The twain shall never meet

Sturgeon's technique is like a magic trick. It fascinates only so long as you can't figure out how it's done. Once the mechanics of it become apparent, all you see is the machinery. You may still admire the slickly oiled machinery with all its smoothly meshing gears and silently spinning flywheels and perfectly tensioned springs. But the magic is gone. There is a sense of loss at its vanishing. But there is also a feeling of release.

The enablers

If it is merely by discussing the Sturgeon inquiries that "we" are "enabling" the Tories to use those inquiries to attack devolution then presumably the theory is that the attacks would be disabled were "we" to stop discussing them. But that's not quite right, is it? Not unless the idea is that it that it is only "our" discussions that are doing the enabling rather than discussion in general of the Nicola Sturgeon affair. That hardly seems credible.

Divided by hope

These two giants of Scottish politics divide the independence movement because each is a repository of hope. Hope is the common factor here. Desperate hope. Quite possibly delusional hope. Hope that is no more than a dully glowing ember. Hope that still burns with a bright flame. Hope for the dream that will never die - but which can all to easily be thwarted by disunity, disharmony and despair.

A question of judgement

There being two such solidly entrenched camps it is likely that the Salmond versus Sturgeon formulation will become an established part of our political discourse for some time to come. The legends of both 'combatants' will grow as required to keep respective camp-followers on board. History may well tell a tale of current events that will be barely recognisable to those of us living through them.

Alex Salmond: A fly bugger

The same series of events. Two different and contradictory accounts. How can both be true? For the most part the events themselves are not in dispute. Some details such as dates and times may be disputed. But mostly the events are a matter of public record and accepted by both sides. The argument is over whether the events involved the kind of orchestration that would amount to a conspiracy. Alex Salmond sees that level of orchestration. Nicola Sturgeon does not.