So there have been two big developments in Scottish politics today (so far - the day is young!). One is unalloyed good news for the SNP, the Yes movement, and humanity at large. The other is not-so-good news, but nuanced.
Let's start with the good news - the departure of Colonel Ruth. It's very hard to see how this is going to be anything but electorally harmful for the Tories, and therefore electorally beneficial for the SNP. Her popularity was always wildly exaggerated by her adoring fans in the media, but nevertheless she did have personal ratings that were much healthier than you'd expect for the branch office leader of the most toxic London party. As baffling as it may be to us, there's no doubt that she was a net asset for her party, and even if she's replaced by someone reasonably telegenic and likeable, it'll take a long while to build up that person's profile.
The alternative to her being replaced by someone telegenic and likeable is of course for her to be replaced by Adam Tomkins, and his decision about whether to stand will tell us a lot about the man. He comes across as a fanatical British nationalist, so the million dollar question is: does he care more about that nationalist ideology than about his personal ambitions? If so, you'd expect him not to stand, because he'd be clear-sighted enough to recognise that he'd be a voter-repellent and that he'd make "the partition of Britain" more likely to happen. But if he does stand, we'll know he's in this game for personal advancement.
The not-so-good news today is the Labour leadership in London changing their position on a Section 30 order for the 749th time. This was probably inevitable, because the Scottish and London leaderships of the party were always going to have to come up with some kind of agreed position they could just about unite behind in a coming general election. The silver lining is that it's a genuine compromise, and the Scottish leadership have had to cede some ground as well - Richard Leonard is now accepting the possibility, however reluctantly, of a Section 30 order after a "fresh mandate". (What's supposed to be wrong with the current mandate remains a mystery.)
The new position contains an obvious contradiction - we're told that a Section 30 order will be denied in the "formative years" of a Labour government but would be granted if there was a fresh mandate, which doesn't explain what will happen if the fresh mandate occurs during or before those formative years. Remember that the next Holyrood election is still theoretically scheduled to take place before the next Westminster election, and could easily be brought forward even further if Nicola Sturgeon decides to call Corbyn's bluff and get a new mandate quickly. If she does go down that road, I'd suggest it's imperative that the SNP and Greens get together in a sort of pre-election 'summit' and agree a shared wording about independence and a referendum to put in both parties' manifestos, so that this time there can be no pedantic or semantic quibbles about the quality of a shared mandate. In an ideal world, smaller pro-indy parties would also use the same manifesto wording, because although the SNP and Greens are the only pro-indy parties likely to win Holyrood seats, smaller parties may contribute to a popular vote mandate.