How are you today? You know, after the First Minister’s big announcement? Yes, these things do happen and, undoubtedly, what is for us will not go by us. But really, how are you “in yourself”?

Matters have come to a serious pass in Scotland when that question is asked, and so it was this week in many households. Certainly there has been plenty of time from the last referendum to prepare a response to the new one. We knew this was coming. Yet when it happened, some of us in the heaving mass of undecideds were not quite sure how we felt.

That won’t do. Remember last time? Most set out, or said they did, with the intention of keeping things civilised. Before you knew it there were toe to toe, spittle-flecked exchanges going on within families and among friends and colleagues, demonstrations outside the Beeb, eggs and insults flying.

This time there has to be some formulation, an expression of neutrality, that allows a person to sit out the argument until such times as they wish to join in – or not.

We could stick with the old “don’t know” or “undecided” labels, or go with something different to mark this as Referendum 2.0.

When asked in company if Scotland should be an independent country one could, for example, say: “Do you know, I’m taking the Switzerland option on that for now.” Or how about the Father Ted formulation: “That would be an ecumenical matter.” Close, but not quite. The ditherers? Too judgmental. The switherers? The London press, who will soon be turning up by the coachload to once again explain Scotland to itself – oh joy – won’t understand.

Perhaps, in honour of the aggregate polls, the undecideds should call ourselves the 50:50 cohort. Membership of the 50:50 is open to anyone who can hold two competing ideas in their head at one time, giving equal consideration to both. Temporary membership is available to those who think they know how they will vote, but are having a wobble. A lot of wobbling went on last time. Given the added complexities of Brexit and other known unknowns, there could be even more of it in the run up to 19 October 2023.

As you would expect, opinion is split among the 50:50 on the wisdom or otherwise of the First Minister’s course. There is a part of us that is scunnered at doing this again, that sighs from the very depths of our collective soul at the thought of another debate on a currency union versus a new, free floating Scottish note.

Such weariness is intensified by the suspicion that the whole process is a dog and pony show to distract from the fact that Ms Sturgeon and her scandal-hit party are out of ideas. They cannot cope with the realities of here and now, be it record waiting times for cancer treatment, or overdue, over-budget ferries, so they want to talk about the future.

As schemes go, this one is outrageously implausible. The Supreme Court could rule that the Scottish Government can go ahead with a vote without Westminster’s agreement, but given how clear the legislation is, plus precedent, it is extremely unlikely to do so.

As for turning a General Election into a single issue vote about independence, wouldn’t that prove the SNP’s detractors right, that independence is the only thing they care about? And what if the electorate showed its displeasure by voting any party but the SNP? That could mean a generation, a proper one, in the wilderness. For more on the dangers of hubris see Scottish Labour of old.

So much for the voice of the scunnered. Elsewhere among the 50:50 there exists a sneaking admiration for Ms Sturgeon for having the strength of conviction to go ahead with the odds against her. As you will see from the media, social and mainstream, everyone is a constitutional expert now, much in the way thousands became virologists overnight during the pandemic. Few hold out hope that the First Minister’s cunning plan will work.

Many among the 50-50 might look at the response to the First Minister’s announcement and feel a certain sisterly sympathy for her. There is some pretty blatant sexism going on in some quarters. Margaret Thatcher had to contend with being called TBW, or “that bloody woman”. This has been shortened to TW for Ms Sturgeon. “That woman” feels more contemptuous somehow. She should trademark it and make some money.

That’s another favourite: calling her “she”. Not in a Charles Aznavour, affectionate fashion, but more in a “Who’s she, the cat’s mother?” kind of way. She didn’t deliver her statement, she “droned on". Questions were asked not just about her competence but her intelligence. How very dare she?

It may seem rich to defend someone in such a powerful, privileged position as Ms Sturgeon, but come on lads, we can do better than barely disguised misogyny.

The same goes for condemning the very idea of another referendum as a costly, foolhardy, abomination. It was there in black and white in the manifesto. There is no small print trickery going on here. Imagine if the positions were reversed. That Scotland, having left the Union, wanted to rejoin. If parties representing that view were voted into power again and again but no further action followed, wouldn’t you feel aggrieved?

Whatever your view on the announcement, the process is in motion. Who knows where we go from here (Keir Starmer stepping down, anyone?). If only we could glimpse the future. By the power of television drama that might just be possible. Spoilers ahead.

Scotland’s First Minister, we know, is obsessed with Borgen, the Danish drama about a woman prime minister, Birgitte Nyborg.

By the end of the new series on Netflix, Birgitte, now Foreign Secretary, has had enough. She’s tired of trying to keep her warring party together. They in turn accuse her of trading her principles for power. Even her beloved mentor has turned on her (stop me if you’ve heard this one before).

Challenged for the leadership, Birgitte realises the error of her ways and quits. Don’t worry, though. Turns out she has quietly wangled a job as the country’s new EU commissioner with a six figure salary and benefits to match. All is well that ends well, for Birgitte anyway. Wonder if Scotland will be as fortunate.