In the Times yesterday:
One of Britain’s leading constitutional experts has said that greater devolution is the “last thing Scotland needs” and claimed that education and health reforms have failed north of the border. Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at King’s College London, urged Boris Johnson to prevent the SNP’s “regressive” health and education policies from dragging down the UK economy. He called on Mr Johnson to resist the urge to “devolve and forget” and spend more time challenging the Scottish government’s record.
Some people will read and believe this drivel from a supposed intellectual, so if this rebuttal hits at least one them with the truth my time is well spent.
First, on education reforms, the SNP move to deny private schools tax exemption as charities, lies at the root of his criticism. Also, did Vernon tutor some of the folk at Tory think-tank, Reform Scotland? Here’s what I offered their Education ‘expert’, Keir Bloomer:
‘It’s guff that Scottish education is terrible’ Scottish education directors publish dossier in bid to challenge the narrative of failure in Scottish education
What does data really say about Scotland’s curriculum? Some analysis of Scotland’s curriculum is ‘meaningless’ – there isn’t enough evidence to gauge impact, say researchers
And, from TuS:
Second, on health reforms, how about just these:
Best wishes to NHS Scotland! Here’s the evidence it’s easily the best in the UK and one of the best in the World
Third, on dragging down the UK economy, how about these:
8% of the population 29% of food and drink exports: Scotland ‘dominant force behind UK international trade in agriculture and food products’
Finally, what did the Emeritus Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, mean by regressive? He meant regression to that post-war consensus on improving the quality of life for all, which we do see a return to in many of the SNP policies which most of us welcome, interrupted by Thatcher and her successors to produce, now, one of the most unequal societies in the developed world.
One rests one’s case.
John Robertson, Naemeritus Fellow of Grazednose College, Paisley