THE reactions to the Believe in Scotland/Yes For EU rally last weekend have been nothing if not interesting.

Some folk voiced resentment at the EU component, having plighted their post-independence troth to EFTA.

The indefatigable Robin McAlpine said he was giving the whole shebang a miss as it was, in his opinion, merely an astroturf affair ie: fake grassroots.

And the usual suspects piled in with their very own version of O-grade ­arithmetic, disputing the organisers’ estimate of the ­attendance. In truth, if the whole of ­Scotland went on the march, they would probably assert that half were cardboard cutouts.

For myself, I prefer to err on the side of reasons to be cheerful. Robin’s longer ­analysis in his personal blog suggested that people who were in denial about the SNP being a busted flush hadn’t been paying ­attention.

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The sizeable defection from the party of government would suggest that many thousands share his disappointment. Since when many of these dissidents have developed a habit of indulging in mindless and serial invective which seems to me entirely counterproductive.

There’s not much point in resenting the overwhelming pro-Union bias of so much of the media if you spend your downtime ­aiding and abetting their anti-independence case.

The one huge positive from last ­weekend is that so many disparate groupings, ­including very many local Yes campaigns, were prepared to put their personal ­prejudices to one side for a greater cause.

Certainly, there are choices to be made both by the newish First Minister and all of us indy foot soldiers which, frankly, in the case of my demographic, can’t hang around for whatever brave new dawn the naysayers have in mind.

We have one Scottish by-election ­coming along like a train, and a UK General ­Election not that far behind. So we can spend the next wee while railing against the fates, or we can set about a DIY version of ­campaigning. Put me down for the latter camp.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West ­contest is high stakes, no question.

Neither Anas Sarwar nor Humza Yousaf can ­afford to come a bad second.

Sarwar because his boss has made it clear that he expects a Labour revival in Scotland to boost his chances of getting through the door of Number 10; Yousaf because he must be painfully aware that post-election comparisons would be well odious if he doesn’t stop the rot.

Oddly, the FM’s best allies at the ­moment are his opponents. Every time Keir Starmer or Rachel Reeves or ­whoever jettisons another policy which might have had broad Scottish appeal, another bunch of voters fall off the Labour wagon, as ­witnessed in the latest polling. We might call Sir Keir the Astroturf Socialist for that matter – the one without any Labour ­values left in his roots.

Of course, there are some serious ­Labour troops now assembled on the Scottish battlefront, and it would be idle to pretend they don’t matter, or that they are not beavering away in their ­assorted constituencies sowing doubt in the minds of erstwhile Labour voters whose pro-independence stance persuaded them to vote SNP.

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They are the soft underbelly of the indy movement and require to be wooed afresh.

Naturally, and correctly, people ­argue that the main target audience must be those swithering voters of all ­political ­persuasions and none who need ­convincing an independent Scotland is in the best interests of us all.

Yet, for the moment, the most ­important shoulders to be put to the wheel are those who a) recognise the imminent dangers to independence and b) are desperate to get down to a formal campaign.

When the FM said at the rally that the key to independence was people power, he was dead right. What that people power needs now is proper co-ordination, not for a day but for the next year and beyond.

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My sense is that we are simply not ­utilising fully the talents which should be at our disposal. I know all the ­arguments about Westminster SNP MPs having been elected to serve all their ­constituents. Quite so. But how many votes would they have garnered as strays without an ­independence rosette?

Some of the Westminster troops have got altogether too comfortable down there and it’s time many were deployed for at least part of their time campaigning up here.

We have got some real firepower sitting on the green Commons benches voting away without making the smallest dent in Tory policies.

Let’s deploy them where they can have an impact.

That goes too for those ­Holyrood troops who are not earning their corn as independence supporters; content to make up the numbers but ­liable to be AWOL when campaigners call for volunteers.

In short, too many people have become too comfortable with the status quo; too lacking in any sense of urgency. They can allow their party to sleepwalk into ­possible electoral reversal, or they can get off their bahookies and start ­remembering why they were elected.

While they’re at it, they might like to stop treating pro-independence ­research groups as irritants, when some of them have been doing the hard work that, ­arguably, the Scottish Government should have been doing.

I noted, for instance, that The ­Guardian’s business writer quoted our own Richard Murphy at length when explaining how Reeves, should she be the next ­chancellor, could access £50 billion by applying a range of some 30 reforms to the current taxation regulations.

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Murphy flags up various options like stopping the better off getting more tax relief on pension contributions than low earners, raising capital gains tax on ­primary residences and making financial ­services no longer exempt from VAT. In any language, £50bn is not small ­potatoes.

Yet if your primary focus is not frightening the business horses, and being way too open to naked lobbying by the very wealthy, you’re probably not in the market for moving these particular goalposts. Much is often made of Reeves being a former banker for both the Bank of ­England and Bank of Scotland.

The question I ask myself is whether yet another Oxford economics ­graduate, however numerate, is what a Labour ­government most needs when addressing galloping inequalities.

Reeves has already ruffled feathers in her own party by talking about being tougher on benefits, being pro-business and wedded to fiscal responsibility.

The National: Shadow cabinet minister Rachel Reeves is at Saints coffee shop in Ipswich meeting voters.

Yet it’s one thing to boast about having no unfunded policies going into a general election where you fear being bashed over the head by the government, and quite ­another to be seemingly admiring of some of their policies. I don’t think Reeves is a red Tory, but she’s assuredly not a liberal reformer either.

So far as I can detect, potential ­Labour voters in England are crying out for ­reasons to hope; desperate to be ­reassured that they’re not ditching one lot of ­charlatans for another.

Here in Scotland, where almost two-thirds voted Remain, erstwhile Labour voters are unlikely to be impressed by the party’s Brexit stance.

Both Starmer and Reeves have set their face against re-joining even the ­single ­market – she says she can’t see that ­happening in the next 50 years – and have taken the same implacable line as the ­Tories on another sampling of ­Scottish opinion.

While Sir Keir, noting the ­tendency of Tories to be filmed with a Union flag as a backdrop, has responded by putting up two of them for his public addresses.

Some little instinct tells me that a brace of Union flags is not a great selling point in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. Or pretty well anywhere north of Carlisle and Berwick for that matter.

Though I did once spot shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray in a Union flag jaiket. Am ­guessing he’s careful where he dons it!