RIGHT, Scottish people, listen up. Forget all this silly separatist, rupturist nonsense which threatens the glorious red-white-and-blueness of progressive politics in the United Kingdom which, let us not forget, is the greatest Union in the world and we have the title of a cake-baking show to prove it.

Your proper role in this family of nations, in which we tell you you’re equal and some of you are daft enough to believe us, is to protect people in England from the consequences of its own right wing. It is the responsibility of Scotland to atone for the shortcomings of the English left.

A report from the Labour right’s Fabian Society published this week suggests the only path back to power for the party would be to gain the support of other centre- left and left parties.

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Labour are facing the loss of perhaps as many as a hundred council seats in England and Wales, and it’s already been wiped out in Scotland. Jeremy Corbyn’s favourability rankings put him somewhere below that other unpopular and divisive Jeremy, the one with the petrol fetish, and only marginally above Vlad the Impaler. Although, to be fair, Vlad was praised by the Daily Mail for his robust handling of undocumented vampires and now he’s being considered by Amber Rudd as a special adviser to the Home Office on the Tories’ post-Brexit immigration policy.

The only organisation seeking Jeremy’s advice is the Islington branch of the Bolivian Quinoa Farmers’ support group.

But there’s a problem, and one which can’t be solved with the aid of a big pointy stick or a high-fibre diet rich in essential vitamins. The Tories won the last election by portraying the SNP as an evil bogeyman who does vile and vicious things like giving pensioners bus passes and giving everyone free prescriptions.

And they do all this on the back of the English taxpayer, because the entire population of Scotland is permanently out of its tree on Buckie and heroin that the English taxpayer also pays for.

It is a fact that there’s not a single person or industry in the whole of Scotland who pays any tax at all. Except for Tunnock’s teacakes, and that’s only because they rely on an export market in England and the undinting support of Unionists on Twitter.

So, naturally, the voters in England will not look kindly on any government that is obliged to give representation to Scottish people.

It’s unconscionable that an important part of this wonderful family of nations might find itself subject to policies that it doesn’t support, brought in by a party that it doesn’t vote for. That sort of thing can only be allowed to happen in Scotland, which is at the small end of the BBC weather map and isn’t important enough to matter.

It just wouldn’t be right for the voters of England to have a party in power that wasn’t elected by people in their country. As assorted Labour figures have pointed out, it’s unfair to expect voters to allow themselves to be governed by a party that didn’t win an election.

Apart from figures within Labour in Scotland, who look at their shoes uncomfortably and shuffle out of the door in search of a coalition with the Tories in Scottish local authorities. They’re quite happy for voters to be governed by a party that didn’t win an election. Just as long as those voters are Scottish.

Labour in Scotland are deeply unhappy about any prospect of an alliance with the SNP, because then all those years of screaming that the SNP are bad will have been wasted.

Labour in Scotland didn’t get where it is today by mounting a principled opposition to the Tories, and they’re not about to change a successful formula now. It’s just unfortunate that the formula has been successful at taking them to where Labour is today, which is staring oblivion in the face.

The SNP hates us, pouted Anas Sarwar in an article for a Labour website. But that’s not exactly true. It’s not just the SNP that hates Labour. So do the voters. Everyone hates what Labour has become, except for those like Sarwar, who have made Labour what it is.

In working-class communities, people hate Labour for its Unionism and for abstaining when the Tories take their big pointy stick to the poor and the low paid.

In middle-class communities people hate Labour because they have rolled over like a poodle to Brexit and won’t stand up for the majority of Scots who voted to remain. It’s not that Labour in Scotland isn’t fit for purpose, it’s that no-one has a clue what Labour’s purpose is, least of all Labour.

Labour say they can only consider an alliance with the SNP if the SNP give up on independence and become a minor adjunct to the Labour Party.

It might serve Labour if they can persuade the SNP to ally with them, but if the price for that is surrendering Scotland’s distinctive voice, it doesn’t serve Scotland. Labour can go to hell in their own handbasket.