HAVE I been promoted? Demoted? Or just predictably slagged off by the uber woke. Whatever. It seems I’ve “graduated” from being transphobic – emphatically not guilty as charged – to being a Tartan Tory.

Very much ditto.

Thing is, in this allegedly diverse, ­supposedly tolerant new world order, you have to tick a very specific set of boxes or be forever accused of some brand of ­villainy. You can make it a double whammy if you’ve committed the unpardonable sin of belonging to the one demographic which has still to see the light about the benefits of independence.

You might think, given the above fact, it would make sense to exert some effort to bring this older cohort on board. To address their specific concerns and fears about ­independence; to tailor messaging designed to allay them. Like how impoverished our retirement pensions are compared with other modern democracies.

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Like how to fashion a workable, ­affordable care system. Like how to ­ensure that when once reliable joints cease to ­function ­properly the choice is not to hang around for a few years till the NHS catches up post-Covid, or use savings, if you are lucky enough to have any, to buy pain ­relief. Often from the same consultant who was too busy to fit you in till three years next Wednesday.

Child poverty in the 21st century is a ­disgrace. No question. So too is any kind of poverty. The kind that sees some of our elderly citizens not putting the heating on because they want to use the cooker later.

I have a plan and some kenspeckle volunteers signed up, prepared to do a round Scotland tour geared to targeting those who have been too nervous to say yes to independence. Some were to be deployed in their own ­locality where they have maximum ­influence and reputation. Others would stay aboard for the whole shebang. I ran it past the outgoing CEO of the SNP a few years back. I guess the reply got lost in the post.

Anyway, to quote the unlovely ­Boris ­Johnson, it is oven-ready and can be ­deployed as and when we have a proper ­independence campaign underway.

The National: Former prime minister Boris Johnson (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

For the next campaign needs to be one without the rampant ageism which ­somehow manages to be more ­acceptable than ­other forms of ­discrimination, ­despite age ­being a “protected ­characteristic”. ­Really? Cast your mind back almost five years when the equalities brief was ­married ­ministerially to “older people”.

There was even a publication a year ­later – A Fairer Scotland For Older ­People – you know, the kind we have to make ­believe this fairer, greener Scotland is not a closed door when you hit an age barrier.

Yet, although there is a nod to all ­manner of interest groups in the new cabinet portfolios, the “older people” one seems to have fallen on the cutting room floor.

Such is the way of the political world, that unless someone is specifically charged with making something a ­priority, their attention will be driven to those parts of their brief specifically mentioned on the front cover of their ministerial folder.

It’s also why it makes perfect sense to have a Minister for Independence with nothing else attached. The incumbent of the new post has been asked to focus on one job alone – that of getting out there and spreading the word.

It’s not the smallest irony of politics in Scotland that the Unionist parties keep complaining that the SNP is obsessed with independence, whilst the wider ­independence family moans about the lack of any discernible movement on that front.

It is of course a fine and wonderful thing to have a young, vigorous ­cabinet ­hopefully blessed with energy and ­commitment, though apparently not at all fine if it had included a 32-year-old mother who harbours the wrong kind of personal morality. Although I have no faith myself, (except for believing in the capacity of the human race to do good if enough minds are put to it) I have at ­various times ­become quite well acquainted with both the Bible and the Qur’an.

Because of the cultural times in which both were penned, they contain ­passages that most of us would ­consider ­positively blood-curling in ­contemporary society. Both Christian and Islamic ­fundamentalists can quote you chunks of texts which are alarmingly homophobic.

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Interestingly, so far as I can detect, the Qur’an does not have Iranian-style ­misogynistic passages about what ­women should wear or Talibanesque bans on their education. These rules were ­“interpreted” by the patriarchy over the years in much the same way as Christian faiths, and their all-male “leaders”, fought to keep women barefoot in the kitchen and ­preferably pregnant. Meanwhile, the established church in England still has its cassocks in a twist about same-sex love and marriage. Some kirks too.

Which is why, full of righteous indignation, an army of tweeters swiftly pronounced Kate Forbes beyond any civilised pale because of how she chooses to live her own life. You can just imagine how social media would have gone completely berserk had she become first minister and sent out a picture of herself and her family at prayer in Bute house. Humza Yousaf, at the dawn of this year’s Ramadan, thought that entirely appropriate.

A practising Muslim, he assured SNP members his own deeply observed faith would not influence his policy making. It has been automatically assumed in some quarters that Forbes couldn’t manage that degree of separation. Despite having held a very senior cabinet post these many years. Apparently, the roof failed to fall in.

It is on the economy though where she is considered too right-wing, and I would be lying if I didn’t confess to feeling ­uncomfortable when assorted ­conservative voices praised her. Yet I also know, and so do many “progressives”, that Forbes would have rattled many more Unionist cages than the man who beat her, because, as has been ­endlessly observed, it’s always the economy stupid. I’m not quite clear how being a ­wealthier nation is at odds with being a more ­socially just one.

It was our failure to properly address issues like currency and pensions which did for us in 2014 and I make absolutely no apology for suggesting that these same ducks have to get in a row if we ever get another chance to decide our own future as a nation-state.

What also did for us, was failing to ­recognise the makeup of the indy ­refuseniks. There is as much ­variety in 60-year-olds, as in six-year-olds or 16-year-olds.

The crucial difference with the first ­cohort is that they’ve reached an age and stage where the state of the economy­, not least their own one, becomes of all-consuming interest. It’s why parts of France are in meltdown and the UK ­Government has kicked its own ­pensionable age plans into some very long, post election grass.

Of course, the French protesters come from all age groups as we can see from the coverage. But here is a news flash; young people are destined to become old people. In the space in between they set up households, have kids, and become preoccupied with all manner of issues they thought were strictly for the birds, or, worse still, their parents, who clearly must be past the age of joined-up thought.

So for those folk thinking only what bliss it is in this new dawn to be alive, and to be young, I ­suggest that they shed the comfort blanket of their own, sometimes niche, concerns and take a long look at the world outside the echo chamber.

There is all manner of folks out there who know that changing their pronouns doesn’t put food on the table.