The push for Scottish independence has prompted this offering in City Journal:
The Scots, however, feel downtrodden and resentful as only the heavily subsidized can. They also believe that the English are cheating them of oil revenues. Most North Sea oil is in Scottish waters; the Scots dream of Abu Dhabian ease and plenty, though in fact the revenues are only about $2,000 per head, and unlikely to rise much. At present these revenues go into general British coffers and are wasted by the U.K. government rather than the Scottish.The 1998 devolution of U.K. powers to a parliament in Edinburgh—one of Mr. Blair’s bright ideas—has created constitutional anomalies. It means that Scottish members of the Westminster Parliament can interfere in English but not in Scottish affairs; it is as if Delaware refused the authority of the federal government in Washington, but insisted upon its right to interfere in Texas’s business. The Scots have always felt some resentment toward the English. It was part of Blair’s political genius that he should have created English resentment toward the Scots.…The European Union would be delighted by Scottish independence, for it would represent an accretion, albeit small, of the power of Brussels vis-à-vis national governments. An independent Scotland is bound to be more Europhile (for reasons of subsidy) than the U.K.; and, for the European empire-builders, every little bit helps. Never mind that it is not an empire that they’re building, but a Yugoslavia.