Blogs

Scottish independence: it’s still (almost) all about oil.

21 May 2013

3:57 PM

21 May 2013

3:57 PM

The Scottish government published a paper on the national economy today that, according to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, makes the case for independence. You can read the pamphlet here or the BBC’s summary of it here. Most of it was relatively uncontroversial. As Salmond himself said “even” Unionists agree Scotland could survive and perhaps even prosper as an independent nation state. It would be depressing if this were not the case after 300 years of Union.

But since we all – or most of us, anyway – agree with that one wonders why so many nationalists continue to argue as though anyone who disagrees with them (on just about any matter) is automatically guilty of “talking Scotland down” or believing that Scotland really is “too poor, too wee, too stupid” to make its ain way in the world. I concede that raising certain practical difficulties can sometimes seem like “scaremongering” (another favourite nationalist theme) but sometimes these are also just questions to which it would be useful if the Yes campaign had more persuasive answers. Jim Sillars, for whatever it may be worth, seems to agree with this view.

In actual fact most of what Salmond and Sturgeon proposed today could largely be achieved without leaving the Union at all. Some form of “devo-max” or “full fiscal autonomy” or “Real Home Rule” or whatever else you want to call it would see control of many of the sainted “levers” lodged in Edinburgh.

Be that as it may, today’s paper also revealed the independence case’s dependency upon North Sea Oil. If the oil were to dry up there’d be, I think, no chance of independence carrying the day. Of course, there is still some hefty quantity of oil in the North Sea and, yes, it is much better to have that resource than not to have it.

But consider the figures. Scottish offshore revenues generated from a geographical share of hydrocarbon resources amounted to £10.6bn in 2011-12. By comparison, Scottish income tax receipts totalled £10.8bn. Oil revenues amounted to 16% of all Scottish tax revenue.

[Alt-Text]


And thank heavens for that. Estimated public spending, as identified by the Scottish government, amounted to £64.5bn in 2011-12. Total tax revenue in that year was £56.9bn. Strip out offshore revenues and Scotland’s tax take amounted to £46.3bn.

An oil-financed deficit of this size, in the present economic conditions, is hardly a calamitous problem (at least not for the time being) and of course the SNP claim that, relative to the UK’s current position, an independent Scotland would enjoy lower deficits.

But even if this is so the country’s future is plainly dependent upon oil revenues. These are, of course, volatile. It is not impossible to envisage a tax regime after independence that encourages further investment and higher production (though for how long?). Still, revenues may well increase. They might have to.

Especially since, on the figures produced today, it doesn’t seem obvious (at least to me) where the money will come from to build the sovereign wealth fund that is such an important – and seemingly attractive – part of the SNP’s long-term vision for Scotland.

Increased or, rather, hypothetical, economic growth is part of the answer to that but this, of course, is hardly something that can be guaranteed. The SNP are fond of stressing that $1.5 trillion of oil remains to be extracted from Scottish waters. But unless the industry is nationalised (in whole or part) then those profits will not be spent in Scotland. Nor, unless I am missing something (always possible!) will they contribute to a Scottish sovereign wealth fund.

And since the SNP also wish to increase public spending while cutting tax (or at least leaving the overall tax burden much as it is at present) it is hard to see how everything can be squared.

That’s not to say that Scotland could not thrive and, again, since the oil is there it is silly to make calculations as though it weren’t, but it does remind us that the country’s fiscal well-being is more dependent upon oil than might be considered ideal. Moreover, the ability to invest in an oil fund is surely more limited than commonly imagined (to the extent it is commonly imagined at all).

Comparisons with Norway are not as helpful as they may seem at first blush. Not least because Norway produces much more oil than Britain. Perhaps Scotland could, as I say, increase production but even allowing for the discovery of new fields hydrocarbons are a finite resource. Recognising that was the point of establishing an oil fund that would act as a kind of national rainy day fund. But where will the money come from unless (onshore and offshore) tax receipts rise considerably, public spending is reduced or there is some combination of the two plus, hopefully, robust economic growth?

None of this is to say that it can’t be done, merely that based on the Scottish government’s own figures it will be a close run affair. That’s fine but let’s not be hearing any more of the foolish (and discredited) claim that an independent Scotland will be the sixth wealthiest nation on earth.  The people, not being fools, simply don’t believe it.  They also know, I think, that Scotland is wealthy enough to do fine but that independence cannot bring about an immediate and magical transformation of the national fortune. It’s good and necessary to have the oil but it’s not necessarily good enough on its own.


More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.



Show comments
  • SandyBalls

    You do know if you Scots want independence gives us welsh and English a vote

  • jemblue

    It’s not all about oil. The elephant in the room is race. I am a Canadian who lived in Edinburgh from 2010-12, and was quite frankly stunned at Scottish attitudes toward race. Many people told me straight-out things like “There are two many n**gers and pakis in England. We want our border back to keep them out.” Obviously, not all Scots nationalists have this view, but a lot more of them do than I was expecting. The leadership may or may not share this view, but a lot of the rank and file struck me as people who wanted to put up a wall around their country and close off the rest of the world.

    • terregles2

      You are about as Canadian as Florida. Pathetic .

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    Were there no North Sea oil there would be no independence debate; the entire premise of Scots independence is based upon the existence of a finite resource of diminishing supply for which the lion’s share of profits flip to London or Houston anyway. Is IQ low north of the border?

    • terregles2

      Well any fears about anyone in Scotland having a low IQ were quickly dispelled by reading your ramblings ans indeed your moniker.

      • Wessex Man

        for once in a long time terregles2 I have to agree with you, why it’s comment that’s nearly as bad as Allymax’s and decavalier’s.

  • global city

    Someone should drop a hint to the SNP to the effect that ‘you do not get much shale gas out of granite mountains’.

    Is the shale gas ‘English’ or ‘British’?

    • terregles2

      if Scotland is still part of the UK then shale gas will be British just as Scottish oil has belonged to all of the UK.. If Scotland is independent and shale gas is found in England then the shale gas will belong to England, Wales and Northern Ireland it will have nothing to do with Scotland.
      I really hope that Scotland is independent in 2014 and if England finds shale gas then I would be more than happy for you. I really would like to live in an independent Scotland and have nothing but goodwill towards the English, Welsh and Irish.
      Hope that we all have a bright future and can live together as good neighbours.

      • global city

        ‘Independent within Europe’?

