It is not good enough to say that we need independence to effectively address the aftermath of the pandemic while also saying that we can't even begin the process of restoring Scotland's independence until the aftermath is upon us. It is not good enough because it doesn't even make any sense. The different bits of your not-quite promise don't join up.

Politicians’ words

It irks to see people falling for the blandishments of manipulators. It's like that bit in a nightmare where you see someone you care about walking into danger and you want to scream a warning but you can't; or your warnings can't be heard. I see the Pavlovian response to some glittering generality and I get annoyed. Perhaps unreasonably so. Maybe even irrationally so. An age thing?

Fireproof feet

Nobody in the SNP leadership appears to be asking that most obvious of questions: Why is this happening? Or, if they are, they're answering that question in the shallow, petty manner evidenced by Angus Robertson's initial response. Nobody, so far as can be determined from public statements and private rumours, is asking that question in a serious, thoughtful way. Not even Mike Russell.

The Salmond factor

Superficially at least, Alba Party doesn't fall into the same category as the cunning plan parties that were always destined to be ineffective and ineffectual. There was never any possibility of any or all of them doing anything 'for independence'. Hence the irony of 'Action for Independence. But that is well-trodden ground. The question now is, what makes Alba Party different? Apart from the presence of Alex Salmond.

Painted on

Of course, the SNP's manifesto hasn't been published. It may not even have been written yet. But there are abundant clues as to its probable content in various statements from Nicola Sturgeon, Mike Russell and others. We also now have the draft Referendum Bill, which provides conclusive evidence of the SNP leadership's thinking on the constitutional issue.

That was not the question!

I'd be perfectly content to get behind Nicola Sturgeon if I had reason to believe she was leading us where I want to go. I have great uncertainty about where she is leading the country. I have grave misgivings about where she has led the party. And I have strong objections to being told my questions have been answered when none has even been acknowledged.

Facing reality

In terms of the claim that we don't need the SNP It need only be pointed out that there simply is no other credible candidate for the role of political arm of the independence movement. And not the remotest possibility of developing an alternative before the 'last chance' of the Holyrood election. The reality of real world politics is that we are stuck with the SNP whether we like it or not and regardless of whether the party is fit for our purpose.