As time and debate carry Scotland inexorably towards the independence referendum in October 2014, the First Minister, Alex Salmond appears progressively to see ever more of a the point in the union.
First it was the Queen – with all that implies for the nature, hierarchy, values and constitution of a country.
Then it was the currency – which includes acceptance of fiscal policy being set by the Bank of England.
Then came the Coastguard, with much of the west coast and islands and the south east coast of Scotland to be controlled from Norther Ireland and northern England.
It was mooted that Scotland might retain British driving licences, managed, as currently, through the DVLA.
Today it is reported that the First Minister, eccentrically but predictably wedded to press regulation for Scotland, founded in statute, is indicating that this might reasonably happen under a UK-wide body.
Mr Salmond is said to be mooting this in support of cross-party sign-up to the specific type of press regulation he wishes to see – and which the respected human rights lawyer, Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty,has declared would actually be illegal.
In terms of priorities, this demonstrates that the pragmatic First Minister is more prepared to see an increase of the enduring linkages to the UK than he is to see a free press.
So the independent Scotland Mr Salmond now envisages would have a UK Queen, UK currency, UK fiscal poiicy, a UK coastguard service, UK driving licences and UK press regulation.
In what substantial way would what is proposed actually be an independent Scotland?
How is this not confusing?
And we’ve not yet got down to the major business of borders and passports.
It will be interesting to see quite how the distinction might be drawn between the necessity of having a British driving licence and the lack of necessity of having a British passport. Interesting times.