Aidan Kerr has a problem. In an article on the STV news website (Analysis: Why would the SNP want to put the Red Tories in power?), he refers to something he hears his SNP friends exclaim apparently unaware that his SNP friends haven't exclaimed at all. The voices are entirely in his own head.
It is a common enough phenomenon. Media commentators purporting to discuss the SNP when, in fact, what they are talking about is the caricature of the party contrived by the British media.
In his opening paragraph he asserts that the SNP repeatedly tells us that they and the Labour Party "don't mix well". The reality, of course, is that what the SNP has actually been saying is that they and British Labour could quite conceivably work together if only the latter would put aside its irrational hatred of the former and remain true to at least some of its principles.
Aidan is clearly confused. Because he starts off by denying the whole premise of his article, which is little more than a long-winded whinge about the SNP suggesting the sort of deal with British Labour which he begins by claiming that the SNP has "repeatedly" dismissed as impossible.
No. I don't get it either.
Then there's the stuff about "Red Tories", which Aidan represents as an "SNP line". But is it? Certainly, the term is used a lot as a form of shorthand for those who are sickened by British Labour's hypocrisy in standing shoulder to shoulder with their Tory allies in the anti-independence campaign. It is similarly used by those referencing British Labour's support for the austerity agenda and other areas of policy where they are separated from their Project Fear partners by no more than the proverbial fag-paper.
But does this make it an "SNP line"? If it does, then it is most assuredly not a line which is exclusive to the SNP. You are at least as likely to hear it from the grumbling remnants of support that British Labour in Scotland still clings to.
The fact that some people who use the term "Red Tories" also happen to be pro-independence is not sufficient cause to label it as an "SNP line". Again. Aidan is analysing, not the reality of the SNP, but the party as it is portrayed in the British media. No wonder he gets things so tragically wrong.
He also misses the fact that epithets such as "Red Tory" are a quick and easy way of saying something more complex and nuanced than what is implied by a superficial; appreciation of the term. When people call British Labour "Red Tories" they may be alluding to the party's alliance with the Conservatives in Better Together and/or in Holyrood. Or they may be thinking of the party's undoubted drift to the right of British politics and the lack of anything to seriously distinguish them from their partners in the "Great British Duopoly".
They could also be referring to the fact that British Labour and the Tories are absolutely identical in one regard that looms very large in Scottish politics. Both explicitly put the priorities of the British state before the interests of the people of Scotland. They are the same in that a vote for either leads to very mucg the same outcome.
More likely, when people talk of "Red Tories" they have all of these things in mind.
Aidan attempts to dismiss the tag simply by tagging it an "SNP line". But he fails utterly to refute any of what the term means.
Yet another regard in which Aidan is tragically wrong is his assertion that, to SNP members, "Labour represents everything they are not". The problem is not that Labour represents something which is anathema to the social democratic SNP, but that British Labour has ceased to represent social democratic Labour values.
The SNP and what, for want of a better term, we might call "Labour-minded folk" are not the natural enemies that Aidan Kerr supposes. In fact, they are the most unnatural enemies. As the Yes campaign proved, there is a comfortable affinity between Labour-minded folk and the generality of SNP members. The animus is entirely associated with British Labour's party machine - not the people this machine has alienated.
Finally, Aidan exhibits a rather naive understanding of the way British politics works. The UK is, nominally at least, a two-party state. In reality, it functions more like a one-party state due to the way both the main British parties are in thrall to the same interests.
The British parties and the British establishment as a whole would be delighted if the SNP at Westminster were to be "motivated by principle" to stand aside from the procedures and process of government, contenting themselves with causing a "rammy" while leaving the British parties to pursue their agenda.
Aidan makes the mistake of attempting to simplistically translate the faux rivalries of the British political system to Scotland's distinct political culture by positing a similar SNP/Labour dichotomy. But the real divide in Scottish politics is not along such "traditional" lines as right and left. The real divide in Scotland's post-referendum politics is between British and Scottish parties.