WELL, that must be a record.

Has a Scottish Government paper ever been so completely ignored at its press launch as Tuesday’s independence scene-setter?

Radio Scotland’s Laura Maxwell did quiz Angus Robertson on the First Minister’s 10 comparator countries – five of them Nordic neighbours and all doing better than the UK on a range of measures. The BBC presenter pointed out that behind the bald statistics lay different personal tax rates and quite different economies – so which would an independent Scotland choose?

Angus responded that the 10 countries have a variety of economic systems but the same common factor – stronger economies as a result of being small and independent. The Arc of Prosperity Mark 2.

But that still begged the perfectly valid question – which system is favoured by the SNP?

Tune in next week folks, for the next exciting instalment in the Scottish Government’s indy strategy.

READ MORE: Smart policies from neighbouring countries that we could replicate with independence

Now I don’t mean to sound negative. There are advantages to the slow-release strategy – it should give time to discuss the shape of independence before nitty-gritty questions about borders, currency, trading relations and legality kick in.

It should, but it hasn’t.

The press louped straight over the paper about neighbours with less poverty, higher GDP, greater income equality, social mobility, productivity and research spending and cantered instead straight to the trickier questions of indyref timing and legality.

That’s partly because most newspapers are grinding Unionist axes and partly because the prospect of a “glowing” future only serves to revive our inner John Knox – a fair and bountiful, Nordic-style future. Well, we won’t be having that then.

But I’d guess many Yessers probably also skipped the comparative details.

Scots know we’re dragging behind our Nordic cousins. Hopefully aided by 12 years’ worth of Nordic Horizons events and five films (with more than a million views online).

Belief in a different style of politics is the reason we’ve been voting Social Democrat (first Labour – now SNP) for the best part of a century.

The paper suggests how Scotland could look as an independent country.

Fine. But for most Scots, the problem is not knowing how to get there.

There were also some important details about the forthcoming campaign that emerged as puzzling asides after the Nicola/Patrick launch. Angus Robertson named October as the month for indyref2 on Good Morning Scotland, though the interviewer didn’t pick up on it. Was that intended? You’d rather imagine the date would be part of a Bigger First Ministerial Reveal.

The Holyrood presiding officer criticised Robertson for the Government’s decision to give an independence statement to the media before parliament.

The National:

And Stewart Hosie (above) said twice on the BBC’s Nine that the Scottish Government “have in their minds” a route to a “legal referendum without a Section 30 order”. Once again, the interviewer ploughed on without asking the MP what he actually meant.

Small things, perhaps, but adding to the slight sense of unreality surrounding a “scene setter” statement by the SNP and Scottish Greens leaders that came right out of the blue – for most.

With SNP stalwart former spin doctor Campbell Gunn warning on Radio Scotland that a 2023 date is unrealistic, and other Yes-voting columnists listing a myriad of apparently intractable problems, from the non-involvement of party members to the Border and currency issues, Yessers could be forgiven for feeling a mix of adrenaline and apprehension as indyref2 beckons and Project Fear reassembles overnight.

True, there was an unreal period while the Edinburgh Agreement was being hammered out behind the scenes 10 years ago and news bulletins were dominated by months of “will they – won’t they” speculation about the transfer of Section 30 powers.

Back then, there was agreement between the two governments and (finally) a date.

Now there are aspirations for a vote – but no clear strategy or details of a wider campaign.

The lack of grassroots involvement and the timing – just before long-awaited summer holidays – will leave many diligent Yessers uncertain about whether to cancel plans and spend the summer campaigning. Believe In Scotland has been hot off the mark, asking all Yes groups to affiliate so it can elect a campaign steering group via regional representatives and help launch a campaign in July “that will be sustained till the referendum in September 2023”.

Will that work?

Will Yessers toe the line and get on with campaigning, even if they don’t agree with soon-to-be-revealed policies on currency, trade and borders?

READ MORE: UK withdrawal from ECHR would leave 'gaping hole' in Scotland Act

Just as Yessers were forced to back Salmond’s choice of a shared currency when it was announced (apparently without cabinet discussion), there’ll be massive pressure on dissenting voices to wheesht for indy once the SNP leader nails her colours to controversial policy masts over the weeks ahead.

Yet 2022 is not 2013.

The year before the last indyref, there was no Scotland-wide Yes movement with branches almost everywhere, just a very centralised Yes campaign whose failure to deliver useful, relevant material to Yes branches spurred local groups to get active and stay active through the long, difficult groundhog years. Campaigners for a new independent Scottish currency have since become active within the SNP and wider Yes movement, backed by articulate supporters like economist Richard Murphy. There was little detailed counter-argument to official SNP policy nine years ago.

That’s changed. Groups and individuals have strengthened their arguments and are unlikely to pipe down if the First Minister sticks to her Growth Commission guns.

And yet, what is the choice?

Nicola Sturgeon (below) has a party membership, previous experience, the authority of office and campaigning coffers on her side.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon insists Holyrood has ‘indisputable’ mandate to hold indyref2

And despite the suddenness, lack of warning and lack of inclusion in this week’s indyref2 launch, any Yesser with something more important to do for the next year will look contrary at best and gey stupid at worst.

Another referendum is what everyone in the Yes movement has been campaigning for since 2014. So, let’s do it.

Yes, the timing is difficult.

But when would it be right?

When GDP has declined by another 5% because of Brexit and staff shortages?

When Britain fulfils OECD predictions to become the worst performing economy in the G20 in 2023 – bar isolated, sanctioned Russia?

When Scotland’s renewables bonanza has fuelled tax-cut bribes to get Boris Johnson back into Number 10 but leave rural Scots with the highest standing charges and worst fuel poverty in Britain?

When UK welfare benefits – already the most miserly in Europe – sink below some developing countries?

When an EU trade war kicks off over the Northern Ireland Protocol?

When the British Government scraps the Human Rights Act and replaces it with a new watered-down Bill of Rights so they can crate “irregular” asylum seekers and send them off to Rwanda without intervention by the European Court of Human Rights?

When yet another election creates yet another mandate for a referendum?

There is ample reason to act now.

And ample evidence that Scotland has the capacity to run its own affairs more productively, fairly and consistently than a UK mired in a seemingly never-ending and self-harming struggle with its own elitist, imperial past.

So, let’s move forward.

There’s no other direction.

Of course, there are nerves – about pouring in work, time and emotional commitment without certainty of outcome, but with the distinct possibility of disappointment and being led up the hill again.

Last time we didn’t know what defeat was like. Now we do.

But let’s use that as a spur.

Life’s difficult, opportunities come when they come and Yessers must engage fully in the campaign or snipe from the sidelines.

That might be safer. But I’m happy to risk disappointment for the chance of success.

Size up the risks – by all means.

But let’s do it anyway.