Few things have exposed the "Union At Any Cost" dogma of British nationalist fanatics more effectively than the fiscal framework talks between the Scottish Government and the British Treasury. And, as one would expect, nobody expresses this demented dogma in more infantile and irrational fashion than Poor Old Cockers.
There is, of course, nothing exceptional about hate-crazed zealots such as Poor Old Cockers being content, if not eager, to see Scotland suffer economic ruin in the name of preserving the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. These, after all, are the same people who expended much effort during the first referendum campaign bombarding Scotland with unsubtle threats of low-level economic warfare should they dare to insist upon that which is theirs by right.
Hard-line unionists now casually acknowledge that the No vote was won on a false prospectus. Then, they trumpeted the "advantages of pooling and sharing". Now, they whine about "Scotland being subsidised by taxpayers elsewhere in Britain".
Then, they boasted of the protections offered by the "broad shoulders" of the British state. Now, when asked to live up to this boast, they say we're looking for a "risk free economy".
The, they talked about their "respect" for Scotland. Now they insult our elected representatives, accusing them of "behaving like bairns short-changed in a sweetie shop". As if it was acceptable to steal from children buying confectionery!
Those hard-line unionists are very keen on reminding us that the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the UK. They are very much less keen to allow that there were terms and conditions attached. Terms and conditions formulated entirely by the British parties.It is clear that they have absolutely no intention of honouring the commitments they made. If they will not honour their part of the deal, there is no deal.
John Swinney demands no more than what was promised in return for a No vote and what was agreed under the Smith Commission. This entirely reasonable demand is met with spittle-flecked spasms of righteous indignation from Poor Old Cockers and his ilk.
But perhaps we should have some sympathy for this self-appointed defender of the British state. I somehow suspect that much of the rancid bitterness that oozes out of him is occasioned by frustration at watching the likes of Alistair Darling and Danny Alexander being lavishly rewarded by a grateful British establishment when it was he who single-handedly saved the union. By his own estimation, he should already be glorying in one of the titular baubles with which the ruling elites of the British state fête those who display extraordinary devotion.
Lord Cochrane of Bile, perhaps?