The National:

GEORGE Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer turned editor of the London Standard, is known to have a well-honed sense of humour. I can attest to this having gotten to know him a bit when I was a member of the Treasury Select Committee.

So, when he recommends publicly that the Tories simply stonewall – permanently - Scottish demands for a second independence referendum, regardless if this has majority support, we have to ask if he is kidding?

Osborne says that granting a Section 30 order will result in the end of the United Kingdom. However, most of his article is actually devoted to an attack on Boris Johnson and the mad Tory Brexiteers. Osborne says that “by unleashing English nationalism, Brexit has made the future of the UK the central political issue of the coming decade." He adds: "Northern Ireland is already heading for the exit door.”

READ MORE: George Osborne puts forward a 'simple' proposal to stop Scottish independence

George Gideon Oliver Osborne is a slippery, public school elitist who long harboured ambitions to enter Number 10 himself. Since quitting Westminster, he has secured lucrative advisory consultancy work with a giant American fund manager.

I suspect his latest article is more revenge and mischief-making than serious policy advice. Essentially, our George is inviting Boris to jump off the constitutional cliff. The only thing George cares about is that Boris breaks his legs.

The National:

In Osborne’s analysis, the Brexiteers have snookered themselves. By insisting on Brexit – which Osborne fought tooth and nail – the Little Englanders have already put a trade border down the Irish Sea. Now, Osborne says, the Scottish middle classes who voted against independence in 2014 have flipped over Brexit.

With a delicious sense of irony, Osborne is pointing out to Boris and co that their only recourse is to block another indyref.

Not that Osborne really cares about Scotland. But neither does he seem to care about the dreadful consequences of recommending that the Tory Government ignores international norms of democracy. For the issue won’t stop with blocking a Section 30.

READ MORE: Revealed: Majority of Scots back using May election as default indyref2

Every time the Tories hit democratic resistance anywhere in England, they will be tempted to bulldoze that too. One might say that this authoritarian bent has already been exposed in the Tory Government’s recent proclamation that it was willing to break the international rule of law over the Good Friday Agreement. Yet the Tories backed down on that under international pressure. Perhaps, Osborne thinks Scotland is easier meat.

The SNP leadership have hitched their political star to persuading Boris to grant a Section 30. But Boris does not need George Osborne to tell him a second indyref will destroy the ramshackle United Kingdom.

Which brings us back to the need for a Plan B in the form of making the May Holyrood election into a mandate to negotiate independence – now! That would evade Osborne’s injunction - serious or not - never to grant a Section 30 as a way of postponing indefinitely any resolution of the Scottish Question.