A Case Of Conscience
That omission is creditable mention of the Conservative Party's performance in the Scottish Parliament.
The Conservative Party in Scotland has as much of a future as a flock of dodos with a Portuguese sailing ship on the horizon. It is the Norwegian Blue of British political movements, never again to be revived, fit only to be smashed against democracy's countertop by a deranged John Cleese.
If anything its future now looks even worse than it did on May 2 1997, the day after it lost all its seats at Westminster. For the Scottish Tories that was when things could only get better, because they had the prospect of devolution to look forward to - the chance to put themselves out and about in front of the voters and prove that they could once again be a force.
Just as Forsythism was the father of devolution, however, so too the performance of the Scottish Tories in Holyrood has been the father of Cameronism. Policies? You want policies? What policies? What are policies?
As a relatively close observer of Scottish public life (through necessity rather than choice), one is hard pressed to think of a single policy espoused by the Conservative group in the Scottish Parliament. Not one. Nothing springs to mind. Their presence is ghostly, their impact minimal.
It is as if they are not there at all.
This leaves natural supporters of the Conservatives with a difficult choice next May - to waddle out with the dodos or to behave like Liberal Democrats and engage in the negativity of tactical voting.
For there is much more at stake in this election than in either 1999 or 2003.
2007 is the year in which the Scottish National Party must be kept from power.
The electoral system for the Scottish Parliament is Belgian and arcane - yet one of the very few things for which Scots should thank Tony Blair is that it was specifically designed to ensure that no one party could attain a majority. The SNP are constitutional sectarians, unable and unwilling to enter alliances with Unionist parties.
To be absolutely blunt, it was designed (or rigged, if you prefer) to ensure devolution, not independence, and for the Unionist parties always to keep the SNP out - the best place for them, frankly.
However, this year the SNP is on a wee bit of a roll - and this has the potential to cause great problems, not just for us kilted haggismunchers in 'See You, Jimmy' wigs but for all you honest yeomen in Lincoln Green down on the lower part of the wall.
In order to gain power, Alex Salmond needs allies. He will not find them in any Unionist party. That means he will have to find them in the non-Unionist parties; the Greens, whose allegiance is owed as much to Gaia Regina as Elizabeth Regina, and/or on the lunatic left wing fringe - Tommy 'Humpty Numpty' Sheridan.
If the SNP's support, itself a consequence of dis-satisfaction with the devolution settlement's impotence and uselessness, continues to rise, then those who do not want people like Sheridan getting their hands on real power have difficult choices to make.
Voting for the SNP is not an option for conservatives. Its values are incompatible with our values. An independent Scotland would be a weaker, poorer and more feeble place. Scottish independence would show the type of Scottish nationalism espoused by the SNP for the hypocrisy it is.
The SNP has been opposed to every military operation that the UK has undertaken in recent years. Many assume that this is because they are leftists - but that is not the real reason.
The SNP consider themselves to be Scottish, not British, first. They do not see these operations as Scotland's wars - consequently, they feel no duty to support them. One can rest assured that should Scotland become independent, and should it suit his narrow political purposes, The Tartanissimo would not hesitate to despatch a fleet of rowing boats to Rockall with a shout of 'Nemo Me Impune Lacessit!'.
Then again, one of independence's saving graces would be that we would be so poor, weak and feeble that the only country we could realistically invade would be the Faroe Islands. Readers in Torshavn should start checking the shore defences.
The Liberal Democrats are the most vicious opportunists in British politics. I am firmly of the belief that their opposition to the Iraq war was not motivated by respect for international law, whatever that is, but by political triangulation with one eye on the 2005 General Election. A vote for the Liberal Democrats only increases the likelihood of SNP gains.