So let me get this straight.
J. K. Rowling, who lives in Scotland, pays her taxes, donated over £10 million to the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at Edinburgh University and tweeted in support of the Scottish rugby team the other day should, according to that great statesman Stuart Campbell, of Wings Over Scotland:
"F... off. You don't think we're a nation at all."
In reply to Campbell and others, Rowling summed up the stinking bigotry tied up with Scottish nationalism in one simple sentence:
"This is the Scotland you want to show the world, is it? Get out if you're not pro-nationalist?"
I've had to listen to a few too many well-meaning kids who wanted to create a new, just and fair Scotland via secession. To do so, however, means you have to show you're better than your opponents not just when it's easy, but when it is difficult and the temptation to scream abuse (see above) is strong. That you have to be greater than the other guys.
If you descend to the level of your opponent, you automatically prove you're no different from them and that your brave new country won't be any more just, fair and democratic in future than it already is at present.
But at its gutter base, I've occasionally seen the ugly underside of Scottish nationalism summed up by the following statement:
"If you don't know what that means, you're not Scottish."
The subtext usually means that if you don't think like the speaker, talk like the speaker, have exactly the same beliefs and prejudices and probably live in the same area as the speaker, then in his or her narrow little mind, you are not Scottish and never will be.
And you can take a good bet that any rational appeal to reason - for example that Shetlanders and natives of Stranraer might be somewhat dissimilar - will be dismissed out of hand or (like J. K. Rowling) you'll be subject to trollings on Twitter for daring to disagree.
That's not just, fair or democratic. That's jingoistic nationalism verging on fascism.
And it must be acknowledged, Nicola Sturgeon has tweeted:
"Note to my fellow independence supporters. People who disagree are not anti-Scottish. Does our cause no good to hurl abuse (and it's wrong)."
I'm pleased to hear that, but for here and for now, let's just consider that statement regarding Scottish nationalism's ugly underside. In the mind of the speaker, then, there should be certain facts every Scot, if they are to be considered Scottish, must know.
Funny thing is, after twenty-two grinding years of work and against all odds, I've just finished and published a book which gives an insight into something so uniquely Scottish any and every true Scot must, therefore, know what it is.
And here's your clue. Maybe even your starter for ten:
Colủcille 7 drostan͞ mc cosgreg adalta
tangator ahi marroalseg dia doib go
nic abbordobor 7bede cruthnec robomor
mær bucan araginn 7 esse rothidnaig doib
īgatraig sain isaere gobraith omormaer
Good luck with that.
But here's the thing. After two decades of work, a process I described as being manacled screaming to a word-processor, I've located and publicized this Scottish thing and in the process possibly rewritten Scots history in two places. All done with an honest will and a PhD's worth of gruesome toil.
I genuinely do not know how my autistic brain, with its information-processing deficits, coped with the load I dumped upon it.
You might think I'd feel proud of myself, and pleased to hand it over to my countrymen
But I don't. When I see the way some so-called "proud" Scots denigrate and abuse others, I do not feel that way at all.