LET’S set it in stark terms: what does England expect Scotland to do?

English nationalism has got its way. Brexit is coming, and Boris Johnson is in Number 10. The triumph of English nationalism at the General Election is a great threat to Scotland, and will cost us dear if we do not resist it with every democratic means at our disposal.

Not only does Scotland have to face being ripped from the European Union against the will of the nation, but we also have the injustice of Westminster silencing the democratic voice of the Scottish people.

The SNP won an astonishing majority of seats at the election. It fought a campaign which hammered home that the nation was lied to at the last independence referendum – that we were misled when we were told a No vote was the only way to preserve EU membership. After the EU referendum, circumstances obviously changed and a second independence vote was morally justified. The SNP won on this premise – yet we’re told by Johnson there’ll be no second independence referendum.

Brexit alone is grounds enough for a second independence referendum. The SNP’s electoral mandate makes the argument unassailable.

An election which confirms the democratic will of the English people is being used to deny the democratic will of the Scottish people. Would the English tolerate such abuse? It’s not hyperbole to say the treatment of Scotland in the first few days of the new Johnson administration smells of tyranny and bodes ill for the future. It’s a clear-cut case of political injustice.

This treatment is designed to provoke anger. The Yes movement needs to resist being needled into intemperate behaviour. Already, some voices on the fringes of the Yes movement, or within the SNP’s more hysterical base, have began talking of action like a unilateral declaration of independence.

Such language is not welcome. The reason the SNP did so well in this election is that the broader Yes movement followed a policy of moderation over the last four years. The leadership wisely avoided the flag-waving, old-school nationalist marches of outfits like All Under One Banner, which seems to attract more than its fair share of cranks and zealots.

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Leaders of the SNP and the Yes movement chose to focus on a policy of wooing undecided Scottish voters and soft No voters. It was emollient, open, nuanced, intelligent and unaggressive.

The tactic seemed to represent the split in the SNP and the Yes movement mirrored by the personalities of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. Those of a populist persuasion still pine for the bluster of a man like Salmond. This is the brittle SNP base, represented by the online, angry fringe. They achieved nothing in this election. They won over not a single voter. It’s likely that if they didn’t exist at all, the SNP’s majority would be even higher than it is today.

What secured the SNP electoral victory was the careful, modulated, well-mannered message put out by the leadership. Nicola Sturgeon may have briefly lost her usual dignified composure when she jumped for joy at the sight of Jo Swinson’s defeat on election night (though who can blame her? politics is played to be won after all) but the consistent message throughout the campaign was measured, unthreatening and reassuring.

As a result, soft unionists and undecided voters have leant their support to the SNP in order to register opposition to Brexit and Johnson’s hard-right politics. That’s an act of great trust and they should be applauded for their political bravery. They mustn’t be betrayed. They’ve taken the first step on a new journey and must be encouraged towards full support of independence.

The policy of moderation has also left the Scottish Labour Party seemingly on the verge of rethinking its entire position on the constitution. Along with continually pressing for moderation among the Yes movement, I’ve also spoken in this column of the need for Labour to moderate its position on Scottish independence. Today, senior Labour figures are now in favour of a second referendum.

The SNP and the Yes movement now sit securely atop the moral high ground. The battle was fought with decency and it paid off. Meanwhile, Johnson and his government treat Scotland with contempt yet we cannot allow understandable anger to undermine that moral high ground.

My first emotional reaction to Johnson’s denial of a second referendum was anger. Not only did I feel Scotland was now a hostage to his government – hijacked and taken in the boot of his car to Brexitland – but the hypocrisy was astonishing. England can get its way, but not Scotland – that was the message. Democracy for England; 'do as you’re told' for Scotland.

HeraldScotland: Nicola Sturgeon at the Glasgow count during the General Election 2019 Nicola Sturgeon at the Glasgow count during the General Election 2019

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For a few hours I felt the only answer was to call another referendum whether Westminster liked it or not. But some calm reflection proved just what folly that would be. All the hard work of moderation and measure would be for nothing if we allow ourselves to be riled and act emotionally. Let’s avoid the road to Catalonia.

The Yes movement must continue the policy of moderation here at home – in order to maintain momentum and trust – but when Scotland directs its face to Johnson in London there must be only implacable resistance and demand. If Johnson intends to harm Scotland by preventing our voice being heard, then harm him back. Obstruct his government in any way possible. Take his government to court if needs be to secure a second referendum.

Conservative hostility, however, means it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see another referendum until after the next Holyrood election – they’ll falsely deny any mandate exists until success in 2021 makes such fiction no longer sustainable.

That’s a long time to wait, it’s also a long time to hold understandable anger in check. But moderation is the watchword. A sense of calm and decency will keep newly-won soft No voters and undecideds onboard, as will avoidance of the trappings of ugly nationalism. Keep flags and marching to a minimum.

What matters most is sustaining that intelligent and dignified composure at home, while never relenting when it comes to fighting the hypocrisy and abuse of democracy emanating from London. The message is clear: England’s had its voice heard, now it is Scotland’s turn.

Neil Mackay is Scotland’s Columnist of the Year