We are being asked to think the unthinkable: the possibility of a Conservative-Labour coalition after the general election – if the state of the parties demands it – in order to save the United Kingdom from disintegration.
Tory peer Lord (Kenneth) Baker, a former Conservative Party chairman, has warned that a coalition between Labour and the Scottish Nationalists could have dire consequences for the unity of the UK and could lead to Scotland breaking away.
He is not alone in expressing these fears. But, given the circumstances, his suggestion for a Con-Lab coalition is not so outlandish as it sounds.
The last such coalition was during the Second World War. But now Lord Baker – and I suspect others – believe that the threat to the United Kingdom is now so grave that desperate remedies are needed to avoid a break-up.
Such a coalition, which need last for only, say, two years, would hamstring the two main parties to some extent: the Tories would have to forget about repealing the ban on hunting with dogs, and Labour would have to forgo its proposed mansion tax.
Needless to say, neither Miliband nor Cameron will discuss this option – because they both declare they are fighting for outright victory. But we shall see...
Our established political leaders would never admit it, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that Nigel Farage and Ukip are already setting the agenda for the coming general election campaign.
Neither David Cameron nor Ed Miliband have been over-eager to highlight the question of immigration during the campaign because both the Conservative and Labour parties’ handling of this issue has been unimpressive (some would say disastrous) to say the least.
But now they will be forced to take it on board because Farage and Co are determined to put immigration centre stage throughout the campaign.
This is the one political issue which gets talked about in the saloon bars of Britain and by the man on the Clapham omnibus and elsewhere.
Cameron and Miliband would no doubt prefer to sweep immigration under the carpet or at most treat it as a peripheral issue.
No chance now – Farage has got them by the short and curlies.