I think Scotland goes through cycles of collectivist fervor that get in the way of its traditional love of freedom. At the time of John Knox, Calvinism ruled and students were put to death for wishing it was as hot as hell rather than freezing cold on an winter’s night in Edinburgh. Yet a few years later Jenny Geddes was throwing a stool at a minister in defense of religious liberty and a hundred years after that David Hume was writing. The great years of the British union also helped turn Scotland into an outward-looking culture, engaged in the great works of Empire. Since the collapse of the British Empire, Scotland has become insular and inward-looking again, and has perhaps suffered the most of the home nations as a result. Thatcherism never really penetrated far into Scotland, despite some of her most fervent admirers being Scottish. And so, the develoved Scottish administration is to a degree continuing policies as if Thatcherism never happened. Demoralizing, in every sense.
I’ll ask the estimable Adam Bruce of Arthur’s Seat for his take. If that surname looks familiar in the Scottish context, it should.