        I have never been against Scottish independence, if that is what people want. What I have hated though is some of the claptrap spewed out by some Scottish nationalists.

        • terregles2

          Think claptrap comes with living in a democracy. To be fair it is not confined to any particular group or political party or indeed any nation. I think there will always be more that unites than divides the Scots and the English no matter how both countries choose to be governed. Governments are simply just that, no more no less.
          The one thing that has really annoyed many YES campaigners in Scotland is that some media mischief makers try to portray SNP as anti English, that is so not true.
          I am voting YES but I am not an SNP voter. My English neighbours go out campaigning for SNP. I think people everywhere are looking for the best way to have their voices heard.
          Whether or not Scotland takes the YES choice they are voting for a change in the democratic process never against their English friends and neighbours. Good luck to everyone in the UK is what many YES campaigners wish along with their wish for Scottish independence..

          • Wessex Man

            my, you are becoming really moderate.

            • terregles2

              No not becoming moderate I always was.

              • Wessex Man

                I don’t think so.

  • El_Sid

    A few facts.

    I can’t be bothered to dig out the stats for Scottish waters only, but total UK oil production reached an all-time high in 1999 and has been in sharp decline ever since. It peaked at 2,650kbpd, in 2012 we averaged 860kbpd, 30% of the peak. The odd extra field west of Shetland isn’t going to make a big difference to that – the current DECC forecast is that the decline will slow but still keep grinding down, to around 440kbpd in 2030.

    UK oil taxation is based on a percentage of profits, not sales. It doesn’t matter if the oil price goes up, if costs go up more (and volumes decline). And costs have been going up even for existing fields, let alone the effect of new fields being in more difficult (ie expensive) areas like West of Shetland. The oil price has doubled in the last 7 years, but UK petroleum revenues have been pretty flat. Albeit lumpy – Alex cites 2011/12 which was a “good” year with £11.25bn UK petroleum tax – but 2012/13 saw revenue drop to £6.53bn for the UK. In proportion, that represents a £4.4bn cut in the Scottish take year on year – awkward. So it matters a lot whether you work on 2011/12 numbers or 2012/13.

    Given that PRT fields are already paying 81% of their profits in tax, there’s not much scope to increase taxes further. Indeed, Osborne’s attempts to increase oil taxes have widely been seen as counter-productive, and resulted in yet another U-turn when it was pointed out to him that he’d just killed the economics of some multi-£bn investment projects.

    As for becoming the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy, the current DECC estimates for wave power reckon it will cost £194/MWh in 2025 and £160/MWh in 2030, and offshore wind around £100-120/MWh. Current wholesale prices are around £55/MWh – you don’t need to be Adam Smith to see what’s wrong with that business model, but that’s what Salmond wants to base the Scottish economy on.

    • terregles2

      Oh you can’t be bothered to dig out the stats for Scottish water. Well while you summon up the energy to do that we will pass our time by reading the McCrone report and the Great obfuscation-GERS- 2006

      • El_Sid

        Only because they’re not readily to hand for 1999-2013, the only source I know is the field-by-field data. It depends a bit on what timeframe you take, but since 90-95% of liquids come from Scottish waters, the UK numbers are a pretty good approximation if you’re trying to work out decline rates.

        It’s more important to use the very latest numbers given how production has been declining so steeply –
        volumes have more than halved in the last 10 years, so those GERS
        numbers are pretty dated. Likewise It’s a bit cute of this new pamphlet to use the numbers from the “good” year of 2011/12 rather than the “bad” year of 2012/13, given that numbers for the latter are now available.

        • terregles2

          There are two scenarios if Scotland stays in the union the problem of oil will not be a Scottish problem it will be dealt with by Westminster government.
          If Scotland is independent then anybody not living in Scotland does not need to worry about it.
          People living in Scotland are not worried either way as Scotland is rich in natural resources and will continue to develop them and build for the future.

          • Wessex Man

            You are so correct, your big problem is convincing the 70% of the Scottish people who don’t agree with you, not convincing El_Sid or myself who want you to become independent.

            • terregles2

              You have obviously not been gathering these statistics together from your last visit to Coatbridge.

              • Wessex Man

                I haven’t been to Coatbridge for thre or four years but the internet mobiles and landline phones are in common usage down here as well.

                • terregles2

                  Well indeed you have not been up there for a while

                • Wessex Man

                  I would hazard a guess that’s a lot more frequent than your visits there!

  • terregles2

    Mr Massie seems keen to discuss Mr Farage in great depth. I wonder if he could share his thoughts with us on what might happen if Scotland votes NO in 2014.
    For example if Scotland were still part of the UK and then UKIP wins in England after 2014. The UK would then be withdrawn from the EU and Scotland would not have the shield of Europe to protect it from an extreme right wing government in England who have already openly voiced their hostile feelings towards the Scots

    • Wessex Man

      That will be your own problem, you are the first of the not very nice nationalists on here to admit you may lose your arguement for independence in 2014. If you do that’s down to the fact that you couldn’t persuade the majority of the Scottish electorate. That might be down to the fact they see through your claims. Where for instance are any extreme right wing governments in England?

      You claim that we English know nothing of Scotland yet you seem unaware that there is no English Government and hasn’t been since the Act of Union, so thats another lie to add to the rest.

      • terregles2

        As you are as keen as Salmond for Scottish independence I am sure that you are praying that the YES campaigners do not lose.
        I am surprised that a chap as desperate as yourself to see the Scots independent takes time to criticise any YES campaigners. I thought you would be giving the YES campaign every support and encouragement.

        • Wessex Man

          I merely criticise people like yourself who believe in miracles and say here but probably don’t pound the pavements trying to convince the wavering and outright raciasts that accompany you on these pages.

  • Fat_Freddy_Freekowtski

    After giving much thought to Scottish independence and in particular following the interesting mobbing of Nigel Farage in Edinburgh and the issues voiced during that incident, I have come to the conclusion that Scottish independence must be encouraged.

    Once Scotland is independent, England can encourage it’s immigrant population to seek their fortune north of the border, much like the Dutch Government encouraged Somali refugees to go elsewhere – which is why there are so many Somalis with Dutch passports in England.

    This is a potential win-win situation: England gets to reduce it’s immigrant population and Scotland gets the ethical immigration policy that they would not be able to have under a UKIP government. This was one of the concern’s raised by the Scottish Nationalist protesters, and I think we should graciously let them have their wishes come true.

