War of words

We are all aware of how that fateful phrase 'once in a generation' has come to haunt Scotland's cause. I don't doubt there are times when both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon wish they'd never offered up that particular hostage to fortune. What makes it truly regrettable is that they could easily have left it out. It wasn't essential. There are other ways of saying the same thing. Not so with the word 'supermajority'. It's not a throwaway remark. It refers to a very specific concept. A concept which is very much part of this election campaign. There isn't really an alternative. There may be other ways of saying the same thing. But none, I suspect, that wouldn't sound painfully contrived. We're stuck with it now.

Comparing offers

Nicola Sturgeon has set her sights so low that pretty much any offer Salmond makes is going to look better. And, being the crafty politician that he undoubtedly is, he not-quite-promises no more than he has to. No more than will seem a prize next to the not-quite-promises Sturgeon is putting on the table. Sadly for Scotland, neither of them is offering what we need at this time of our nation's great peril.

Shifting sands #1

Obviously, any splitting of the independence vote would weaken the Scottish Government's mandate. To establish what I termed a 'super-mandate', the party of government would ideally have over 50% of the popular vote on both ballots. The SNP was always going to be the party of government - barring an unthinkable catastrophe - so the first task had to be 'persuading' the SNP to adopt the Manifesto for Independence. Or at least the critical parts thereof.

Necessary! But not sufficient!

Yes activists - including SNP members - didn't remove Nicola Sturgeon from her role as the de facto leader of the independence movement. She never showed any sign of wanting that role other than for the purposes of helping win elections. She never gave the slightest indication of wanting to pursue Scotland's cause. She allowed that cause to languish for nearly seven years giving rise to the frustration among Yes activists which is now becoming anger.

Old story or new

The only reason the polls aren't higher is Nicola Sturgeon's failure to take advantage of these circumstances. It is a failure of strategic political thinking stupefying in its self-serving stupidity. A series of appalling misjudgements - such as committing to the Section 30 process and choosing to fight Brexit rather than the Union - has left the independence movement in disarray and Scotland's cause in a precarious state.