Chris Grayling is an advertising asset for a future Scottish No vote

Grayling’s planned demotion of all 56 nationalist MPs to second-class citizens in the mother of parliaments plays into the SNP's hands perfectly

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The Independent Online

The SNP’s core message at the general election was that more nationalist MPs would mean a “strong voice” for Scotland at Westminster. Chris Grayling’s planned demotion of all 56 nationalist MPs to second-class citizens in the mother of parliaments, coupled with this week’s overwhelming defeat in the Commons on any move toward full fiscal autonomy, suggests the word “strong” is massively overplaying the reality of Scotland’s influence at Westminster.

However from the SNP’s tribal perspective, neither of these two events is cause for the onset of depression.

Grayling’s boss, David Cameron, has made numerous impassioned speeches about wanting Scotland to stay part of the UK family of nations. But the harsh political truth, extracted from the deliberate exclusion of Scottish  MPs from all the UK parliament’s deliberations, is that the Conservatives remain clueless on how the union and further devolution can work together.

What Tony Blair started as a means to quieten accelerating nationalism, Cameron could begin to finish with either the onset of a federal UK or an unstoppable Scexit – Scotland’s exit from the UK.

Opponents of 'English votes for English laws' claim they would make Scottish MPs - 56 of whom are SNP - second-rate members of the Commons.

What the Conservatives see as a fair realignment of the constitution, the SNP will see an opportunity to increase their successful marketing that the union is a busted flush.

Grayling is therefore not an opponent of the SNP, but an advertising asset for Scottish independence. If there is five more years of restriction, limitation, and fencing in of Scotland at Westminster, take a guess at what the SNP’s  manifesto will say in 2020? 

While the majority of Scots may still oppose outright independence, it makes little political sense for the ruling unionist party to antagonise the undecided minority who could, if there is another referendum, make independence the inevitable outcome of another Yes-No vote.