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.
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.
There is no plan. There are only more or less evident trends arising out of the chaos as certain imperatives coincide with concentrations of power.
The purpose of the Union is to give England-as-Britain a permanent and significant advantage in the management of its relations with Scotland. Or, to put it another way, the Union serves to keep Scotland at a disadvantage relative to England-as-Britain. It does this in a number of ways, not the least of which is denial of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland.
One would therefore be forgiven for supposing that he'd be aware that power is relative. What matters in the context of the constitutional issue is not the "sheer might" of the UK in relation to the rest of the world, but the power relationship between the British state and Scotland. From that perspective, the might of the Union is as sheer as it needs to be.
In Edinburgh, meanwhile, it's very much the 'Nicola and Covid Show' - a freakishly popular daytime soap opera that has pushed 'Scotland's Cause' off the schedules completely and seems set to run for years.
Section 30 is all about denying and curtailing democracy. #ScottishUDI is all about enabling and facilitating democracy.
The Union ensures that whatever democracy we may have it will always be subject to the approval of England-as-Britain. We can always be outvoted. And failing that our democratic choices can be refused regardless.
Independence is normal. It is not normal that a nation such as Scotland should be purposefully and maliciously denied its rightful constitutional status. It is not normal that the people of Scotland should be denied the full and effective exercise of the sovereignty that is theirs by absolute right. It is not normal that Scotland should be forcefully prevented from freely negotiating the terms on which it associates with other nations.
What really troubled me about the marches last year was that they continued to direct public ire in the direction of London when it had become more appropriate to direct it towards Edinburgh.