.

This is desperation on the part of Unionist politicians. They are so unconvinced by their own arguments that they are prepared to subvert democratic norms to get what they want.

Imagine the furore if what’s being proposed here had been applied to the EU referendum. There would have been a march of red-faced poshos down Parliament Square and onwards to Buckingham Palace, where they would have demanded that the Queen herself intervene to stop the saboteurs.

That’s the thing about democracy: it only really works if the rules and norms are applied equally and with a degree of logical consistency. We know how indyref2 would work because (as Unionists love to remind us) we’ve already had an independence referendum.

The standard has been set and the rules have already been decided. They cannot be changed on the whim of an incoming UK prime minister whose only contribution to the debate so far has been to pledge to ignore Scotland’s First Minister.

Of course, these shenanigans are not at all surprising from a government that has already shown it takes a pick ’n’ mix approach to democracy.

What I want to see – and hear – is the views of Labour and their supporters. Will this be another suggestion from a Tory government that they are prepared to defend on the basis that nothing is worse than Scotland becoming independent?

As we know, the independence movement is not one solid group. It comprises those of different parties and none, who support independence for different reasons and have different ideas for what an independent Scotland should look like.

While much is made of the infighting among independence supporters, I think disagreement is healthy when you are talking about a movement that comprises of millions of people.

The alternative is what we see now with the cage that Unionist politicians have erected for themselves. Where Labour representatives can hear a proposal to rig a democratic vote and either find themselves agreeing with their allies in the UK Government or worse, saying nothing at all.

Their continued silence around the increasingly desperate attempts by the UK Government to block a vote that voters in Scotland have made clear they want makes them look daft. And it shows that Labour haven’t learned anything since 2014 and the collapse of their support in Scotland.

Liz Truss will soon become prime minister tomorrow and with that will come all the usual macho posturing of a new Tory leader. No leader who was secure in their own abilities to persuade voters in Scotland of the benefits of the Union would behave as she has throughout the campaign.

These bullish attempts to gerrymander the referendum come from a place of weakness, not strength. Not only are they doomed to fail, but they also have the opposite effect to that which is intended.

You don’t have to be a flag-waving, foam-finger pointing, Yes-supporting diehard to recognise that Unionist politicians are trying to change the rules before the game gets under way.

It comes down to trust: if they can’t play fair when it comes to something as fundamental as a democratic process, can voters in Scotland really expect them to act in their best interests in the years ahead?