If Miliband is to occupy Downing Street, he will have to do it either by means of a formal coalition with Salmond/Sturgeon, or with an arrangement called confidence and supply, by which the Scots Nats agree to help knock his legislation through the Commons.
It is therefore obvious to every serious political analyst that he would be in many ways the plaything of the SNP. Unless he has the support of that 40-plus bloc of Scottish secessionists, he will be stymied. If Miliband somehow manages to form a minority government, he will be peeping from Alec Salmond’s sporran like a baffled baby kangaroo. He would be the vacillating Macbeth, pushed hither and yon by Lady Macbeth, in the form of Nicola Sturgeon.
Did you see her the other night, telling him to man up, to screw his courage to the sticking place – to do what she told him to do because “you are not strong enough on your own”? The awful truth is that she is right. Without her help and her say-so, and without the support of Salmond and his troops in the Commons, there is not a single bill that Labour could get through. It is a recipe for chaos; and worse than chaos – because the SNP has changed over the years.
The reason they have lampreyed the life out of Labour in Scotland is that they have become ever more Left wing. Miliband is already the most Left-wing Labour leader since Michael Foot, promoting an agenda that seems to be avowedly hostile to wealth creation and “predatory” capitalism. The SNP are Lefties on steroids. They want to abandon any attempt to get the deficit under control, and indeed the Treasury has calculated that they would borrow another £148 billion.
They think taxes are far too low in Britain, and would seek new “progressive” taxes on top of what Labour is already proposing. They would scrap Trident, denuding Britain of its nuclear deterrent and sending future prime ministers naked into the conference chamber. The SNP would junk all attempts to reform the welfare system – even though they have the support of most voters in this country, and indeed most Labour voters.
They seem to dislike anything to do with America or free trade, and so would ditch the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, even though the deal would be good for the UK economy. On many of these issues they would of course be opposed, initially, by many Labour MPs. But what could they do? Unless Miliband plays ball, he will be powerless to legislate. He would lose the confidence of parliament, and he would be chucked out.
Yes, he will be sitting in the driving seat, pretending to be steering the car – but all the time he will have clever Nicola next to him, whispering in his ear, and perpetually yanking the steering wheel to the Left. Eventually there will be another terrible crash, just as there was in 2008/9.
But why should the SNP care a hoot about that? There is a grim sense in which the worst outcome for the UK is also – for a party that wants to break up the UK – the best.
Miliband’s proposed deal with the Scots Nats is like the fable of the frog that agrees to carry the scorpion across the river. In the end he will get stung – because that is the nature of the beast.
The risk is that by the end of this calamitous partnership there will be so many people in England who are cheesed off by the SNP’s behaviour that they will be only too happy to bid Scotland goodbye; and anybody thinking of voting Ukip should realise that by putting in a Labour/SNP alliance they are going to turn the UK into the Former UK, and their party will have to be called FUKIP.
Keep the Tories and you keep the Beefeaters guarding the Tower; you let farmers protect their chickens with their own shotguns; you keep out Attila and other roaming Eastern European criminals with tougher immigration controls; you keep Britain’s booming breweries and distilleries exporting overseas with ever-greater confidence; you repair the church tower with the VAT refund introduced by George Osborne – and as for the crèche that was in danger of being run by Herod, you fund ever better child care with the 30-day free care announced in the manifesto.
Vote Tory to stop a Labour/SNP coalition from wrecking the country – a choice, as I may have mentioned before, between competence and chaos.