When you go into government, you get stuff wrong. Even the best governments do. Even – whisper it – Green governments have made mistakes in other countries. The voters and the media spot it, but it’s hardest on the activists who worked so hard to get their colleagues elected. What’s curious to me is the difference in how the various parties’ activists react.

Labour’s remaining left took pride in many of the TB/GB achievements – devolution, minimum wage etc, but still have regrets over a legacy that includes an undemocratic House of Lords and two continuing foreign wars. None of this critique was held back.

Lib Dem activists are catching up now, on fees, VAT, PR and so on, and even though Tory activists are getting most of what they want right now, many wish their Ministers were a tad more Eurosceptic. The online noise about it from their own side is sizeable and unavoidable.

It’s pretty obvious to everyone outside the SNP that it is a major mistake to have let a democratically-sealed power lapse in private in 2007, and then to have misled Parliament about it.

So what has the response of SNP activists been? On Twitter they circulate Salmond’s evasive and incomplete letter as if it answered the whole case. Yet their blogging activists are virtually silent about it, even the stars whose writing I read assiduously. Nothing from Calum Cashley, Will Patterson, Lallands Peat Worrier, Rob Gibson, nor even the disgraced Montague Burton, while Subrosa is silent. (I’ll look daft if they post on it now, but that’s a price worth paying to see the explanations, to be honest.)

The admirable Joan McAlpine did post on it, but it’s just Salmond’s letter with a short intro which neglects to address why Parliament wasn’t told about this decision in 2007 and simply talks about the cost, not the principle. After her, you have to get to Moridura, the wilder fringes of cybernatdom, who also reprints the same letter and has apparently forgotten that the SNP called for the SVR to be used in previous years.

Compare this to the Lib Dems. For all their party’s faults, their bloggers aren’t afraid to call them on it. Just to give a couple of examples, take Stephen Glenn or Caron Lindsay on fees. They can see that the issue has damaged their party, but that their continued defence of the principle may help do some good, even though it puts them in other bloggers’ firing line. It’s not the first time I’ve had cause to point out their merits either.

Are the Nat bloggers too embarrassed to write about this issue? Or do they really really think this isn’t a spectacular dereliction of duty? Seriously, what would they have written in 2006 if McConnell had let the tax-varying power lapse in 2003 without drawing it to Parliament’s attention? Like their MSPs, have they concluded that absolute loyalty is required irrespective of the circumstances? Has independent thought, like independent tax powers, died in the SNP?

One-word answers in the negative will be mocked. Let’s have some real answers.