So as I write this, the final results are being counted in the UK General Election 2015. With 56 of the 59 Scottish seats going to SNP candidates the Scottish National Party now has a “Scottish bloc” vote.
It will be very interesting to see how this manifests itself in the business of UK government. Essentially, Scotland, through its MPs (or, more accurately, the way that the SNP controls its MPs) can choose whether or not to embroil itself in English & Welsh matters. Where the Westminster government debates matters that have been devolved to Scotland, then SNP MPs can simply abstain from voting. SNP MPs can answer the West Lothian Question for themselves.
I make no secret of the fact that this behaviour would make me extremely happy. It would demonstrate that the will of the Scottish people is not to involve themselves in matters not of their concern.
Self-determination works two ways, and the manner in which the UK government structure is currently set up is deeply wrong. The Scottish Parliament’s cause of self-determination for Scotland would be immensely strengthened by Scottish MPs behaving in a manner that does not impinge on England & Wales’s ability to self-govern.
I very much hope that the SNP uses the mandate that it has been given for the benefit of Scotland and the UK. It’s time for Scotland to be seen in England not as the whingeing weakling, leeching off English tax receipts but as the self-aware team player that it has been in the Union for over 300 years.