I am pretty well disposed to the idea of talking to the SNP. Apart from the obvious disagreement on independence, we do have some similar ideas on policy and could probably form a stable government which would be good for Scotland.
However, having said repeatedly since way before the start of the election that we would not support a referendum on independence, we can't really go back on that now. To do so would be a betrayal of our commitment to the people who voted for us and would make us look like we had no integrity whatsoever. There might be an argument for changing our position if there had been a majority within the Parliament for such a referendum, but there isn't.
Ultimately it is for Alex Salmond to decide whether the most important issue is pursuing a policy that most people don't care about or providing Scotland with stable and responsible government.
On the campaign trail, not one single person raised the issue of a referendum as being of any importance to them. They were more concerned about health, education and crime. The Party had very kindly provided me with lots of facts about why a referendum would not be a good idea and not once did I have to use them. At the major hustings meetings, the subject was not even raised.
The Scotsman poll today shows that a referendum with the SNP's chosen wording would be lost anyway. If Mr Salmond and his colleagues want to show themselves as responsible leaders, they should recognise this, forget the idea for now and get on with the business of governing the country.