SAE we hae an election. Yet anither chance tae gie notice o oor desire tae quit the Union. Yet anither chance tae mairch doon tae the local schuil, gien the indy pipes a blaw an a skirl. A chance tae gie a gilt edge tae oor copper-bottomed, iron-clad mandate fir indyref2020.

How should we bother oor airses? Have we no been doon thon gate afore, pilin votes intae the SNP an Greens just tae hae oor demand fir anither referendum dingied by the bogle-stappit knowe that is Westminster? We votit fir pro-indy pairties in 2016, 2017 an 2019. We’re awa tae dae it again. But dinnae expect a Section 30 order straight aff the back o it.

Nicola Sturgeon will be aye chappin at the door fir an indyref neist autumn. I’d be absolutely delightit wi that, as I’m shair we could win it. But if we dinnae get permission fir indyref2020, we cannae just dae oor dingers an loose the heids. We maun aye keep a calm sooch, an act wi cauld bluid an excessive guid will.

Gin we request a Section 30 an dinnae get it this time, we shouldnae stairt flippin cars an torchin polis stations in Kelso an Carnoustie. The optics o oor muive tae independence are awfy important, an we’re makkin mair progress than whiles it seems.

A body wha spends a hail lot mair time than me doon in Westminster has telt us that the Tories will keep chunterin on fir a bit aboot “nae mair indyrefs, nae sections 30 blah blah blah”, but gin we return pro-indy votes in the General Election an again at the 2021 election then they wilnae keep on withhaudin it.

I ken it isnae an idea onybody wants tae thole: bein telt that we cannae hae a vote on oor ain future by a government we didnae elect. Whiles its temptin tae snatch at whit seems richt unner oor neb. Hae a referendum wioot UK consent. Declare UDI. Bring hame the MPs. But gin ye hae a luik owre yer shouder at whaur we were, an whaur we are noo, ye’ll see that the current plan is wirkin. Yer darg isnae wastit. Neither is yer vote.

The recent SNP conference is a braw exaimple o the progress we’ve aaready made. Bletherin wi a puckle o the aulder heids among the delegates, I wis telt how it wasnae sae lang syne that the SNP conference wis held in a totty wee haa in Rothesay. The attendees wad hae been yer hardcore nationalists, yer idelogues wha kent that indy wis richt, an wis worth the fecht nae maitter the seemin impossibility o the task an the solidity o the British state o the dey.

Aiberdeen wisnae like that. The muckle haa at the P&J Live venue wis thrang wi delegates o mony colours. Yer hardcore were oot, kilts on, wee saltires flappin abuin their tartan bunnets. But also yer Tams an Agneses were oot, yer middle-class, middle o the road North-East Scots were there, ootnummerin the hardcore 10 tae wan.

In the exhibition space ye hud stalls fae the Young Scots for Independence, aye, but also reps fae Scottish universities, fae charities, even ane fae the government o Gibraltar. In the middle o the hail clamjamfry wis a cafe, whaur aa the different fowk mingled owre a coffee, discussin in douce tones the mony motions o the dey. Aa committit tae the increasingly unremarkable, unrevolutionary, middle-o-the-road maitter o brekin up the UK.

Ye wadnae hae seen 98% o these fowk oot at Rothesay 40 year ago. That’s pairtly doon tae the success o the SNP, an also its doon tae the fact that Scottish independence is an idea that’s come o age.

It isnae just us that kens it. The warld kens it.

I wis doon at Scotland Hoose recently. Thons a Scottish Government property doon on the Thames that gies Scottish business an politics a stable base in England’s capital. They haud mair than a hunner cultural, political an business events ilka year, connectin Scotland wi the warld.

The event wis hoachin wi business fowk, Scots diaspora makin their mairk doon there, politicians an diplomats. Aff the record, they telt me that things hae changed fir Scotland in business an diplomatic circles.

There’s been a warmin o the earth, I wis telt, towards Scottish independence. The international community wis caught bonnie by oor first referendum, appairently. It wis in pairt misunderstood as a skelf o the wider right-wing zeitgeist o the time. We were kept at airms length. Noo that we’ve had five years o oor representatives gingin oot intae the world, an international business an diplomats hae gied them a guid sniff, they are a hunner times mair receptive. They ken that independence is aboot makkin a fairer country, an contributin tae international peace an co-operation. The mood music in diplomatic circles, especially aroon the EU, is tae-tappinly cheery. Guid stuff.

The muckle mairches we’ve been haein owre the last twa-three years hae been a boost. They gie us space in European media. The hail thing is peaceful, the polis are there but arnae busy, an its aa done wi the consent o UK an Scottish governments. The images get splashed owre papers an wabsites in mony European countries, saftenin them up mair an mair tae the cause.

But mair nor thon is oor consistent, peacefu votes fir pro-independence pairties. Ye cannae beat regular reiterations o a strang, unified, democratic message. The warld is takkin tent o us, an oor richt-heidit approach tae the issue o reclaimin oor independence.

Fundamentally, this is workin. Keep on mairchin, keep on voting fir pro-indy pairties. Keep on biggin connections wi ither fowk, ither cultures, ither businesses. Keep on keepin the heid.

Gin we hae a referendum neist year we’ll fecht it an win it. Gin we hae tae wait ae mair year, then so be it. In the vast span o history, a year doesnae maitter. We hae tae aye bide by protocol an international law, an maintain oor peacefuness first an foremaist, otherwise aa the guid groundwork preparing the warld fir an indy Scotland will be tint.

Keep daein whit yer daein. It is workin.