NOTE this is very much my personal opinion and not that of the SNP or any other group.

Now that a General Election has been called, we don’t have any more time for mucking about or trying to ease up to what we know we need to do. We need to rip the plaster off and get on with it.

The SNP are the only pro-indy political party that the anti-independence media give any credence to, and for months now they have been relentlessly hammering on a narrative of a party in crisis that is slipping in the polls. Now that message has gone into overdrive.

READ MORE: Tories plan to pay for conscription with Brexit replacement funding

If the subject of a hung parliament comes up,the SNP don’t even get a mention, only the LibDems seem to exist despite them not having been the third party in the UK Parliament for nine years.

Governance at Holyrood is streets ahead of the clown show at Westminster but the recent string of self-inflicted injuries has seen the SNP slip in the polls.

The media are desperate to capitalise on that and fluff the chances of Labour seeing a resurgence in Scotland.

But despite the polling for the SNP being dire relative to previous highs, support for independence continues to bob along quite merrily at roughly 50% of the voting population.

With demographic patterns and trends being what they are, that might well be north of 60% within 10 years.

READ MORE: SNP puts 'Scotland making better decisions' at front of election campaign material

But this General Election might be the last chance Scotland gets for decades, or indeed ever, to demand self-determination. If the SNP can’t maintain a majority the media narrative will be of collapse, and there is a real chance we might see an anti-independence government in Holyrood in two years’ time.

Anas Sarwar and his gang of cronies will make Liz Truss look like a walk in the park.

I fundamentally believe that the indyref in 2014 sparked a fire in an entire generation of Scots, inspiring millions to hope for a better future. Not just a slightly better managed version of the status quo, but a true vision of a radically different nation where social justice, environmental responsibility, and progressive economics transform our lives.

The further away we have gotten from that referendum and the inspiring vision it conjured, the less enthused the voting public have become. When they feel independence is on the table they come out in droves, when it gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile, not so much.

If the SNP does not want to sink into irrelevance in this General Election, we need to make it manifestly plain that independence is very much the only thing on the table. We must lean in to independence as our only real policy. It’s what 50%-plus of the voting public want, and a route back into Europe is what 70%-plus of voters want.

READ MORE: Scottish party leaders campaign on first weekend since General Election called

That is what our manifesto must say and what all of our candidates must be saying.

We need to lean in to the hopes and dreams of our voters rather than just offering them a slightly more credible version of the managerialism Labour are offering.

And we must lean in to the price.

There is little question that there is a risk in doing so. Many voters might desert the SNP if they think their vote is going to be counted towards independence. We might lose a whole bunch of seats.

We must lean in to that. We must say, this is the most radical manifesto we have stood on in many years and we know we run the risk of scaring away some voters, but that is a risk we are willing to take. We might lose a few seats but if we win a majority of them that will be a clear mandate to go down to Westminster and negotiate the end of the Union.

"What if you don’t even win a majority?", they may ask. Well then we will have failed to persuade the people of Scotland that independence and rejoining Europe is the right thing for them right now.

But we will continue to attempt to persuade them of the truth, one we feel is self-evident – that Scotland is best governed by the Scots – and we will put that choice to them at every election until they choose to give us that mandate.

READ MORE: Is the General Election really terrible timing for Scottish voters?

If we lean in to independence, and independence as our path back into Europe, then we reach for the 50%-plus or the 70%-plus of voters that want those things. We may lose a few seats but we will win the only thing that truly matters, independence.

If we don’t, and we just try to arrest the decline and grow the support we have now, nobody will be inspired to vote for the hope of that better future and we will lose a whole lot more seats than we will if we lean in to independence.

That might be catastrophic for the SNP, but in the long run it might be terminal for the cause of independence.

Chris Hanlon