THE opponents of independence whom we must now call Anglo-British nationalists following last week's Supreme Court ruling will employ fair means or foul, but mostly foul, in order to prevent that popular vote on Scottish independence that they view with such dread.

But first of all, we need to deal with the matter of nomenclature. During the 2014 referendum campaign the opponents of independence were very successful in framing it as a debate between nationalists who wanted independence on the one hand and non-nationalist unionists on the other, ensuring that it was the Yes side which was lumbered with all the negative baggage that the term 'nationalist' carries with it. This ensured that some people who might otherwise have been receptive to the independence message were turned off because they consider themselves opposed to “nationalism”.

The Supreme Court ruled that in the eyes of the British state Scotland is subordinate to a parliament overwhelmingly elected by voters in England and in which Scotland's representatives are a small and permanently ineffectual minority which cannot hope to overcome decisions that affect Scotland made by that huge majority of English MPs. This is why we have Brexit and all its negative consequences despite the fact that Scotland rejected it in the 2016 referendum and has consistently voted for parties opposed to Brexit ever since.

The Supreme Court ruled that there is no path to another referendum which Scotland can use to achieve a vote by means of its own internal democratic processes, putting a lie to the generations long claim so beloved of anti-independence politicians that the UK is a voluntary union of nations which accepts that it is up to the people of Scotland to decide whether Scotland remains a part of the UK.

In addition, the Supreme Court went out of its way to rub salt in the wound by ruling that Scotland has no right to self-determination. The parties campaigning to oppose Scottish independence are therefore campaigning to maintain Scotland's subordinate status in an unequal state the membership of which is only voluntary for its largest constituent nation and which denies to Scotland the right to self-determination which is axiomatic for England.

These parties are not 'unionist' in the sense in which they have traditionally presented themselves. They are not advocating Scottish participation in an equal and voluntary union that respects Scotland's centuries-long nationhood and historic understanding of Scottish sovereignty. No, they are advocating that Scotland remains in a polity in which Holyrood and Scotland's legal and political traditions are subject to the whims of a parliament which is overwhelmingly composed of MPs elected to represent English constituencies on the basis of English political concerns, and in which the Scottish Parliament has no greater legal or constitutional foundation than an English county council.

This is not some form of lofty non-nationalist unionism which is a higher and more dignified philosophy than mere grubby nationalism. It IS mere grubby nationalism. It is Anglo-British nationalism. Just because the parties opposing independence are in deep denial about their own nationalism and refuse to recognise it for what it is, does not mean that supporters of Scottish independence must collude in their delusion. We do ourselves no favours and deliver an open goal to our opponents by doing so.

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We must call out Anglo-British nationalism for what it is. The Scottish independence debate is not a debate between nationalism and non-nationalism. It never has been, but in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling it is clearer than ever that the Scottish constitutional debate is a debate between two nationalisms, civic Scottish nationalism on the one hand and hegemonic and frankly imperialist Anglo-British nationalism on the other.

After the Supreme Court ruling, it is time to expunge the term “Unionist” from current Scottish political discourse. The term is a historical relic belonging to a bygone age in which Scotland could tell itself that it was an equal partner in a voluntary union of nations. It has no more modern political relevance than the terms Jacobite, Covenanter or Home Ruler. All there are now are supporters of Scottish independence or proponents of Scotland's political subordination to a state which is the political and constitutional expression of Greater England. There are no Unionists any more. There are only Anglo-British nationalists who wish for Scotland to remain dominated and unable to determine its own fate.