Why do the Tories keep on about how unthinkably bad a coalition between Labour and the SNP would be for the UK?
As far as I understand, Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out any such coalition. Alex Salmond said the same thing yesterday on the Marr show. And Ed Miliband appears to have officially ruled it out too.
In the event of a hung parliament the SNP has said that it will not do a deal that will put the Tories into Number 10.
It has not said that it wouldn't do a similar deal to put Labour in... and, let's be honest, one of them has to be there. Clegg, or his successor as Liberal leader, is not going to be the Prime Minister.
The reality, as I understand it, is that every government has to be able to get a budget through parliament. That means getting it through the Commons as the aristocrats are not allowed to overturn a budget. That is the essential in whether or not a government will work.
An arrangement whereby Angus Robertson's team would negotiate and agree on a budget, is surely something that would allow Miliband to go to the Queen and say that he could command a majority in the Commons.
After that, without a coalition, any party can vote on those things with which it agrees, and vote against those things with which is does not. The SNP would vote on law which broadly met its social democratic principles and against law which did not.
Surely that is the way it should work in any case, unless you apply the Bain Principle, whereby you refuse to back an individual policy on the basis that it has been initiated by a party you hate.
There is no rule that says you have to back a particular party all the way. Even within the present Tory/Liberal coalition there are issues where the parties have not backed each other. (Most notably the Tories refused to back the Liberal changes to the House of Lords, which would have seen some element of election, and the Liberals refused to back Tory changes to the House of Commons, which would have given them an advantage over Labour.)
Mr Miliband has not yet even been asked if he would accept this kind of arrangement. Perhaps it would be an idea for someone to ask him?
The SNP has said that it would vote on English-only matters where there was a consequence of these policies for the funding arrangements in Scotland. Surely that is only fair. If an England only policy is going to result in a alteration to the funding in Scotland, then that affects the Scottish population and Scottish MPs deserve a voice.
Equally it seems reasonable that matters which have no consequence in Scotland, should be left to English or English and Welsh MPs to vote on, as appropriate.