The more I thought about it, the more I came to understand, there’s only really one scenario which fits, and it’s a cracker!
Essentially, Westminster’s establishment shot itself in the foot.
Let’s consider a couple of things; Europe’s about bloody-well fed up with them. Then we have the festering wound of the Calais situation with a semi-permanent camp of illegals sitting on French soil, for which France, rightly or wrongly, blames the UK.
That’s just the latest in an ongoing round of disputes that are all easy to uncover.
Now, under normal circumstances, in the world of diplomacy, London’s establishment had every right to expect the following to happen, and with very cordial relations between the two, it possibly might have. What the engines of Westminster didn’t allow for was France’s integrity (at least here) or possibly common cause with left of center leaning administrations in both Paris and Edinburgh.
It should, per London’s gutter press and dirty tricks department, have played out as follows.
French decline to comment on the basis of it being “a confidential closed door diplomatic meeting”.
(And let's face it, in lieu of the actions of Sr Barrossa et al. during the independence referendum, we can clearly see that England had established a foundation upon which to expect)
Nicola denies again. Now supported by the other (all SNP) Scots in that room.
Gutter press picks up and distributes it with the strongest possible negative spin on Nicola specifically and the SNP in general.
The story runs conclusively for four to five days, is dragged out periodically throughout the election.
In the minds of many, the character and integrity of Nicola Sturgeon is now severely questionable.
At best (from a Scots’ influence perspective) the First Minister and her party only drop a few percent in the polls.
At worst, they are tainted, for some love to repeat rumors and innuendo (Telegraph, Scotsman, BBC et al), and lose as much as 6% to 7% of their vote, which swings back to labour – effectively re-enforcing labour hegemony in Scotland.
The establishment protects itself, all is well, per the London establishment. For make no mistake, London knows it will need to make concessions to Scotland if the SNP hold the balance of power, and as history so self evidently tells us, London absolutely doesn't want to do that.
Consider for a moment if the French had done as England Expects, and after all England always expects, as one Horatio Nelson put it (though there were Scots in that one too).
The end result - and Westminster’s preferred outcome - would have meant that Nicola Sturgeon and her party would have been left flapping harder in the wind than one of Nelson’s bloody flags that carried the famous message before that particular battle.
I think we need to say thank you to France for entering this particular fray and pinning its own flag to the mast of integrity, honour and decency.