Quite a weekend, all things considered.
Tense anticipation, delivery, then the struggle, the real struggle, to disdain gloating, to spurn smugness.
And it was even more difficult for the SNP. After all, I was only contending with yet another triumph for the boys in Tangerine. Routine, these days. Standard fare.
SNP leaders were experiencing their first party conference in power.
To watch them, it was as if Kevin Pringle had implanted a loop CD in their lugs, the contemporary equivalent of the medieval court jester.
Don’t grin too much. Remember Kinnock/Sheffield: punching the air is explicitly banned. The phrase “ya dancer” is to be excised from all published texts.
Announcements aplenty - but I was most struck by two events. Firstly, an item on the BBC Scotland live telly coverage (What d’ya mean, you didn’t watch it?).
I was interviewing two Jimmies, Halliday and Lynch respectively, about party history. We were discussing the tensions which had beset the Nationalist cause down the years.
Halliday, J, recalled his first conference, in 1955, dominated, he said, by internal disquiet.
Have those tensions utterly gone? Yes, absolutely, for now. What would bring them back? Same as always: differences over the strategic approach to winning independence.
Which is why Alex Salmond’s views on this were of passing importance. He said - on that same BBC telly show (you really should have watched it) - that he would table a bill for a referendum within the present four-year term, regardless of whether the bill stands a chance of success or not.
To clarify, he hopes it will succeed. He will strive to make it succeed. He hopes there will be a referendum. He hopes that too will……you get it.
But, if rivals continue to block his objective of a referendum, he will table the enabling legislation anyway.
In the Salmond analysis, that would oblige them to vote it down and to take the consequences at the subsequent election.
Why table a bill that will go down? Two reasons. As above, to smoke out the opposition on the presumption that the voters generally like the concept of plebiscites.
But, secondly, to assuage party activists that ministers haven’t forgotten about the objective of independence.