As I write this column it is exactly seven years since the 2014 independence referendum in which the people of Scotland voted decisively to remain an integral part of the United Kingdom.

You may be surprised that it’s been less than a decade since the country was plunged into that divisive campaign considering on the SNP’s timetable it’s been at least a generation.

Unfortunately for us, the nationalists’ claim that they would accept the result of that decision is just one example in a series of their broken promises that debase our political discourse. Seven years ago I campaigned on a platform of ‘Better Together’ because I passionately believed, and still do, that there is more that unites the residents of these islands than divides us.

This isn’t just my opinion – it is borne out by the evidence. Polling data released just a few days ago shows that on a wide variety of issues – ranging from immigration to the NHS and socio-economic equality – the views of Scots, English and Welsh are near identical. This may come as a shock to SNP campaigners whose sole purpose in politics is to make it appear as though Scotland is inexorably destined to diverge from our friends and family in the rest of Britain.

This is the kind of exceptionalism that nationalism thrives on but creating an ‘other’ to which we in Scotland are portrayed as superior is not only morally wrong, it is not supported by the evidence.

If the SNP had had their way, Scotland could have entered the unprecedented crisis of Coronavirus in the middle of imposing a crippling programme of spending cuts to get to grip with a spiralling deficit after ditching the pound and cutting the country off from central bank support.

In the real world, we have Nicola Sturgeon desperately attempting to spin figures which show just how much support the UK has provided to the Scottish Government over the last eighteen months as proof of some malign conspiracy through which Westminster is trying to make us reliant on the redistribution of wealth and resources throughout the United Kingdom.

If the consequences weren’t so serious for families across Scotland, then it might be comical. What isn’t in the least bit funny however are the real world effects of an SNP Government at Holyrood whose focus on repeating the divisive campaign of seven years ago means that their eye has been completely taken off the ball as the emergency in Scotland’s ambulance service deepens.

We’ll all have read the heart-breaking story of a Glasgow man who died while waiting up to 40 hours for an ambulance to arrive. Not even such a clear indication of systemic failure could prompt Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions to actually admit there is a crisis.

What she did do however was belatedly request military assistance to provide critical support to our ambulance service. After playing an integral role in our vaccine rollout, once again the British Army are showing why they are the best in the world. We are so lucky to have such amazing troops from all over the United Kingdom available to help us in our time of need and I know all of us will be incredibly grateful for the work they are doing.

Maybe if the SNP moved as quickly to address the crisis in our health service as they did to defend the childish blushes of their Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, after he took a tumble from a scooter last week then the situation in our ambulance service might be different. I wish Humza a speedy recovery and, in the meantime, gently suggest that he focus the attention of his government on addressing the actual issues we face.