LAST month, I wrote about the tale of two governments. One, a UK Government which had stepped in to protect tens of thousands of jobs here in Glasgow through the innovative Job Retention (furlough) Scheme. Another, the Scottish Government, which had devised its own business grants scheme that excluded market traders in the East End and has risked their incomes and livelihoods.

These past few weeks, the divide between a Conservative Government striving to reinvigorate the entire UK with a comprehensive recovery plan to support employment and opportunities has again been contrasted by an SNP Government at Holyrood whose grievance machine plumbed new lows in its attempts to mislead and gaslight the people of Scotland.

In response to the UK Government’s economic package, the SNP’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes MSP claimed that of the £30 billion, the Scottish Government would receive only £21 million. Put aside the fact that her assertion is grossly inaccurate – the Fraser of Allander Institute has stated: “It is correct to say that an additional £800m is to be added to the Scottish Budget via consequentials on top of the £3.8bn we already knew about” – the clear intention of her spin is to make it appear as if Scottish Government expenditure is the only form of spending that is of benefit to the people of Scotland. This is self-evidently absurd and in perpetrating this (presumably purposeful) deception, the Finance Secretary shamefully distorts the devolution settlement for petty partisan advantage.

The benefit of the United Kingdom is that all of its people, from Shettleston to Southend-on-Sea, will gain from the VAT cut on our hospitality and tourism sector, as well as the UK Government’s support for youth employment and a bonus to employers who keep on furloughed staff.

Kate Forbes’s £21m claim has been branded as false by David Phillips, associate director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and she should be ashamed of herself for whipping up further grievance at a time when her party’s refusal to deal with its hard-line supporters has facilitated open anti-English xenophobia at the border. Emboldened by SNP dog-whistle politics on border closures, the scenes we saw from nationalist protesters in recent weeks should horrify us all. With signs and slogans declaring English people as “plague carriers”, I was extremely disappointed that it took Nicola Sturgeon days to condemn their actions. Crassly stating that she comes from “English stock” just isn’t going to cut it, First Minister.

In recent days we’ve been inundated by stories of Scottish businesses receiving calls from English customers concerned that they are not welcome in Scotland. The tourism industry in Scotland employs more than 200,000 people and is worth more than £4bn to the Scottish economy, and those from other parts of the UK represent the vast majority of visitors to Scotland. These are our friends, our family, and our neighbours and it is devastating on both a personal and economic level that they are being made to feel like they aren’t welcome in this great country.

The SNP are constantly at pains to say that their kind of nationalism is different to others. That Scottish nationalism, alone in the history of destructive and divisive nationalisms, is open and inclusive. Famously they branded the experience of the 2014 referendum campaign as “civic and joyous”. If they really mean that, then time to prove it. Members must kick these people out of the SNP and make it clear that this kind of bigotry from those who act in their name will not be tolerated. We cannot allow protests like these to risk Scotland’s reputation as a welcoming nation – jobs and livelihoods rely on it.