In Coronation Street there is a character who never refers to the UK capital as plain old “London”. It always has to be “that London” to emphasise how alien the place can seem to those outside its boundaries. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, but Londoners? What planet are they from?

I did not have Gordon Brown down as a Corrie watcher. At a push, Emmerdale. Definitely not Hollyoaks. But it turns out the former Prime Minister is on the same page in politics as Sean the barman in Coronation Street. Both use the city of nine million people as a handy shorthand.

Mr Brown has been thinking a lot lately about London and its relationship with the rest of the UK. (Fair enough, there was all that time to fill during the Coronation ceremony. What else was he to do - talk to Liz Truss about the finer points of endogenous growth theory?)

His think tank, Our Scottish Future, has commissioned polling on the subject, and there is a rally planned for this Thursday in Edinburgh, where speakers will include Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, and Tracy Brabin, mayor of West Yorkshire.

READ MORE: Edinburgh trams inquiry trundles into view

The FocalData poll of 1000 people asked Scots how they felt about the nations and regions of the UK. Did they share a bond with certain communities, and if so which ones?

Some 58 per cent felt sympatico with Geordies, 57 per cent with the Welsh and 46 per cent with Liverpudlians. Contrast this with attitudes towards Londoners. Only 17% of Scots felt a common bond with them, while 65% did not.

Mr Brown’s conclusion? “This poll shows that Scotland’s problem isn’t with England - our problem is with the over-concentration of power in Whitehall and Westminster. Much of England and Wales feels it too.”

📝 Sign up for Unspun – Scotland's top politics newsletter. Enjoy exclusive opinion and analysis from some of Scotland's best political writers and commentators sent directly to your inbox every weekday evening. Click here to sign up 👈

If that’s the problem, what is the solution? In Mr Brown’s ideal scheme of things, common bonds mean common causes, with a Scottish Government working with “allies across the UK to improve outcomes on health, the economy and climate change”.

How fortunate that he should be punting this idea of togetherness just as a General Election appears on the horizon. It does beg some questions, though. We’ll start with two. First, what’s the date? Second, what political planet is Mr Brown on?

READ MORE: UK Government given deadline to hand over files

It is indeed 2023 and not 1983 or 1993. There is a Scottish Parliament and a Scottish Government. They have powers that elected mayors can only dream of. The idea that what Scotland needs to get things done is a partnership with an English region, or the Welsh Government, will elicit a groan from most Scots. It is hard enough for the current Scottish Government to achieve what it promised without adding partners to the mix.

What happens if, as is now the case, the Scottish Government is of a different stripe to possible partners? However much one would like to think political differences could be put aside to achieve a common aim, experience makes a mockery of that notion.

Moreover, with polls consistently showing Scotland split down the middle on independence, where are Yes voters meant to park themselves in this new arrangement? Or should they simply accept the dream is over and go away? Besides being impractical and divorced from political reality, Mr Brown’s analysis is dated in other ways. Scotland, in common with other parts of the UK, has a problem with Whitehall and Westminster, but it also has a problem with Edinburgh. What people object to are political elites, a common complaint the world over.

While Mr Brown wants to get rid of some of the elite, the ones who sit unelected in the House of Lords for a start, who is to say his plans for more devolution to the regions, and his new Council of the Nations and Regions, would not add to their ranks? Meet the new elite, same as the old one but with different accents.

There are obvious reasons why some Scots should feel a bond with Geordies, Scousers and the Welsh. A shared industrial past for a start. But what does a Highland farmer have in common with a call centre worker in Wales?

Younger Scots, the easyJet generation, think nothing of heading to Manchester, or Liverpool for a weekend, but they also go to Copenhagen and Porto too. Nor are Scots strangers to London. It’s a bit much to complain about a “London-centric” political system when said system employs so many Scots.

It should surprise no-one that communities right across the UK feel cut off from what is happening in Westminster. The place always has been a village unto itself, and even more so in recent years. The Conservative Government has treated the place like its own private fiefdom, trading one Prime Minister for another without giving any thought to what the electorate wants.

It is not only the Conservatives who are guilty of being blinkered about life outside the M25. Mr Brown should consider his own party’s record on that score, and one move in particular - the recent announcement that a Labour Government under Keir Starmer would block all new oil and gas developments, hitting Scotland hard.

Talk about feeling invisible to politicians at Westminster. Sure, it was a bank holiday weekend and there must have seemed little harm in briefing a Sunday paper about party plans for a greener future. No harm, that is, unless your job and community depend on oil and gas.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour back oil and gas plan despite union concern

With one move, Sir Keir has managed to unite workers in Scotland and across the UK against his half-baked plans. I don’t imagine that was the kind of cross-border unity Mr Brown and his think tank had in mind.

To many voters, what the row over oil and gas shows is that Sir Keir and Labour HQ still don’t quite “get” Scotland. Yes, the party looks set to do well at the General Election, but given recent events in the SNP Scottish Labour should be much further ahead in the polls. Labour needs to ask itself what, or perhaps who, is standing in the way of sealing the deal.

Mr Brown’s polling was right. Scots do feel an affinity with certain parts of the UK and there is more scope for co-operation in the future. But here and now it is the bond between Scots and Sir Keir he should be worried about.