BEING temporarily confined to barracks, I’m watching a whole lot of telly. (What a week to pick!) The kind of telly you don’t need to pause, since much the same folk will be saying much the same thing all day. And evening.

Though for a special treat you could ­always switch to the computer and watch a livestream of a queue. Haud me back.

Any which way, it gave me a chance to discover that irony is not dead nor even lingering in high dependency. For popping up from time to time would be ­commentors who had once spotted Charles at a distance in a kilt at Braemar five years ago last ­Tuesday.

On which basis they would share their considered opinion on him, the future of the monarchy, how he really, really got on with his ma and pa, plus the current state of relations with his number two son. And son’s missus.

Ah yes, Meghan. What would some of the tabloids do without her to trash? And trash long before she fled to California with her Princeling on the grounds that even that wacky, therapist infested US state was clearly saner than some folk on this side of the pond.

Cast your mind back to some of the more lurid coverage of her pregnancy. And ­compare and contrast, as the usual ­suspects endlessly did, with the same life and ­procreating times of her sister in law.

Meghan patting her bump – obsessed or what? Leave it alone why can’t you? Kate patting her bump – what a caring mum to be! Meghan munching avocado – and her supposed to care about the planet. Hah! Kate munching avocado – careful to eat only healthy food. What a caring mum to be.

Now, heaven help us, the monstering of Meghan continues with appalled gasps (Twitter variety) at her unseemly ­behaviour during the state mourning. Did you see that? Did you see her actually holding hands with her husband, the father of her weans? Has the wumman nae shame?

When my lovely husband was still on this earth we held hands every day. Thank the Lord, nobody reported us. Better yet, ­nobody advised us that such overt ­displays of spousal affection were criminal in ­nature.

But back, if we must, to the telly. And proof positive that you can knit a stushie out of almost anything these days without even sending off for the pattern. From time to time, one of the TV talking heads would solemnly suggest the enthusiasm for the Queen displayed in the Scottish leg of her final journey was surely evidence of renewed enthusiasm for the Union.

A comparison of apples and pears which was joyously reprised in the very tabloids who have long since concluded that a woman marrying into the royal ­family who liked torn jeans and was ­spotted closing her own car door was clearly no better than she should be.

Fact is, there are lots of Scots who ­admired the Queen who are dyed in the wool Unionists. And there are lots of Scots who admired the Queen who are supporters of Scottish independence. Much safer then to decouple the ­monarchy and ­matters constitutional.

But hold hard. While those of us of an indy persuasion were mildly irritated at the passing of the Queen being hijacked by the better together tribe, turns out that there were heavy duty Unionists who had their sporrans in a twist for the opposite reason. Like I say, irony is nowhere near dead here.

Seems that no less exalted a trio than ex Labour premier Gordon Brown, ­current Tory Secretary of State for ­Scotland ­Alister Jack, and former Nato General ­Secretary Lord Robertson were seething over the BBC’s “politicisation” of the Queen’s death in the service of ­independence. Jack, in particular, was keen to emphasise that there is absolutely no link between the events of the last 10 days and the indy debate.

And so say all of us. Well almost all. Mr Brown’s erstwhile Labour colleague, Tom Harris, appears not to have got the memo. He had no difficulty finding just such a link in a Daily Mail column where he ­assured readers: “when Scots gather around the throne that they share with the English, support for independence seems to wane. This has been obvious in recent days.”

In fairness, Mr Harris’s Labour days are well behind him. He left the party, once called for Gordon Brown to resign as PM, admitted to voting Tory in at least two elections, was Scottish director of Vote Leave, and pens his thoughts for the Telegraph as well as giving the Mail the benefit of his wisdom. In addition to which he is an adviser to both the ­Secretary of State and the Advocate General. And did a turn for Message Matters the political consultancy set up by Peter Duncan and Andy McIver.

So Tom, either your boss Alister Jack is right to assert there is absolutely no link between the Scots turning out to pay respect to the Queen and their ­voting ­intentions, or you have a finger nearer the national pulse in saying that when Scots “gather round the throne, support for independence wanes”. Show workings please.

Actually all the available research done on the back of assorted royal occasions, weddings and the ilk, suggests that the ­political dial is stubbornly unmoved by regal events happy or sad.

Could just be that any connection ­between being in favour of the ­monarchy or a republic and voting intention lives only in the fevered imagination of ­politicians who wish it were so, or ­erstwhile Labour scribes with a new found enthusiasm for Conservatism.

A more pertinent question to explore perhaps, is how much the respect shown to Queen Elizabeth is down to her ­personal qualities and how much is ­transferable to the institution.

The royal family, for all its expensive trappings, and unbridled enthusiasm for castles and palaces, is not so very ­unlike every other one. Its offspring get divorced, it has a relly with a very dodgy reputation, there are rifts and seeming ­reconciliations.

Let's face it, if the Royals were subject to the same electoral vicissitudes as politicians, the succession might look very different. I’m guessing that Anne might top a public poll, that Charles might come a fairly poor second, and Andrew would undoubtedly lose his deposit. (Edward might have to supply a fotie for the ballot paper so that folks remembered who he was.)

Being a republican, such calculations are irrelevant. Yet I know and respect the fact that many of my fellow Scots remain wedded to having a monarchy.

Though if we were to proceed post indy to a ­monarch remaining head of state, I would want the limits of that role very carefully laid down. No orchestrated, kirk door ­interventions at the PM’s behest come the next chance to choose our ­future.

People fret about the prospect of a ­president instead, fearful that they will get some political re-tread foisted on them. Certainly Ireland currently has one of those; though it would be difficult find any hostility to the diminutive and ­twinkly Michael D Higgins.

And, in the modern age, Mary ­Robinson and Mary McAleese seem to have been positively inspired choices. It’s ­instructive too to note that they have a fixed term which can only be reprised once.

If you believe that Scotland should choose its own future, then it doesn’t seem unreasonable to let the public choose a president if that’s how the chips fall.

Equally, if the monarchists wish to maintain that system, we republicans will have to accept the majority view.

Today it’s exactly eight years since I stood in front of my local polling station in my Yes T-shirt hopeful of a new dawn breaking. The T-shirt is ironed and ready.