I was in my thirties when I learned to drive. I failed the driving test twice. The first time I was being too rash and cocky. The second time I wanted to make sure I didn’t repeat my mistake, so I was being extremely cautious, never taking any risks whatsoever, and I failed because I waited too long at a junction without daring to come out. The third time I managed to strike the right balance, and I passed with flying colours.
It seems to me that the independence movement is repeating my mistakes. Many people feel the first referendum hadn’t been planned well enough and perhaps took place at the wrong time, and they’re now so keen to do it perfectly next time that they’re missing the boat and failing that way.
Perhaps we’ll have to think about three independence referendums: The first one, which we lost; the second one, which never happened; and the third one, which we’ll win.
Alas, I fear that means the successful one won’t happen for another decade, because we’ll first need to analyse how we managed to get so overcautious that we never got round to calling a referendum when everybody thought it was the best chance for a century.