Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scotland, Independence and North Sea oil.

SNP leader Alec Salmond is a canny political operator,
who looks set to allow the Tories to incentivise Scots
to leave the Union with their neoliberal "austerity" agenda.
After the Scottish National Party formed the first ever majority government in the history of the Scottish Parliament in May 2011, the reactionary English media responded with a slew of misleading anti-Scottish stories, prompting many amongst the English online commentariat to start making angry statements like:
Where is the Independence referendum?
Alec Salmond clearly has no bottle.
The English are now sick of the parasite in the North, we want full Scottish Independence now!            -Anooki (Comment is Free, 7 September 2011)
The SNP is committed to Scottish independence and have declared that they will hold a referendum on independence. However their leader Alec Salmond is a pragmatic man who has decided to play the waiting game.

It will only take a few more years of  divisive, rabid, free-market, small-state, greed-is-good, militant neoliberal orthodoxy from the Tories (and their twofaced yellow sicekicks) leading to the further ruination of what remains of the UK economy (and society in general) to ensure that the Scottish people are absolutely desperate to get rid of the poisonous Tory influence over their country for once and for all.

The SNP and Salmond have many faults, but when the dividing line is drawn I know I'd rather be on the side of the border where healthcare remains free at the point of delivery, university education doesn't cost many times more than what your parents borrowed to buy the house you grew up in and the Conservative party are relegated to political oblivion.

Still, enough people south of the border seem to actually deserve the eternity of Tory hell that Scottish independence would create for them, given the unthinking rubbish they write about Scotland being parasites.

If the Tories hadn't squandered all the Scottish oil revenue on trying to create the illusion that the the small-state low-tax, free market experiment was actually working and handing out huge tax breaks to their corporatist mates in the city of London, Scotland could have been sitting on an oil fund like Norway's which is now the World's largest sovereign wealth fund (worth $525 billion). Not bad for a country with a population of only 4.9 million (smaller than Scotland).

With an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil remaining in Scottish waters (relying on a very conservative assumption that oil prices will remain at around $100 per barrel for the next few decades) Scotland is sitting on oil reserves worth at least $3 trillion (£1.855 trillion) or 1,325% of current Scottish GDP.

To look at it another way, Scotland has oil reserves worth an astonishing £355,228 per resident of Scotland, which would surely be enough to provide a Scandinavian level of economic prosperity, whilst the vast majority of ordinary working English people would be left to rot in the neoliberal wilderness they idiotically keep on voting for.

Important note - The author of this document is English.

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