ON BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show yesterday, presenter Martin Geissler opened with a package on indyref2.

He explained the Scottish Tories had refused to take part because they say “now is not the time” for a second independence referendum.

Do you feel that? It’s the warm glow of nostalgia washing over your consciousness.

You know the logical, democratic and political case for blocking voters in Scotland from having their say is dead in the water when you have to rehash a soundbite from Theresa May of all people. It’s the equivalent of your mum saying “maybe later”.

That used to work with my daughter. When she was younger, she could easily be tricked into accepting an indefinite delay on whatever it was she was asking me for (usually something to do with slime).

But my wee one was born in 2014, she was a referendum baby and frankly, she’s too canny for that now. If I tell her now is not the time, she asks, quite reasonably, the specifics of why it is not the time and details on when it will in fact be the time. The same should be expected of Unionist parties as they engage in another round of democracy denying.

The thing is, I’d respect them a lot more if they were just honest about their motivations. They know that – despite their best efforts – Scotland’s future isn’t an issue that has magically gone away. The question is not settled: if it was, we wouldn’t have seen it dominate every single election campaign since 2014.

Regardless of what they say, they know that the SNP won last year’s Holyrood election and many more before. They know there is a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament and they know – surely they must know – that the union Scots voted to stay part of in 2014 no longer exists.

I have a theory. One of the reasons there is a sense of weariness from some Unionists over the idea of a second independence referendum is because they are not excited by the vision of the future they would be forced to sell to the electorate.

If you know that in the short term you are going to be forced to reply “now is not the time” to every question, like a former Tory prime minister suffering a hard-drive malfunction, then it’s understandable that you are already bored of all the constitutional chat.

If, in the longer term, you know that the case you make to defend the precious Union is going to rely on a half-hearted defence of the status quo, then you’re not likely to be jumping out of bed to get yourself down to the BBC to answer questions on a Sunday morning.

This goes both ways though. The case for Scotland becoming independent has never been stronger. But the next referendum won’t and can’t simply be a re-run of 2014.

The faces will be different and the case that the Yes side puts to the electorate must be, too.

There’s no sense in playing the favourite songs of the 45% on repeat. We will need to turn outwards to the soft No voters and provide credible answers to the questions that stopped them crossing the box for Yes eight years ago.

The SNP has grown in influence and size since indyref1 but it must be careful not to stage manage a future referendum campaign to death.

Their tent is big, but not everybody who is tempted by Yes will fit under it. That’s OK.

The most memorable moments in the first campaign weren’t the shiny sets or slick PR put out by the governing party. They were found in grassroots activism and the interesting voices that emerged that we’d never heard before.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. There’s a lot of political and legal wrangling to be done before we get the go-ahead to get the foam fingers out again.

At some point soon, the Scottish Tories will have to emerge from their bunker. We know that Unionists don’t want to debate our constitutional future and we know why.

Dismissive sneering and #PretendyRef tweets might provide some brief comfort to those who deny Scotland’s right to a vote, but they don’t actually change reality.

Most of the electorate aren’t part of Scotland’s political and media bubble. They deserve an open,

good-humoured, thorough debate on the competing visions for Scotland’s future.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will update Holyrood on next steps before the summer recess. However she intends to proceed, it will be a relief to finally be moving again.

Those who insist “now is not the time” are content to consign Scotland to arguing over the dying embers of the campaign fought in 2014.

It’s time for a new conversation. We might not enjoy all of it and there will no doubt be bickering along the way, but at least it will be fresh. The only politicians who should fear that are the ones who haven’t got anything new to say or offer to the voters of Scotland.