Unionists must win a convincing victory in next year's independence referendum to settle the question for a generation, the leader of the No campaign has suggested.
It seems Alistair Darling may have had another of those belated realisations. Just as he and his Tory allies belatedly realised the folly of rejecting a "more powers" option on the referendum ballot, so it has only now dawned on him that the constitutional question cannot be "killed stone dead".
When a leading British nationalist takes to a platform to strenuously deny the inevitability of independence, you can be pretty sure it's because they have come to recognise that inevitability.
Darling won't put numbers on it - he's not great with numbers - but it's not really that difficult to figure out. Think about it! Historically, when has an independence movement with the support of one third of the population ever failed? Look at our own history. Support for independence has at times dropped to well below 25%. But we have come from that nadir to the very threshold of reaching our goal.
Darling appears to have realised the futility of his efforts to preserve the union and with it the structures of power and privilege from which his own status derives. Only the most swivel-eyed of British nationalism's more rabid propagandists would assert that the anti-independence campaign could possibly win by a margin of three or even two to one. And it would take more than that to even temporarily stifle calls for an another referendum within five to ten years.
If some have failed to fully recognise this then it may well be because they simply don't understand the nature of Scotland's civic nationalist movement. But there is at least a hint here that, in a moment of uncharacteristic perspicacity, Darling has sensed the unstoppable momentum of Scotland's progress towards independence.