But no, my ageing eyes were deceiving me. The actual headline was:
govandpubaffairs (@scotsman.com)and the contents were indeed suitable for a family audience.
But not perhaps for an audience of those southern observers who think that Scotland is some kind of socialist hellhole, so unlike a conservative England that would be a bastion of laissez-faire economics were it not unfairly ruled by an alien Scottish Raj.
The problem is, you see, that it turns out that we're actually just about the same:
In fact the differences between the Scottish and the English on social democracy versus free markets are generally pretty small. Public attitudes surveys sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) over the last few years show that the Scots see themselves as more left-wing than the English see themselves, but only marginally.The article goes on to ask why Scots voted for devolution and would do so again in even larger numbers if the resulting legislation is unlikely to be too different from that enacted at Westminster:
On a scale of 1-5 (with 1 the most left-wing and 5 the most right-wing) the English marked themselves right in the middle at 2.5, the Scots a fraction to the left, at 2.4.
When it comes to issues such as taxation and inequality, the story is much the same. About the same proportion of English and Scottish citizens - 60 per cent or so - agree that we should be taxed more if the proceeds are spent on health, education and social benefits. The English and the Scots also agree that ordinary working people do not get a fair share of the nation's wealth. In fact, the Welsh and Northern Irish think much the same.
So devolution is not about doing things differently to the English; it is not about expressing policy preferences different to those held by the English. But people in Scotland still want more of it. That suggests that devolution is more about getting ownership of the political process than pursuing any great difference of policy objectives.I think that's absolutely correct. As a hard-core libertarian I believe that almost everything done by politicians in both Edinburgh and London is wrong. But given that these parasites exist, it only seems fair that we get some of the jobs and money that the state machine artificially moves to capital cities.