A few years ago I had to visit a notary in Edinburgh. While we sorted out the business in hand we got to chatting about the impact of the Scottish Parliament upon the Scottish Legal System. She was very gloomy about what was happening to Scottish law. For centuries, she explained, when some Bill produced in Westminster was readied for Parliament it would be handed over to the Scottish lawyers. After the Union of 1707 the Scottish Legal System remained autonomous and distinct from the Legal systems of England (and post 1801 Ireland). The lawyers of Scotland would adapt Westminster legislation to ensure it fitted in seamlessly with the law of Scotland. Since devolution this system has collapsed. The devolved administrations, particularly the SNP, feel that their actions are ipso facto authentically Scottish and so take very little care to ensure they work in harmony with the logic of the Scottish legal tradition. Now there are reports that, under the SNP, Scotland’s education system is now going the same was as its legal system. 

“Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from
the sins of Jeroboam Jehu departed not from after
them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel,
and that were in Dan.”

YE cannot halve the Gospel of God’s grace;
Men of presumptuous heart! I know you well.
Ye are of those who plan that we should dwell,
Each in his tranquil home and holy place;
Seeing the Word refines all natures rude,
And tames the stirrings of the multitude.

And ye have caught some echoes of its lore,
As heralded amid the joyous choirs;
Ye mark’d it spoke of peace, chastised desires,
Good-will and mercy,—and ye heard no more;
But, as for zeal and quick-eyed sanctity,
And the dread depths of grace, ye pass’d them by.

And so ye halve the Truth; for ye in heart,
At best, are doubters whether it be true,
The theme discarding, as unmeet for you,
Statesmen or Sages. O new-compass’d art
Of the ancient Foe!—but what, if it extends
O’er our own camp, and rules amid our friends?

– John Henry Newman, Palermo. June 5, 1833.

Part one is here.


Part one is here.


Part one is here.


Part one is here.


Part one is here.



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