I was no fan of Michael Forsyth when he was Scottish Secretary, but I do find myself agreeing with him now (Scotsman, 21/04/15). The Conservative Party’s claim that the SNP will have control over a Labour Government in a manner which will only benefit Scotland is disingenuous. It is designed to simultaneously drive undecided voters to the Tories in England and reinforce the SNP’s core message in Scotland. The former point has been willingly reinforced by Salmond and Sturgeon during recent trips to England.
Furthermore, in my constituency of Edinburgh the Conservative candidate has been telling working class Scots that only SNP or the Tories can win. Given that Labour is in fact neck-and-neck with the SNP, and the Tories are a distant third, this tactic can only be designed to drive voters to the SNP.
Whilst this synergy between the SNP and the Conservatives may appear unlikely, on closer inspection it is not. The General Election looks too close to call and David Cameron is desperate to remain in Downing Street. His government, perhaps in partnership with UKIP, will drive down public spending based on an ideologically driven agenda, so why would he not do a deal with the SNP to reduce UK public spending by £7.6b by offering then the Full Fiscal Autonomy they seek in return for their support? Even if offered by Cameron, the SNP could not turn it down. The result would be that Cameron will remain in Downing Street and Scotland would have a massive blackhole to deal with. The Tories win, and Scotland loses.