Tories And Labour Should Be Ready To Unite To Sink SNP Wreckers

Alex Salmond

How smug the SNP are today. They believe they are just three weeks away from wrecking the UK from inside Whitehall. Poll after poll says an SNP/Labour coalition could command a majority in the House of Commons, giving  SNP MPs the power to blackmail Ed Miliband for a share of the keys to Number 10.

The Labour leader is already hinting he might be willing to scrap Trident as part of a deal while Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out demanding a second independence referendum. The SNP think they can hold the country to ransom. They think they can play the system to their agenda at the exclusion of the national interest.

On previous occasions when the UK has been threatened with attack, parties joined together to fend off the enemy. Perhaps it is time party leaders thought about doing it again and training their collective sights on the SNP. In 2011 the coalition passed the Fixed Term Parliament Act, which took away the right of the Prime Minister to decide when general elections are held.

It also put rules in place to make it much harder to no confidence the government and force a general election. In the past a simple majority in the House of Commons was all that was needed to do both. Today a majority can no confidence the government but there are 14 days for the Commons to come up with a new one and stop the election taking place.

To force an election straight away there needs to be a two-thirds majority in the Commons. Which is almost impossible to achieve as it would require a large chunk of the governing party to back it. This makes it much easier for a minority government to function. All a party needs is to be able to cobble together a simple majority in the House of Commons within 14 days of losing a vote of no confidence.

If Labour or the Conservatives wanted to they could very easily prop the other up as a minority government. This would sideline the SNP and would result in a stable government – as long as the two big parties protect each other in a no confidence motion.

Admittedly most people would be aghast at the idea of the Conservatives putting Miliband into Number 10. But what if the only choice was Miliband on his own, or Miliband with Alex Salmond as Deputy Prime Minister. Would anyone really say the Conservatives should not stop Salmond?

A Labour minority government would not need to scrap Trident, it would not need to hold an independence referendum and there would be no attacks on the fabric of the wider UK. The SNP would be a pointless fringe party unable to call the shots with anyone.

The good news does not stop there. A minority Labour government would be unable to force through their legislative program. Miliband would be like the American President; in charge of the government but with no real prospect of passing much through Congress.

So ministers would be able to tinker with their departments but not pass the sort of ruinous legislation Blair and Brown wheeled out. There would need to be a budget, but the crazy left-wing spending would have to be toned down to persuade enough MPs to back it.

British politics is entering uncharted territory but we ought to remember that the crazy SNP are never going to gain a majority. If there was a determined effort to stop them holding any power, it would be easy. If necessary the two big parties should put the country before party politics.

There can only be a UK government if there is a UK, securing that has got to be the most important task of the next House of Commons.

Whatever it takes to squash Salmond, Sturgeon and their SNP wreckers.