    • JustAnOtherRandomGit

      We could also get back to good old-fashioned grammar lessons in schools, where teachers are encouraged to point out the difference between possessives, plurals and contractions. (And yes, I’m sure that I have made an error here. Please do try to catch me out, but make it entertaining).

    • Vrai écossais

      “England can encourage it’s immigrant population to seek their fortune north of the border”

      Why would Scotland want to import England’s problem populations?

    • terregles2

      Yes I think your racist philosophy has already been tried in the past. Fortunately it was crushed along with the sad psychopaths who thought it a good idea.

      • Wessex Man

        Fat_Freddy_Freekowtski

        You are getting the standard replies from the blantantly anti-English racists you will ever find, I had hoped they were growing up with theirt early comments on this thread, even when you repeat a Scotsman’s descrpition of the SNP leader now in common useage you are still a racist, ah well, as they say takes one to know one. I keep pointing out to them that they have proper racists rather like Thomas Ball who at the time was a member of the SNP, said of the deaths of six British soldiers in Afghanistan that they deserve no sympathy because British Servicemen are ‘a bunch of child killers.’ or of Gail Lythgoe and Mark MacLachen also of the SNP.

        This anti English racism breeds in the comments sections of the Scottish press in an abundance of squalid evil.

        Even distinguished Scottish Political Commentators like Gerald Warner freely admit that Scottish Nationalism DOES have an ugly side!

        Just in case you have never seen what their various authors really think of we English, I suggest you check out Alasidair Gray’s “Settlers and colonists” or Tom Anderson Cairns ” Wha’s Like Us- Damn Few And They’re A’ Deid” a delightful little read.

        Or you could ask Vicky Featherstone branded by them as a Colonist, who presided over the establishment of the Scottish Theatre and promoted successful plays such as Black Watch, who revealed when she left to return to England that throughout her time in Scotland anti English bullying had made her feel paralysed artistically.

        Or just check out the last Scottish report five months ago that recorded a 23% increase of English people targeted as victims of racial crime.

        • dercavalier

          Somebody else said it earlier. The English don’t even know when they are being racist. Just like this poster. And he … is an admitted racist since he supports UKIP.

          And as I told him earlier I will debate properly until such time as some Englishman starts up the racist comments then I will retaliate with extreme prejudice. So make up your mind Wessex Man. What is it going to be?

          • HJ777

            On what basis do you claim that supporting UKIP makes someone an “admitted racist”?

            I’m not a UKIP supporter, but I have seen no evidence that their supporters are any more racist than anyone else.

        • terregles2

          If Thomas Ball said that about British servicemen how was he being racist?. There are plenty of Scots Welsh and Northern Irish in the British services so I think his remarks were disgusting but I don’t see how you can say they were racist. they were as much anti Scots as anything else.

          • Wessex Man

            because he ,like you keep rquating England and Britain and then accuse us of the same thing, along with your recist pals on here.

            • terregles2

              Are you saying that a Scottish politician is unaware that the British army has a high percentage of Scottish people serving within it.
              His disgusting remark insulted everyone in the army English Welsh Irish and Scots.
              His remarks then were not anti English.

              • Wessex Man

                your opinion not mine.

                • terregles2

                  Your opinion is that if some clown insults the Northern Irish the English and the Scots then they are in fact insulting the English nation.
                  Glad that we got that cleared up.

                • Wessex Man

                  there you go putting words in my mouth again.

  • JustAnOtherRandomGit

    You forget, you have a thriving banking industry upon which to build future prosperity. Good luck with clearing the liabilities first.

  • Rod Mac

    Tell me are there night classes for pro union anti Scottish journalists?
    Do you spend an hour or so on the Scottish Cringe , followed by 100 hours to write SNP Accused…….. then to get your honours degree writing with blinkers on while sticking fingers in the ears and shouting nadanadenadeda
    Westminster is the problem financial incompetence ,corruption archaic governance and antiquated procedures.
    Write about the Mr Massie and you might just get to the hub of why there is any Independence Movements in UK.
    Do you never even ask yourself “when did I lose my self respect and integrity?”

    • terregles2

      They are a national embarrassment. The same people will though after independence appear out of the woodwork saying they thought it was a great idea all along.

      • HJ777

        And you’re not a national embarrassment?

        • terregles2

          No I am not. You are really adding nothing to adult debate with that fatuous remark and childish attempt at point scoring.

          • HJ777

            So when you refer to people who disagree with you as “a national embarrassment” without addressing their arguments it is reasoned comment.

            When I suggest that it might be you who is the national embarrassment (because of this behaviour) it is a “fatuous and childish attempt at point scoring”.

            You do lack a sense of irony, don’t you?

    • HJ777

      Being pro-union does not make someone anti-Scottish.

      Most Scots are unionists.

      • terregles2

        Well if people are for the union they have to answer all the difficult questions about remaining. They never do they just keep making up statistics to create fear. Will one of them answer this.
        What happens if Scotland votes no in 2014. A couple of years later UKIP win power in England and take the UK out of Europe. Who will protect Scotland when Europe is gone. who will protect the Scots from Viscount Monckton and all the other UKIP members who really hate the Scots.
        It is a really frightening scenario.

        • HJ777

          So, the majority of Scots (i.e. those who support the union) “just keep making up statistics to create fear” do they?

          They don’t have to ‘answer difficult questions about remaining” because we know what a union would be like – we’ve had one for 300 years. It is nationalists who need to answer difficult questions about the changes that they are proposing.

          Most Scots simply don’t share your alarmist nonsense about the supposed threats they will face. Most are very relaxed about the union – and prefer it. Scots are quite capable of sticking up for themselves within the union – they are not the helpless victims that you, insultingly, make them out to be.

          How many Scottish people do you actually know. Are you Sean Connery – rarely going to Scotland but purporting to know what is good for Scotland?

          • terregles2

            I think you misunderstood what I said. I am Scottish living in Scotland discussing independence with my friends and colleagues constantly. Most Scots don’t share my alarmist nonsense. How do you know what people hundreds of miles away are chatting about over their morning coffee.?

            I actually work beside several English people and it was one of my English workmates who raised the fear over UKIP. I had not thought of it but they seemed to think that Scots should be worried if UKIP pulled the UK out of Europe. My English friend seemed to think that Scots would then be in a vulnerable position.

