Scientists have discovered “the biggest and hungriest” black hole, spinning monstrously in the depths of space. It consumes matter equivalent to the size of our Sun each day. Astronomers describe it is “gargantuan”.

It’s a fitting adjective, lifted from the title of Rabelais’s 16th century satire Gargantua and Pantagruel, a tale of two giants. Gargantua is a grotesque glutton, endlessly eating; devouring all around him. He can “eat six pilgrims in a salad”.

Gargantua puts me in mind of a Tory. Not old-style Tories, not Edward Heaths or even Margaret Thatchers, but today’s Tories: voracious, insatiable; who, like that black hole and that gross giant, shovel everything into their destructive maw. A set of enormous jaws, splintering all in sundry, even the very fabric of Britain. Even us.

Neil Mackay: SNP may be done but independence is worth fighting for

Over recent months, I’ve kept a cuttings file marked "Dislocation". Initially, I planned a column on how political decision-making - primarily in London, but also in Scotland - has "dislocated" us from one another, broken us apart.

But the more I read the cuttings, the more I realised that these stories weren’t simply telling a tale of social dislocation and failed, mendacious policy. Rather the story was of a nation being eaten alive by its own leaders.

The Conservative Party has become Gargantua, has become that monstrous black hole, consuming everything once good and functioning about Britain.

There’s hundreds of cuttings. A day doesn’t pass when some aspect of British life isn’t eaten and the bones spat out.

Yesterday, we’d Trident. Our very nuclear deterrent - the last line of our national defence - has been broken under Tory rule. We can’t even fire a missile any more.

Chances are if the balloon does go up and armageddon approached, Putin wouldn’t need to target Britain; we’d simply launch a nuke and it would fall back down on top of us. Collective suicide by political failure.

We’ve become a shameful little ruin. The New York Times recently wrote that “Conservatives have ransacked the country they claim to love, unmooring it from its foundations … life under the Tories has become poorer, nastier, more brutish and shorter”.

The last quote is lifted from Thomas Hobbes, evidently, and his treatise Leviathan, another monster used as a metaphor for political misrule.

The Herald: James Cleverly is banning overseas care workers from bringing family to BritainJames Cleverly is banning overseas care workers from bringing family to Britain (Image: PA)

Just this week there were more Tory suspensions: Scott Benton MP, for offering to lobby ministers on behalf of the gambling industry. How many suspensions are we on now?

James Cleverly, who proves nominative determinism is a myth, has just stuck a knife through social care. He’ll ban overseas care workers from bringing family to Britain. So come and wipe our bottoms in old age, but leave your kids behind. That’s the self-destructive madness of these people.

I wish my commissioning editor would give me this entire paper to list the contents of my Dislocation file. That’s what it would take to recount the failures this excuse for a government has wrought upon us all.

But you know what’s happening. You’ve eyes and ears. You’re experiencing this, just as I am. The NHS is carpet-bombed, police are exhausted, teachers overwhelmed, social services kaput. We can’t even see dentists. Violence grows. People are getting angry. Our young are depressed and broken.

The greatest sin of all is that the Tories turn us against each other with their manufactured culture wars, designed to divert our rage away from them towards the weakest.

Neil Mackay: Why history is on the side of independence

For pity’s sake, they’re even threatening to strip benefits from the mentally ill. There’s poverty on a Victorian scale, poverty that would make Dickens rise from the grave to write another novel.

We’ve "bed banks" now. Where does this stop? When the poorest lie dead in the street, and we must step over them?

The Tories know exactly what they’re doing. Michael Gove has warned that democracy is endangered if young people can’t get houses. In other words, democracy is endangered because of you, Michael Gove.

The truth is, Britain’s young are already turning against democracy, as democracy under the Tories has crucified them.

Meanwhile, Conservatives enrich and ennoble their chums. The Prime Minister laughs in the face of voters begging him to fix the NHS, or else places £1000 bets that he can ship refugees to Rwanda. Sociopathy as political ideology. Then we discover Rishi Sunak paid just 23% in tax on his £2.2 million income last year.

We’ve been punched in the face so much that we’re tenderised meat. They can keep hitting us now because so many are just too numb they won’t feel the next blow.

No wonder those who can hide behind the soft-focus, vaselined lens of Instagram, where they can pretend we’re a country of cocktails and perfect homes, when in fact we’re a nation of food banks and lethal black mould.

None of this is a get-out-of-jail-free card for the Scottish Government. Could the SNP have done more to shelter us? Yes. But the SNP didn’t create these circumstances. This is all the doing of the Tories: a party which hates Britain, but loves itself.

How can Labour fix this? Keir Starmer would need to be another Clement Attlee to rebuild what’s been bombed. But he isn’t. He won’t. Britain needs reconstructed from the ground up.

The ghastly truth is that in five or 10 years, Starmer will have changed so little that the Tories will be back. More vampirish than before. We’ll bare our necks, like playthings, for the final bite that ends us.

So I’m not making a plea here for unionists to change their worldview to mine and embrace independence. All I’m asking is that unionists understand why people like me see no alternative but independence.

Neil Mackay: Unionists are terrified of independence, you can smell the fear

The system has been destroyed by the system. It cannot be fixed. People like me are no longer prepared to go down with the ship.

Life in an independent Scotland wouldn’t be rosy. It’ll be hard. Life is hard. But it would be better than this, better than the future that lies in wait. Because the future is us - you, me, our families, our children - dragged deeper into that black hole, into Gargantua’s giant mouth, so deep we never get out, so deep that we lose the very notion of what it means to be a society.