OH dear. Someone should have had a wee word with Scotland Matters and advised them that timing matters, too. The big unveiling of this shadowy group’s big billboard urging “vaccination not separation” couldn’t have come at a worse moment, given Scotland has given a first dose of the vaccine to more people per population than any other country in Europe.

The Unionists who were so quick to crow about Scotland “lagging behind” look a little bit silly now, don’t they? To hear them froth a few weeks ago, one would have been forgiven for thinking those responsible for our vaccine roll-out just weren’t bothering to hurry up. And to be fair, even Nicola Sturgeon seemed worried when the numbers dipped on a Sunday without obvious explanation.

But this was a mere blip, the Scottish Government stood firm with its assertion that it was correctly prioritising older and more vulnerable groups who took longer to get through, and it turns out this wasn’t so much a case of the hare and the tortoise as the hare and the slightly more tactical hare.

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Still, a very charitable observer might say none of this matters, because regardless of progress made, the focus should still be on “vaccination not separation”. Perhaps Scotland Matters imagines that every minute Nicola Sturgeon spends talking about constitutional matters equates to missed opportunities to get needles into arms. In a sense of course this is true, because the FM could have personally undergone training to administer jags herself in between delivering her daily briefings and having her dinner. But I don’t think this is what the group mean when they say “do your job, First Minister”, because that would involve her doing someone else’s job, wouldn’t it?

The campaign group’s website seeks to emphasise that “the British Army has been drafted in to help along with substantial funding and quantities of vaccines from the UK Government,” so perhaps they will say it doesn’t matter that Scotland is now more than up to speed. Failures are the fault of the Scottish Government, you see, whereas triumphs are attributable to the UK generously giving us free loans and gifts. Had we been outwith the Union when the pandemic struck, we’d probably just have thrown up our hands in despair like every other small independent country did. Oh wait ... that’s not what happened, is it? What a shame Scotland is so uniquely incapable of looking after itself.

I hope all of us – pro-Union, pro-independence, on the fence – can all agree that yes, Scotland matters. It matters to everyone who lives here, and to many who don’t. Perhaps the next Scotland Matters billboard could spell out why it is that our resources seem to matter so much to the Tory Government but our opinions don’t matter at all and our representatives matter so little that they can be dismissed with name-calling and open contempt week in, week out in the House of Commons.

Perhaps these insults don’t matter to Scotland Matters, which would ironically suggest the only thing that matters to them is going on and on about independence.

It’s not the good people of Greenock who need a reminder that Scotland matters, it’s those in SW1 who are standing firm against the possibility of granting a Section 30 order to give us another say on independence despite nearly two dozen consecutive pro-Yes polls.

Reading between the lines, Scotland Matters might have an explanation for why the polls are in such stark contrast to the anti-independence campaigners who went leafleting in Inverclyde in 2019.

They apparently believe “the majority of Scots still wish to say ‘Yes’ to remaining in the United Kingdom”. One wonders, given the mismatch between this finding and the rather more robust polling evidence, if they might have confused those whose doorsteps they visited.

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Simply rebrand Yes supporters as “yes, I’d vote No” supporters of the Union and at a stroke you could find 100% backing for the status quo! If anyone tries to express themselves differently, such as by saying “I want independence” or “The Union isn’t working for Scotland”, simply reframe the question to something like “Are you not not Yes?” or “Do you say yes ... to No?” Responses of “Aye, right” may be recorded under whichever category suits.

Then there’s the slight problem that a lot has happened since 2019. An awful lot, in both senses of the word. And unfortunately for this gang of campaigners, people in Scotland have the ability to think about more than one thing at a time. They don’t wake up in the morning, think “showering not devouring” and accordingly skip breakfast. They don’t believe we must choose between inhalation and exhalation, meditation and celebration, or masturbation and copulation.

I’m sure the Scotland Matters team – whoever they are – are capable of multitasking too. Perhaps in between coming up with catchy slogans they can reflect on Scotland’s need for not just immunisation but innovation, revitalisation and liberation too.