It is one of the quirks that make human nature endlessly interesting that we will so casually and habitually 'quarantine' the idea of disease using the mask of language while objecting - sometimes vehemently - to the physical quarantine which is the one sure way to combat the spread of contagious and/or infectious diseases.
At present - and for our purposes there not only is no time like the present but no time other than the present - the only party capable of forming this pro-independence government is the Scottish National Party (SNP). That is a fact so far beyond doubt as to render questioning pointless. Even if there was a different or better answer further along the chain there is no time to get to that answer never mind implement the new solution. It's the SNP or nothing. So, regardless of any other consideration, shouldn't that be where all our efforts and resources are directed?
Where did this Mhairi Black come from? The one who wrote this column in The National? Where is the rebel? Who is this Mhairi Black? The one peddling the party line for all she's worth. The one plying us with unctuous platitudes and condescending rationalisation of the SNP leadership's paralysed timidity in the face of the British Nationalist threat to Scotland's democracy.
I'm revisiting this topic because almost the entire debate around this has been concerned with whether there ever was such an undertaking by the Scottish Government - there wasn't! - and the question of how long a generation is - it doesn't matter! The argument about how many years constitute a generation is totally pointless in this context for the same reason as the argument about whether there was such an undertaking is irrelevant.
In response to Shona Craven's column in The National today - A Project Fear might have won it for Yes if anyone knew things would get this bad - I am republishing this article first posted on 31 December 2013. I have chosen to reproduce it in full in order to that readers may see what I got wrong as well as the things I predicted all too accurately. - PAB
MacAskill is fast becoming the voice of a growing 'tendency' within the SNP that has turned to questioning the SNP leadership because all the questions that might be asked of the British state and its apparatus are now rhetorical.
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.
What about us? That's up to us. Our strength - the strength of Scotland's people - is sufficient to break the power of the British state. But only if it is channelled in massive and sustained amounts through a political party capable of acting within the British political system. Right now, that means the SNP. And only the SNP.
Health and social care services are among the most fundamentally essential services in modern society. (Education is another. They will be coming for Scotland's education system in due course.) Health and social care is important enough that it becomes a signifier of nationhood. Proper nations have and control their own health and social care services just as they have and control their own education systems and their own armed forces. Scotland must not be allowed to think of itself as a nation. Ergo, Scotland must be deprived of those signifiers of nationhood...
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.