THE very worst thing you can do if you’re a supporter of Scottish independence is to make any sort of statement that Unionists on social media can construe as a claim that Scotland is somehow better than the rest of the UK, or that Scotland is in any way special. If you do this, you’ll immediately be denounced as a fascist blood-and-soil nationalist.

Shortly after the European referendum, I pointed out in the pages of this newspaper that hate crimes had soared in England, and my Twitter feed was full of foaming Unionists insisting that Scotland was just as bad and how very dare I try to assert that Scotland was morally superior. That’s a form of fascism that’s just one step away from rounding up Daily Mail readers and sending them off to a re-education camp. Although to be fair, that’s not such a bad idea.

It could be a sort of Butlins with a range of world foods and entertainment put on by a multicultural team of performers.

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A week or so later Police Scotland released the equivalent figures for hate crimes in Scotland, figures that showed a fall in the number of reported crimes. Funnily enough, there were no apologies from any of the foaming Unionists who’d accused me of claiming that Scotland was special.

In fact, I’d made no such claim, I had merely noted that hate crimes had risen in England. I made no mention of Scotland for the simple reason that figures were not available at the time.

The truth about the Union- versus-independence debate, however, is that it’s always the Unionists who accuse independence supporters of claiming that Scotland is special, whereas in fact Scottish independence rests upon the shockingly radical idea that Scotland is just a normal country. It’s the Unionists whose arguments rest upon an implicit claim that Scotland is uniquely different and uniquely special.

If you were to believe the claims of Scotland’s Unionist parties and their supporters, Scotland is the only country in Europe that will never, ever, be allowed to join the European Union irrespective of the wishes of its population. If you get independence you’ll be outside the EU, they scream. That’s because Scotland’s Unionists think that telling Scots we’ll be out of the EU and governing ourselves is a much scarier threat than we’ll be out of the EU and governed by the Tories.

Scotland, however, is special. It’s special in that it doesn’t matter what the people of Scotland vote for, it doesn’t matter what the people of Scotland say they want. We’ll never be allowed in the European Union. With Unionism, we are in fact the only country in Europe whose wishes to be a part of the European Union count for absolutely nothing. And Unionists insist that will still be the case if Scotland is independent. There’s no evidence for this, just the fundamentalist Unionist belief that Scotland is uniquely special and not a normal country.

Arguing with Unionists on social media about Scotland’s place in Europe is very much like arguing with fundamentalist believers of a particularly obscure religion. Their holy books teach that the world is flat and rests upon the back of a crocodile, and that’s what they’re going to believe no matter what evidence is presented to the contrary. Mind you, you can see where they’re coming from, as the core of belief in the British state is the unshakeable conviction that the entire planet depends upon the cold-blooded lizard that is the British establishment.

So they will argue that Scotland will be forced to accept the euro because that’s what their holy books say, and will stick their fingers in their ears and sing Rule Britannia if you try and point out that there are quite a few EU member states that don’t have opt-outs from the euro and yet have no plans to sign up to the single currency. Sweden and the Czech Republic spring to mind. "But it says in the treaty that a country has to sign up to the euro", they keep saying, "they’re going to force you" – blind to the reality of countries like the Czech Republic, which are obstinately still clinging on to their own currencies. All these countries need to do is to delay joining the precursor to the euro, membership of the ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism. They can delay this indefinitely if they see that as being in their interest.

Back in 2010 Petr Necas, then Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, said his country didn’t need a formal opt-out on the euro. “No-one can force us into joining the euro ... we have a de facto opt-out,” he said, adding that it was up to the Czech Government to decide when it wanted to join the ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism. Candidates for the euro must remain in ERM-2 for at least two years, and this gave the Czechs all the latitude they require. Seven years on, they are no closer to adopting the euro.

It’s a very easy argument to rebut, but it doesn’t stop Unionists making it. All they have to do to is provide incontrovertible proof that Scotland will be forced to join the euro is to cite one other country which has been forced into euro membership against its will. That proof is never forthcoming, because it doesn’t exist. It’s as mythical as Better Together’s claim that a Scotland that voted No would be an equal partner in a British family of nations. But to be honest, the supposed threat of being forced to join the euro isn’t quite so scary when we’re faced with a pound that’s rapidly heading for parity with the Irn-Bru bottle. We’d be better off adopting chocolate money as currency than keeping the pound. It’s worth more and it tastes nicer when you lick it.

Strangely, Scotland is both going to be excluded from the EU and at the same time forced into the euro and Schengen. That’s how special Unionists think we are. Scotland is so special that we exist in a universe all of our own where normal rules of common sense don’t apply. Although you’ve only got to look at the front benches of the Unionist parties in Holyrood to see that that has been the case for quite some time now. Not only is Scotland so special that we’re going to be forced to accept the euro and Schengen while not being allowed to join the EU, we’re so amazingly special that we’re going to be the only country on the face of the Earth that can’t have any currency at all except for glass cheques.

Campaigning for independence is campaigning for Scotland to be a normal country. It’s Unionism that keeps Scotland special, uniquely hopeless, uniquely incapable, and uniquely powerless. They’re determined to keep Scotland that way, because they want us as a sacrifice to the crocodile god of British nationalism.