IF there is such a thing as a reverse Midas touch, then the living exemplar of it is Theresa May. Everything she has touched as Prime Minister has turned to dross.

There can scarcely have been a less graceful valedictory than that which she gave in Stirling on Thursday night. A better politician would have used the occasion to say what could not be said while in office – to further reconciliation where there was division and suggest solutions where none had so far been achieved.

READ MORE: Senior MEPs are all positive about indy Scotland rejoining the EU

Instead all she wanted to do was to blame others and encourage whoever her successor is to continue the policy of a tin ear and a dead hand which has brought relations within the Union to their lowest-ever ebb.

I accept, with a tiny smidgeon of sympathy, that it cannot have been easy for the Prime Minister to face so much stark evidence of her own abject failure in a job which she spent a lifetime trying to obtain.

But anyone who has watched her and her government at close quarters cannot but recognise that she has brought the disaster of her political downfall down on her own head.

And the reason she has failed is well illustrated in the intransigent, arrogant approach she has taken to the “review” of devolution which she announced this week.

Most commentators have failed to notice that there is already such a “review” under way. It was requested by the devolved administrations and agreed at a Joint Ministerial Plenary in Downing Street in March 2018. It was intended to examine the way in which Brexit has undermined the already wholly inadequate devolution structures, such as the Joint Ministerial Committee and the Legislative Consent process, and bring forward new ideas to improve inter-governmental relations.

Suggestions as to how this might be done have been made by the Scottish and Welsh governments over the past three years, though there have been no such initiatives by the UK Government.

READ MORE: One of the world’s top investment bankers now backs Scottish independence

We published proposals in our original “Scotland’s Place in Europe” paper in December 2016. The Welsh brought forward a comprehensive set of ideas in August 2017 and both myself and Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford made speeches on the topic at the Institute for Government in London earlier this year.

Of course we do not see devolution as an end in itself (a fact that cannot be a surprise, even to the Prime Minister), but we do believe that even while we are on the threshold of independence we must still have functioning arrangements to deal with the day-to-day issues that arise between the various governments of these islands. We make common cause with others on that, as long as they respect the legitimacy of our intended destination.

As the Brexit and Tory crises have deepened – and melded into one overarching existential crisis for UK democracy – the window for achieving change has become steadily narrower. But while there is still the prospect of a period, however brief, outside the EU, we need to have robust structures in place to ensure that we are not further disadvantaged during any new negotiating and transition period.

Last Friday at a Joint Ministerial Committee in the margins of the BIC in Manchester, the Welsh and Scottish governments were very critical of the UK Government’s deliberate failure to make any progress with this “review”.

But instead of listening, a few days later the Prime Minister suddenly announced her own – same badged, but entirely different – review to the press without any notice to Scotland or Wales. And instead of involving the devolved administrations, she chose to have it undertaken by an unelected Tory peer with no obligation to speak to anyone in Edinburgh or Cardiff at all.

The Prime Minister in Stirling said that the SNP never negotiated in “good faith”. In reality we have just had a masterclass in bad faith from her, and further proof that the Tories care nothing at all even for the indisputable legal reality of the current constitutional settlement.

But Scotland shouldn’t get mad, because we are inexorably getting even. There is an upside to, and an irony in, such discreditable conduct. What May has been doing – in the last week and the last three years – is strengthening and accelerating the arguments and the imperative not for devolution, nor her “precious” Union, but for Scottish independence.

The First Minister was right to make that point during the week. May’s ultimate unwitting legacy will be independence.

It will also be the final proof of her unique reverse Midas touch.