            I am a Scot and I do not need you to tell me that Scots are not helpless victims. I think your comments are both rude and patronising. I am just so thankful that the English people that I know are really great and not like the rude confrontational posters on this forum.

            If you really want to debate with all the facts perhaps you should read the McCrone report or indeed the Great Obfuscation -GERS-2006.

            • HJ777

              Had you ever wondered why people are rude and patronising to you?

              Could it possibly be because your behaviour warrants it?

              I am part-Scots and spend much of my time in Scotland, by the way. Anyone who knows many Scottish people (as I do) knows that most are dismissive of rabid pro-independence campaigners and are heartily tired of their confrontational approach whenever anyone points out an issue that the SNP has not properly considered..

              • terregles2

                What behaviour have I demonstrated that warrants abuse.
                If you visit Scotland then you will be aware that the remarks made by Viscount Monckton have caused a bit of annoyance to say the least.
                One of my work colleagues googled Monckton’s remarks and showed it to my colleagues today. I think the YES vote went up a bit after reading it.

                • HJ777

                  Suggesting that every Scots nationalist claim is entirely reasonable and well-evidence but that the pro-unionist arguments are all alarmist nonsense created by the likes of the Daily Mail/Viscount Monckton (who?) along the lines of “Scotland couldn’t possibly survive on its own”?

                  You are in favour of Scottish independence. Then why not calmly state your case but acknowledge that there would be large transitionary costs and that it is legitimate to discuss these and other problems? Alex’s Massies’ point (above) is a perfectly reasonable one – the SNP seems to want to spend oil revenues twice – once on maintaining current levels of public spending and again on investing in a sovereign wealth fund.

                  It would also help if you acknowledged that the opinion polls consistently show that you don’t (currently) speak for most Scots. You behave as if it is (we) Scots vs the union. In fact, it is (currently, at least) a minority of Scots against the pro-union majority.

                  Accusing your opponents of every sin under the sun whilst pretending that you are pure and good and wronged does you little credit.

                • dercavalier

                  “Alex’s Massies’ point (above) is a perfectly reasonable one – the SNP
                  seems to want to spend oil revenues twice – once on maintaining current
                  levels of public spending and again on investing in a sovereign wealth
                  fund.”

                  But that is no more than a piece of BritNatz propaganda which Massie has chosen to include reference to in has article. It is made up yet you believe him.

                • HJ777

                  I note that you produce no counter-evidence or argument.

              • dercavalier

                About what I would expect from a shower of rabid Britnatz

              • terregles2

                You spend half of your time in Scotland. The rest of us spend all out time here and don’t seem to know as much about it as you claim to. We live here and we have never met half the Scottish population or know what they are thinking..

                • HJ777

                  Amusing that you criticise me for me for making general comments about the views of Scots (which I can back up with reference to opinion polls) while referring to the “rest of us” in Scotland as “we” and then saying what “we” are or are not thinking..

                  You make the mistake of thinking that your views represent those of others. I suggest that you speak in the singular in future.

          • JPJ2

            HJ777

            Funny how YOU are now claiming to speak for “most Scots”.
            Irony bypasses can be reversed you know :-)

            • HJ777

              Opinion polls clearly support my claim.

            • terregles2

              I have never claimed to speak for most Scots unlike yourself who assures us that most Scots are unionists. That statment will only be proved or otherwise after 2014

              • HJ777

                Most Scots clearly are unionists – as every poll has clearly shown.

                Of course you are free to claim that most Scots WILL be separatists in 2014 (for the time being , anyway).

                • terregles2

                  Who on earth would be foolish enough to predict what will happen in 2014.
                  Nobody can predict the outcome of the referendum.

                • HJ777

                  Anyone can make a prediction. The question is whether they will be proven correct or not.

                  I think that I will be proven correct and that you will be proven wrong.

                • terregles2

                  We will find that out in 2014. Foolish to try and predict anything.

                • HJ777

                  So why did you write:

                  “The same people will though after independence appear out of the woodwork saying they thought it was a great idea all along.”?

                • terregles2

                  I wrote that because I believe that if there is a no vote in 2014 then the YES campaigners will continue to campain for independence. It may take more than one referendum but many people now believe that independence is inevitable. It may take five or indeed 10 years to achieve but I personally believe it will happen slowly by degrees if not completely in 2014.
                  The majority of Scots in opinion polls have stated that they would prefer DEVO MAX. The Westminster government have said that is not an option.
                  People who have been campaigning for YES have being doing so for decades and slowly building up their support. Do you really think that after a no vote they will stop believing that independence is a good idea.

                • Wessex Man

                  Much like the EU then, if the people give you the “wrong answer” you will make them vote again and again until you get the answer you want,nice, really democratic!

                • terregles2

                  I think democracy is defined by ongoing choice. I have never heard of anyone abandoning a political belief because they did not win their argument first time around.
                  If Mr Farage does not persuade a majority of voters to leave the EU in 2015 I am sure he will continue to campaign for UKIP and try to persuade the electorate that they should do so in any subsequent referendum,

                • Wessex Man

                  You have so little faith in your campaign that you are already talking about another referendum, perhaps if you spent less time on here and went out to physically campaign and you might stand more of a chance than you have now.

                  Are you going to pay for these additional referendums as a tax purely upon the Scottish people? Do you think that the people who voted no are going to go along with that? Do you feel no shame at all by suggesting referendum after referendum until you get the result you want? are you no better than the EU Commissioners to bully people in this way?

                  The entire UK population have had only one referendum concerning membership of the EEC in 1975, an entirely different entity at the time to what the EU is now. I would say that at least half of the people who voted 38 years ago are now not with us.

                  It’s not just Nigel Farage as you imply who wants a referendum on EU membership, it’s an entire political party, which now has more members than the SNP, it’s a majority of the English people, a majority of the Tory and Labour parties and a majority of retired politicians who are now able to speak their minds.

                  I am quite happy personally, to accept the result of any referendum on EU membership because I am a deomcrat unlike you.

                • terregles2

                  I am sure you are right.

                • Wessex Man

                  Thank you for your approval,

                • Wessex Man

                  now can you answer my questions as I always have the courtesy to answer yours.

                • terregles2

                  Sorry which particular question?

