Let's talk about the eggs of Lilliput. There’s some lessons for Scotland in the tale.

Lilliput, the land imagined by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, is a place of little people with little imaginations and little concerns.

The most divisive conflict in Lilliput centres on how someone opens their breakfast egg. There’s Big-Endians, who open their egg at the big end, and Little-Endians, who favour the little end.

The issue has torn Lilliput apart. You can understand why Swift has Gulliver urinate all over Lilliput’s capital in the fable. It’s a stupid place filled with stupid people.

Scotland has experience of its own egg wars. Eggs, you see, have been claimed by both sides of our divided nation.

Nationalists have screamed that putting Union Jacks on a carton of noble Scottish eggs spits in Caledonia’s face. Unionists avow that the red, white and blue must flutter on the carton, as these are jolly well British eggs.

Perhaps if Gulliver were alive, he might need a comfort break.

Scotland’s political discourse - from the street to social media and all the way to Parliament - has become petty and absurd.

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Witness the "row" - for that’s what it is - over Edinburgh Castle’s Redcoat Cafe. A chance mention of this on social media the other day triggered a wave of screaming not heard since the last wave of screaming.

Does this actually worry anyone? Do the screamers know their own nation’s history? The cafe has had this name for years.

Edinburgh Castle is the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. They wear "red coats" to this day. Now the castle’s management is reviewing the name - and, irony of ironies, also considering rebranding its Jacobite Room.

Historians were even trundled out to give their tuppenceworth on the whole ridiculous affair.

Gulliver must be desperate for the lavatory by now.

Similarly, a wave of conniption fits swept nationalist Scotland when a daft laddie who runs a Labour Party think-tank said people-smugglers should be shipped off to the north of Scotland.

Josh Simons, the poor dolt, had to say he was "half-Scottish" in an attempt to calm the "furore" - as apparently that’s what it was.

A fool misspoke, in an attempt, seemingly, at a jest. It backfired. It’s barely worthy of attention. It reveals nothing about nothing.

Gulliver must have wet himself at this stage.

Please, don’t for a moment think that idiocy is confined to Scottish nationalism. It flourishes equally in the fields of British nationalism.

Murdo Fraser, Tory MSP for Stupid Culture Wars, was tweeting sad, little rhymes about Redcoats in a kindergarten attempt to "own the nats". Gulliver should visit him.

Unionists were cock-a-hoop when Nicola Sturgeon arrived at the Covid hearings in a car with no MoT. Gasp. Shame it wasn’t her car, boys. Not everything is a gotcha, you know.

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Humza Yousaf is off to Qatar for a family holiday. Cue the barely-veiled racism within British unionism, as grotesque attempts are made to foster the notion that he’s a terrorist sympathiser.

Yousaf isn’t a very good First Minister, but he’s assuredly not a Hamas cheerleader.

There were days of caterwauling when the SNP sent flowers to Sturgeon after one of her many embarrassments caught up with her.

Now, Sturgeon is thoroughly rotten for her WhatsApp deletions, but who the hell cares if the party she led sends her Shell garage carnations?

There’s an important flip side to all this. In Scotland, we treat the trivial as if it’s serious, but we also treat the serious as trivial.

Nationalists sneer at issues like the scandal around Michael Matheson’s iPad, and the deletion of WhatsApp messages, as somehow insignificant.

"An iPad is hardly a Tory donor scandal." "WhatsApp messages aren’t Downing Street parties." That’s their defence.

The Herald: Humza Yousaf's holiday has been weaponisedHumza Yousaf's holiday has been weaponised (Image: PA)

True, the order of magnitude is lesser. But these issues still matter. Very much. In fact, by treating these issues as small, Scottish nationalists reveal themselves to be small.

They’re prepared to accept a cluster of damaging behaviour, not simply as they’re blinded by partisan allegiance, but because they have no imagination about what Scotland could and should be.

A good polity accepts no wrongdoing by its government. Would these people countenance such behaviour in an independent Scotland? If so, keep your referendum, folks.

Meanwhile, across the aisle, the unionist clique turns everything into a witch-hunt and horror story.

Ask most people working directly in child welfare about the Named Person legislation and they will say it was an opportunity lost which would have helped the most vulnerable at-risk kids in Scotland.

However, we were subjected to endless hysteria about the Stasi and parents being arrested. Same with the slapping ban.

The Baby Box, a genuinely decent piece of legislation, was sneered at as virtue-signalling "do-goodery".

Where’s Gulliver and his meddlesome prostate when you need him?

Legislation has been killed in Scotland because of this small-minded, petty parochialism. Plenty of other nations have passed deposit return laws. But oh no, not in Scotland.

Here, the DRS would have brought the nation to its knees, apparently. Unionists killed it with contrived nonsense, and SNP ministers killed it by losing control of the narrative as their minds are continually elsewhere, dreaming of milk and honey in some indy paradise.

There’s only so much bandwidth available in politics, the media and the average human attention span. Scotland focuses on the petty while matters ruinous to the population are sidelined.

Must we rage over long-dead redcoats when kids are starving, when people can’t see their GP, when cops and teachers and nurses are exhausted?

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Evidently, we can keep more than one issue in our minds at once. But some issues are not worthy of attention, and others demand laser focus.

Scotland wasn’t always like this. We were once a serious nation, filled with serious people.

To misquote Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard: it’s not Scotland that got small, it’s the politics.

So forgive me if I lapse into a daydream every now and then, and picture Gulliver striding across Scotland to the tiny town of Edinburgh where a tiny Parliament of tiny fools sit, as he desperately searches for a suitable place to relieve himself in this Lilliputian land we’ve become.