A BROKEN democracy, a dodgy, scandal-ridden, right wing multi-millionaire running a government most people voted against and big corporations dictating public policy to suit their own profit margins.

It's not Donald Trump's America I'm talking about, it's the UK under Westminster.

Bernie Sanders's intervention in the independence debate will not be welcomed by those opposed to Scottish democracy, but his argument is irrefutable. It is for the people of Scotland to decide if we want to go our own way.

Bernie may be a socialist like myself, but there's nothing radical about his view on independence. It’s a basic statement of democracy, one which millions would share.

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It really says something about our politics when a visiting politician from thousands of miles away is able to grasp this basic point but both the current Tory government and their Labour "opposition" flatly refuse to do so.

I've always liked Bernie and I’m proud to call his older brother Larry (a long-time Green councillor in England) a friend. 

I was one of the organisers for Bernie’s campaign during the Democrats Abroad primary in Scotland back in 2020. I’m proud to say that he won here by a very comfortable margin!

For obvious reasons, Bernie's vision of a "not me, us" future for America is one which resonates with Green parties across the world.

His vision for society owes just as much to modern environmental liberation movements as they do to the heroes of the US workers’ movement, like the great Eugene Debs. 

Bernie’s is a socialism of the 21st century and it’s one the Scottish Greens certainly share.

There are obviously huge differences between Scotland and America, but being involved in both, I can say that the themes and the hope which fuelled the Sanders campaign bear many similarities to our Yes movement.

Bernie touched on that himself when he told Sky News that he "very much appreciate[s] what the people of Scotland have done" and "what [we're] fighting for."

In America, Bernie fights for free healthcare for all. Here we’re fighting to protect our NHS from the Tories and their desperate attempts to land a trade deal with the same healthcare companies whose greed kills so many Americans.

He has led the campaign for bold action to fight climate change, whilst here our Green & SNP Government is taking world-leading steps to restore nature and reduce emissions.

And one thing I really admire about the Senator is his unshakeable commitment to welcome immigrants and refugees, something our government strongly shares but is largely powerless to do for as long as those powers lie with the racist UK Home Office.

None of this is to make assumptions about how Bernie would vote if he lived here. But there is no doubt that the politics he represents is a million miles away from the crony capitalism of Downing Street or the uninspiring mediocrity and managed decline of Labour.

With the First Minister's resignation and public support for the Tories collapsing there are lots of gleeful unionist commentators proclaiming the end of the independence cause. They couldn’t be more wrong. 

To make those claims shows a total misunderstanding of the core argument for independence - democracy. 

READ MORE: Bernie Sanders weighs in on Scottish independence debate

Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands, not in a union which, whether its Labour or the Tories in Downing Street, wil never prioritise our needs.

In 2020 the US was given the chance to turn the page and begin undoing the damage of Trumpism. It's time that Scotland is given the chance to do the same with Westminster.

A political union that can only be sustained by denying democracy has lost its legitimacy. Bernie's right, it's time for Scotland to make our choice.