                • Wessex Man

                  Are you going to pay for these additional referendums as a tax purely up on the Scottish people? Do you think the people who have voted no will go alonf with that? Do you feel no shame at all by suggesting referendum after referendum until you get the result you want? Are you no better than the EU Commissioners to bully people in this way?

                  Let’s hear you answers this time for once.

                • terregles2

                  You are a passionate believer in Scottish independence. You have said numerous times that you are desperate for the Scots to vote for independence. Now you are complaining that it might need more than one referendum to obtain a YES vote and you are outraged at the cost.

                  Rather a contradictory point of view

                • Wessex Man

                  You still haven’t answered my questions, why not? I’m more than happy to see ONE referendum funded by the UK Gopvernment but don’t see why, if you lose why we should continue to fund referendums for ever and a day until you get the result you want, there’s nothing democratic about that.

                  No, if you fail in your referendum the next one should be in England either for an English Patliament ot English Independence!

                  Don’t you have your heart set on an independent Scotland wnymore then?

                • terregles2

                  I very much believe in Scottish independence. In fact I think I might believe in it almost as much as you have said that you do.

                  I actually think the referendum will result in a YES vote as every other day there are another group of people setting up and starting a YES campaign. The latest one is Libdems for independence. I also know that the Women for independence group who include Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservatives, SNP, The Greens, Scottish Libdems etc are signing up new members on a daily basis as are the SNP.

                  It is pointless though to predict political events in 2014. A week is indeed a long time in politics never mind more than a year. You musn’t worry though about the costs Scotland as a country makes more than enough money from whisky,gas,oil,renewables, food exports,textiles,electronics, forestry etc to pay for as many referenda that we might choose to have.

                  The point I made was that if the NO vote won then all the campaigners who really believe in independence would continue to argue why they believe independence would benefit Scotland.

                  I would suspect that UKIP will continue to campaign for an exit from the EU if they lose the referendum in 2015.

                  i do however think this debate has really been exhausted and there is not much else to say.

                  One thing though that we have established is that both you and I really really want Scottish independence. If you want to keep an eye on Wings Over Scotland and Newsnetscotland then I am confident that both of these sites will keep you up to date on the progress of the YES campaign.
                  Let’s wish us both luck for a big YES result in 2014.

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    ‘…most of the major companies extracting oil and gas in the North Sea are
    in fact based in London, the USA and Canada, and the Scottish Executive
    does not directly receive North Sea oil revenue,..’

    US State Department.

    • Vrai écossais

      The location of companies is irrelevant, the revenue comes from various extraction licenses amongst other things. The major extraction companies extracting oil in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are also based in N.America and Europe. The local governments still get the revenues.

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        It depends entirely on the agreement and in the case of Africa and Asia actually they don’t get any money beyond a few token scraps – same in Scotland. You don’t have any oil or gas. live with it.

        • Vrai écossais

          Think you will find that Scotland has oil and gas, England only has gas…

    • terregles2

      Think you are really clutching at straws now.

  • HarryTheHornyHippo

    Why is Scottish independence all about the cash in their pocket? Talk about conforming to stereotype. I don’t remember the East Timorese worrying about their income, and they knew they would be poorer for independence.

    Independence is about national pride, identity and integrity… if it’s about money then frankly you have no pride, no identity and no integrity… and I will never respect scroungers like that.

    Besides… the oil argument is a myth… Scots oil is run by companies based in… London and Amsterdam! And that’s where they pay their tax.

    • allymax bruce

      Harry, the polls show a constant average of 38% of Scots that will vote Yes for Scottish independence; these are your proud Scots that will vote Yes for Scottish independence regarfless of any future condition. There is an ‘undeclared’ vote that accounts for approximately 40%, and it is generally believed these undeclared have a good idea how they will vote; also generally believed most, (67%), of them will vote Yes. It’s all over, bar the scaremongering!

      • HarryTheHornyHippo

        67%… really? You quite sure about that? Anyhow… if Scots vote independence for its own sake that’s something I can respect.

        • allymax bruce

          Yes, absolutely sure.
          It’s a ‘Wha’s like us’ phenomenon. It was the same thing at the Scottish elections in 2011, nobody listened to Thracaremongering, and voted SNP, mostly because of three things; (1)good governance of our own economy. (2)only Political Party to promise us Scots out Yes vote on Scottish independence. (3)approving Nationalist identity / rejecting Westminster unionist control.
          The dichotomy is not a fluid entity, where politicians hope they can change or influence a change, rather, this dichotomy has become a fixed paradigm.
          Like I say, Yes absolutely sure.

        • terregles2

          Scots might vote for independence out of fear of UKIP. Imagine a no vote for independence in 2014. Year after UKIP win in England. Britain is taken out of Europe. Scots are left without any protection from Europe and at the mercy of Viscount Monckton with his contempt and hatred of Scotland and also all the hate filled people who have openly expressed contempt for the Scots. It is really a frightening thought.

          • HJ777

            So your argument is based on scaremongering about UKIP and Viscount Monckton and supposed English ‘hatred’ of and ‘contempt’ for Scots.

            I though that only the Daily Mail indulged in such scaremongering tactics?

      • HJ777
    • terregles2

      How do you know what the motivation is for people voting YES have you asked everyone why they intend to do so?. Or is it true because Mr Massie said so or because it says so in the Daily Mail
      You don’t respect Scottish people, well yes I think we have all already guessed that. None of us though will lose any sleep over that.

  • glurk

    Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon…fishy sounding pair…….

  • allymax bruce

    “In actual fact, most of what Salmond and Sturgeon proposed . ..” Alex; WTF?
    Who are Scotland’s ‘mad, swivel eyed loons’ ?

    • Wessex Man

      I opened up this thread thinking as I did here it comes the usual stream of loony tunes, only to find that the Scottish Posters are for once laying out quite calmly and in detail their reasons why they wish t oleave the union.

      Why can’t you do this on every thread, you will find there are then many English people who share your views as in my case and many who are willing to listen without the constant bickering.

      • allymax bruce

        There is an heir apparent in comments on Scottish independence; an heir of pre-emptive positioning. On the ‘anti-Scottish independence’ side the press has embedded the ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ slur, and is mythologised by sheeple commentary. Thus, in pre-emptive positioning of the pro-Scottish independence commentary, it is invariably contentious, argumentative, and reactionary. Just everybody vote Yes for Scottish independence, and let’s get moved on.

