Second best

Unfortunately, these are not normal circumstances. We absolutely must proceed on the basis that restoring Scotland's independence is a matter of the utmost urgency; and that the coming election is our last chance to do it. We cannot afford to get it wrong. We cannot afford to settle for second best.

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.

A tale of two tales

Ian Blackford is entitled to state how important it is that the SNP stays in power; if only because the alternative would be one or more of the British parties seizing control - with all the horrors that would entail. What irks is that when it comes to being held accountable for three or four or five or six years (depending on your preference) of inaction on the constitutional issue all of a sudden,

Are we dreamers, or doers?

The constitutional confrontation which pits Scotland's aspirations against British entitlement is a parallel to - perhaps a proxy for - the ages-old battle between deprivation and privilege. Between insecurity and invulnerability. Between power denied and power accrued. To be a nationalist in the context of the fight to restore Scotland's rightful status and defend the identity which is imbued with our hope and determination to address the gross imbalances of British society, is to be part of the same cause as inspired all the great social reformers of the past. Wear your Scottish civic nationalism with quiet pride! It is an honourable and a worthy thing.