With a cross party UK Parliament committee last week recommending that Britain should adopt Scotland’s price control plans to curb alcohol consumption – the same plans recently voted down by the same parties in the Scottish Parliament – the Scotland Office today hailed the breakthrough as a brilliant example of how the United Kingdom Union still works.
“It’s obvious, when you think about it,” announced Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy. “As everybody knows, Scotland is the only nation in the world lacking the political maturity to govern itself but, like an intelligent child, its parliament does occasionally have good ideas. It makes perfect sense for the legitimate government of Britain to vote down such half-baked legislation in Scotland and to bring it south to the big table and apply to it the intellectual and legal rigour that only the UK legislature can provide.”
Medical experts lined up to back the move. A spokesman for the Scottish Medical Association confirmed his organization’s support for the proposal:
“Without having British legal status, Scots would have ignored the inflated prices imposed by the Scottish legislation, knowing full well the extra money they were paying was not imposed through taxes, but by the crude device of minimum pricing. They would have seen right through it and kept buying booze just as much as before.”
As Murphy explained last night from his spectacular London office:
“Through the Scotland Office, the British government has empowered me to have a watching brief on proposals we routinely vote down in Scotland, in case some of them actually make sense. Westminster has never been shy in adopting good ideas from the regions, and this is the perfect example of how the Scottish devolution settlement makes Britain stronger. By the way, what do you think of the view from my window? Isn’t it super?”
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Minister for Health and Wellbeing, reluctantly agreed with the move:
“In spite of what some claim south of the border, this episode has proved how valuable the Scottish Parliament still is to the British Government. We are currently drafting a white paper to present to the Danish, Swedish and Dutch governments to recommend they cease pretending to be real countries with climate summits, Nobel prizes, and international courts of human rights and start drafting legislation that Germany might find useful. It’s such a powerful argument, we’re seriously considering dropping our central policy of independence. I don’t know what we were thinking.”