The first week of the school holidays is one where the cut and thrust of political debate takes a brief pause, although you suspect that this year’s pause will be even shorter than normal - with MSP’s heading off on a foreshortened summer recess, made necessary by the referendum in September.
And yet, some big themes have emerged - ones which will have an enduring impact on the fiery debate to come.
When HM Queen Elizabeth swings a bottle of single malt whisky to smash on, er, HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth, it will set in train a major launch. It will launch not only one of the largest but one of the most impressive (not to mention, expensive) ships ever built, as the aircraft carrier lumbers into the Firth of Forth.
Watched by the Prime Minister and First Minister, there are clearly major implications for the referendum. Will the FM manage to continue to sell relatively successfully the view that iScotland will manage to continue to build ships for the UK, never mind the rest of the world? Or will the PM manage to convey successfully the view that after independence defence jobs in Plymouth will mean more to a future UK defence secretary than defence jobs abroad?
Defence procurement has always been founded in politics - you would think that will continue. The next 85 days or so will shine the political spotlight on that political foundation like never before.
However, before David Cameron headed to Fife, he was in Glasgow launching the latest of the UK government’s City Deal initiatives. Billed as a strategic attempt to pass meaningful powers to the big city regions of the UK, it has - inevitably - been an entirely tactical intervention in the indyref debate.
But maybe something is happening here. In the referendum context we have obsessed with the transfer of powers to Holyrood from Westminster, and yet, when you consider our overall balance of powers, it is the absence of meaningful powers at sub-national level that is most striking compared to other major nations in Europe and beyond.
Maybe, strategically, the City Deal can be the start of a considered debate on how powers can best be used at a level lower than Holyrood. When Glasgow City Council’s ability to raise free resources is limited to fees, charges and parking permits, it severely limits the initiative and imagination of regional thinking. No wonder, then, they have had to look for a UK City Deal to fund some economic development.
I was struck this week by coverage of Murdo Fraser MSP and Michael Moore MP talking in strikingly similar terms about federal structures for the UK, based on a NO vote in September. As they both pointed out, Devolution shouldn’t stop at Holyrood.
Perhaps, irrespective of the result in September, there can be a wider national debate on how we can empower our cities and burghs, and perhaps the real lesson of this week is that devolution or independence for Holyrood is just the start, not the end.