Free from the constraints of 140 characters, allow me to briefly set out why I did not misread Ascherson's Sunday Herald piece, whether wilfully or unwilfully, "in the service of latent insecurity" or otherwise.
In the fourth paragraph of his article, Ascherson says this : "What’s true is that the SNP and their leader have been seriously damaged – possibly holed below the waterline in ways which aren’t yet visible. What isn’t true is the assumption that independence sinks or swims with the SNP’s fortunes." In paragraph 8, he expands on what he means by that : "Neither can we know who will surf that tide. But it might well not be the SNP...it could be some hybrid, say a rebel Scottish Labour Party linked with the Greens and radical seceders from the SNP, which finally leads a free Respublica Scotorum out into the world. Less probably, it could be a much angrier, more impatient formation now hidden in its chrysalis. Remember how Sinn Fein came from behind and wiped out the Irish parliamentary Home Rulers in 1918?" In paragraph 9, he also speculates about the possibility of Tories leading Scotland to independence.
In fairness to Ascherson, there is plenty of "possibly" and "might well not be" in there, but I scarcely think it's unreasonable to detect in those segments of the article an assumption that the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon are probably on the way out (and that unambiguously refers to the general election result which saw the SNP win almost 60% of the seats), that the independence cause will survive this upheaval, and that independence supporters will find another vehicle to deliver their goal - which might involve some wildly implausible alliance of pro-indy Labour rebels and the Greens.
For those like Christopher who think that anyone who is dubious about this prospectus must simply be an 'insecure SNP supporter', I'd suggest it might be a useful exercise to look at the current political landscape in Scotland in a hard-headed way and try to work out what a truly objective person would think is the most promising road-map to independence in anything like the foreseeable future. Is it likely to involve in some way a pro-independence party that currently holds almost 60% of Scottish seats at Westminster and almost 50% of the seats in the Scottish Parliament? Or is the vehicle more likely to be an as yet unformed splinter group from a much smaller party that has been rabidly anti-independence for as long as anyone can remember? The answer seems self-evident to me, and if others disagree, perhaps they'd better explain their reasoning in a rather more credible way than they have thus far. Pipe-dreams could tie us up in knots for decades.
The notion of a new right-of-centre pro-independence party perhaps isn't quite so fanciful, because at present pro-indy Thatcherites don't have a remotely comfortable home in either the Tories or the SNP. However, people have been talking about that sort of thing for decades and nothing ever materialises, so it appears the critical mass simply isn't there. Even it did happen, the chances are that the new party would have to work with the SNP to bring independence about (and that the SNP would be the senior partner in that arrangement).
Leaving aside his musings about how the SNP might be replaced, Ascherson's article is primarily about the notion that Scotland should act as if it already is independent, and that the Scottish government should essentially exceed its legal powers and only stop doing so when the UK government forces it to. I don't have any objection in principle to that, but a more practical objection is that the UK government won't necessarily be the obstacle - where legislation is involved, it would first have to get past the Presiding Officer and his legal advisers.