Having just spent a weekend in Scotland, I thought I'd talk about Scotland.
The Independant had the headline "Scotland 10 England 0" the other day, which after I disengaged the part of my brain that filters out sport turned out to be a long list of things Scotland do "better". Or at least better for me, because I'm a lefty liberal type - free prescriptions, no tuition fees for universities, smaller classes, free personal care for the elderly etc.
So the thing I don't get is how they manage it. Because this stuff does have a cost. Either they must
a) have higher taxes
b) spend less money on some other stuff, either by
b1) actually having less other stuff
b2) letting England pay for other stuff that we use as a Union (maybe central civil service? army?)
c) take money from England to pay for it.
(Also, why does "an union" sound wrong?)
Other devolution issues are also in the news, to whit whether scottish MPs should vote on English issues that are devolved in Scotland (here). No-one seems to be mentioning very loudly that Scottish MPs at Westminster don't have seats at Holyrood and don't get to vote on devolved Scottish issues either (as I understand it, please tell me if I am confused). As England doesn't have an equivalent of the scottish exec there seems no way to bring fair symmetry back to this without forming an english one or getting rid of the scottish one (so Scottish MPs were also the scottish exec and they weren't two seperate things). I mean, a quick bodge-job to fix the problem of the one the Tories suggest would at least highlight the problem, but it really isn't a solution. But I think the problem is a serious one, and it does need fixing.