IN In the early days of the Yes campaign, I was asked by Jennifer Dempsie to join the Yes Scotland advisory board. I was part of a non-party-political cohort that included the actress Elaine C Smith, the property developer Dan MacDonald ... and the late Andrew Fairlie.

I often sat nearby Andrew, and in the midst of the general argy-bargy on strategy and performance milestones, would often glance at him, as someone that might ground the lightning. Was this discussion connecting with the world in which people run their enterprises, apply their graft and talent to succeed, have a basic faith in the country and its possibilities?

Andrew was sometimes moved to convey this perspective to the board.

It was always an anchoring of our often fevered discussions. I also remember singing for my supper at Gleneagles, Andrew’s fiefdom, during one of the SNP Government’s meetings with the Scottish corporate classes. And what a supper it was! But I also mind meeting Andrew in the midst of these great machinations – where he made it clear, as a man o’ independent mind, he looked and laughed at ‘a that.

He – and we – didn’t get the result we wanted. And Andrew won’t see it now. But I hope, in the next (and of course victorious) indy campaign, we can involve people with the same quiet and capable solidity. People who just exemplify – indeed, prefigure – the possibilities and qualities that an independent Scotland offers. People like Andrew Fairlie.