This has been a turbulent six months in Scottish politics, yet there has not been as much change as there should have been.

The most eye-catching event of the last six months has clearly been the astonishing (and ongoing) police investigation into the SNP’s finances.

The most memorable event of the last six months was no doubt the shock resignation of the then First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The most theatrical event of the last six months was the leadership contest it unleashed, which Humza Yousaf managed only barely to win, despite having the public support of the full SNP hierarchy.

But there is one other event which, if only we understood it properly, would loom large and tower over all of these, dramatic as they have been. For, six months ago, a unanimous Supreme Court handed down a ruling which, truth be told, should have shaken Scottish politics to its foundations and required a more profound reset than even the handing of the baton from Sturgeon to Yousaf.

The court ruled that, were the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a second independence referendum without Westminster’s consent, Holyrood would be acting unlawfully. In short, there can be no repeat referendum on independence - because there is no way, as matters stand, that the all-important consent of the United Kingdom Parliament will be given.

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Humza Yousaf has not even begun to understand the implications of this seismic ruling. Nor, of course, has poor Douglas Ross. And nor, perhaps most disappointingly, has Anas Sarwar.

Yet the implication of the court’s ruling is simple. The indyref politics in which Scotland has been stuck since before 2014 is dead.

Our political parties, and their complacent, pedestrian leaders, are so sclerotic, so unaware, so bone-headed and so asleep at the wheel, that they have yet to notice. They are reminiscent of that old Monty Python sketch in which John Cleese brings a dead parrot into the pet shop from which he recently purchased it, and the pet shop owner insists that the parrot is not dead but merely resting.

The politics of the indyref era is not merely resting. It is as dead as John Cleese’s Norwegian Blue parrot.

So when Mr Yousaf’s SNP pretend they are spending the summer preparing the next indyref campaign, we all know it is but a sham, even if they don’t. (There isn’t going to be another indyref campaign: the Supreme Court ruled it illegal.) And when Mr Ross’s Scottish Conservatives can think of no reason to vote for them other than “to stop the SNP’s indy crusade” we know they are last year’s broken record, even if they don’t. (The SNP’s crusade has been stopped, definitively so, and by the Supreme Court, not the opposition parties.) And when Mr Sarwar’s never-quite-good-enough Scottish Labour Party cannot think of anything positive to say about why they and not the SNP should be in power in Scotland, everyone just shrugs and thinks, “business as usual”.

Despite the turbulence of the last six months, it is depressing beyond words how little has changed, and how deeply into the rut of the last decade and more of wasted political years we continue to be stuck.

None of this means independence cannot happen. It means that, if it does happen, it will never be via the route that was mapped out in 2014. There will never again be a referendum to decide whether Scotland should be independent or not - because there will never be the circumstances in which Westminster would consent to such a referendum. Absent such consent, the Supreme Court ruled, there is simply no way such a referendum can ever be held. It really is as simple, and as stark, as that.

Instead, those who desire independence have to plot an alternative path. It is obvious what that path should be. It should be to show, by using all the powers over health and education and economic development available to the Scottish Parliament, how much better than this Scotland can be.

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Our NHS is broken. Our schools are in chronic decline. The Curriculum for Excellence is failing. Standards are falling. And the economy is pointing in entirely the wrong direction, with no thought at all given in Holyrood to the questions of how the tax base should be grown, or how to boost business survival, or how to turbo-charge productivity. Scotland is not in a good place.

The Scottish Government should focus all its energies on addressing and fixing these problems, not campaigning for an indyref that is never going to happen. And then, having addressed and fixed them, it should invite the people of Scotland to reflect on how much better things would be if such brilliant and talented ministers had all the powers and not only those conferred upon them by the UK’s limited devolution settlement.

Scotland can be independent when and only when it is the settled will of the Scottish people to be so. It will become the settled will of the Scottish people to break away from the rest of the UK only if the Scottish Government has first demonstrated - that is, has shown us not merely told us - it has what it takes to transform this country overwhelmingly for the better.

I’m long since past the point of caring whether it is an SNP, Labour or any other colour of government that rolls up its sleeves and dedicates itself to the twin tasks of transforming Scotland’s economy and reforming our ailing and failing public services.

I just want a government - and for that matter an opposition -—who understand that that is their job, rather than endlessly and pointlessly pretending that the deceased parrot of indyref2 is merely “tired and shagged out after a long squawk”, in Monty Python’s immortal phrase.

It’s not tired: it’s dead. And it’s time we all moved on.

Adam Tomkins is the John Millar Professor of Public Law at the University of Glasgow School of Law. He was a Conservative MSP for the Glasgow region from 2016 to 2021.