As a number of commentators have pointed out, the dramatic fall in the price of oil has given credence to those who voted No in the recent referendum.
A recent survey has shown that the No voters were influenced by economic considerations rather than the promise, late in the day, of additional powers.
It is too much to hope that the First Minister and her predecessor will ever admit to the folly of their pre-referendum claim that the price of oil would not fall below $110 per barrel, but hopefully those who still hanker for independence will now realise that the Scottish economy is extremely fragile as long as it is so heavily dependent on “black gold”.
If the SNP are ever to achieve their goal it can only be when they can genuinely point to Scotland having a broad-based economy.
In the meantime, the priority must be to tackle the business of governing the country – something that appears to have been seriously neglected in the past two years.
The problems in the NHS and in education are very stark and need urgent attention. Westminster cannot be blamed for everything.
Andrew P Gray