What is not said

Other than the absence of references to the Section 30 process in her statements and speeches, the indications are that the SNP's 'official' position continues to be that the party is seeking a mandate to first of all petition Boris Johnson for the permission he has repeatedly and unequivocally said he will not grant under any circumstances. The purpose of this being, apparently, to prove to the international community that Boris is not lying when he says this and that the Scottish Government acknowledges Scotland's subordinate status in the Union.

George Osborne tells the truth!

Mr Russell is correct about the British government denying the people of Scotland our "basic democratic rights". But it is Section 30 of the Scotland Act which legitimises this denial with authority derived from the Union. He is correct when he observes that this denial of our right of self-determination is "illegal under international law". But Section 30 makes it legal under British law. NICOLA STURGEON SAYS THAT SECTION 30 IS THE ONLY PROCESS WHICH IS "LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL"

The limits of oppression

One of democracy's imperfections is its fragility combined with its appearance of robustness and resilience. Those whose direct personal experience is confined to a broadly democratic society do not easily imagine anything other. The corollary being a tendency to take democracy for granted. If only they realised how tenuous is our grip on the freedoms we assume to be ours by dint of nature, they would fear for those freedoms.

None of his f****** business!

Mike Russell may be correct to say that the people of Scotland can vote for a referendum in the Holyrood election. He declines to add, however, that for them to do so the SNP must go into the election on a very explicit and quite unambiguous manifesto commitment to a process which will deliver a free and fair referendum at the earliest possible date. He might further have noted that, as things stand, the party of which he is President has given no such commitment.

Word games

If language is important - as it surely is - then the motives and attitudes and intentions of the person choosing and using the language must also be significant. Context is crucial. The psychology of the speaker is as much part of the context as the setting and has to be considered along with other factors, such as the occasion, the venue and the audience.

What’s causing the problem?

That's the whole story. The Scottish Government wants to address a situation in Scotland with measure tailored to the situation in Scotland. The British government doesn't want that. Not that they actively want more people to die. Just that they actively don't care if more people die. It is not a factor in their political calculations. Other than that it suits the British establishment's agenda if a situation worsens under an SNP administration. The situation worsening bit is a factor. The people dying bit isn't.