OOOH they can’t half be bitches. The boys, I mean. More specifically the ones with laptops; the ones paid to tell you what’s really happening in Scottish politics. The ones who can’t see a political grave without an irresistible urge to dance on it. Oh, the joy. All their predictable, repetitive, prejudices confirmed.

Particularly venomous has been that hybrid breed who periodically claim an ­allegiance to independence, whilst ­finding every and any reason to portray it as an ­unattainable illusion rather than an ­exciting opportunity for national growth and renewal. Not so much the glass-half-full guys, as the ones who will never buy ­optimists a round.

When something major happens which assures us that political business as usual is not an option, more thoughtful types peer instead into a currently murky ­crystal ball and try to discern what will be the ­credible building blocks left when the dust has cleared and a new cast list emerges to carry the torch.

As is the way of these things, a couple of political earthquakes seem to be coming along at once. It’s tempting to hope that amongst the leadership farewells this last week we will have seen Boris’s last stand.

The National: Boris Johnson during his ghrilling at the Commons on Wednesday

His, ahem, party turn at the Privileges Committee hearing highlighted all his worst characteristics: Petulance, tetchiness, entitlement, false memory syndrome, and barely disguised irritation at being held to account by a gathering chaired by a ­female. You know, the sex he once said whose breasts would get bigger if their menfolk voted Tory. Oh, how we didn’t laugh.

Mr Johnson’s allure has always been something of a mystery to mere onlookers. A serial philanderer, an often ­embarrassingly bad public speaker; a man convinced he could be an irresistible Conservative Party force on the back of bad, recycled jokes and a modest facility with Latin and Greek ­terminology.

As they say, he’s been fun oot. Though even his worst enemies – aka, anyone who ever employed him – are reluctant to ­declare his political death until they witness the stake through the heart and the coffin lid nailed down. It’s perhaps safe to say that 22 members following him into the lobby last week does not suggest a ­resurrectionist stampede.

It is said too that you can tell a man by his friends. If your most vocal ­cheerleaders are Nadine Dorries and ­Jacob Rees-Mogg, the tale told is some way short of ­flattering.

What is still imponderable is whether his successor-but-one can manage to ­salvage what’s left of his party. Rishi Sunak’s pitch that he feels our pain was somewhat undermined by the news that he has paid more tax in three years than the average voter would earn in ­several lifetimes.

More imponderable too than Scottish Labour would care to admit is whether or not Sir Keir will locate a surgeon who can fix his charisma bypass in time for the next UK general election.

Leadership comes in many forms and political pendulums swing in ­various ­directions. Having lived with an indolent, blustering braggart quite long enough, both UK Labour and the UK ­Conservatives have plumped for ­industrious sobriety.

Closer to home, the Holyrood ­Chamber at the outgoing First Minister’s final FMQs merely served to confirm that when the graciousness gene was being dispensed, Douglas Ross was some way beyond the back of the queue.

The National: Outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and outgoing Deputy First Minister John Swinney hug before leaving the main chamber after her last First Minster's Questions (FMQs) in the main chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburg

So whither now, our governing party? More pertinently, whither the independence cause? On Monday afternoon we will know for sure whether there is an appetite for re-invention, a commitment to a serious re-set, or merely a shuffling of the chairs at the cabinet table.

It’s interesting that the Scottish ­Independence Convention was rebranded on Thursday evening as the Movement for Scottish Independence (MSI). This was more than sticking a new label on the tin as the MSI will not include any ­political parties and will instead embrace a new ­leadership drawn from grassroots ­organisations ­including the myriad Yes groups who have, with justification, felt neglected by some in Scottish Government.

Any new SNP leader serious about ­progress has to use empowering the ­grassroots as a template; has to ­acknowledge that success at the ballot box, serial or not, is only half the battle in a nation where new support for ­independence needs to be harvested if the dial is to shift significantly. There are battle-ready troops on the ground. They need energised. They need to be in formal campaign mode.

They need too, to feel that the party ­conference can return to what it was meant to be; a forum to make policy through robust debate. Obviously, you can’t take 72,000 views on board, many of which will be at odds with each other in a party where the only glue lies in a ­desire for independence. Yet it’s possible to ­construct a democratically elected ­forum (you could call it an executive ­committee for an instance) which reflects the broadest possible consensus.

Another change which could ­realistically be made would be ­recognition that some of the ­doughtiest ­campaigners are ­languishing on the green benches at ­Westminster. In truth, some of them quite like languishing there. Speaking as ­someone who once worked at the ­Commons in a ­journalistic ­capacity, I can confirm that it has an ­unfortunate ­capacity to seduce the most unlikely denizens.

But there are others, a fair few of them, who would be happy to ply their trade at Holyrood if the rather clumsy ­barriers to their offering themselves as ­candidates were removed. This would mean of course that some existing MSPs would no longer be guaranteed their berth. That’s how politics is meant to work.

Candidates should always be judged on their merits. I’ve long argued that all ­parties’ lists should be chosen by the ­local membership, not imposed by their ­assorted high heid yins. Among those who were once bounced down the list is none other than the current SNP party president and temporary chief executive.

Like Andrew Wilson and Margo ­MacDonald, Mike Russell was pushed down his party list where he was hoping to stand in 2002. Times have changed, but bad habits linger. Patronage still rules all too often. All parties harbour dead wood, and we should not mourn its loss ­provided the new incumbents have ­demonstrated talent and energy.

Not to recognise the Yes movement is at a crucial crossroads would be to deny political reality. Yet it comprises many people who have devoted a lifetime to the cause as well as slow learners like myself.

This is a moment where the movement can either coalesce around shared aims and aspirations or embrace the kind of factionalism which is anathema to the electorate. We have seen too much of the latter in recent months and years; too many of the people and groups who consider their own well-exercised hobby horses more important than the one issue which should unite us all.

Enough of fair-weather “friends” whose skin-deep devotion to ­independence comes and goes with the wind and the week. Enough of those who prefer ­knee-jerk invective to serious analysis. The late ­Harold Wilson was no slouch as a ­plotter himself and had around him a small kitchen cabinet which was the ­forerunner of Tony Blair’s sofa ­government and, arguably, of the tiny ­coterie calling the shots in the Scottish administration.

Yet he gave birth to one mantra which is worth recalling and attaching to the Yes family. He said that his Labour Party was “a moral crusade, or it is nothing”.

That is how I feel about independence. That is how I feel every time a Tory Home Secretary talks about deporting those who seek asylum or a Conservative “grandee” talks about food banks being emblematic of charitable giving.

A plague on them. The indy movement is a crusade or it risks being doomed.