Before the election, the SNP pointed out the fatal hole in Labour's argument that the only way to prevent a Tory government was to vote Labour - namely that if the Conservatives won a majority across the UK as a whole, the Labour majority in Scotland would indirectly legitimise Tory rule here by virtue of its commitment to the constitutional status quo. But little could anyone have realised that hosts of Labour figures, both north and south of the border, would be queueing up to legitimise Tory rule in circumstances where there was actually no parliamentary majority. John Reid and Tom Harris in particular seem hellbent on co-ordinating a bizarre Labour effort to smooth the way for the Tories to take office, by undermining (it seems successfully) the coalition negotiations at every turn. Even more extraordinarily, they are openly admitting that a key reason for doing so is their distaste for ceding even the most minor influence to nationalist parties in Wales and Scotland.
On Newsnight Scotland last night, Ken MacDonald raised the spectre of a 'feeble 41' Scottish Labour MPs who failed to prevent Tory rule in Scotland in a rather more direct way than the 'feeble 50' failed to do in 1987, and suggested that the SNP might benefit electorally from such a scenario. Of course, it's not quite so clear-cut as that, as many Labour MPs up to and including the Prime Minister seem to have entered into coalition discussions in good faith. But it remains the case that the SNP have been moving heaven and earth to assist a progressive Labour-led coalition to take office, while the likes of John Reid and Tom Harris have been eagerly acting as Dave's little helpers, on the pathetic grounds of a grudge against nationalist parties, and an unwillingness to budge an inch on reforming our antiquated voting system. If the worst happens and a Tory-led government takes office in the next few hours or days, I think we can safely say the ghost of 1979 has been well and truly laid to rest - the people of Scotland will know who the guilty men are.