IT would appear that there is no limit to the capacity of the people in these islands for self-destruction, matched only by their inability or polite reluctance to question events or fight back. How else can we understand events?

In the EU referendum the Leave side won by just less than four per cent, hardly an overwhelming majority, but if the 40 per cent rule had been applied, as it was in the 1979 failed Scottish devolution referendum, then that result (reducing to 37 per cent) would not have proceeded. So we have ended up in the situation where the 63 per cent of us who did not vote Leave are allowing ourselves to be bullied and dictated to by the Brexiteers.

Even the Labour Party, who might have been expected to provide some opposition, some moderating influence, have swallowed this myth of the democratic will of the electorate (not in Scotland) and through complicity and, more commonly, abstaining in critical votes, have cooperated with the Tories in the pursuit of Brexit. There has hardly been a week without the negative consequences becoming apparent but still we rush headlong to the cliff edge, whipped on by the ultra-right Britnat xenophobes. It seems many yearn for the days of empire and British (English) superiority. Their mantra is about sovereignty and “taking back control of our borders”.

At the more topical level and with the EU deadline approaching for end of first-stage negotiations, the matter of Northern Ireland is now in sharp focus. Despite voting to Remain, the people of Northern Ireland are being manipulated by the DUP, a party even more right-wing than Ukip and The Daily Mail brigade. Rather than stand up for their country they have colluded with the Tories to take us all out of EU. They profess to want a frictionless border but insist that Northern Ireland must come out of the single market and the customs union, knowing full well that these two things are mutually exclusive. It must be obvious to all that the DUP is more afraid of the prospect of Irish re-unification than the consequences of Brexit and that is why they are manoeuvring for a hard border, custom posts etc in a desperate attempt to hold on to supremacy. They are prepared to accept the impoverishment and hardship that Brexit will bring rather than be required to integrate and co-operate with their southern neighbours, the original and rightful population.

In our own country many are apathetic and accepting of the status quo, and too many of our politicians are timid, compliant and comfortable with “the system”. In 2015 Scotland elected 56/59 independence-supporting MPs – where is my Scottish passport? In 2016 Scotland voted to remain in the EU – why then are we about to fall off the cliff-edge? Earlier this year Holyrood voted to request a new indyref but was arrogantly slapped down. Why did we feel obliged to ask, why did we not just do it?

It seems to me as a Scot that democracy is failing me. My life and future prospects are being shaped and controlled by forces outwith my control and by people and parties that do not speak for me. My whole future is to be determined solely for the purpose of exorcising the demons which have tormented and split the Tory Party over the EU. Now we have the latest farce of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Iain Duncan Smith et al spitting out their dummies in an outburst of conceit and petulance. They are failing to understand that as the leaving party they are not in a position to make demands or issue threats such as not paying “the divorce bill”. Too many prima donnas and too much posturing!

Truly it does seem at times that “those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”. When it does all go wrong may the Fates preserve us!

J F Davidson