COMETH the hour, cometh the real Brexit man. Neil Warnock, the dyspeptic manager of Cardiff City FC defined the position of Little Brexit England with customary rough eloquence. Following his side’s draw with Huddersfield Town last weekend he said: “I can’t wait to get out of it, if I’m honest. I think we’ll be far better out of the bloody thing. In every aspect. Football-wise as well, absolutely. To hell with the rest of the world.”

The Brexit observations of this gnarly, millionaire English football man were, of course, ridiculed by some liberal-left remainers. They viewed Mr Warnock’s remarks as a metaphor for the conditions which currently exist in English football where all the top coaching jobs are held by smart, articulate continentals while a handful of haggard English trainers are employed only by those clubs involved in a perennial struggle against relegation. Essentially, though, Mr Warnock has provided an easily digestible summation of the Tory Brexiteers’ position throughout two years of negotiations with the EU: to hell with the rest of the world.

They have dressed this up in Mrs May’s mantra of “taking back our borders and taking back our laws” which in terms of sheer, vapid meaninglessness rivals her election slogan “strong and stable government”. Mr Warnock is at least honest about what this really means. His Brexit sentiments probably reflect those of many who populate England and Wales' football grounds and as such are authentic. Their collective howl arises from a genuine sense of regret and dismay that Britain's social and economic problems have been caused by affluent and ungrateful Europeans who seem to have forgotten who liberated them from the Third Reich: right grievances; wrong culprits.

Certainly, you can criticise the unaccountability of a vast corporate behemoth domiciled in Brussels but for many among the Westminster elite Brussels and all its flaws is a convenient scapegoat for channelling social discontent away from them and the way they have engineered British society. All that was required during the Brexit campaign was to identify a common enemy and then to set the dogs loose, barking “immigration, immigration, immigration”. None of the high priests of extreme Brexit fear mass immigration, simply because they know claims that migrants take jobs and reduce wages are untrue.

And even if the claims were true their wealth and influence would ensure they would always be spared social unrest. But immigrants and perfidious Europeans come in handy when you are trying to disguise your ruthless personal ambition and furthering your programme of social engineering.

Already, those English-based newspapers which made immigration the principal issue of Brexit are rehearsing their lines and lining up their targets for when the wheels come off. Don’t blame us if the shelves become empty and there are difficulties accessing medicines. Blame those mendacious European who are punishing us. The soft targets on the streets of England will become obvious too.

Last year, the UN’s special rapporteur on racism stated that Brexit had contributed to an environment of increased racial discrimination and intolerance. After an 11-day mission to the UK, Professor Tendayi Achiume said: “The environment leading up to the referendum, the environment during the referendum, and the environment after the referendum has made racial and ethnic minorities more vulnerable to racial discrimination and intolerance. Many with whom I consulted highlighted the growth in volume and acceptability of xenophobic discourses on migration, and on foreign nationals including refugees in social and print media.”

Writing in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies last year the academic Alina Rzepnikowska-Phillips expressed concern about an increase in aggravation experienced by Polish nationals in the UK following Brexit. Quoting official Home Office statistics she wrote: “After months of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the run up to the EU referendum in the UK in June 2016, the number of racially aggravated offences recorded by the police in the same month was 41 per cent higher than in July 2015.”

Life will become tough once for our ethnic communities after Brexit and especially so if, as that irresponsible and vauntingly ambitious Brexiteer Michael Gove predicted: “Winter is coming”.

In Scotland we still fondly believe that we operate on a higher plane when it comes to matters of race and immigration. This is in spite of recent social attitudes polls indicating that though there may be a difference in outlook the margin isn’t so big as to permit any degree of smugness. Next Wednesday, January 23, marks the centenary of a tawdry little episode that has, such is the way of these things, been quietly eased out of our social history. The start of 1919 was marked by a wave of race riots which started in Glasgow but spread through the UK including ports and harbours in London, Liverpool, Hull and Cardiff.

On January 23 that year fights erupted on the Clyde waterfront between groups of black and white sailors seeking work on ships. They occurred amidst rumours that black seamen were angry at being discriminated against in favour of whites. Around 30 black sailors were set upon by a white mob that included white sailors. Even when they found refuge and the police had been summoned the black sailors were besieged. There were reports that the black workers responded by firing shots. Two white sailors and one black sailor were seriously injured.

Some of the root causes of the disturbances (though not all of them) were to be found in the profound hardship experienced by many men returning from the war and finding that the sacrifices they’d made in the previous four years seemed to have counted for nothing. Many arrived home to face exploitation by employers in the jobs market. It occurred at a time when Red Clydeside began to wake and working class people took action against the real architects of their poverty in events such as the Glasgow Rent Strike and the 40 Hours Strike. In this nasty little episode, though, some of the trades unions and their leaders did not enjoy their finest day. Once more, their grievances were valid but some targeted the wrong culprits.

In post-Brexit Britain some of this nation’s most powerful forces will spend a lot of energy and money ensuring that those most likely to suffer its consequences will once more target the wrong culprits. Scotland can’t be complacent about it.