Pete Wishart's Better Nation post about embracing Britishness in a post-independence Scotland has engendered a fair degree of comment, since of course we all got a bit bored with the minutiae of what independence means and the conduct of the requisite referendum. Thus the debate made it into the MSM, culminating in a discussion on last night's Newsnicht, albeit that there's been a degree of 'fish & chips v deep-fried Mars bar'* levity to it all.
On the other hand, the discussion has been rumbling on since a debate about this kind of identity politics was conducted on Newsnight, with a Kenny Farquharson Scotland on Sunday article fuelling the social media fire.
Of course, the difference with the MP's contribution is that he's a prominent SNP politician, rather than a dyed-in-the-wool Unionist. Thus the predictable ire on Newsnet Scotland normally reserved for the likes of the Portillos and Farquharsons has been unleashed on Mr Wishart by the unreconstructed wing of nationalist opinion.
But the often highfalutin air to all of this perhaps misses the point slightly. The referendum will be won or lost on the day-to-day issues concerning the Scottish people rather than which national/supra national identity they adhere to. Thus while we all subscribe to Scottish and/or British identities to a greater or lesser extent, on the day of reckoning these matters will be subordinated to the practical application of political matters, as will similarly abstract ideas about sovereignty and autonomy.
Therefore Pete Wishart's intervention - whether or not endorsed by the upper echelons of the SNP - is all part of the process of flying a kite to test reaction to the watering down of the independence goal to the degree that both public opinion and nationalist support will buy it without the whole referendum process imploding, as it did during the last parliament.
And the more ethereal and nebulous ideas like national identity are in effect surrogates and euphemisms for the more divisive issues like defence, the monarchy, the currency and economic policy generally, about which there is clearly a degree of SNP uncertainty, in part because they don't yet know what form of independence can be sold to the public.
Thus while Mr Wishart claimed that Unionism was couched in terms of "motherhood and apple pie", the same could surely be said of an independent Scotland. That's because we don't yet know what that entails, and even if more meat was put on the bones there would be a huge element of a shot in the dark about the whole thing.
Of course, on the Newsnight debate Joan McAlpine made similarly positive comments about the "social union", and the less fundamentalist strand of online nationalist opinion has proffered similarly revisionist and consensual comments, such as that the Unionist notion of devo-max isn't too far away from what the SNP desires, whatever that is precisely.
Obviously there will be a lot more of this softening up and testing the waters in the forthcoming months and years. But given the oft-cited support of Scotland for more powers for the Scottish parliament it seems likely that the SNP can construct a form of greater Holyrood autonomy that could become the "settled will" of the Scottish people.
Likewise, mainstream gradualist nationalism is likely to prefer such a solution to that proposed by Westminster's Scotland Bill, but perhaps the big imponderable is the degree to which the pro-independence movement can be held together in view of the inevitable opprobrium from the fundamentalists and militant absolutists.
*If anyone feels insulted by my attempt at a little joke then perhaps it should have read "fish and chips v fish suppers". But perhaps that alludes that there is a strong degree of social and cultural convergence between Scotland and England and/or the UK generally. How about "fish suppers v haggis, neeps and tatties" then? Except that the latter isn't eaten that often anyway? On the other hand, it's just over ten years ago since Robin Cook pronounced, in a speech extolling the virtues of, um, civic Brit-nat-ism: "Chicken tikka masala is now Britain's true national dish, not only because it is the most popular, but because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences."
Or perhaps he should have said England rather than Britain. Gosh, this is getting complicated...