We are all marked, or made by or in some cases prisoners of our earlier years. There may be changes, larger or smaller, depending on experience, events or the impact of medical issues.
Alex Salmond, now sixty, has stepped down from leadership of the Scottish National Party, but may be back in the House of Commons, perhaps heading a rather larger number of MP's than in the past.
As the polls and informed (?) commentators debate the implications of another hung and complicated parliament there has been speculation as to what role he might play.
At present these include the possibility of him being Deputy Prime Minister in a Labour and SNP coalition. On the other hand the SNP under his guidance might operate on an entirely separate basis from day to day intent on disruption and confusion.
In both these and in other cases it is worth asking the question of just what are the essential political philosophies to which he is really attached and what motivation these may direct him to.
Thinking of a cartoon character did not really work. Apart from trying to match his winsome charm with the underlying aggression; wondering whether he was more Bugs Bunny or more Wile. E. Coyote led to other things.
He fits in with an ancient creature of myth rather than cartoon. He seems to be a Shape Shifter, you see him here you see him there. Here he is this and there he is that. But what of the Left thinking from his past that might guide him?
A well written taste of this is the 13th September post in Hatful of History on "Anti-Revisionism". The Wikipedia article on that subject is international in scope and just a snapshot. These are deep and turbulent waters into which those who do not share these beliefs should avoid swimming, especially cynics.
What it amounts to is that whatever he says today or proclaims tomorrow will not the same in the future. What he supports now he will be undermining or seeking to destroy if a shift has advantage.
Does he believe that the present has to be destroyed to reveal new futures that will in turn be displaced in a continuing process? Does this mean turning the UK as a whole into an economic wreck?
The politics we can guess at suggests that what he is selling as Scottish identity and purpose will not be at all what the present Scots may get if he is able to make the calls.
To quote, "The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end."