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This has been Party Conference weekend in Scotland, with both Labour and the LibDems holding their annual assemblies. They reminded me that there was a time when I knew by name, sight and reputation, every political figure of stature in the country. I suppose I still do, but it’s no claim to make, because there are so few of them, and they all belong to the same party. I am willing to bet that if, one year ago, Ed Millipede had met in the street a lady called Johann Lamont, or Nick Clegg had met a man named Willie Rennie, they wouldn’t have had the faintest idea who they were. Scotland still doesn’t, yet today, those two individuals are the leaders of their respective parties in my country, nonentities who came to their positions not by acclamation, but in Mr Rennie’s case by default, and in that of Ms Lamont, because she was put there by the trade unions, against the democratically expressed wish of the rank and file members who took part in the election. Although the Tory conference will take place at another time, I should not exclude its flag-bearer, Ms Ruth Davidson, from this parade of elected inadequates. Her fall to the top is due to the facts that, she is one of the few Scots Tories left who is not in the grip of senility, and her opponents were a man whose manifesto called for the immediate dissolution of the Party he sought to lead, (Murdo, surely you’ve come to understand now that turkeys will never vote for Christmas)  and a very nice chap who was seen by most to be, in the words of a now departed colleague of mine, ‘so wet you could shoot snipe off his arse.’

I heard Mr Rennie on BBCTV news last week, revealing that he had contacted his opposite numbers in the Labour and Conservative parties, to discuss tactics for opposing independence. A little later, Labour’s conference heard a confused account by Ms Lamont of why she was against it, and what if anything her lot might offer instead. (My understanding is that they don’t know, and so will follow tradition by passing the buck to a committee.) We have yet to hear from Ms Davidson, but I do not expect her contribution to raise the bar by a single millimetre.

In two years, sooner if Alex can be persuaded that it’s tactically sound, or if Cameron moves the goalposts and is stupid enough (or cunning enough, for by losing Scotland he will gain England) to impose his will, and I’m still around, I will vote ‘Yes’ for an independent, self-governing nation. I’m not interested in the ‘debate’ that’s to come. My decision is made and it’s from the heart. If you’d asked me a month ago whether I believed that I will be among the majority, I’d have said that I did not. But now that I’ve seen the collection of pigmies who are ganging up to oppose Alex Salmond’s vision, and Nicola Sturgeon’s vision, and Mike Russell’s vision, and my vision, and even (dunno why, but I neither like nor trust him) Kenny McAskill’s vision, of a Scotland no longer subservient to the English majority at Westminster, I am not so sure. I am coming to believe that when the electorate comes to see that the puny Davidson/Lamont/Rennie alliance is the best the ‘No’ camp can do, and that they have to rely on the support of their London leaderships, reeking as they do of self-interest, it will become more and more inclined to seize the moment, when it comes.

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