Douglas Ross had been thoroughly briefed by his London bosses. He was to make himself 'one of them' among the Jocks. He was to put a bit of distance between BCUPS and Boris's regime - which they recognised wasn't as popular as it deserved to be in North Britain. A phenomenon they explained with the observation that the Scotch are a fractious tribe who really don't know what is in their best interests. They have to be guided - and from time to time slapped - by Britannia's gracious hand.
The weasel word "normally" is all it takes for the British political elite to retain the asserted authority to ignore and/or overrule the democratic will of Scotland's people as expressed by the Parliament elected by Scotland's people. Supposedly, this will only happen in exceptional circumstances. Who decides whether the circumstances are sufficiently exceptional? The British political elite, of course!
All the powers of a nation rightfully are vested in the Parliament democratically elected by the people of that nation. The Parliament which can claim democratic legitimacy is the only Parliament which may rightfully exercise the powers vested in their Parliament by the people.
What about us? That's up to us. Our strength - the strength of Scotland's people - is sufficient to break the power of the British state. But only if it is channelled in massive and sustained amounts through a political party capable of acting within the British political system. Right now, that means the SNP. And only the SNP.
Health and social care services are among the most fundamentally essential services in modern society. (Education is another. They will be coming for Scotland's education system in due course.) Health and social care is important enough that it becomes a signifier of nationhood. Proper nations have and control their own health and social care services just as they have and control their own education systems and their own armed forces. Scotland must not be allowed to think of itself as a nation. Ergo, Scotland must be deprived of those signifiers of nationhood...
Nicola Sturgeon hopes to win the battle for our right of self-determination by forcing the British Prime Minister to grant a Section 30 order. A victory which would be as Pyrrhic as it would be miraculous.
We are not just fighting for independence. We are not merely fighting to end the grotesque constitutional anomaly and anti-democratic abomination that is the Union. This is an existential conflict. That is how the British ruling elite sees it. We too must regard it as such if Scotland is to be saved.
Reports of the British state's imminent and strangely spontaneous demise are, of course, greatly exaggerated. They serve only to convince the credulous that the SNP's strategy of doing absolutely nothing for six years is working.
My preference would be to play safe and assume that everything the British do is, if not planned, then at minimum carefully considered. I would not dismiss anything they do as mere panicked flailing. I would be looking for the purpose behind their every move. I would always assume that they know what they're doing.
The deceptively pleasing fantasy is that Scotland is on the verge of restoring independence. That independence is ' but a step away' or 'within our grasp'. At the extreme the deceptively pleasing fantasy shades into the truly demented delusion that 'independence has never been closer'.