In the context of the fight to restore Scotland's independence, it doesn't matter if the SNP win. It doesn't matter if they win by a huge margin. It's essential that the SNP wins. But only because this ensures that the British parties lose.
Suppose somebody said they voted for a candidate because they were male rather than female; or black rather than white; or tall rather than short. Would we not consider these rather poor reasons?
Why would we empower their deviousness? Why would we pander to their lack of principle? Why would we facilitate interference in our constitutional referendum by what, if we heed Joanna Charry's advice, we must regard as an unfriendly foreign power? Am I missing some impenetrably cryptic irony here?
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.
"Onward and onward! Then onward some more!"
We do not go to court. We go to the people. We do not concern ourselves with legality but with democratic legitimacy.
The issue to be decided in our new constitutional referendum is not what Scotland will be like for future generations of the people who live here, but whether those future generations will be able to decide for themselves what kind of Scotland they want. Or whether those decisions will be made for them by a government they didn't elect in a parliament where they are effectively unrepresented.
From the moment the EU referendum was called I tried to persuade people that they should be at least as concerned about the constitutional implications of what would come to be called 'Brexit' as with the economic consequences.
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.
There is not now and never was any route to the restoration of Scotland's Independence which does not involve confrontation with the British state. It was always a nonsense to suppose that, in the wake of the 2014 referendum and with a rising wave of democratic dissent in Scotland, there could ever be a viable process that was critically dependent on the full and honest cooperation of the British government.