The Scottish National Party is a genuinely unique animal in our modern politics. It has grown from being the butt of many a political joke to become the dominant force in the Scottish Parliament in just a few election cycles. It now occupies a large swathe of the green benches in a Parliament that its members and politicians would rather not have any part of and their forward momentum, depending on how the next Holyrood elections go, shows no sign of ending.
For too long Labour, as a national party, has tried to be everything to everyone and pitch itself as an antidote to the cruel and bitter Tory cuts, while at the same time joining the Tories in smears, knee-jerk reactions and adopting shiny posters and Americanised slogans supposedly designed to appeal to voters.
There is little prospect that, in the short term, Scottish Labour's core vote will return to it from the SNP. A tactical vote for the party, whilst it may be effective in a small collection of seats, will be as futile as expecting Darth Vader to oversee the construction of a Death Star without a fundamental design flaw.
Aside from a computer on the desk, my local betting shop has a traditional look, complete with newspaper racing pages sellotaped to the wooden walls, stubby pencils and drawn blinds. As I entered, a man with a lived-in face and an unlit roll-up cigarette protruding from the corner of his mouth was exchanging a slip of paper for some ten pound notes.
Whatever operational option an independent Scotland would choose, the conceptual details would be the same: a sovereign government cannot default and faces no financial constraints. Taxes would not have to be raised, and spending would not have to be cut, unless there was a political decision to do so based on the political will of the population.
Jim Murphy is leading the Scottish Labour Party to an historic electoral pasting in the upcoming general election in May. Poll after poll in the wake of last September's independence referendum leaves no doubt that the party that was once so dominant in Scotland has finally and irrevocably been deserted by its core and natural constituency...
Now the 'architect of the vow' has bailed out. This was inevitable, as he'd already lost his seat next year as retribution for siding with the Tories during the referendum like the majority of the Labour MPs will find in May... So yet another major scalp Red Tory has fallen - Brown, Darling, Lamont, Sarwar, and more to come I hope.
If the Tories in Scotland and the SNP could cast a vote between November 17, when the ballot commences, and December 13, when the new leader is announced, you can be sure it would be for Jim Murphy. Why? Because with Murphy as leader the likelihood of a Tory government at Westminster in 2015 increases to the point of being guaranteed.
Significant numbers of Scottish voters are turning away from the Labour party as represented in Westminster. Many now see an independent Scotland as the only chance for a traditional Labour party, founded on traditional Labour values. Your comments on Monday evening will only have convinced many more that this is the case