This was a pivotal weekend for Scottish independence – the weekend that a lost cause started to look like a real possibility. An ICM poll narrowed the gap to a bridgeable 5 per cent and found most Scots don’t believe more powers will follow a No vote. One of the world’s leading economists rubbished George Osborne’s case for rejection of currency union and the Scottish Labour conference in Perth failed to create new momentum for Better Together. Indeed Johann Lamont’s speech was suffused with a barely contained loathing of the SNP whom she characterised as usurpers and dishonest political upstarts. This theme of thwarted entitlement delighted some insiders but dismayed veterans like former first minister Henry McLeish. The speech also contained bum notes aplenty. It was a mistake to portray the gentlemanly John Swinney as a calculating political opportunist. So too to claim the real alternative to the SNP’s White Paper is “the truth” – most voters view all political claims as suspect and subjective. And the notion that Labour is “the crusading force in Scottish politics” – with a few honourable exceptions that’s simply untrue. Most crusading takes place outside all political parties.