It was with some interest that I settled down to listen to Alex Salmond’s official announcement on the proposed independence referendum.
As he explained the multiple options that he was planning to put to the Scottish people I couldn’t help be reminded of the slightly sad song from the Sound of Music, as the von Trapp children head off to bed.
His options are in many ways the ones that make sense to most people; the status quo, the Calman Commission, the ‘devolution max’ option or full-blown independence.
But, throughout I couldn’t help feel, however passionately he spoke, that this was a negotiating position. It just seemed like he was backtracking from full independence, and seemed to be urging a common position on the ‘devolution max’ option.
Although the White Paper will go ahead as a referendum that includes a choice of independence this proposal should be seen as the SNP just trying to nudge the debate forward, beyond Calman, to a stronger form of devolved government in Scotland, short of independence.