We all know that the First Minister has a high view of himself. In fact, a lot of us seem to agree. Love him or hate him, he's got to be one of the most successful political communicators in recent years.
His detractors see him as self-absorbed, arrogant and conceited. So when, in a pitifully tribal First Minister's Questions today, Alex Salmond appeared to liken himself to Moses it can only have given such people a bit of extra ammunition.
Not the cleverest of moves, I suspect, and one which will lead to some predictable headlines in tomorrow's daily newspapers.
Salmond, responding to a question from Roderick Campbell about discussions at the British Irish Council, stated that he will be telling the council's next meeting to "let my people go!" Not quite the comparison others have unwisely made it, but the reference and implications are self-evident.
I'm not really sure why the First Minister would want to make the comparison. Moses did not lead his people into the promised land. Indeed, he only saw it from a distance. His people frequently exasperated him and he spent forty years wandering around with them in the wilderness on a journey that could have taken a few days. And he had conversations with burning vegetation - never a good sign. No wonder he needed those tablets.
Also, Moses' mission was not, contrary to common misconception, to lead his people into "a land flowing with milk and honey". Oh, no. It was simply this - to take them out of slavery in Egypt on God's instruction ("let my people go so that they may worship me in the desert.") The Old Testament God is a bit of an egomaniac, but the point I want to make is, I think, a relevant one. It's not so much where we've come from that matters but the destination. In short, what concerns me is not separation from England as a desirable end in itself, but what the eventual "promised land" will look like. What will be the defining characteristics of an independent Scotland?
Salmond understandably wants "his people" to be freed. But for what purpose? For me and others like me who are not ideological nationalists, independence is a potentially attractive option because of the freedoms it offers Scottish people to take control of their own destinies; political freedoms, social freedoms and economic freedoms. Detachment from the rest of the UK is for us neither an end in itself nor particularly desirable unless it is simply a first step in an innovative vision to transform Scottish society, our politics and our economic and industrial potential.
"Let my people go". Yes, but go where? This is a challenge for the SNP and Yes Scotland. They need to communicate to a sometimes skeptical public what they want an independent Scotland to be - and also that the vision is an achievable one. Why will independence be better for Scots? Why should the business community support independence? What would be the nature of an independent Scotland's political system? In fairness, both are making constructive attempts to do this but so often the debate we're having descends into farcical claim and counter claim between nationalists and unionists that the more sane contributions are not heard.
For any aspiring Moses-type figure a focus on the end-goal is vitally important. It didn't take the Israelites very long to become unhappy with freedom from Egypt. Far more thought must be given over to constructing a positive view of our country's future and selling it to the electorate, avoiding the temptations to engage negatively with Better Together or to focus principally on correcting the many myths - little would be gained from becoming embroiled in pitched battles with the opposition. Much will come down to how each side communicates its respective messages. Credibility will be key to determining the outcome and if the "Yes" camp can put together a proposition for Scotland's future that is not only positive but credible it has a greater chance of victory.
Ultimately the referendum will come down to whose message the voters are prepared to put their faith in - the Better Together campaign with its refusal to declare explicitly what a post-referendum Scotland will look like or Yes Scotland? It's early days, but if Salmond wants to ensure Scots are "let go", perhaps he needs to model himself a little less on Moses and instead look at more recent history for inspiration and guidance.