There’s an interesting article on the situation in this months Atlantic Monthly. Basically, the Scots are in pretty much the same position as Texans – they are represented in the national government and have the opportunity to take part in the lawmaking process. They seem to be doing quite well at it, too – much more government money is going back to Scotland than is being paid in taxes. Like Texas, the Scots were once independent, but also like Texas, the fact had little relevance other than nostalgia.
Of course, has an ancient tradition of fighting the English. Too ancient – the rivalries and fights died out centuries ago. The reason why Scotland doesn’t have a legislature is because the Scottish legislature itself decided to disband itself as unnessary. Scotland is a part of Great Britain because they took over England (though the ascent of James I), not the other way around.
The issue is part of the bigger issue of tribalization. People around the world are more and more identifying themselves with one small ethnic group and reviving “traditions.”
Take the number one symbol of Scotland: the kilt. It was invented by an Englishman in 1727. No one in Scotland would be caught dead wearing them (except the most destitute) until England decided to ban them in 1745. Suddenly they became the thing to wear. The tartan was invented at the same time, for the same reason. If England hadn’t banned the kilt, no one would be wearing them today. So most of the “revered traditions” of Scotland are not what most people think.
There is a strong trend of people to identify themselves into smaller and smaller tribes instead of uniting for the common good (“common good” seems to be a forgotten concept these days). This didn’t work particularly well in the Balkans, but the fact doesn’t stop the trend toward fragmenting societies.