Yesterday, Policy Exchange published a report entitled "The Devolution Distraction: How Scotland's constitutional obsession leads to bad government", composed by one Tom Miers. About the author, I can tell you very little. The document styles him thus:
After a career in finance and management consultancy, Tom Miers worked as Executive Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. Between 2003 and 2007 he ran the Policy Institute, a Scottish think tank. He now acts as an independent public policy consultant specialising in Scottish issues.
However, it is no secret that the publishing London-based think-tank is avowedly Conservative in orientation, well represented by the cluster of Tory testimonials on its about us page. They describe themselves as:
... an independent think tank whose mission is to develop and promote new policy ideas which will foster a free society based on strong communities, personal freedom, limited government, national self-confidence and an enterprise culture.
I mention this only for background detail, you understand, better to situate an understanding of the author's case - not as a cunning attempt to ad hominem Miers' arguments into illogical oblivion. A hasty scan of the report sketches a pretty slim (or in the alternative, paired down) argument, running only to forty-odd spacious pages or so. The pamphlet has already been discussed or at least reported on by elements of the Toryesque press and commentariat. I've not read the piece myself yet, but I wanted to draw your attention to it. If I find it sufficiently riling or sagacious (or some exciting combination of the two), expect a more concerted dissection in due course. Here's an abstract of Miers' argument:
Since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999, Scotland’s politicians have neglected to address the deep-seated social and economic problems faced by the country. This report calls for a new approach to politics in Scotland, based on honesty in measuring performance, radicalism in policy making and a generational truce on the constitutional issue.
You can directly access a digital copy of "The Devolution Distraction" here.