THE White Heather club was a cringe-worthy Highland dance program broadcast in the 1960s. Gay young men pranced around in their kilts courting Scottish gels who all looked like Mary Marquis (look her up).

In the years leading up to the 2014 referendum, Unionists never tired of warning Scots that independence would mean the loss of that great U.K. institution: the BBC. All that wee and poor Scotland would be able to afford would be wall-to-wall White Heather Club, interspersed with speeches from Alex Salmond.

You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?

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The former BBC Director-General, John Birt, said that Scots might not be able watch the BBC at all. Well, as it turns out perhaps no one will. At the weekend No Ten declared war on the BBC, saying that time’s up for the licence fee.

“We’re going to whack them,” said a Government source, quoted in The Sunday Times. Probably been watching too many episodes of The Sopranos.

The future is subscription. People won’t pay a video poll tax in the age of Netflix, we’re told. The BBC should sink or swim in the market – probably the former. First casualties will be local and “regional“ services

We’re assured that this has nothing whatever to do with Andrew Neil’s lecture on the PM’s integrity when he refused to appear on his show during the General Election campaign

Now, it’s not yet clear that the Government will get away with this. Many Tory MPs remain friends of the Beeb (including, it appears, Boris Johnson himself who is now, reportedly, fighting a rearguard action against his own Government).

Contrariwise, there are many independence supporters who hate the “Yoon” BBC so much they are egging Mr Johnson on. There is a broad coalition of contempt for the BBC.

This extends from most Labour Party members, who took to social media to condemn Laura Kuenssberg for being a Tory spokesperson, to the Daily Telegraph, which believes the BBC is owned by Gina Miller and the People’s Vote campaign.

It was ever thus. The BBC always gets both ideological barrels. But the point is that all this makes a nonsense of the claim that only by remaining in the UK could Scots still tune in to David Attenborough. He’s all over Netflix anyway.

And the curious thing is that now there actually is a Scottish dedicated TV channel it is not filled with mawkish sentimentality and tartan kitsch. Most of the Scottish (why doesn’t it have a proper name?) programming is rather good. Documentaries like Poverty Safari presented by the rapper Loki, for example – something the UK BBC would never have done.

And there’s quality. The drama Guilt was as good as anything on Netflix. Scotland has a unique character that is well suited to sardonic noir.

The BBC is only the latest example of Scotland potentially losing great British institutions that were supposedly threatened only if we voted Yes. Remember Royal Bank of Scotland saying that it would up sticks after independence?

Well, without a trace of irony, or self-awareness, RBS has just renamed itself the National Westminster Bank, in recognition of the fact that 80 per cent of its business is in the South.

Another pillar of the Scottish financial sector, Standard Life, also threatened to leave Scotland if there was a Yes vote in 2014. It has now shifted £19 billion in assets to Dublin.

Scots have a highly-developed sense of self-deprecating humour. Just as well. Because otherwise we might get very angry– like those French demonstrators in Yellow Vests. We’re used to it. Like the weather.

But you’d think that there would be just a hint of contrition from those nominally Scottish institutions which sought so recklessly to damage Scotland’s reputation and national self-confidence five years ago

RBS was already effectively a London bank in 2014, with the majority of its operations in England. The threatened departure was contrived for political purposes.

The same goes for Standard Life. Without a moment’s reflection, it has shifted a number of operations to Ireland the better to remain in the European Union.

I need hardly remind readers that Scots were told that only by voting No in 2014, could Scotland be sure of remaining in the European Union. David Nish, the boss of Standard Life said almost exactly that. Many Scots believed him. When the history of Scottish independence is written, that will be up there with the poll tax and Margaret Thatcher.

The list of broken referendum promises goes on and on. “As near a federal system as possible in the UK” was how the former Labour PM, Gordon Brown, described the constitutional future should Scotland reject independence. That was the substance of The Vow published by the Daily Record, in cod vellum, and signed by all three UK party leaders.

Well, the powers of Holyrood have been substantially curbed in the UK Withdrawal Act. The UK Government, when it can be bothered, insists that those powers over agriculture, fisheries, environment and so on will come winging back once Boris has Got Brexit Done.

Anyone who believes that hasn’t been listening. Scotland will be allowed to administer these functions, but standards will be set by the UK the better to facilitate trade deals with countries like America. Similarly, Michael Gove’s promise that Scotland would get powers over immigration after Brexit look ridiculous now.

It’s enough to make you want another referendum. Nicola Sturgeon keeps saying that Indyref2 will happen later this year. But that is a heroic case of hope triumphing over experience, or reality itself.

The joke is on us. There won’t be another legal referendum now that Mr Johnson is home with an 80-seat majority in Westminster.

It feels as if history itself is trolling Scotland, seeing just how much humiliation Scots are prepared to take.

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English people weren’t so docile and biddable. When Brexiters were confronted with Project Fear, they scoffed and voted regardless for what they regarded as independence from Brussels.

Scots were given an offer they couldn’t refuse in 2014: a borderless independence within Europe. Unfortunately, we did refuse it. And we’re stuck with it.

And here’s the kicker. If Scotland had voted Yes, does anyone seriously think David Cameron would have staged that referendum on Brexit?