I AM, generally, proud to be Scottish. Sometimes noisily proud, more often quietly so. I am also proud to be British and feel no contradiction in that twin affection.

There are, however, some occasions when the behaviour of Scotland’s politicians makes me embarrassed. Leave aside the questionable truths, spin and memory lapses of the spat within the nationalist camp. That’s just low-grade people playing low-grade politics. Focus instead on money.

The figures for public spending in Scotland show we benefit to the tune of around £2,000 a head in terms of additional spending compared with England. That is not matched by more tax raised in Scotland – it is a direct transfer of resources from the UK as a whole to Scotland.

Some variation in spending between parts of the UK is justified – needs differ – but this benefit of over £10 billion each year – as confirmed by figures prepared by the Scottish Government statisticians, not made up by those nasty people in Westminster – is more than a tidy sum.

It helps explain why our spending on schools and hospitals can be above the UK average.

The nationalists twist and turn and come up with all sorts of voodoo economics to explain why this benefit is somehow not real, or would magically be replaced through their brilliant new policies, if they could only do exactly as they pleased.

In the interim though the Scottish Government enjoys spending the dividend we get as part of the UK. Laptops for all school children at a cost of £260 million. A 4% pay rise for our 150,000 health workers at a cost of around £135m a year compared with mean old England who are only proposing 1%. A doubling to £20 a week of the additional payments for children in lower-income families.

This is not the full list. Again and again the Scottish Government makes spending pledges which mean that people in Scotland will be better off than those in England.

This is all great stuff for elections and who would want to argue against the individual policies.

What is, however, never ever acknowledged is that the additional money which enables these nicer-than-in-England measures is not raised from within Scotland but is a transfer from the rest of the UK.

So far so good – Scotland is part of the UK and we benefit from being so. What’s not to like? Well for the SNP Government the bit they just don’t like is admitting it, they hate that. They hate it so much they spin and twist and deny it as a fact.

The bowl goes out again and again for more – no credit given, no acknowledgement of the extra money, just endless complaining and embittered blaming.

The nationalists just cannot accept that anything good comes from the UK. In contrast, everything the Scottish Government does is great.

Soon we will be told that Oxford is a village outside Edinburgh and AstraZeneca is headquartered in Motherwell and only chanced upon the vaccine because of a Scottish Enterprise grant.

There is a deep well of affection in England for Scotland and its people.

There is also growing puzzlement that, despite having the powers to control most things within Scotland and extra money from the UK to help pay for them, Scotland is still apparently being downtrodden, ignored, disrespected.

The drip of corrosive propaganda goes on and on.

The Scottish electorate are being taken for fools.

We now have an election coming which would be a good time for the SNP to start telling us the truth.

In their shrunken, separated Scotland, which hospitals will close, which teachers will be made redundant, which taxes will go up?

Guy Stenhouse is a Scottish financial sector veteran who wrote formerly as Pinstripe