While Ed Miliband may not want to co-operate in government with the SNP for narrow party-political reasons, it is bordering on the fatuous for him to suggest that co-operating with a party that has been in government for eight years already would hasten the break-up of the United Kingdom.
Given his apparent pro-European outlook, perhaps he might like to cast his glance towards Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi spent more than ten years in power propped up by the secessionist Northern League.
He had the nous to understand that two parties with a similar policy platform could co-operate in government to their mutual advantage.
And both Forza Italia and the Northern League understood that arguing about secession would only let the opposition back into power.
In fact, if anything, the experience in central government probably had the effect of calming the more radical separatist tendencies within the Northern League.
The sooner the Labour Party understands that the general election is not some abstruse PPE student debate, but will have major consequences for the future of this country – both north and south of the Border – the better it will be for all of us.
It is regrettably predictable that Dr Scott Arthur would seek to perpetuate the myth of a “black hole” in Scotland’s finances should full fiscal autonomy (FFA) be delivered following the general election.
Besides the fact that it is clear that none of the unionist parties will agree to FFA for Scotland in the next Westminster parliament, even if such an agreement were reached in a future parliament it would be a lengthy process, perhaps extending a further parliamentary term judging from the years already spent implementing the Calman recommendations.
Suggestions that the implementation of FFA could be achieved in less time than Scotland might have taken to declare independence following a Yes vote in the referendum are simply either naïve or scurrilous.
What Dr Scott conveniently omits to address is why any outcome approaching FFA would now be such a disaster for Scotland, still in the Union and presumably “protected” by the principle of “no detriment” contained in the Smith recommendations, but believe that “home rule”, as advocated by Gordon Brown, would have been the best possible outcome for Scotland only a few months ago.
The reason the Labour Party in Scotland is in meltdown is because, as the polls indicate, the Scottish people can see through such opportunistic hypocrisy and are becoming increasingly disillusioned with politicians and their acolytes who continue to treat them with such utter disdain.