It would be foolish in the extreme, I would say, to regard the result of the Rutherglen by-election as a barometer for the next General Election, which is looming on the horizon.

And while I think the UK polls rightly suggest that this Conservative government is entering its death throes, I still think there’s a lot to play for in Scotland.

In short, I don’t believe for a single split second that the independence question has disappeared.

Far from it. Every election from now on is a mini referendum. The Rutherglen result has a shedload of history behind it and I wouldn’t use it as a litmus test of anything.

I keep my voting history to myself, and I make points publicly about message rather than policy.

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Perhaps it’s because if you cut me I bleed cynicism, that I say this – voters should really look outside the box to see the bigger picture beside the elephant in the room which is evading the crocodile nearest the canoe, if you forgive my metaphor-mixing.

Because I know you all rush to page six of this blatt to read these fortnightly bon mots, you’ll recall that I’ve said this before.

We are nowhere near ready to cast aside the oil reserves which surround Scotland and while I think it’s right and proper that we travel by train and leave the car at home as much as possible, we need to exploit our natural resources for decades yet until electric vehicle infrastructure is truly ready. Which brings me to my light sweet crude point.

If you cast your minds back to a date nearly a decade ago when, with less than a year to go until the vote, we were in the midst of the great debate over whether Scotland should stay or go.

The Better Together campaign said that North Sea oil was finished, there wasn’t enough to extract to keep our cars on the road and without oil, an independent Scotland couldn’t survive.

Lo, with the ink barely dry on the Glasgow COP 26 net zero target protocols, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signs licences for 100 new North Sea wells.

Hang on. Isn’t this the same Conservative Party machine which told us a decade ago the oil was running out?

And with all the money from these new wells going to London and not Edinburgh, you can hear the Nats growling. And with good reason – they’ve been had.

Given the assets offshore, Scotland should be an oil-rich country like Norway and Kuwait with everyone enjoying lifestyles to match.

That it isn’t, is a national disgrace which will no doubt be front and centre of voters’ minds come polling day.