Having just spent a pleasant week in Englandshire, a sad truth has become apparent. In general, the English people I don’t like – for example: Jeremy Clarkson, Melanie Phillips and Richard Littlejohn – want Scotland to go. They’ve had enough of our sponging ways, our chippiness, our ingratitude. I have actually heard Paxman tutting over the pipes (OK, that one I understand).

Conversely, the English people I love – my generally lefty associates – tend to be anxious about independence and to want us to stay for their sake. We’re like the chaperone who can sometimes stop the Tories’ hands going too far up their public sector.

Frustrating as it is to know you’ll vote in a way that alarms your friends and delights your enemies, both sides have misunderstood the current situation and, I believe, failed to grasp the true consequences of Scottish independence for the rest of the UK.

Columnists on the Mail and Telegraph really think they’re paying taxes to prop up some kind of Fidelista fantasy in Edinburgh, and that renewables are a massive waste of money. When independence comes they will wait in vain by the door for their resulting dividend cheque.

Conversely, the idea amongst the English left that Scotland has played some kind of progressive role in the UK is a bit of a myth.

Look at the representatives we’ve sent to Westminster lately: Labour’s most tribal dinosaurs, Nats without a shred of interest in what happens south of the border, the odd patrician Tory, and some equally patrician Liberals who’ve resolutely blown in the wind.

You won’t miss them. We won’t miss them either.

The social union will largely survive independence, too, we can reassure them. Sure, it won’t be quite the same, but the English tuition fees regime will prove more divisive than a border, ending as it does the post-war borderless student boom which helped to stir the UK up. And if Scotland elects post-independence governments which are genuinely progressive to succeed the current centre-right SNP administration, we will show very clearly what a practical alternative to the three soggy flavours of Toryism currently vying for office could look like in England.

Once free tuition for Scots is paid for entirely by Scots taxpayers, it’ll be a much more persuasive example down south. If we get rid of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil it will be an inspiration to anti-nuclear campaigners across the rUK. If we move away from the anti-immigration consensus and thrive socially and economically, that’ll be one in the eye for the three UK parties that have espoused it. We can close down coal and gas and nuclear, go genuinely 100% renewable, and show how successful a truly sustainable economy can be.

In short, a pluralist and genuinely democratic independent Scotland, if that’s what we get offered, could be just the boost the left across the rUK needs, and a profound disappointment to those wish us gone.