THE Bank of England raised interest rates again today. I have already expressed my horror at the Bank of England's policy that can only lead to recession in this column. I will as a result not do so again. I will instead discuss why I think we the UK and the Westminster government are in the mess they are in. There are three reasons.

The first is that its electoral system has failed it badly, delivering deeply tribal politics. That is the inevitable consequence of First Past The Post elections. These only suit the interests of those who achieve power within that system, but does nothing for anyone else. We are as a result destined to alternate Tory and Labour rule at Westminster.

Second, the dominance of a single type of political and economic thinking has characterised both these parties. That is because the thinking of them both is dominated by those who have degrees in politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) from Oxford University. What that degree teaches is a deeply simplistic, profoundly market-orientated, small-world and non-empathic form of economics. The direct result has been a series of ministers (including Cameron and Sunak) who have imposed savage policies on the least well-off, all in the name of supposed "sound government finance". Nothing could have been further from what was required.

Third, because of the combination of this utterly flawed and biased political system and the profoundly narrow education of those who rise through it, the idea that there might be political alternatives within UK national politics that might provide people with choice or hint at the semblance of a functioning democracy simply does not exist. Instead, it is captured by those serving the interest of the economic elite who dictate that Oxford degree syllabus.

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Add these factors together and it is obvious that both UK politics and the UK economy are destined to fail. The obvious response is that Scotland needs to be independent. That is hard to dispute. But, that is not a sufficient conclusion.

Scotland can't be like the UK

Scotland needs not only to be independent, but to also avoid replicating the UK’s mistakes. The big question is how to do that, most especially when Scotland is currently dominated by a single political party that is not noted for listening to its members but is, instead, very receptive to the sort of politics taught at Oxford, as its approach to the currency issue shows.

What is apparent is that because the current goal is independence, the SNP might be the best choice to deliver that outcome. However, those who think an independent country might be achievable in the next few years do need to think very hard about how its electoral system might then work, and how those who are appointed to positions of authority after independence might be chosen to reflect the diversity of Scottish society and thinking.

I am not going to pretend to have all the answers. What, however, is clear is that while Scotland has shown itself more than capable of managing a fairer electoral system than that used at Westminster, the D'Hondt system is far from ideal. Debate on what might replace it needs to start now.

The National: The sun sets behind the Palace of Westminster, London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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So too does thinking on how to reflect the widest possible range of views in the management of an independent Scotland needs to occur now. It would, surely, be intolerable for Scotland to be independent and then find itself captured by a right-wing financial elite, just as Westminster is? But how can that be avoided, and what incentives and support will be required to make sure that this does not happen, not only in the Parliament but also in new institutions that will be required, like the Scottish Central Bank? Wouldn't anyone agree that these will both require diversity in their appointments so that one singular type of thinking does not dominate them?

The UK is in a mess. It has been created by the power of an elite with a single type of thinking that has been able to dominate UK politics and the agencies of power. If Scotland is to avoid replicating that mess when independent it has to start thinking now about how to do so.