One of the arguments my lefty nationalist friends make to me is that once we're independent we'll get rid of the nuclear weapons at Faslane and Coulport.
"Ah right, are you sure about that?" I usually ask, with one ear on SNP ministers making up their future Scottish defence policy on the hoof.
Now the Scottish National Party has announced that it is going to debate membership of Nato for an independent Scotland at its autumn conference in Perth this October.
It's spun in some quarters like a "Clause 4" moment, as though opposition to Nato was a founding principle of the SNP.
Defence spokesman Angus Robertson will propose the change at SNP conference and we are told that "senior sources" say First Minister Alex Salmond and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon will back it.
Can this surprise U-turn really be a shock when you see it coming miles down the road?
It is true that the Nats have had a longstanding policy against membership of Nato, which forms a twin strand with their opposition to British nuclear weapons in Scotland.
You can see how Salmond would support a policy in favour of membership of Nato - from his point of view it would make the SNP appear to be doing grown-up politics on the international stage.
The Scottish soldiers he loves to parade his support for could play their bit part in Nato operations in other people's countries under the saltire and his command.
At the same time nothing seems clearer than that the big boys in Westminster will want to keep their big toys - and it's not easy to keep them anywhere but up our big deep loch.
A smart politician like Salmond will want to be able to deal on nuclear weapons with the powers that be at Westminster or Brussels or wherever.
The Herald's well-informed defence correspondent Trevor Royle points out that most naval top brass believe it will take many years to decommission the nuclear capability in Scotland.
In that time, Royle argues, "it would not be unthinkable for Nato to attempt to impose the concept of 'nuclear sharing' or even for Westminster to argue for pooled defence in much the same way that the royal family might become a collective entity if Scotland votes Yes in 2014."
That is not just thinkable. A smart politician like Salmond will be thinking it.
He actually said last week he'd be prepared to trade in the weapons on the Clyde for "something more useful."
The SNP's planned Nato U-turn looks to me like it is meant to breach their anti-nukes policy and allow the weapons to be held in Scotland for some time to come whether we vote Yes or No in the 2014 referendum.
I hope my lefty nationalist friends who oppose nuclear weapons are going to be able to hold the dear leader to account on this, but somehow I doubt it.
A shiver in the summertime
Strolling around Paris in the sunshine is always an enjoyable way to spend your summer holidays. And educational too.
Here and there on street corners and bridges you find simple memorials to brave people resisting the nazis who were killed in their own occupied city between 1940 and 1944.
Across from the Arc de Triomphe - itself a monument to bloody French imperialism - on the Champs-Elysees is a plaque commemorating the place where Parisian students organised the first public demonstration of the resistance in the city.
Atop the Eiffel Tower you can salute the names of the half-dozen sapeurs-pompiers - firefighters - who defied gunfire and scaled the pinnacle to fly a tricolour of liberation from the highest point.
The saddest memorials bring a shiver and a tear. They are the ones which remember the people rounded up by the Paris police at the command of the nazis 70 years ago from the infamous "rafle du Vél d'Hiv/Vél d'Hiv round-up" in July 1942.
Here an individual taken at gunpoint from a house. There whole classes of children removed from their school.
Picking up my daily copy of L'Humanité - France's paper of the left - I learned that around 8,000 Jewish people were held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver stadium in the days after July 16.
In total around France that summer something like 40,000 Jewish people were taken away by the civic police force which was designed to protect them and then shipped on by the nazis to Auschwitz. Very few returned.
The shame of this act of collaboration was finally acknowledged by the French state about 15 years ago. I am glad to say this month's 70th anniversary was commemorated in a dignified way with a major exhibition at the Hotel de Ville - the city council - in Paris.
Police collaboration on such a massive and evil scale as the "rafle du Vél d'Hiv," or police brutality such as in the Ian Tomlinson killing always undermine our faith in civic policing.
So I am pleased to hear that the master race is upset with our police here in Scotland after cops twice ended BNP attempts to set up street stalls in Glasgow last week.
Apparently fuhrer Nick Griffin is so annoyed that he's issuing rallying calls on Twitter for activists to attend a demo against the police in Glasgow this Saturday July 28.
And Scottish BNP leader David James Orr has taken to Facebook to call for 200 to turn up and make it what he describes as "the biggest gathering of nationalists in Glasgow."
I am sure that the decent people of Glasgow - represented by their decent police force, as well as political, community and trade union activists - will not afford them space to promote their racist drivel.
Meanwhile I do wish our Scottish cops would leave the poor old Naked Rambler alone to walk around as nature intended. He's doing no-one any harm.
There's more offensive things on display in our mainstream press and media any day of the week - and that's not even the dangly bits.
Steve Gough has spent six years in jail having been arrested repeatedly each time he's been released - mostly in solitary confinement in Scottish prisons.
Fife police arrested him again on Friday, days after the end of a sentence in Perth prison.
Come on cops, there's fascist scum and fraudster bankers out there for you to attend to. Stop wasting your time and our money on this harmless guy.
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