Alistair Darling, Charles Kennedy and the former Tory leader in Scotland, Annabel Goldie, are being lined up as the main faces of the pro-union campaign in the referendum on Scottish independence, sources in the three parties confirmed Wenesday [sic] night.The report also says that Labour and Liberal Democrats have expressed the hope that David Cameron will adopt a lower profile in future.
Will Charles and co. be enough to save the Union? Certainly, the rise of the SNP has been greatly eased by the way that almost all the considerable figures in the other parties have chosen to make their careers at Westminster rather than Holyrood. He may now face more formidable opposition.
But, having been told when young that the future lay in great conglomerates, I grew up into a world more notable for the break up of multinational states - Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union. It is hard to resist the feeling that the tides are at present in favour of the SNP.
Another question is how hard the Conservatives will try to save the Union. It used to lie at the heart of their identity, but in this way - as in so many others - the modern Conservative Party has little connection with traditional British Conservatism.
I doubt that David Cameron will want to be the prime minister on whose watch the United Kingdom broke up. But it is hard for him to resist the calculation that it would be much easier for the Conservatives to win a majority at Westminster if there were no Scottish members there.
And, as we were reminded in King's Lynn, to the average Tory member the Scots are just a bunch of ingrates who take more than their share of public spending.
The SNP, equally, is convinced that an independent Scotland would be much more prosperous. They cannot both be right.
My own suspicion is that the end of the Union would make surprisingly little difference to Scotland or England, which is why I find that I am not dismayed at the prospect.