We're often told that Scots should not vote for independence because that would, somehow, "abandon" our friends in England, Wales and the north of Ireland to perpetual Tory domination.
Bizarrely, this is often parroted by elected Labour representatives in Scotland, clearly convinced that Ed Miliband is a catastrophic leader who is fundamentally unable to persuade the good people of the Home Counties of the dubious merits of his case for being British prime minister.
They never, however, seem to argue in their manifesto for a federal Europe. Presumably the SPD-voting denizens of Hamburg and Bremen are not to be saved from a third term of Merkelism by the tender mercies of Jackie Baillie; nor do Labour appear to believe that Norway and Bulgaria should merge in order to ensure that the left-wing voting people of Finnmark are governed by Plamen Oresharsky instead of Erna Solberg.
i) the utterly anti-democratic position of the Labour Party in this regard, that the people of England, Wales and the north of Ireland shouldn't get the government they vote for, but the "right" - i.e. the Labour Party - government, and;
ii) the fact that in the entire 307-year history of the United Kingdom, Scottish votes have turned a Conservative majority into a Labour majority on one single occasion (Harold Wilson's 1964 government, which lasted less than two years);
it is an argument which is specious balderdash.
Left-wing voters in Scotland - of which there is a clear majority - cannot get the government we vote for. Even if 100% of our voters vote for a Left-wing government, we can still get a Thatcherite government. This is not the case with the rest of the United Kingdom: given the paltry turnouts, a 40% vote by English voters for the Left is likely to return a Left-wing government.
The fact is, however, that politics in the United Kingdom - and particularly in England - are moving inexorably to the Right at a frantic, and frankly terrifying, pace.
Today, the Labour Party pretend to be concerned at a cost of living crisis. There is no cost of living crisis for its MPs, such as Margaret Curran, who greedily demanded £600 to heat her second home while pensioners in Easterhouse freeze to death. There is no cost of living crisis for Alistair Darling, who embarked on a deliberate, sustained campaign of fraud and theft from the public purse, having his fingers in the till to the tune of £70 000.
But what is the Labour Party's response to the crisis? Are they going to impose rent controls? Are they going to fix prices (as a mark of how far British politics has moved to the Right, the February 1974 Conservative Manifesto advocated price controls as a reasonably middle-ground proposition - something which is now viewed as dangerously Left-wing by the motley collection of privately-educated nincompoops, Tory peers' daughters, and middle-class tarts like Richard Baker who currently comprise the Labour Party's elected caucus) or nationalise the public transport system so that people no longer see their wages transfer almost in their entirety from their employer to the speculators and embezzlers who make up the railway operators, barely touching their own purse in between?
No. You see, that would "alienate" the voters in the south-east. It might frighten the Home Counties. The shire gentry would never stand for it. So Labour's big idea to alleviate the cost of living crisis is to reduce - temporarily - energy bills by £4.17.
And that's it. That's the big division between Labour and the Tories. £4.17. No nationalisation, no transfer of the means of production from spivs to workers. The only difference is as they pull each other's hair, kicking each other's shins, in a frantic attempt to get further to the right of the U.K.I.P. than the other, showing how "tough on immigrants, tough on the causes of immigrants" they are.
It is entirely conceivable that at the next General Election, the Liberal Democrats will be wiped out to be the sort of rump that goes sadly for tea and reminiscences with the Ulster Unionist Party. We already know that Scottish Labour MPs and MSPs don't believe Miliband can win. So the prospect before us is of a Conservative/U.K.I.P. coalition: a bedroom-taxing, immigrant-bashing, benefits-removing, NHS-privatising, EU-leaving, student-charging, bank-bailing, arms-selling gang of thugs, thieves, spivs and criminals.
And the sad thing? Scottish Labour won't be too disappointed. Because they're never truly in Opposition. Sure, they mightn't be eligible for ministerial positions, but the money still rolls in from their expenses frauds, their cute bending of the rules, their second jobs (no conflict of interest, guv), their outright thefts, the committee chair sinecures.
British politics is going in one direction: to the Right. Every Westminster party is either complicit in it, or content to keep it going that way.
We can escape. And we should escape. And if the people of another country are too stupid to revolt and get rid of their government, then damn them. It's not our problem any more.