First there was Alex Salmond's reference to the Claim of Right in his address to Parliament. Which appears to be substantively meaningless, thus it was particularly apt that the first minister should mention this in a speech consisting largely of spiel, spin and soundbite. Onywey:
We hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.Which means what, precisely? That Westminster simply does what Alex Salmond tells it to do on the back of an election won by virtue of the endorsement of barely 1 in 5 of the population, that was indeed secured by way of celebrity and tabloid newspaper endorsements, cash from cronies and even blatantly misleading the public in the ballot box? Of course, that's a bit harsh, because there was some substantive policy that no doubt helped sway voters, such as the sheer vision and reforming zeal of the council tax freeze, not to mention, er...
Thus the quote from the Claim of Right meant nothing other than yet another soundbite in a speech largely devoid of substance, unless it could be construed as referring to the indisputable sovereign right of the Scottish people to vote for independence if they so desire.
But Mr Salmond didn't really mention that either, thus underlining that it was all just another attempt to manipulate public opinion as regards a future referendum. Why not put the Claim of Right into practice by calling the vote rather than merely quoting something meaningless? Answers on a postcard to Bute House, please, except that of course Mr Salmond knows the answer to that question better than anyone.
Another one that caught the eye this week was Jim Crumley's Courier column, which managed to get a bit of pro-independence stuff in between the pro-sea eagles and anti-wind farm blurb. Thus, regarding Danny Alexander's "hysterically droning" speech to the Scottish CBI:
One imagines that there will be a great deal more of this from Westminster sages of various political hues as the independence referendum draws nigh. But don't you find it strange that the Westminster government goes to such extraordinary lengths to champion the cause of Arabs who want their independence half a world away...Er, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think what he's referring to was anything to do with "independence", at least unless you subscribe to the mindset that effectively equates Scotland's relationship with the UK to that of Tibet's with China.
Mr Crumley "drones hysterically" on:
...but is so determined to bully Scotland out of the notion that it is capable of thinking and acting for itself, and (perish the thought apparently) it's just possible that we might be better at running our wee country better than they are?Which is ironic in that the first part of his column consists of stuff about Edinburgh's inability to construct a glorified train set. Must be the Union's fault then.
"Bully" is also an interesting word, which of course does little more than emotionally reveal a preference, because given the context in which he uses it we must all be bullies, including Mr Crumley himself.
His penultimate word "they" is also interesting, since it seems to assume that everyone in Scotland has adopted the same perspective on such matters, like a 'them and us' sort of thing as far as the UK is concerned. Well, clearly Danny Alexander hasn't, and presumably there are others as well. Oh aye, it's generally the majority of Scots when anyone is interested enough to ask them.
But I think I've droned on hysterically long enough now with my own propaganda, so just a quick mention of my other favourite episode of the week, this time the priceless moment on Newsnicht when Nationalist Ewan Crawford accused opponents of trying to "pin the SNP down on individual questions so that the bigger picture is lost".
Aye, let's ignore things like the economy, the currency, pensions, defence, wind farms and sea eagles, and let's decide it all on the basis of things like the Claim of Rights, "forging our own destiny" and that David Cameron is effectively little better than Colonel Gadaffi, presiding over a totalitarian UK state. Saor Alba!
But if it's all so obvious then why just not get on with it?
Perhaps the problem in that regard is that Scots living in the real world are a bit more realistic and circumspect about these things than people living up in the hills and making a living from writing books and newspaper columns, say?
Frankly I'd be more impressed by the SNP if they simply said that they won't have a referendum right now because they know they can't win it and they're in the meantime trying to formulate a version of greater autonomy that the Scottish people will buy. Any other stated rationale for the delay represents mere contrivance and artifice.
But clearly they won't state explicitly what's blatantly obvious to even the dogs in the street, because the UK political imperative is not to be candid and honest, and the longer the SNP continue with this charade the more they revert to Westminster type.