The devolution referendum proved a hollow victory in the end for unionists. Losing the campaign for hearts and minds, the southern party leaders came up with an extraordinary pledge that stretched the idea of union to breaking point. It also added something into the referendum mix that wasn't actually on the ballot at all. No-one can say whether or not the final result really was a vote for the Union, or in actuality a vote for the devo-max that English leaders were offering by the end. Then, as soon as the vote was passed, David Cameron, the quintessentially English leader with the very Scottish name, sought immediate political advantage by demanding English Votes for English Laws. He has also been happy to put himself forward in this election campaign as an English, rather than British, leader.
Well, the SNP advance in Scotland continues apace it seems, such that polls today suggest they could sweep the board and take all of Scotland's 59 MPs. What has so signally failed with the Union, we should be asking here in England, that the Scots have turned so wholly towards its nationalist party. And this despite the distinctly chequered record of that same party in the Scottish government.
Is the Union under threat? It would certainly be foolish to imagine that it is safe and cosy. The Spectator's Scottish editor, Alex Massie, has been writing regularly and forcefully about English and Conservative indifference to Scotland, and his piece today strikes an even harder note. It is quite probable that while the election comes up with an ambivalent result in England and Wales, it produces a very clear result in Scotland. A result that says the Union as we know it is over.