We are in the last weeks of summer and then we enter that most beautiful of times - early autumn, a kind of transitional time that takes us gently towards the harsher realities of winter. Musically? For me, Stan Getz and Vivaldi …
Two autumn from now and we’ll have a referendum, when the Scottish electorate will decide the future of their country for a least a generation, almost certainly much longer. How did we get to this point? There can be only one answer – because of the Scottish National Party and, significantly, because of Alex Salmond. Whatever the contribution of others, the credit – or the blame, if you are a unionist – belongs to the SNP and its leader. There were other contributors, other factors and forces, but these are the two major ones.
And when the votes are cast and the results announced. the outcome will be have been determined mainly by the actions and the decisions made by that party and that leader, whatever the nature of the support and the opposition, and crucially, by the Scottish electorate’s verdict on those actions and decisions.
What does that mean right now, and in the next two years for party members, for party supporters who are not party members and for committed supporters of independence who do not support the SNP, i.e. within the YES Campaign?
I’ll leave that question in your minds to open the day. I have some ideas, and I hope to develop them later.