Has the economic crisis scuppered Alex Salmond’s ambitions to break up the United Kingdom?  The Telegraph’s Alan Cochrane and Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie are thinking it might have.

Cochrane penned this for today’s Telegraph:

"An astute politician, Salmond has always pitched his appeal to the voters by combining the emotional as well as the economic cases for independence. Both, however, are now looking as bust as the banks. Only a few weeks ago, he was calling on Scots to emulate countries such as Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark in what he termed an "Arc of Prosperity" surrounding Scotland. Now all are either in recession, heading that way or, in Iceland’s case, paying a horrendous price for financial irresponsibility. Hence their new nickname – the "Arc of Insolvency", of which Scotland is now also a part."

Annabel Goldie has delivered the same message in a letter to the voters of the Glenrothes by-election:

"Every vote Alex Salmond gets, stamps his passport to independence. He claims every  SNP election victory is another part of Scotland wanting separatism.  I think the recent financial turmoil has sent shockwaves running through Scotland. This was the week when for thousands of people in Scotland, the romantic dream of independence crashed to the ground against the reality of ferocious global pressures. Pressures which have been devastating for small countries like Iceland and Ireland and Norway.  Voting for the SNP in this by-election is not change, it’s not progress, it’s a cop out."

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