First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she plans to focus on the SNP’s record as she sets out to secure a third term in 2016.
She will need to be very selective if the illusion of sure-footedness is to be maintained.
Services which the SNP have long been responsible for are suffering.
Across health, education and the police, missed targets, lack of resources and blunders are commonplace.
Meanwhile, policy gaffes include the named person legislation (almost uniformly distrusted by parents across Scotland), the anti-fracking stance (ignoring the critical Scottish petro-chemical industry), and the recent ban on GM crops (damaging Scottish agriculture and our biotech research sector).
The SNP government aims to keep the spectrum of earnest progressives, greens and anti-business activists among their supporters happy, while their controlling tendency leads to blanket solutions rather than a more nuanced approach.
Alternatives of targeting resources where needed and using regulatory controls against misuse of new technologies are ignored.
We also have questionable injections of public money into the private sector, from the money-pit of Prestwick Airport, to the T in the Park organisers who obviously did not need public sector help.
In addition to avoiding all these inconvenient truths, the First Minister, as if in an episode of Fawlty Towers where no one must mention the “war”, hopes no one talks about a “second referendum”.
She wants to slip this into her manifesto without any undue debate, leaving her the discretion to decide when to push the button.
She certainly has plenty not to speak about.