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Scotland’s next step

Devolution for Scotland will mean the end of a politics distorted by the national question. Peter Jones, of The Economist, says issues will soon have to be discussed on their merits. This might come as a shock to the Scottish establishment

By Peter Jones   April 1997

In a recent television interview, Gerald Kaufman had some wise advice for the average MP representing an English constituency. Do not comment on Scottish politics, he counselled: “It is more difficult than Bosnia or Chechnya.” He was speaking after Stephen Dorrell, the health secretary, had been sacked by John Major as a party spokesman on constitutional affairs for getting-as Kaufman once did-his devolution wires terribly crossed.

Scottish culture is full of the same mantraps. What would a commentator, equipped with the knowledge that the Scots resent the English, make of the fact that at a Glasgow Rangers football game, the…

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