The statement, “If the SNP is unhappy with the Smith Commission’s proposals, it cannot forget that it signed up to them”, in your editorial (15 May) does not convey the substance of the current political situation and the headline, “SNP must stick to its word over pre-election pledge”, is, to say the least, misleading.
The SNP’s proposal for independence was rejected in a referendum, but not before a “vow” was made on more powers which were equated by Gordon Brown, and not denied by the leaders of the pro-Union parties, to quasi-federalism and “home rule”.
The Smith Commission’s recommendations fell short of this commitment, but the SNP accepted that it was the maximum progress to full devolution that could be achieved in the circumstances, especially given the reluctance of the Labour Party to support increased control over welfare.
However, the proposals drafted for legislation at Westminster do not match either the spirit or the detail of the Smith Commission’s recommendations and the landslide victory of the SNP can only be interpreted as support for the SNP’s manifesto, including the demand for further devolved powers than provided for in those proposals, if not an overwhelming endorsement of the goal of full fiscal responsibility.
Nothing in this assessment of the current political situation indicates that the SNP are now attempting to argue that the general election result has given the party a mandate to immediately pursue Independence.
To suggest otherwise is to undermine the prospects of achieving the quasi-federal outcome during the course of the new parliamentary term which most parties, and more importantly the Scottish public, appear to believe is the way forward for Scotland.