The ups and downs of life are but that. In politics the same. If the 18 September referendum was the “war” as Raymond Paul opines (Letters, 18 November), then Robert the Bruce must have been one obstinate and misguided man to not believe that after some skirmish defeats by the English soldiery he should have packed in his campaign to free Scotland and retire to the small island of Rathlin to research the web-making habits of spiders.
Likewise Alex Salmond, as with the influx of new SNP members following same referendum, the realisation that what took place on 18 September was a mere skirmish and that the war had simply shown itself to be sometime else.
The realisation was enhanced because those considered by many to have hitherto been their partners in a congenial union were seen to be wielding words of enmity against them. Deeds of enmity too.
The Union partnership was in fact seen to be instead a unionist partnership and the very recognition of Scotland as a distinct identifiable nation was in danger of lasting denial.
Sometimes individual battles determine who is with you and who is not; they test the mettle of those engaged in them, they clarify main issues, and they are thus put in perspective as to their place in a bigger scheme of things.