I've taken some time to digest Theresa May's response to Nicola Sturgeon's declaration of intent to hold a vote on a fresh referendum on independence. Since our First Minister gave her speech at Bute House on Monday, everything has been going at 100mph - from both sides - and it is that constant talk of independence that I think Theresa May is trying to aim for.
Whilst 2014 was vibrant, joyous & filled with dreams of what nation we could be, 2017 feels more sombre, it feels more serious. A lot of that is down to Brexit, and the feeling that after all the lies we were told last time round, it's harder to be all happy and smiley when this may well be our last chance for a long while.
I think though, that a lot of us have kept the flags & stickers packed away, and have reigned in our enthusiasm because we all know that there really are a lot of Scots who don't want to go through this all again. We're almost having to apologise to them for forcing them through another 2 years of debates dominated by a question that exhausted them last time round.
So when May says "now is not the time", she's talking to those people more than she's talking to our First Minister. May has subtly started to campaign for votes. She's hoping some will say "yeah, not yet. I'm still not over the last one", perhaps attempting to shift opinion in the polls enough to show that people are in agreement with her.
In amongst a group of close friends and family, a majority have said they don't want to talk politics anymore, they want us to just get on with things. All of them voted SNP (once cancelled their membership a few months ago). That is not to say that they won't vote Yes again when the ballot paper is put in front of them, but if they are nodding along to the Prime Minister saying "wait until we've left the EU and see how things go" it's not much of a step further to them glancing sideways to look at an increasingly attractive No option. "What if she's right, what if Brexit is a good thing? Shouldn't we wait 6 or 7 years until the dust settles?"
Nicola Sturgeon has to nip this in the bud, quickly. She was quick off the mark earlier today by saying a Government with only one elected representative is acting almost un-democratically towards Scotland (I would have left out the "almost" if it was my speech). The intention to hold a vote in Holyrood to ask for a Section 30 order looks like it will still go ahead and I wonder if there will be a push for an amendment to be made that marks out steps that would be taken should this be rejected.
Could we be heading for UDI? For me, I felt that it was an extremely daft proposal whenever it was mentioned, but with the contempt we continue to be shown, what other options are open to us? UDI is a perfectly legitimate method of asserting the right to self determination. A prime example of this is the USA leaving the control of the UK in 1776. All it would take is a Holyrood election returning a pro-UDI majority (effectively the SNP + Greens) that explicitly states that a vote for those parties is a vote for a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
As I say, such an option was perhaps unthinkable a couple of years ago. But now, as Brexit looms closer, and the true racist, xenophobic and brutal version of Britain has emerged from the shadows, maybe it's an option that should start to get some serious thought.