Having just listened to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, talking to the BBC on yesterday's Good Morning Scotland programme, I get the distinct impression that the British Establishment and their agents in Scotland, led by Davidson, Dugdale, and Rennie, are completely terrified at the prospect of a second independence referendum. And for one very simple reason: they're not convinced they can win it.
The British Unionist propaganda machine would have us believe that the First Minister said she would shelve IndyRef2, should she secure a soft Brexit, if not for the UK, then at the very least, for Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon did not say that. What she did say was that she was willing to put IndyRef2 to one side whilst endeavouring to find compromise and consensus.
I suspect that Nicola Sturgeon is all too aware that the British Government is not too keen on compromise. Generally speaking, and specifically, where Scotland is concerned, they want to control. Consensus is to be reached through our compliance and conformity.
Establishment stooges like Professor John Curtice like to suggest that Nicola Sturgeon, mindful that the polls are stubbornly static over independence, may be disinclined to risk IndyRef2 in the short term. Well, referendums are always a risk, as the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, found to his great cost. As things stand, the Yes movement has somewhat less ground to gain than it did in 2014.
No, Nicola Sturgeon is not running scared, she is playing the game and playing it well. Not so long ago, Kezia Dugdale was telling the First Minister to stop obsessing over independence and to "get on with the day job" (a phrase that has been done to death by the parties who oppose Scotland). Now, it seems that she believes that the Union needs saving all over again. Someone is obsessed, and it isn't Nicola Sturgeon.
Dugdale, who, if we are speaking of day jobs, ought to be saving so-called Scottish Labour, thinks that the best way to do this is by becoming ever more ultra-Unionist, outdoing angry-aggressive Ruth Davidson, and demonstrating that the Tories, far from defending the Union, are stretching it to "breaking point". What Kezia Dugdale doesn't appear to appreciate, is that by prioritising preservation of the Union, she is seen to be selling Scotland short. She has made it quite clear that continued Scottish membership of EU, or the even the Single Market, should be sacrificed for the sake of the United Kingdom, should it come to that.
Ruth Davidson, though she often appears to forget it, belongs to the party that brought about Brexit. As such, she's given up all pretence of protecting Scotland's place in Europe, hoping instead that her colleagues at Westminster don't make an absolute dog's breakfast of Brexit. It is hard to imagine, should it all go horribly wrong (and it probably will, given the calibre of the current British cabinet), that she will disown the deal that Team Theresa tease from our European partners.
The other party of the Union, barely worth mentioning, reduced as they are to a rump, are against second referendums when the result goes their way, yet all for them when the result goes against them.
Better Together, the temporarily unified face of the British Establishment, fought a campaign of fear in 2014. It is doubtful that Project Fear will be quite so effective in a second independence referendum- it failed in the EU referendum, and besides, it is hard to imagine that Better Together 2 will be anything like as united. There will be no repeat of CamCleggiband alliance, since May, Corbyn and Farron are far less likely bedfellows.
No doubt, when the time comes, they'll summon Broon from under his rock, and Lord Darling will step out of his granny's curtains and off the House of Turds gravy train long enough to make a contribution. But it will be in vain. What will they do, make the same unfulfilled vow as before and hope that 55% of us are daft enough to fall for it again?
The parties of the Union are in disarray. The Tories are stupefied, left gawping at the genetically modified mega-nettle they made for themselves and ought to be grasping. Labour are impotent, ineffectual and particularly in Scotland, all but irrelevant. Does anyone take the Liberal Democrats seriously anymore? Clegg and Cable may have led the party to near oblivion, but they had at least a hint of gravitas, which is more than can be said for the woolly, wet, wishy-washy Willie Rennie and Tim Farron.
Come IndyRef2, the Yes movement needs to exploit the deep divisions in the Unionist camp, to sing with one voice, to drown out the increasingly shrill sounds of a dispersed chorus and demonstrate that they aren't singing from the same hymn sheet any longer. We need to show that the UK's interests are not necessarily Scotland's, and where they are not Scotland is made to suffer, not the first priority of "our" United Kingdom, but a distant second. No more playing nice, it is time to bloody the nose of the British bully and make our break.