NOW the funeral is over and as we start on the road back to normality, it’s time to reboot our minds and take a reflective look back on the events of the past fortnight and work out what they really mean for the future.

Personally, I take the view that if thousands want to pay tribute to a woman they have never met but obviously feel some connection to then it’s up to them. I can’t say I share their feelings but I don’t have any objections in principle.

At no point since the Queen’s death has it entered my head to travel to London and stand for 20 hours to pay my respects – but I understand that there are those that have and I’m not about to criticise them for it.

In fact, there are aspects of the caboodle that fascinate me. You don’t have to be an ardent monarchist to be sucked in by the sight of history in the making. Much of that history falls very far short of happy and glorious, although you would not realise that from much of the broadcast and published coverage.

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Of course, the Queen’s death was bound to allow those who felt sorrow – I’m reluctant to overstate it by calling it grief – and they have every right to put their feelings on show. But surely it was also a time to look back critically on Britain’s history, to recognise the scale of the crimes committed in the name of empire and properly examine the bonkers role that class persists in playing in British society.

If we can accept jam-packed streets and very public shows of unquestioning support for a family which includes several – and I’m going to put this as politely as possible – morally dubious characters, surely royalists can put up with the odd dose of honesty. But no. Instead, we are not only browbeaten into feeling British but feeling we should be proud of feeling British. Not everybody who believes in independence believes the monarchy should end.

There are indy supporters who want Charles to remain monarch of Scotland which is why there is a general acknowledgement that the issue should be shelved until after a successful yes vote. After all, why make a referendum more difficult to win by alienating those who want to keep the Crown?

A lot of big decisions lie on the other side of indyref2, which is kind of the point. After all, why vote for independence if every major issue has already been decided? The whole prospectus is to give Scots the power to make the decisions that matter. That eternal demand for complete certainty in a newly independent Scotland can never be fully satisfied. To at least some extent, it is a question of trust in ourselves to take the right decisions for our own country. Why should we be unable to rise to that challenge when so many countries with far fewer resources and economic advantages manage to do just that?

As far as I can see, the Scottish Government has negotiated the aftermath of the Queen’s death as well as could have been expected. The First Minister has attended all the required official engagements with grace and dignity. She has taken on board the responsibility to represent the whole country and not just those views she agrees with, which in this case is surely the right approach to the job. Ministers who have spoken have been nothing but respectful.

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I have listened several times to Patrick Harvie’s “controversial” speech and confess to being baffled at how some people have found anything within it at which to take offence. Wishing to see a time when the monarchy ends is in no way a “controversial” ambition. Indeed, it is one shared by a significant number of people in Scotland and beyond. Have we really reached the stage where to voice those ambitions is deemed beyond the pale? Are we really expected to accept that every speech on the issue must end with a rousing “God save the King” to be deemed acceptable? Is it reasonable to demand that we all buy unthinkingly into the myth of the monarchy and never question whether it has a place in the modern world?

Certainly, much of the media has been cowed into submission by a tidal wave of overreaction. Of course, it is a massive news story, but I’m not sure that reflecting that importance automatically demands the reverence which attached itself to so much of the coverage.

It was as if a hive mentality took over and there was no room for any other view. Watching the BBC coverage – a technical triumph if hardly a blueprint for balance and impartiality – was an uncomfortable experience for those of us who had expected the odd nod to a republican viewpoint.

There was something distinctly unsettling about the expectations that “the nation” –whatever that refers to – was united in grief. There clearly were many people deeply affected. Even in Scotland, which is generally accepted as being less in thrall to the monarchy than England, there were surprising numbers lining the streets of the capital.

But that did not justify the hushed tone of too much of the coverage. In an interview on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle lost all sense of perspective when he described the funeral of the Queen as “the most important event the world will ever see’’. The most surprising thing about his statement was not the breathtaking hyperbole but the fact that it went relatively unchallenged.

In fact, the behaviour of Scottish police suggested that they agreed with Hoyle’s comments. It was obvious that the right to protest and the protection of free speech ranked as very much less important in their eyes, a calculation very much approved of by the Scottish Tories.

Their justice spokesperson Jamie Greene was “appalled to see protestors disrupt such a solemn and historic occasion”. Although he went on to pay lip service to freedom of speech as a “key British value”, he seemed to suggest it paled into insignificance compared to “respect for others”. If that were the case, the right to freedom of speech would completely disappear.

Which is pretty much what happened to public criticism in the mainstream media over the past two weeks. To find space given to critics of the monarchy you had to go to social media to be reminded that the entire world had not lost its bearings and that there were still significant numbers clinging on to some sense of perspective.

There was even some evidence that not everywhere in the world regarded the Queen, or even the very notion of Britishness, with much affection or any at all. Outside our great British bubble, we could see a very different attitude in countries once part of the empire and, even closer to home, Ireland.

But even on social media so much of that critical view attracted pile-ons from those who were prepared to brook no deviation from the weird mix of awe and affection which had taken over the narrative. Everyone was expected to adopt the funereal black and do what we were told. So while pro-independence politicians were castigated if they so much as hinted that indyref2 might still be on the agenda, British nationalists had a field day proclaiming the eternal strength of the Union.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell waxed lyrical during his coverage of the Queen’s thanksgiving service on her love of the Union in what was virtually propaganda against a Yes vote in a way which would never have been tolerated from any pro-indy commentator. Of course, there’s a reason why the UK media presents the trappings of British nationalism as somehow normal and not political or controversial in any way.

Witchell wouldn’t recognise his comments as politically loaded or biased. He doesn’t give our independence a second thought. He probably doesn’t know anyone who does and neither do his London bosses. To him, the Britain we have seen “grieving for Her Majesty” and wittering on about the end of an era is the Britain they experience every day. It will barely register with them that the latest publication of the British Social Attitudes survey shows more than half of people north of the Border think Scotland should be an independent nation.

England may continue to cling to the traditions of the crown and the so-called pillars of the British establishment believe they can act like King Canute and remain impervious to the tides – but Britain has changed and wants to see that change reflected. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Scotland.

If the forces of “things must remain the same” have not yet woken up to that fact, they will soon be forced to rethink.