Last night a debate took place on Shetland. In one corner for The Rumble In The Northern Isles was Tavish Scott, constituency MSP since Holyrood was established, former Minister for Motorways, and a man so supposedly central to the political life of Shetland that when he suggests the Isles might not stay in an independent Scotland, it gets reported as if the rocks themselves had spoken.

On the other side, my friend Ross Greer,18, with experience in the Scottish Youth Parliament, of working hard on some committees of the Scottish Greens, and junior fixer at Yes Scotland. Barely out of nappies when Tavish first campaigned for Parliament.

One might assume it would go like that time I watched Michael Forsyth crush a young Lib Dem for tripping up over his words.

Surely Tavish would sway the waverers with the force of his arguments, his authority, his personality?

But apparently not. Fortunately, a count was taken before and after. At the start, four supported independence, ten opposed, six unsure. By the end, Ross’s side had won round five of the waverers, and Tavish just one: nine in favour and eleven against.

So, no knockout blow. And to be fair, Ross had support from an SNP activist too, so Tavish was outnumbered. Not a majority for independence in the end, either, and tiny numbers, of course, but could this be a straw in the wind as to what happens when a non-nationalist case for independence is made?

Because that’s what Ross appears to have done. Put Tavish on the ropes with rock hard information about Westminster’s practical and policy failings and kept him there with passion for the opportunities an independent Scotland would bring for those who want a fairer and greener country. Read and enjoy the whole thing here on Shetland News.

Oh, and don’t tell Ross I posted this. He’ll be furious with me for not managing expectations downward. #pro