        • Wessex Man

          I haven’t done that allymax bruce, I have many times stated that I support your campaign for an Independent Scotland, I would think that if Slovakia, Slovenia, The Baltic States can prosper being independent then so can Scotland.

          What I won’t take and put up with are the attacks on my country as sometimes come from you and terregles2 plus the constant stupid remarks and lies from the half-witted decavaier. For instance the fake outrage of terregles2 about my comment “the fat controller” a phrase originating in Scotland. I’m also a member of UKip which is not racist, it’s an easy lazy way to try and smear us as racist, before quiting them in disgust after their alliance with the Tories I was a Lib/Dem. It was quite liberating being allowed to express my own views on all subjects rather than have a constant stream of e-mails telling me what the party line was and “you should say this” attitude.

          If all the members of the Yes Campaign wish to take Scotland out of this Union into the European Union and you win, you would have to join as a new country anyhow.

          • terregles2

            I have never made derogatory remarks about the English nation or England so stop trying to say that I have.
            I have said several times on this forum that my father was English and I love England especially Norfolk where I often visited when I was a child.
            I have English friends and family and really love England and all things English.
            I have criticised Westminster politicians and I will continue to do so.
            I have responded in kind to the abuse of Scottish people that a few posters indulge in. I have also objected to being called a Jock.
            I have never called the English any offensive names so do not say that I have,
            You must learn to differentiate between criticism of politicians and political parties and abuse of English people.

            You will never hear me say anything against the English nation and as I have said countless times YES campaigners are against Westminster government not English people.

            • Wessex Man

              Course you do, you just don’t realise it and wonder why we get annoyed!

              • terregles2

                I have never denigrated the English nation not least because my father was English and I have lots of family in England. You have found no evidence of my being anti English people simply because it is something I could never feel..
                You saying otherwise does not make it true.

                • Wessex Man

                  You have been back and read your commentors have you, perhaps if you read them with one eye open you would see why we tire of your comments and react1

                  btw I have Scottish family in Coatbridge, who I have stayed with and have never been accused of being racist by any of the people there and I have never experienced racism directed to me. Edinburgh, however is a different world.

                • terregles2

                  You have family in Coatbridge.?…..
                  Edinburgh will always be close to Coatbridge. It is just up the road from Coatbridge and it is the capital city of Scotland.
                  Let me put it this way as I am sure your Coatbridge family will confirm. Farage had more chance of being given a warm welcome in Edinburgh than he had in Coatbridge or indeed in any Labour strongholds in the central belt.

                • Wessex Man

                  shows how little you get out doesn’t it!

                • terregles2

                  I am not sure what it shows. You always sound a bit angry try and chill out.

                • Wessex Man

                  I am supermely laid back, I’ve had a nice lay in on the Lords day after a good time out with friends last night. I would say that you are totally the opposite of me.

                  Bristol and Oxford are about the same distance apart from each other as Glasgow and Edinburgh and being completely generous to Bristol the two are chalk and cheese!

                  The people that I’ve met in Scotland especially in Coatbridge are always willing to have a good crack take the mickey out of me remorselessly and accept me doing the same back to them. That’s why I’m guessing you are from Edinburgh, well known to have no sense of humour!

                • terregles2

                  Don’t think it shows how little I get out but what it does show is that how one man who lives in the UK and is a passionate supporter of Scottish independence takes umbrage at anyone who might vote for what some in the UK refer to as the fat controller and his YES campaign.

                • Wessex Man

                  You are getting a little worked up now, can I suggest you go and lie down in a dark corner and then come back to me with your answers.

                • terregles2

                  If you have family in Coatbridge then you will know that Edinburgh is less than 50 miles up the road and Nigel has better chance of being bought a pint in Edinburgh than he ever has in Coatbridge.

                • terregles2

                  Nigel has more chance of a local buying him a pint in Edinburgh than in Coatbridge. Even though Coatbridge is less tha fifty miles from Coatbridge.

      • dercavalier

        It is easy to answer that. Scottish posters start off all reasonable but without fail along will come some English person who will start insulting us in the most dire terms. Well, I won’t accept that, so I give back more than I receive just to show how easy it is to write insults.

        • terregles2

          I think that what they are saying is that calling Scottish people workshy drug addicts and JOCKS is just a bit of friendly banter and if any Scots complain about the abuse well that is classed as being a whinging JOCK.
          I take comfort from the fact that all the English people that I know work with or am related to are really great. The nasty people on this forum are a minority English and are best ignored.

        • HJ777

          Oh, I see.

          The Scottish posters are ALWAYS reasonable and polite and it is only EVER English people who insult Scots first (and never the other way around).

          I call that a racist assertion. And complete nonsense.

          • dercavalier

            The Scottish posters are ALWAYS reasonable and polite and it is only
            EVER English people who insult Scots first (and never the other way
            around).”

            I call that the truth.

            • HJ777

              I call that insulting.

      • terregles2

        Well at one point you referred to Salmond as the fat controller so I don’t think you are in any position to lecture anyone else.

        • Wessex Man

          Couldn’t resist it could you along with your dercavalier, eho could start a quarrel in a empty room, so be it.

          You’ve done exactly the same, constantly, theres no hope for some people!

        • HJ777

          Half the people in Scotland refer to Alex Salmond as “The Fat Controller”.

          You need to get out more (and preferably visit Scotland occasionally) if you didn’t know that!

          • terregles2

            I am Scottish and live in Scotland but whether you wish to say otherwise really is of no importance.
            Half the people in Scotland refer to the fat controller. Well I live in the central belt and even I have never met “half the people of Scotland “.
            I would suspect though from your boorish outbursts that if you do visit Scotland as you claim to do you probably mix with different types of people than many of us.

            • HJ777

              I see that the insults have begun to flow, as usual.

              “Think we should have left the childish name calling back in the playground.”

              Then why did you refer to me as “boorish” before editing it out? I thought it was only your (English)opponents who did that sort of thing?

              If you read carefully, you will see that I didn’t denigrate anyone’s appearance. I merely pointed out that Salmond is regularly referred to as the “Fat Controller” by many people in Scotland. If you really live in Scotland you need to get out and meet a few more people (rather than mixing only with people of similar ilk to you) if you weren’t aware of that.

              In any case, I find it amusing that you manage to invent an insult about Nigel Farage’s appearance while pretending to abhor such behaviour. You really do lack self-awareness,

            • HJ777

              “I would suspect though from your boorish outbursts that if you do visit Scotland as you claim to do you probably mix with different types of people than many of us.”

