I like Robbie Burns, kilts, haggis, heather and the rest, but it makes economic and psephological psense to cut Scotland loose. Minette Marrin in The Times:
While the psephological sophisticates discuss the arcana of proportional versus alternative voting, I have a simple suggestion that might have democratic appeal all round. And it would not stand in the way of any other electoral reform. It’s simply this: we Sassenachs must say no to the Scots. We must accept that we are united by geography but divided by politics: we cannot vote together any longer.
The reason is again blindingly obvious. As Nick Clegg has pointed out, David Cameron’s Conservatives got the most votes and the most seats. As Cameron himself pointed out, his party got a higher share of the vote than Labour achieved at the last election, when Blair won a majority of 66.
This remarkable Conservative success was won despite the enormous disadvantage that Tories (and Liberal Democrats) suffer from the way constituencies are currently divided, so that they must win far more votes than Labour to win as many seats, as voters now appreciate. Yet despite their success, the Conservatives cannot form a government. Although Labour got a disastrous drubbing, Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street and Clegg, whose political bubble burst, is to be kingmaker. This is, like, so totally wrong.
Look to the map and towards Hadrian’s Wall for both reason and solution. Cameron got 306 seats (against Brown’s 258), just 20 seats short of an overall majority. But Brown’s 258 included 41 from Scotland (out of 59 Scottish constituencies). Without these Scottish seats, the Labour party would have got only 217 to the Conservatives’ 305 and Clegg’s 46 (to which he would be reduced if he did not have his current 11 Lib Dem seats in Scotland).
This injustice could be put right simply by saying politely to the Scots that we would like to separate, psephologically and politically. Let them run Scotland their own way. They are perfectly well equipped to do so. They could even turn themselves into a rich tax haven, a mini Switzerland, given their wealth of world-beating financial services, lawyers and golf courses.
They already entice the super-rich with their castles and grouse moors. And they have their oil wealth, insofar as it belongs to them, their deep-sea ports, their shipbuilding, their IT, their magical Highlands and islands, their arts festivals and an abundance of game, fish and marketable tourist tat.
The Scots have two highly developed important cities and several great universities and medical schools; their intellectual and entrepreneurial tradition is second to none. They don’t need us.
Nor do we need them. Above all, we would be much better off without the notorious Barnett formula; it is obviously unfair that the Scots should receive more public money per head than the English, especially when their taxes and benefits are so different. Let them get on without us.