Saturday, April 05, 2003


Freedom & Whisky continues to put up good postings about ongoing socialist idiocies in Scotland. Paradoxically, getting their own parliament seems to have been the worst thing that has ever happened for freedom in Scotland. One explanation for it is that most of the sensible and enterprising Scots left Scotland long ago leaving behind a preponderance of envious no-hopers. Emigration may have been even more dysgenic for Scotland than for Ireland. It was mainly the best and brightest who left Scotland for England and the colonies whereas anybody who could left Ireland. I have ancestors from both so I do have some personal interest in the matter.

Genetics, however, is clearly only one part of the story -- as the great economic success of equally Celtic Ireland in recent times demonstrates. The Irish have been independent from the English since 1922 so have had a long time to work through their political follies. And in the 1980s they finally got around to a real embrace of capitalism -- with tax cut after tax cut after tax cut. They even outdid Mrs Thatcher and a very great Irishman -- Ronald Reagan -- in that regard. So Ireland has now clearly outstripped England in prosperity. Given my continuing great affection for Scotland, I can only hope that it does not take them 60 years to learn the same lesson.

In my academic days I had quite a lot published on Scotland:

Ray, J.J. (1978) Are Scottish nationalists authoritarian and conservative? European J. Political Research 6, 411-418.
Ray, J.J. (1979) How different are the Scots and the English? Contemporary Review 234, 158-159.
Ray, J.J. (1979) Authoritarianism in Australia, England and Scotland. J. Social Psychology 108, 271-272.
Ray, J.J. (1979) Opposition to the Common Market in England and Scotland. British J. Sociology 30, 218-221.
Ray, J.J. (1979) The Scottish paradox. Quadrant 23(10), 27-29.
Ray, J.J. (1981) English attitudes to Scottish nationalism. J. Social Psychology 115, 141-142.


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