The opinion polls look bad for the SNP today, but Salmond may yet benefit from the long game he is playing. But by insisting the recession is the perfect time to change the way we do things, constitutionally, Salmond holds a mirror to his opponents’ arguments. He just might seize back the initiative. He has something fresh to say: the UK is heading for stormy waters. The good ship Britannia is heaving with a cargo of debt worth £1.1 trillion. Does Scotland want to be dragged under with it? Suggesting we can no longer afford to remain in the union flies in the face of the orthodoxy that suffocates Scotland’s public discourse.