ATTEMPTING to establish "the truth" in Scottish politics is a difficult business. One person’s black is another person’s white depending on where they sit along the independence-unionist axis. Everything is disputable, everything open to doubt, everything can be politicised.

But there are little areas of agreement we can settle upon whether we’re pro or anti-independence, and it’s important to try to establish this common ground if we’re to engage in any meaningful discussion about Scotland’s constitutional future. Without some trusted points on the map, we’ll be lost in a confusion of our own making.

There seems to be five areas of agreement starting to establish themselves. They appear to break down as follows:

1, Tory "disrespect" has fuelled independence support

The word "disrespect" will likely alienate those of unionist bent, but it’s difficult to argue that Brexit, and the lack of consideration for the majority of Scottish public opinion, wasn’t a smack in the face. The Union is meant to be a matter of consent, not coercion.

To save unionist supporters taking offence at the word "disrespect", let’s say instead that the Tory Government "failed to consider and act upon" the majority of Scottish public opinion. A wrong can be done passively as well as actively. Negligence can be wounding.

Couple this disrespect – negligence if you prefer – with the dismissal by Boris Johnson’s Government of the Scottish election presenting a democratic mandate for a second referendum and the sense that Scotland is being "controlled" against its will becomes ever greater.

2, The case for independence needs remade

If we accept that Mr Johnson’s Government has changed the nature of the Union from consent to control, and that a mandate for a second referendum exists, then surely there should be a refreshed independence prospectus. The case for independence hasn’t been adequately updated since Brexit.

Brexit clearly increased independence support but it also changed the nature of what independence means. Before Brexit, there was no question of a hard border with England, now that prospect is real.

READ MORE: SNP must tell Scotland what independence means

Nor has the economic case been improved. Support may hover around 50 per cent but in the polling stations much of that support could evaporate if the Yes movement – and the SNP in particular, given it’s effectively subsumed much of the Yes movement – doesn’t address hard economics. Currency, the cost of separation, the divisions of the marital assets and debts, pensions, EU re-entry and the euro – the list of unanswered economic questions goes on.

While it’s the economy which will make up most people’s minds, the other great unanswered questions hover like Banquo’s ghost too: Nato, Trident, the military, the intelligence services.

The SNP’s "independence taskforce" is shambolic. Established with the intention of "firing up" the Yes movement, it’s a Potemkin village. The taskforce head, former SNP minister Marco Biagi, has quit, reportedly because the role was the “worst job” ever. The SNP remains riven with toxic internal feuds – more proof, if it were needed, that entrusting a project like independence to one self-interested political party is both dangerous and absurd.

Marco Biaigi has quit the SNP’s independence taskforce

Marco Biaigi has quit the SNP’s independence taskforce

3, If independence fails again, it fails forever

There’s a sense that Mr Johnson will relent at some point – probably when he sees Yes sliding in the polls – and grant a referendum. If he does, and if the case for independence hasn’t been well made, especially amid such clear goading by Mr Johnson’s administration, then it’s all over for at least a generation. Veteran SNP MP Pete Wishart warned much the same at the weekend. If the Yes movement fights and loses indyref2, independence will retreat to the sidelines, becoming a minority sport. That’ll spell disaster for the SNP – what would be the point of the party any longer? Nor could the SNP continue to use its constant sleight of hand to distract voters from its many failings in office by pointing at wicked Westminster.

4, Life inside this "new" Union will be tough

Whether or not another referendum is fought and lost by the Yes movement, it’s clear Scotland faces life inside a very different Union. If we agree that London is now exercising much less consideration towards "Scottish views", then that will only ramp up in the wake of a failed indyref2. Holyrood will increasingly be told what to do, or perhaps more what not to do.

There’s a hint of that tougher future in the looming Supreme Court hearings over whether Scotland has the authority to issue certain types of legislation. Two bills, incorporating the UN Rights of the Child and the European Charter of Local Self-Government, are to be scrutinised in court over whether they overreach Holyrood’s powers. The UK Government has also "ordered" Scotland to inform London of all contact with the EU. Expect more of the same.

5, The Tory Government will get nasty with Scotland

Mr Johnson isn’t going to be gentle with Scotland. He’s not David Cameron. Mr Johnson’s "muscular unionism" intends to put Scotland in its place. The English electorate, broadly, and Tory voters in particular aren’t in an especially loving mood towards Scotland. They probably want to see a little hardball with Edinburgh.

If a second referendum does materialise, then discussions over the shape of that vote won’t be the cosy chit-chat that lead up to 2014, they’ll be brutal. If a Yes vote happened, prepare for horror-show negotiations as the UK tries to hammer Scotland into submission.

So life either in or out of the Union will become very different politically from what we’ve known.

READ MORE : Indyref2 refusal will sign the death warrant of the Union

Here then are perhaps a few points on the map we can agree on: Mr Johnson’s new-style Tory Party has driven support for independence, yet the case for independence has been insufficiently made and needs updating. If we do get another referendum and there’s a No vote, it’s all over probably for a generation. No matter what happens in terms of Scotland’s constitutional future with England, the relationship with London has changed from one of consent to control, and it looks certain Westminster will be much tougher with Scotland than before.

It’s not much of a map – but if we agree on those points, we can at least try to navigate our way towards the future in a meaningful, informed fashion.

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