              (the above is what you posted before editing it)

              Is see you’ve reverted to your usual tactic of hurling insults.

              I almost certainly do mix with different types of people that you do. It wouldn’t do you any harm to get out more and mix with them either – you might be thoroughly disabused of your notions about the opinions of many Scots. Perhaps then you would stop referring to what “we” think. Your views are your own – you can’t claim to represent anyone else.

  • JPJ2

    Alan Massie writes:
    “It’s good and necessary to have the oil but it’s not necessarily good enough on its own”
    Who on earth is claiming it is good enough on its own? The reality is that it simply blows the unionist argument (and it IS that argument) that Scotland would be better off as part of the UK out of the water. Imagine trying to argue a currently independent Scotland into a UK union-“you will give up all your oil but we will give you back about 9% of it” :-) .
    and please believe me, you will be better off :-)
    Unionists know that Scottish national identity is much stronger than British identity in Scotland, and that Scots would much prefer to be independent if they did not think it would be a disaster. Therefore unionists DO state (usually in different words but with the SAME meaning): “Scotland is too wee, too poor and too stupid”

    • HJ777

      Most Scots are unionists.

      • JPJ2

        HJ777
        We shall see :-)

        • HJ777

          We certainly shall.

          It will be a pleasure to see your fantasies come face-to-face with reality.

  • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

    “Talking XYZ down” is a common political expression used by everyone apart from the Tories (for reasons I have never fathomed).

    It makes it impossible to criticize anything (however constructively) without being accused of talking down the NHS or hard working teachers. And, as a rhetorical device, is actually pretty powerful as immediately puts the critic on the defensive.

    Baffling that the Tories never use a similar technique when trying to defend, say, the financial services industry.

    • allymax bruce

      I think what the Conservatives, as a Political Party, work hard at, is maintaining their Integrity as a Party.
      There really is not much left in politics to ‘sell’ to the ‘British’electorate; aiming fair & square is a gentleman thing to do. Even though they are the only ones doing it!

  • Daniel Maris

    Perhaps the pro Union lobby should look into this:

    http://ecat.com/files/Indication-of-anomalous-heat-energy-production-in-a-reactor-device.pdf

    Oil may soon be redundant – along with gas, nuclear and wind turbines.

    • Joshuaatthewalls

      As far as I am concerned the sooner they devove or whatever they want to call it the better. I say this for one reason, only it would make it very unlikely that that we would have to suffer another Labour Administration run by an incompetent like Cyclops Brown or the Boy Miliband,

      • terregles2

        Check out youtube top 10 unionist myths debunked. It will set your mind at rest about another Labour government.

  • dercavalier

    What a negative diatribe. In no other country in the world would one find such a putdown from a native. Worthy of the worst of the fearbomb scare stories produced by the Bitter Together mob or should that be the Undecided with Labour crowd now. Are you really Scottish or did your brain become addled when you went to study in England?

    “Unionists agree Scotland could prosper as an independent nation state so why do many nationalists continue to argue as though anyone who disagrees with them is automatically guilty of “talking Scotland down” or believing that Scotland really is “too poor, too wee, too stupid” to make its ain way in the world.”
    Do they really agree with that? So why do we get a scaremongering fearbomb every day in the Scottish media from the Bitter Natz telling Scots they can’t do this or they can’t do that. And you Mr Massie are just as guilty as the rest in that respect.

    “most of what Salmond and Sturgeon proposed today could largely be achieved without leaving the Union at all. Some form of “devo-max” or “full fiscal autonomy” or “Real Home Rule” or whatever else you want to call it would see control of many of the sainted “levers” lodged in Edinburgh.”
    In your dreams. The only Devomax acceptable to Scotland would be full control of ALL oil revenues, and the UK Government could never concede that. English MPs wouldn’t wear it. And you know that so why are you being mendacious.

    “If the oil were to dry up”
    What a stupid remark. When? 40 years, 60 years 100 years? New fields W of Scotland? A fairy stops them producing?

    “Scottish offshore revenues generated from a geographical share of hydrocarbon resources amounted to £10.6bn in 2011-12. By comparison, Scottish income tax receipts totalled £10.8bn. Oil revenues amounted to 16% of all Scottish tax revenue.”
    But that is now. With oil a dwindling world resource and demand continuing to rise rapidly, simple economics tells us that prices will rise rapidly too. Do ‘journalists’ learn anything about economics at whatever places they are taught journalism, or even at the places where they are taught generally?

    “Strip out offshore revenues”
    Why? Are they going to disappear into thin air if someone says … pouf? They will be part of the Scottish economy till it is uneconomical to continue to drill and produce oil.

    “Still, revenues may well increase. They might have to.”
    They will. Simple economic laws of supply and demand

    “The SNP are fond of stressing that $1.5 trillion of oil remains to be extracted from Scottish waters. But unless the industry is nationalised (in whole or part) then those profits will not be spent in Scotland. Nor, unless I am missing something (always possible!) will they contribute to a Scottish sovereign wealth fund.”
    Why not? An Independent Scotland could take steps to ensure that more is taken by Scotland than is currently the case so as to build up an oil fund.

    “Comparisons with Norway are not as helpful as they may seem at first blush. Not least because Norway produces much more oil than Britain.”
    In 2008 Norway produced only 1.8 times as much as Scotland. And Scotland has all of its other economic activity.

    “That’s fine but let’s not be hearing any more of the foolish (and
    discredited) claim that an independent Scotland will be the sixth wealthiest nation on earth”
    It is neither foolish nor discredited. It is calculated on current estimates of GDP per person after Independence by sources much more erudite than you.

    • HJ777

      It’s a bit strange to counter the statement that “Norway produces much more oil than Britain” by stating that “in 2008 Norway produced only 1.8 times as much of Scotland. And Scotland has all of its other economic activity” This would seem like confirmation, not contradiction.

      Norway does have other economic activity too, you know.

      Of course Scotland would be economically viable on its own. Alex Massie’s point is simply that North Sea oil wouldn’t pay both for current levels of government spending in Scotland AND a Sovereign Wealth Fund.

      By the way, just because world resources of oil are dwindling and prices are consequently increasing doesn’t mean that revenue will rise. The two effects work in opposite directions, so revenue may rise or it may fall, depending on which effect dominates. Have you learned anything about economics?

