An open letter to Ed Miliband

Dear Ed

Excuse the familiarity but it’s the style these days, isn’t it?

I doubt if you’ll read this but it’s just me putting down the sort of marker many other people have recently about the possibility of Labour doing some sort of ‘deal’ with the SNP after the general election.

I’m one of the majority of 2+ million people in Scotland who voted against separation in last year’s referendum. Many of us have been alarmed at the prospect of the SNP having any significant influence in the next parliament if it is ‘hung.’ I know you’ve said very clearly there won’t be a Labour/SNP coalition but that was never on anyhow, with the would-be nationalist power brokers themselves saying they’ll not enter into a coalition.

I don’t need to tell an experienced politician that there are many other ways in which a minority party can exert influence in exchange for their support. And that support will always come at a price. It may be dressed up as more devolution or, innocuously, as pressure for more ‘progressive’ UK-wide policies. But please remember what the Scottish nationalists are. They have one aim only – the break-up of the UK, my country and yours. For them any concession is always and only another lever they can use to move towards their idea of independence. They will never be satisfied until they achieve that. Anything you do, any concession you make, will only be used by them for that sole purpose.

It may sound melodramatic but people in Scotland who want to remain in the union would regard any action by Labour that placated the SNP after the election as a betrayal that would never be forgiven.

Just so you know, I’m not a member of a political party and never have been since I could first vote (many years ago). I have voted Labour more often than not but other UK-wide parties have also had my vote on various occasions for various reasons. Like many in Scotland I intend to vote tactically in May for the candidate best able to keep the SNP out. As it happens, that means Labour where I live, and for an incumbent MP who is widely respected.

As Harold Wilson said, a week in politics is a long time, and I’m aware of how quickly things could change in the current volatile political climate. That’s why I have a similar ‘Dear Dave’ letter in reserve should I need it.

As a voter I may sometimes be with Labour, sometimes not. But whatever the challenges that face us I want them resolved in a United Kingdom, not in a separate Scotland that would weaken all the countries of the UK. Whatever you do, please please don’t take any action that could lead to the break-up of our country.

All the best.

Yours sincerely


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