"DENTISTS in Scotland are threatening to withdraw free NHS treatment to children in a row over the way allowances are handed out by ministers."Actually, it's probably more complicated than that; bear in mind the people "handing out the allowances" are the same ones who brought you collapsing Parliaments and hospital closures - but dentists are evil anyway. Unless you have excrutiating toothache, in which case they are lovely.
Anyway, it's a cause for concern because - surprise, surprise - Scots have shit teeth:
"Despite this, Scotland has one of the worst child dental records in western Europe. Figures in 2003 estimated that the level of tooth decay among five-year-olds in Scotland was 2.76 teeth per child - compared to 1.47 per child in England."Scotland regularly tops international comparisons - only it's never for anything good. Just off the top of my head, we have the highest blocks of flats in western Europe (and they're not nice); more strokes and heart-attacks; more drug abuse; more murders; Glasgow City Council, before it got rid of its housing stock, was the biggest slum landlord in western Europe; we have the lowest life-expectancy, and not just in western Europe (also Iraq and Gaza); surely the most goddamn expensive regional parliament on the face of the planet; I think if I remember rightly, one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the world - and even this can't halt population decline; and now we're making a bid to have the crappiest teeth in Europe.
Do pop into the comments box and tell me that it's all the fault of the English and this wouldn't be happening if only the Jacobites had won and we'd all be speaking Gaelic, except people in the Lowlands never spoke it, but never mind because we'd all be filled with a sense of national pride, which would make us more productive at work, and stuff about emerald Tigers and independence, the dates and the economic data don't fit and Ireland was bound to take off once they'd realised there was more to life than Catholicism and Kerrygold butter, but why bother with that when you can have a good rant, and about how if we were independent, we could have a dynamic republic with Sean Connery as President, except he won't last long, let's face it, maybe we could have Dougie Donnelly or Chick Young or the drunk guy who writes for the Herald, or possibly Jackie Bird, and its all my fault because I'm suffering from the "Scottish cringe", and if it wasn't for people like me, we'd be experiencing a cultural and economic renaissance and our women would have barren wombs no longer if only we had those giants of the political stage Nicola Sturgeon and Alec - "penny for Scotland and hey, leave Milosevic alone" - Salmond at the helm, why don't you?