Labour has found Sir John Major rather useful in this Parliament, with his criticisms of government policy and praise of Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze. But his op-ed in today’s Telegraph in which he demands that Ed Miliband rule out a coalition with the Scottish National Party is rather less helpful.
What makes this call even more unhelpful is that many Scottish Labour MPs are desperate for Miliband to rule out a pact because of the damage that shacking up with the SNP would do for their brand in Scotland. They will also have emerged from a bloody battle in which many of their number will have lost seats to the SNP, and so the visceral hatred between the sides will hardly have abated.
On this issue, Ed Miliband will need to give more assurances to his Scottish colleagues than he has to this point, in order to avoid the impression that he still views them as a ‘branch office’ of the main party.
But of course, whether or not Miliband does rule out one pact or another, the Union is still in grave threat, as Alex explained in the magazine last week. Miliband is in fact curiously powerless, as is David Cameron.