SCOTLAND’S Constitution Secretary has described George Osborne’s stance that the only way to stop Scotland becoming independent is to refuse a second referendum as a view well suited to Joseph Stalin’s USSR.

The former Tory Chancellor, who controversially said an independent Scotland could not use the pound, argued the messages used by the Pro-Union side in 2014 would not work post-Brexit.

His column was published in the Evening Standard, where Osborne is editor in chief and was presented as words of advice to Prime Minister ­Boris Johnson following increased support for independence.

“The only way you can have legal path to independence is through a referendum that is voted for by the House of Commons. So don’t vote for one.

“Whatever the provocation. Just say no, Boris, and save yourself a long anxious night in Downing Street. How to save the Union? Boris should just say no to a referendum and save himself a long anxious night,” ­Osborne wrote on Tuesday.

Russell said Osborne’s article ­“belongs more in the old-style Soviet Stalin era Pravda than it does in any current UK publication”.

He added Osborne was a “disastrous Chancellor” whose austerity policies were responsible for a huge amount of suffering”.

“The arrogance of failed Tory Ministers – past and present – knows no bounds,” Russell told The National.

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“Now this one, who was a disastrous chancellor responsible for a huge amount of suffering because of his misguided, cruel austerity ­policies, admits that the only way to preserve the type of backward ­looking Britain he treasures is to deny those who live in Scotland basic democratic rights.

“There is no argument for the ­Union within [the article] just a ­demand that in order to preserve his privileges, and those of people like him, Scots be forbidden from making their own choice about how they are governed which is of course illegal under international law."

He added: “An article like this ­belongs more in the Stalin-era Pravda than it does in any current UK publication but it should be spread far and wide as an ­illustration of both the bankrupt nature of unionism and the utter ­desperation of the Tory party which can only continue to play out its ­fantasies of imperial greatness by stopping people voting. Fortunately that approach has never succeed and certainly won’t in what is still a modern European country, no matter the attempt by the Tories to turn it into some sort of isolationist despotism.”

The SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said Osborne’s words were worthy of a “tin-pot dictator”.

He told The National: “This is a reaction worthy of a tin-pot dictator. The more they say no, the more people will say yes and the Conservative Government will have to ask themselves whether they want to maintain a Union by consent or by coercion.

“And if the latter that will not only be seen as anti-democratic and unsustainable, but it will bring them into disrepute across the world.”

In his column Osborne argued ­losing Scotland would mean ­Johnson would get the “ignoble title of the worst prime minister ever.”

He said the EU negotiations had “shown Scots that the whip hand lies with the larger, more powerful bloc” making it impossible to use the Pro-Union arguments – based upon pooling and sharing resources – to ­argue against independence in the EU.

“But there’s a problem: this Brexiteer premier can’t say any of this. So what’s the second plan? Simple. Refuse to hold a referendum. It’s the only sure way you won’t lose one.”

Some 19 successive polls have ­recorded majority support for ­independence. Johnson has suggested there should not be a referendum ­until 2055.