All of the achievments the Daily Telegraph's leader writer claims for the Union would arguably have been greater without the dead weight of the ever-grumbling Scots. The Scottish employees who were of use did not need to be of the same nation as their employers, whether they were engineers, soldiers or steelworkers. The Scottish entrepreneurs who contributed to our prosperity did so for their own profit and might well have been even more energetic if their businesses had flown the Saltire. To the extent they traded in England & Wales, the Chancellor would have taxed them - and would not have been obliged to send that money north of the border. The UK's only "loss" would have been the Scottish statesmen who have graced Westminster. I am sure we would have managed somehow.
The idea that the UK's constitutional problems can be "stitched up under local anaesthetic without major surgery" is ridiculous. Logically, the English and the Scots belong together. Ethnically and culturally their differences are too trivial for words. Families are so mixed that only the most remote peasants have any claim (as if such a thing mattered) to ethnic purity. Even those claims are often mistaken. But the same is true of the English and the Irish - and who now would call for the Irish Republic to rejoin the UK - logical though that might be?
England's affection for her neigbours has never been reciprocated. The petty nations of the Celtic fringe have proved time and again, often violently, that they are not prepared to let go of their historical (and ahistorical) grievances. England should no longer impoverish herself in the vain attempt to buy their allegiance.
I have blogged before about one last attempt to reform the United Kingdom's constitution, but in my heart I fear it is time to let it go.