The fuse which is burning towards a constitutional powder keg was lit in the mid 1990s by Tony Blair. The short term convenience of promising Scottish devolution without properly thinking through the implications for the rest of the UK is what brings us to our current situation.
We narrowly averted the breakup of our country last week but only by offering even greater devolution to Scotland. While greater local decision making and financial freedom is something I instinctively support the imbalance between the Scottish settlement and that of the rest of the UK is untenable.
I have a great deal of sympathy with the SNP’s desire to raise and spend their own taxes, even if their maths was hopelessly wrong. I also understand the desire to have elected representatives who are genuinely accountable at the ballot box. It isn’t Scotland’s problem if their legitimate desires have been responded to whilst the same hasn’t been done for the rest of the country.
David Cameron has now made a commitment to at least partially rebalance the relationship. The relationship in question is not the one between the various parts of the UK but their relationship with to the government. The Labour leadership is now sticking its collective head in the sand just as the Conservatives did during the 80s and 90s over Scottish calls for devolution. Having such a tin-ear didn’t end well for Conservatives North of the border and Miliband looks as though he is making the same mistake with England now.