Independence meeting? Not quite
And so the opposition parties meet at Holyrood this afternoon.
The agenda? How to review the powers and functions of the Scottish Parliament - short, well short, of independence.
Here’s what I think they’ll come up with. A formal parliamentary mechanism to consider and consult.
Think they’ll table a motion at Holyrood, jointly, setting up an ad hoc committee of MSPs to look at the devolution settlement, 10 years on.
Think that committee will then open up a public consultation, engaging with civic Scotland, business, unions etc.
Not convention mark two. “So 80s”, as one put it to me.
Plus there is now a Parliament in place with elected members, with real (if devolved) clout. That cannot be sidelined. Indeed, the opposition parties will argue, it should take the lead.
Which leaves the SNP executive where? Watching with interest.
I do not believe the SNP would nominate members of this parliamentary committee. For why? Because, they argue, it is for those of a Unionist persuasion to come up with their alternative to independence.
Nationalists say they know what they want: a referendum on Scotland becoming a sovereign state. It is up to the Opposition parties - Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats - to decide what they want.
Potentially, as Alex Salmond envisaged when he launched his “conversation” white paper, there could then be a referendum providing people with three choices: the status quo, independence and the scheme for enhanced devolution adopted by the opposition parties.
There is, of course, one other aspect to be borne, strongly, in mind. If further powers are to accrue to Holyrood, that would require Westminster legislation.
The opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament have already pledged to involve Westminster in their consideration.
From a sluggish start, this is beginning to get intriguing.