Are refereeing tensions really class war?
Referees and managers are currently staring at each other like wild west gunslingers, while red cards in the Scottish game proliferate like bankers' bonuses.
But who'll blink first and will it come to a shoot-out before sanity prevails?
The sports psychologist Tom Lucas offers the theory that a kind of class war is at the root of the current problem.
His suggestion is that referees, in the main, are drawn from the professional classes while the players, by and large, are the hewers of wood and the drawers of water.
That means, he says, a simmering resentment at young working class men earning the kind of wages that the lawyers and accountants and others from a professional background, who some claim disproportionately represent the whistling fraternity at top levels, may not enjoy themselves.
Lucas further adds that there is a lack of deference from a younger generation of players, something familiar to parents and all of us over the age of 40, for one's supposed betters, which rankles with officialdom.
You may or may not agree with his theory, but while a state of anarchy may not be just around the corner, Craig Levein is right to raise his concern that steps must be taken by all parties to avoid a "them and us" situation developing.
Communication breakdown is a great track on a Led Zeppelin album, (those under the age of 20, ask your mum or dad) but it's not an ideal situation for the good of football.
Refs, managers and players have to start regular get-togethers to try to understand each others' points of view, and each others' jobs.
Accusations that refs haven't played the game so don't understand it, won't wash. I'm no plumber but I know when my sink's blocked.
The notion that referees can't distinguish between a bad and a mistimed tackle is stretching the limits of credibility.
However, they can and do misinterpret players' intentions on occasion, and then players, managers and fans react with fury.
Football people, and I include journalists, must start to learn the laws of the game. We can't criticise referees for the application of laws if we fail to understand what the law is in the first place.
Regular visits by top refs to the clubs and regular dialogue between refs and football people has to happen and happen frequently.
We've lost too many good experienced referees in the last few years because of a ludicrous and arbitrary age limit.
Stuart Dougal, Willie Young, John Underhill and others, could defuse an explosive situation instantly with a quiet word or, in Willie's case, a raucous turn of phrase.
The rapport and respect for men of that ilk has not yet been won by some of the newer officials. They need to earn it, in some cases by lightening up a bit and by showing more common sense and street savvy in a game where mortgages and livelihoods can rest on one bad decision.
But, there must be a quid pro quo. Modern top referees are fitter than before, have nutritional, psychological advice and more on tap, yet their job is becoming almost impossible.
TV angles everywhere illuminate contentious decisions made in a nanosecond and almost inhuman levels of perfection are demanded of them.
Some people make the case that a poorer quality of player in the modern game has lessened the ability to time a tackle and that some players don't realise that their rash challenges are unacceptable.
Some suggest that great players of yesteryear could read game situations so well that they didn't even have to make a tackle in the first place.
Whatever the truth is, referees and managers and players must find a way to talk to each other before the Gunfight at the OK Corral is re-enacted.
As the refs' head honcho in Scotland, Hugh Dallas has to get leading football bosses round a table to thrash this one out. Football will be the better for it.