What does David Cameron think he's doing ordering (for presumably he must have done) the British Ambassador in Washington to call the release of Megrahi a "mistake"? It was perfectly legitimate - albeit deeply misguided - for Cameron as leader of the Conservative party to express a critical view on the quasi-judicial decision of a member of the Scottish government. But for the official representative of the United Kingdom to be trashing the proper authorities of a part of the United Kingdom who followed due process to the letter is...well, bang out of order. Indeed, it's worse than that - I'd guess the impression it's intended to convey to an American audience is that the new UK government is in some way distancing itself from a "mistake" made by its own predecessors. Can there be anything more disrespectful than fuelling the (rather popular) fiction that the Scottish government either a) does not meaningfully exist, or b) dutifully takes its cue from London on such a grown-up matter as this?
As I understand it, part of the purpose of the "respect agenda" was to demonstrate to Scots that devolution works really well and that there is no need to move beyond it. Instead, Cameron has just helpfully identified a massive deficiency in the devolved settlement that only independence can possibly remedy - namely that our supposed "representatives" in foreign capitals are not merely unable to speak directly on our behalf, but are apparently going to be specifically instructed to undermine us in certain circumstances. Can you imagine the American ambassador in London criticising, say, the decision of the governor of Texas to put a British citizen to death, even if that governor was an ideological opponent of the incumbent president? If it's beneath the dignity of the UK government to allow its ambassador to defend the Scottish administration on a decision that was wholly within its own competence, then all he should have been told to do is explain that Megrahi's release was solely for the Scottish authorities to adjudicate upon, and therefore wasn't a matter for the British government or its representatives to express a view on.