The UK is damned whatever is to come. But Scotland isn’t

THROUGHOUT my school years in both Ireland and England, the rigorous history lessons – an interminable list of war and dates – were as equally rigorously examined by my mother on my return.

She would ask for and listen to my bored recital, stopping me every so often to say: Ah, but that’s not the whole story.

It was important to her that the ‘glorious’ conquests of the British Empire were shown from the view of the conquered and that the cruelties and injustices received equally prominent attention and discussion.

Ireland, naturally, was her speciality, although it came with the rider: We were invaded but never, ever conquered.

And so, I was taught the long, sorry history from a Southern Irish Catholic perspective in a wealthy county that suffered from being the spoils of war, unlike further north where the poor creatures had nothing to take, only their lives and their meagre plot of land.

The Normans though, were considered ‘us’ for we had a great pride in our direct line of ancestry. And sometimes listening to my autocratic grandmother, it was plain she felt a greater kinship to them than to the ‘lower orders’ of her fellow countrymen.

My mother, I’m glad to add, inherited none of her snobbery, and her rebel heart apparently caused great friction in her youth.

Anyway, Cromwell was to blame for it all – the stripping of our lands, the smashing of our monasteries, desecration of our churches. It could have been just last week from the emotion in her voice.

When it came to the Easter Rising and the aftermath of the Civil War, the emotion was not fury but profound sadness at brother killing brother, father killing son.

Many families were as known for their allegiances as their physical attributes. Civil war does that – breaks people and never quite puts them back together in the same way in the eyes of others.

Oh, we knew of the religious inequalities still operating in the Six Counties; the gerrymandering of votes; the ghettoes into which the Catholics had retreated. We even knew of the murderous acts of some of the British Army when the new Troubles began. It was only an old story re-told. What did we expect?

Well now, I hadn’t intended to give a history lesson here; more a musing on the nature of nationalism which has been thrust to the fore in this appalling act of brexitcide.

The divisions caused by it have picked away the scabs, for that is surely what they were, that covered the wounds inflicted. Wounds that were healed by membership of a union of nations; minding each other; helping each other and keeping the peace by its mere existence.

English nationalism, with its war-inspired rallying calls and chin-jutting, ignorant arrogance, inspires in me, despite my accident of birth, utter revulsion. And that is just in the Palace of Westminster.

The Tommy Robinson thugs revolt me perhaps slightly less, for they are the mindless nobodies whose grandfathers were probably the brutish Black and Tans let loose by the now beatified Winston Churchill. They’re merely the thick fodder who’ve always had their use.

No, it is those in the House who are the dangerous ones; aping the ‘manners’ of yesteryear when Britannia ruled the waves. Aping the superiority.

They are the ones who shout ‘go home’ whenever an SNP politician stands to his or her feet; who mutter and jeer speeches they have neither the wit nor the intelligence to follow.

Television cuts away when the SNP Commons leader Ian Blackford gets up to give his response after Tory and Labour. He can be seen on the back screen as studio guests talk over him.

The PM leaves as he stands, as do other politicians, scuttling, backs bent out of camera.

A posturing, pouter pigeon peddlar of hate, Nigel Farage, is eagerly sought for his views while superb, forensic arguments from Joanna Cherry QC, are rarely offered up.

Once again, before some of you put outraged fingers to PCs, I am not a member of the SNP; not a follower nor ever have been of any party; and yes, I live in France.

But living in France does not discount me from having an opinion on any of the countries that have been important to me. My birth country; the country in which I was reared and chose as my nationality, or the country in which I spent most of my working life.

And because I have no political axe to grind, I can say that SNP politicians stand head and shoulders above the sorry tribe scrabbling to keep their seats, if not their integrity.

I feel a heat rising within me when I watch the slurs and discourtesies meted out every Commons session to the elected members of ‘this precious Union.’ I feel a cold anger on their behalf as Theresa May uses the only weapon she has – 2014. You lost.

That is a lifetime ago. The UK is damned whatever is to come.

But Scotland isn’t. It is time to stop turning the other cheek. Look to Ireland. Sure, there are problems but they’re not alone with them.

They have the EU to mind their back. So, could you.