Something has changed. Many family and friends, who were, and are still 'no' voters (though it must be said, more than a few are wavering), have now come to the conclusion that independence is inevitable. Whilst none of them have yet been able to satisfactorily explain why they think that is, all broadly agree that the direction of travel is moving inexorably towards an independent Scotland. It might be down to Brexit, and, or, the arrogant, off-hand way in which the British Government, and the Westminster Establishment, have treated Scotland in the last few years.
It began in the aftermath of the 2014 independence referendum, with the Smith Commission, set up to deliver 'The Vow'. The commission, and the resultant Scotland Act 2016, were the bare minimum that the Tory Government, ably abetted by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, thought they could get away with to keep us servile Scots quiet. Interesting, isn't it, how so-called Scottish Labour are calling for federalism, when the ink on the act that was supposed to deliver just that (or "as close to a federal state as you can be"-remember that line?) is barely dry.
Alas, none of them had banked on Brexit. The effete Old Etonian and alleged piggie fiddler, David Cameron, fairly dropped the (rugger, presumably?) ball there. Now, Team Theresa, who would like very much to be Team UK for the Brexit negotiations, want us daft Jocks to pipe down and accept that by voting to remain with the UK in 2014, Tory England can mete out whatever punishment they deem fit, for all time. Of course, the sizeable, and vocal SNP contingent at Westminster disagree, and many in the Commons, and Lords for that matter, despise them for it. The contempt in which our nation and our elected representatives (excluding the three Unionists) are held is clear to see, you only have to spend a little time watching the BBC's Parliament channel to understand that.
And, if it were up to Dizzia Dugdale and Ruth 'Warrior Unionist' Davidson, May would have her way. Woolly Willy and the Liberal Democrats are hardly worth a mention, other than to say that they are vehemently against second referenda, unless that is, of course, it suits their agenda, in which case they are all for them.
Since "the UK as a whole" (whatever happened to "family of nations"?) voted for Brexit, the increasingly unhinged Brexiteers, tell us that if it comes to it, the UK will manage just fine outside the single market, deal, or no deal. Yet we are told that should Scotland walk away from the UK, all internal trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK will simply stop, or at least become so frightfully complicated and expensive, that Scotland will wither and die overnight. Now, perhaps I'm seeing parallels that aren't there, but this scaremongering has more than a whiff of BetterTogether's deplorable threats made in 2014 to vulnerable, working class Scots pensioners, that their meagre state pensions would stop immediately after independence and they'd be left to freeze and starve and die (many failed to appreciate this is often already the case).
Of course, this is nonsense, I'm no economist, but it just doesn't make any sense that Scotland, almost uniquely among Western liberal democracies, is incapable of functioning as an independent nation. Just the other night, on the BBC's Question Time, Mark Littlewood, Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs said of Scotland: "you have the national income of a country like Portugal, the population of a country like Slovakia or Finland, I see no reason whatsoever why Scotland can't take its own place as a proud, independent nation".
He's right, if only more Scots could see it. Tory Britain isn't renowned for its benevolence, they're desperate to hold on to Scotland because we are of economic and strategic importance to them. In contrast, I'd wager they'd quite happily let Northern Ireland go.
In 2014, Scotland opted for the safe option, the status quo. In many ways, this is entirely understandable, people often fear change. Well, now, like it or lump it, everything has changed. The status quo has been shredded. We are leaving our future in the hands of people who appear to inhabit a parallel universe, whose grasp of reality is as precarious as the demented Day-Glo demagogue for whom they are rolling out the red carpet in the hope of who knows what.
We've heard it said that the British people (by that they mean the English, sorry, but they do!) were "bold" and "brave" in voting for Brexit, and in rejecting Brussels. Perhaps so. Now, it is more important than ever that Scots are bold and brave. Let Tory Britain have their Brexit, and good luck to them. But let's have nothing to do with it, let's make our own way, a different way, a way that we actually want. Let's try to make things a little better, before the Tories make them a whole lot worse.