The late Donald Dewar would never have been given the go-ahead for the Scottish devolution project, had the SNP not increasingly shown its potential.
London considers Scotland only when Unionist votes are threatened by the SNP, and then cedes minimum possible powers. Scottish Labour suffers from misplaced loyalty. Governing two countries from one capital is not a viable proposition at the best of times. Ambitious politicians from the smaller country migrate to the larger, and join in the routine of imposing one-size-fits-all policies on those “back home”. The SNP and its Yes partners see clearly that only with full independence can policies suitable for Scotland be carried into effect.
Mr Alexander’s request for SNP “help” in an all-party conference after a No vote would have no significant effect in either reconciling the two camps or in “improving” devolution. Surely he can see that perfectly reasonable proposals made by the SNP at such a conference, no matter how urgent, no matter how sorely needed, will be rejected by his own London colleagues as going too far.
With no signs of a will to reform and modernise the UK, any hope of full, constitution-led democracy, any moves towards equality in a fair and just society, the proper use of wealth for the right aims, these are things Westminster cannot provide. Why this is not as clear to Mr Alexander and his ilk, as it is to so many others, must remain a mystery.
Michael F Troon, Gauldry