Map of the World

The best of both worlds

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard this phrase:

“The best of both worlds”

What does it mean? The fact that Scotland has a parliament in Edinburgh and a parliament in London? Scotland gets to make its own decisions, but has the tough decisions made for it? Our own little pocket money allowance, but Daddy looks after the money so prudently for us?

Here’s what Alistair Darling said in his article on the ‘best of both worlds’:

“We have a strong Scottish Parliament taking key decisions about our schools, hospitals and childcare, and we benefit from the strength and security of being part of the larger UK.”

So we have the successful bit, and then the unsuccessful bit.

  • Schools, hospitals and childcare are all areas where the Scottish Government, with limited resources, has innovated and has invested, and all key indicators in these areas are increasingly positive. ONS data shows tat the Scots are the best educated in Europe. We have free prescriptions and eyesight tests, and are not taking steps to privatise the Scottish NHS. There is a commitment to even more free childcare in the future.
  • Strength and security presumably means that interest rates will not rise across the UK to calm the London property bubble, and that we can fire Scottish-based nuclear weapons at ISIS to keep us safe from the threats many consider grew from the widely opposed and illegal invasion of Irag in 2003? Or that our independent educational system, acknowledged to be world-leading, will be abolished and made the same as the crisis-filled English system?

To coin a phrase: “No thanks”.

The best of both worlds? Bollocks.

It’s a completely meaningless phrase – making it perfect for politicians to trot it out.

Fact check: There’s only one world.

The prize is a better country for the people of Scotland. And that’s only 89 days away.


Map (1630, by Henricus Hondius) courtesy of Norman Bluventhal Map Center, Boston.