BACK in the day when satirical irreverence still featured as a normal part of our TV diet, there was a show called That Was The Week That Was. It covered whatever happened of any political moment in a big, fat dollop of distrust. But it always did so with humour and wit; handing out its verdicts with the equivalent of a televised wink. And handing outs its brickbats to all and sundry.

Last week’s momentous political news certainly got the TW3 treatment – minus the humour, the wit, the wink and any ­semblance of both sides of the argument ­being treated with equal disdain. The irony of which is that the most divisive ­polemics emanated from those who continue to ­insist that referenda, by their very nature, lead to division and hostility. Folks can get awfy angry when they’re outmanoeuvred.

Though in truth there was also an ­unhelpful dose of misanthropy from those alleged independence campaigners who can’t see any partially supped glass ­without loudly declaring it half empty. Like ­everyone else who wishes fervently for Scotland to be free of this malign marriage, they’re going to have to decide if they use this upcoming window of opportunity to get out there and fight for Scotland’s ­liberation, or keep on nursing their wrath to keep it warm. There will be no other source of warmth if we blow it this time, chaps.

There are some truths I believe to be self-evident for all of us at this moment of ­maximum opportunity and greatest ­challenge. The first is that whilst we need the already converted to stay onside, the ­sharpest focus must be on our fellow Scots who come under the heading of ­persuadable. Marching beneath a plethora of Saltires is fine fodder for keeping up enthusiasm and motivation, but I doubt it moves many from No to Yes. So we must find a way and a means to retain that ­essential enthusiasm, but concentrate the bulk of our effort on the switherers.

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The late, great Margo MacDonald could never be accused of pandering to anything resembling the political establishment. She believed that empty rooms were put on this earth for initiating parties or rammies. Yet she was a shrewd politician; a doughty campaigner. I recall her insistence that if all of us brought one new person into the Yes family, the prize could be won.

That holds good today as well; what it needs is some organisation laced with ­determination.

For my part, I’m dismally aware that it is my own demographic which is the last one standing in the majority No camp. There are perfectly good reasons for the hesitancy. They were sold a wheen of ­misinformation about the stability of their pension rights, and many had ­finances too fragile to embrace what they were ­advised was a risk.

What they weren’t told loudly enough was that their current pension was as safe as it always had been. What they weren’t told was that their pension, in terms of most of the rest of Europe enjoyed, was frankly piss poor. What they weren’t told was that it was the stated intention of the Scottish Government to raise it as soon as was feasible to a much healthier average.

YET Scotland’s older population share other characteristics. They are ­committed to the health and wellbeing of their families. They love their kids and their grandweans. It’s important that they ­exercise their franchise with those ­precious to them firmly factored in. ­Because, as things stand, what is most at risk is the future of tomorrow’s young Scots.

Like most people, that older demographic wanted their grandchildren to be free to study and work anywhere in Europe without restriction. They ­wanted them to continue to enjoy the ­investment of ­tertiary education without being ­burdened with tens of thousands of pounds in tuition fees. They

wanted, in short, the next generations to enjoy a better life than they had had ­themselves.

That is only natural. What wasn’t ­natural was for them to be assured that the future they sought for their families would only be available if they voted no. That was probably the most egregious lie of all peddled by “Better Together” and there was no shortage of whoppers.

So it’s my intention, with the help of others as chronologically gifted as ­myself, to reach out to our generation. To ­persuade the doubters that by putting Scotland first, they will also be putting their families first. They will be ­restoring or retaining all manner of rights and ­privileges currently being dismantled brick by dispiriting brick by the Johnson administration. It’s not selfish to want the best for those you’ve raised.

I believe that this peer-to-peer ­persuasion will also work well for every other age group and every other ­ethnicity.

We have a widespread network of young Scots and new Scots who are best placed to talk to people of similar vintage and from similar backgrounds. In this sense every committed Scot needs to become a de facto advocate – needs to allocate the precious commodity of time to talking to their ain folk about why nothing in their lives may matter more.

Many of us have very vivid memories of how we felt the morning after the vote before in 2014. We never want to feel that way again. And we needn’t if we use the weeks and months ahead to accentuate the many positives Scotland has as an ­ancient nation with modern ideas.

It’s important too, not to get distracted by the siren voices in the No camp. They have a well-worn script which elevates pessimism to a minor art form. The ­amalgamated union of shroud wavers and fearmongers will be out in force. Of course we must call out total fabrications. Yet we mustn’t allow our agenda to be set by others.

A word also to those friends and ­erstwhile allies who can think of a ­hundred and one grievances to nurse. As the Spice Girls had it: “What do you want, what do you really, really want?” If the answer to that is independence for your country, a de-coupling from the shoddy crew wrecking the UK’s ­history of ­tolerance and human rights, then, ­frankly, your own frustrations and ­irritations are small beer.

We can all think of reasons why this or that tactic could’ve, should’ve been deployed. We can all be armchair ­experts on matters constitutional. This, however is no longer the week that was. This is the week where anyone serious about ­Scotland’s independence has to ­concentrate on just that.

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THIS is the first week of a campaign which might last until October 2023, or might not end till May 2024. Either way it’s not long. Either way, given what’s at stake, it’s almost frighteningly short. We can see Westminster imploding before our eyes. A government which has not just been legally careless and morally corrupt but embarrassingly stupid with it.

They say you can judge people by the company they keep. I’m not in the market for keeping company with that lot a nano second more than is necessary. Even their own troops don’t want to be keeping ­company with Johnson and co. The PM has not so much lost the dressing room, as set fire to the stadium.

That’s their problem, however. Our ­mission is a perfectly simple one. We have to grasp what may be our last chance to bring enough fellow Scots on side to ­ensure our collective future is one which we fashion for ourselves.

It’s safe to conclude that whatever a future Scottish government decides in pursuit of that ambition, they would be hard pushed to make more of a bourach of it than a UK government whose only remaining admirers are those to whom it sends arms.