Somewhere, deep down, we all have our own tailor-made wish-fulfillment fantasy. Maybe it's that your ex who ran off with your best friend eight years ago will turn up at your door sobbing, and beg to be given a second chance. Or maybe it's that your mysterious dinner guest will turn out to be the managing director of Hovis, and will find your home-made bread so irresistible that he'll offer you£250,000 a year to take over as head of quality control.
In the case of Kenny "Devo or Death" Farquharson, the long-nurtured fantasy seems to be that next autumn's SNP conference will turn out to be a Clause 4 moment, with Nicola Sturgeon confronting her party with the painful truth that it must grow up and forget about the idea of a second referendum over the next five-year parliamentary term, and instead get on with that blasted wonderful (not to mention mature) devo thing that has always been Scotland's manifest destiny. There was a Scotland on Sunday editorial along those lines yesterday, and although it was anonymous, it bore all the classic Farquharson hallmarks.
As with almost all wish-fulfillment fantasies, I fear Kenny is going to end up bitterly disappointed. Both Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have laid so much groundwork for the argument that impending "Brexit" would re-open the debate on early independence, that I find it inconceivable that they even want the SNP's 2016 manifesto to totally exclude the possibility of a second referendum. The most likely outcome is conditional language that makes clear that a referendum is only ruled out if certain circumstances persist - most obviously that Scotland remains part of the EU, and possibly also that sweeping powers are devolved to Holyrood. There's also a chance that a consultative referendum on Devo Max, rather than on independence, will be proposed.
At any rate it's not hard to think of a range of options for the 2015 conference to choose from, all of which the gradualist and fundamentalist wings of the party would find little difficulty in uniting around, and certainly without the need for any gladiatorial blood-on-the-carpet theatre. This is going to break Kenny's heart when the realisation dawns, but there's actually no need for Nicola Sturgeon to "slay the dragon of independence" in the way that Kinnock and Blair slayed the trade unions - not least because independence is even more popular than the SNP at the moment. When did the SNP last get 1.6 million votes in an election?