So. Yesterday should have been a day of some self congratulation. The anti-independence Campaign seems to have had a successful launch, even though in my opinion it is of some doubt whether we needed to bother. Additionally, the MSM (copyright Newsnet) seems finally to be waking up to my long advanced proposition that Eck, not being an idiot, has no intention of having a Referendum he would inevitably lose.
But the question remains: what happens now? And the answer is not very much.
At the end of this week, Scotland goes on holiday. And we're more than entitled to it after the most miserable June I can remember. More importantly however, even those of us immersed in politics will have more important things to engage us. Beakers brim full of the warm south, if not, hopefully, full of blissful hippocrene; girls who will be forever chased, fair or otherwise; sunsets to be sailed beyond the baths, albeit in the knowledge that we will, eventually, have to go back to work.
Eck has still got nearly two and a half years until his promised Referendum, and thus eighteen months at least until he need disclose how he proposes to justify calling it off. And, if it is any consolation to my nationalist readers, the suggestion of an immediate vote, at the initiative of the "unionists" has proven to be corn thrown on stony ground. I told you no-one listens to me.
So, through the Autumn ahead, we will be back, almost, to where I started my blog, nearly fourteen months ago. That there is not going to be an SNP called Referendum. That is only common sense. But that the issue will remain undecided over whether there will be a Referendum at all, since Eck will not yet have summonsed up the courage to tell his own troops that the game's a bogey.And so the ball won't yet be back in our court..
The Nats have had some understandable fun at the Labour/Tory alliance today. But in doing so they have, in their own self-interest, ignored the fact that we and our temporary allies are actually quite split on one fundamental issue.
Essentially, the Tories just want to save the Union. We do as well, but we have a further objective and that is in destroying the SNP.
So, the danger is that when Eck eventually admits his lack of Imperial clothing, the Tories will have a good night out and then get on with being .............Tories. What do they care who runs the Scottish Parliament since they have concluded it is unlikely ever to be them?
We, on the other hand, have really had enough of this. So we are determined on a vote.
Despite reports in the Sunday newspapers, I personally have never had any knowledge of any poll putting support for Independence as low as 20%. I do know however of a sweep being run currently on our side where anyone prepared to go beyond 25% is denounced as chicken. 28% is however my own long term estimate and, with some apprehension of being over pessimistic, I am prepared to stick to that.
And I doubt if even the most Cyber of Nats could spin that as susceptible to "one more heave".
But I also understand the Tory argument. Seeing off Salmond is the big prize, After that it is back to normal politics.
So, at this point I need to make an important argument in support of the Tories own self-interest. Sure, in the aftermath of such a result, we'd likely be back as the Party of Government in Scotland. But with a bit more confidence they could be the opposition. And with the SNP restored to what they ought to be, an eccentric fringe Party: somewhat less serious than the Greens but still a bit more coherent than the Liberal Democrats, then, in the longer term the Tories would become the only possible alternative Scottish government. Given Labour's past hubris that might be more of an opportunity than they think.
So, if any Tory is reading this, it's up to you to make that case to your own leadership. It's not enough to have Eck call off his vote. We need our own vote. And once we get rid of the common enemy, we can then get back to proper politics.
And, finally, I want to make one last point. It's never ideal to be saying "No". So, if we're having a vote at our own initiative, let's make it on whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom. It might involve a bit of rebranding on the other side but I'm sure they can afford it.