This is extracted from my sketch of Friday "Yesscot" campaign for Scottish Independence. You can read the whole thing on The Times website. The photograph is by James Glossop
It was all bafflingly bad, not least because the SNP, more marketing organisation that political party, have shown themselves to be the most adept electoral machine in Britain over the last five years.
They’ve done so, in large part, by carefully following public opinion and tailoring their vision of independence to what the public will accept.
The monarchy, the pound, the army, the BBC, the DVLA, all of these apparently will be part of an independent Scotland, because that’s what the focus groups say Scottish people like.
It’s an intriguing vision, this “social union”, as the SNP call it - but how would it work, what would it look like? Yesterday no-one would or could say.
Just when it couldn’t get any worse for those Nationalist strategists who are so wedded to public opinion, Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Scottish Greens, produced the one visionary speech, describing what an Independent Scotland might look like.
Doubling up with Mr Salmond in the “progressive” political alliance of the Yes Campaign, Mr Harvie’s intervention was a bean-eaters’ charter for a joyless future. He dissed North Sea oil, the mainstay of Scotland’s economy, called for a new economic model, and spoke of “the delusion of everlasting economic growth”. Vote winners all.
At the end, Mr Salmond was still sitting smiling with one of his new friends, Alan Cumming, posing for photos. One of this odd couple made his name in the movies as Floop, a childish character with a maniacal secret agenda to take over the world.
The other? The Yes campaign launch left that question unanswered.