An old cause comes round again: Scottish independence. In The Guardian, Simon Jenkins makes the case for partition:
The Scottish debate shows British politics at its most conservative. Any sign of a desire for local autonomy, in any part of the United Kingdom, is seen at Westminster as uppity insubordination by people ignorant of their best interests. Unionism may have disappeared from Britain's industry, but it is the ruling ethos of its politics. Big is beautiful if British. The prevailing wisdom holds that anyone, be they Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish or, for that matter, Iraqi or Afghan, must be better off under the benign custodianship of London. Imperialism is still Westminster's default mode. Surely nobody could be richer, safer or freer than with a British soldier on every corner and a British subsidy under every belt….
The phased withdrawal of the subvention would be traumatic, but it would do Scotland nothing but good to learn that public money does not grow on English trees. If economic history teaches anything, it is that huge inflows of aid rot an economy, while "unearned" wealth, as from oil, is usually wasted. The phased end of the subsidy would be thoroughly good for Scotland, not bad.
Partition is the new politics, despite being the hobgoblin of centralism. It is through partition that Ireland is booming, Slovakia reviving and the Baltic states prospering….In the multi-tiered sovereignties of Europe only one thing is for sure, that the tiers will argue. In that argument power will always be centripetal and democracy always centrifugal. I prefer democracy.
[Via Mark Brady.]