Our SNP MPs have a real problem with a Tory majority. They are very unlikely to achieve anything substantial in the next five years or even anything which might grab the headlines. They are left to show themselves as responsible, thoughtful hardworking members of the Westminster parliament. This they have so far managed to do very successfully. This will almost certainly not be enough for their supporters. The extra devolved powers in the Scotland Bill will surely be a nightmare, a poisoned chalice of apparent freedoms designed to hamstring any rational alteration of the Austerity set by the Tories. So the SNP will be fettered in Westminster and even hung out to dry at Holyrood.
Pete Wishart in his speech in the Emergency debate on Standing Orders to give English MPs the veto on English only legislation floated the idea of federation. Such is the fear their own propaganda has instilled in English MPs the very idea met with almost hysterical condemnation, the slippery slope to the breakup of the Union. Nevertheless it is a way forward. Federations in Germany, Canada and the USA have not led to any breakup.
The present devolved arrangements are a minefield which could end in independence for Scotland. No two devolved parliaments are the same. A Royal Commission or similar national convention could allow sanity to prevail and at the same time bring about a logical structure for the governance of the United Kingdom. Independence in today’s world is proscribed in any case. France is independent but also circumscribed by the EU treaties. It is a proud nation which in no way thinks of itself as subservient or a colony Scotland in a properly federated UK could have most of the freedoms that France enjoys without some of the undoubted problems which full independence would bring.
The EU itself talks of subsidiarity. That implies governance from the lowest tier upwards; anything which can be done at a lower level should be done there. A federated UK would see each part fully in charge of its own internal affairs while contributing money and elected representatives to a central authority concerned only with external affairs. I deliberately use vague terms as the final set-up should be the subject of the convention.
This might not be the independence craved by hard-line supporters of the SNP but it could deliver the kind of decent society in Scotland that many SNP voters were and are seeking.