IT seems almost impossible to know what to write in a weekly column written a day in advance when political events are moving fast enough to make your head spin.

But I’m more and more of the view that what we’re gaining in speed and immediacy of 24/7 politics, we’re losing in content and analysis. Even, dare I say it, sorting the wheat from the chaff.

I’m getting emails from constituents the length and breadth of Scotland, and indeed further afield, from people feeling real stress and upset at what is going on. I share the sentiment. There’s a danger this will cause us to collapse into despair and give our opponents an open field with us on the sidelines.

But there’s also a palpable hunger amongst the electorate for something different, something feasible, something ... better.

In 2014 we had an amazing campaign which turned a lot of people on to the idea that independence in Europe offers Scotland’s best chance, but, still, we lost. In 2014, many folks who couldn’t bring themselves to vote Yes still reassessed a lot of their views. In 2014, we normalised the idea of Scottish independence.

The referendum moved a significant group of folk in Scotland from “could we?” as in, is it possible for Scotland to be independent and thrive, to “should we?” as in, is it worth the changes it would bring.

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Where they did not see the need for change in 2014 – why risk it? The UK’s not so bad! I’ve a stake I don’t want to lose – they see the need for change now. These were the folks who were most drawn to the “lead not leave” rhetoric, and the promises of moving “as close to federalism as it is possible to get”.

These are the folk who are keenly aware these promises were not met, and are keenly aware of the risks of Brexit and hurt by how Scotland has been treated. Our vote – 62% across every counting region – dismissed. This is a Union where we should know our place and shut up.

And this demographic is asking themselves – and asking us – hard questions. Questions which need proper answers, not bluster or blithe hope. These people have been impressed at how the SNP team has behaved in the challenges of the last years. Calm, measured, serious, and are looking to us for reassurance. We’re the grown-ups at a time when Westminster looks more like a Victorian asylum.

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It is for all those reasons that we must stick to our values, and not allow frustration to cloud our judgment, or for the nihilism and irresponsibility engulfing parts of the UK establishment to affect us. I don’t just want to hold another referendum on independence – I want to win it, and we won’t win it unless we bring all these folks with us. Look at the polls, there are plenty people actively thinking about independence, but many are not there yet, appalled by Brexit and fearful for the future. There remains a risk they’ll stick with the UK, however uncomfortable, as it remains the status quo. We’re the folk proposing change, so we need to do it calmly, rationally and have our homework done.

We have already established how Scotland becomes independent. By a referendum on a Yes/No question, after a campaign fought on a detailed prospectus, with votes at 16 and the franchise extended to everyone who lives here legally. Same as the last time. That is what the people of Scotland expect and is our best plan. It also, of course, means that the UK government needs to commit to respecting the vote, and where some have viewed this as a weakness, I think given the times we live in it is a strength.

This is our Plan A. Any talk of other options lets this shambolic UK government off the hook.

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It is also, I have to report from 15 years building the case for independence case in Brussels, the only way that it will fly in the international community.

Like many people in Scotland, there are folks across Brussels and the EU who did not get us in 2014, but get us now. And they have questions too. Winning a referendum needs to be a serious job, with proper engagement and respect on all sides.

Our independence needs to be recognised by the world community, chief among them the other member states of the European Union. I’m confident that not only will it be recognised, it will be welcomed and celebrated, but only if we do it right.

We have the template from 2014, it needs to be refreshed for the times we live in but all the other tides at home and abroad are with us.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to stay the course.