      • terregles2

        If oil running out for Scotland is a problem for us then it is more of a problem for England. Scotland has never had control or any benefit for the oil anyway.
        Probably best if you read the McCrone report for a clearer picture.

        • HJ777

          That’s not so, because the oil industry represents a much higher proportion of Scottish GDP and much higher percentage of Scottish tax revenues than it does for the UK as a whole. The oil industry has never provided more than 5% of UK tax revenues and 1.5% of GDP

          The idea that Scotland has never benefitted from the oil is ludicrous. Go to Aberdeen and tell people that. I frequently deal with people who work for oil industry subcontractors – most of them are based in the Aberdeen area.

          • dercavalier

            “The idea that Scotland has never benefitted from the oil is ludicrous.”

            You are becoming hysterical and insulting now. We know that Scotland has benefitted from the oil but not to the extent it would have if it had been Independent, nor to the extent it should have as an oil producing country within the UK. Most of the oil produced so far has been squandered by consecutive Tory and Labour governments on benefits payouts to people whose industries were destroyed by Thatcher, helping the City by keeping the UK’s Balance of Payments and Deficits lower than they otherwise would be, grandiose schemes and white elephants in SE England, and unnecessary wars illegal or otherwise.

            • HJ777

              On the contrary. I’m perfectly calm and made a perfectly reasonable comment. Here’s what “terregles2” wrote:

              “Scotland has never had control or any benefit for the oil anyway.

              I merely pointed out that that was a ludicrous assertion. Even you acknowledge that “We know that Scotland has benefitted from the oil” – so you agree with me.

              The rest of your comment is fluff. Whether money has been squandered by government is irrelevant (all governments squander money). The claim was that Scotland has never had ANY benefit.

              Why do people like you accuse others of being “hysterical and insulting” because they point out inaccuracies? You see insults in everything – so that you can take offence – don’t you?

              • dercavalier

                I accused you of becoming hysterical because you atarted to attack the views of another poster with pejorative terms that were uncalled for not “because they point out innaccuracies.”

                And I see “insults in everything”?

                “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine

                • HJ777

                  Hmmm.

                  I called the claim that “”Scotland has never had control or any benefit for the oil anyway” ludicrous because it was ludicrous. For the record, ludicrous means “absurd or incongruous to the point of provoking ridicule or laughter”

                  In fact you agreed that Scotland clearly has benefitted from North Sea oil. The claim was absurd.

                  However, apparently, the correct use of the word ‘ludicrous’ is sufficient evidence for you to diagnose that I am “becoming hysterical” – hysterical meaning that I am “suffering from a mental disorder characterised by emotional outbursts”.

                  In other words, your response to the correct use of the word “ludicrous” (talking about a claim, not a person) was to respond with personal insults.

      • dercavalier

        “By the way, just because world resources of oil are dwindling and prices are consequently increasing doesn’t mean that revenue will rise.”

        I believe I know a lot more about economics than you. I didn’t say revenue would rise. I said oil prices would rise. And although nothing is certain it can be inferred that revenues will remain much the same or greater than at present for a long time into the future. What IS more certain is that revenues will not drop to the extent the scaremongers are always claiming.

        And I put the figure of 1.8 up to counter Massie’s hyperbola about Norway’s production being “much” greater than that of the UK implying to me and others that it could be an order of magnitude greater. (If you know what that is?)

        • HJ777

          Nearly double is what I call “much greater”in economic terms.

          Would you not say that a car priced at £36k cost a much greater amount than one costing £20K? I would.

          Would you not say that a country with a GDP 1.8 times that of another had a “much greater” GDP? I would.

          Obviously I have no idea what ‘an order of magnitude” means – after all, how many physics graduates do?

          Incidentally, North Sea production and revenues fell last year. Official projections show a continued fall, as John Swinney’s leaked report admitted.

          • terregles2

            You are such a negative person. I have never heard any country in the world discovering oil and finding it a problem. Try and be more positive.

            • HJ777

              The negative interpretation of my comments is all yours.

              I never suggested that finding oil was a problem.

              I am Anglo-Welsh-Scots (in roughly equal proportions). I am positive about the union as it serves all parties well. It has been the most successful union in history – and long may it continue.

              • terregles2

                Oh you said previously that you were half Scottish not a mixture of English Welsh and Scots.
                Although whatever we are is irrelevant.

            • El_Sid

              It’s a well-known problem in economics, variously called the resource curse, the paradox of plenty or the Dutch disease. Get Googling – the IMF is a good place to start.

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    It seems that Alex Massie has become so inured to the duplicity of British nationalism that he doesn’t even notice it any more. He seems blind (or should that be deaf?) to the fact that, while unionists acknowledge Scotland’s economic fitness out of one side of their mouths, the other side oozes with such venomous phrases as “basket case”.

    And what remarkable feat of the intellectual contortionist is it that allows Mr Massie to so adroitly avoid awareness of the very real “scaremongering” that daily pervades the mainstream media? Those must truly be industrial-grade blinkers he’s lugging around!

    There’s a strange kind of double-think going on here too as Mr Massie simultaneously complains about the independence campaign providing answers and bemoans the “fact” that they don’t. What’s that all about?

    The rest is hardly worth bothering about. Same old stuff. The British state is divinely ordained and beyond challenge. Scotland, uniquely among the nations of the world, must pass some contrived economic test in order to claim the constitutional status that other nations own as of right. And why don’t we settle for less than we might have so as not to inconvenience the Alex Massies of this world.

    • manonthebus

      Your last paragraph is pointless. If Scotland votes for independence, then independent it will become. There is no restriction on that. Best of luck.

      • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

        Or maybe you just missed the point. Which was a comment on British nationalist attitudes such as are evinced by Alex Massie.

      • terregles2

        It would be simple if the British media stopped printing the most horrendous scare stories every day of the week.
        We are told if we choose independence we are destined to a life of povery and hardship. We will have no pensions our income tax will rise by 60% ewe will be thrown out of Europe. Endless scare tactics and lies.
        Check out the Scottish Daily Mail today. It is such dreadful journalism it almost makes Massie sound credible. Just almost but not quite.

    • allymax bruce

      PA Bell, your last para’ is the only ‘real’ contribution of your response, to this maladroit expose, from Alex. Besides, Alex is on our side; he, like all good journalists, are trying to ‘encourage’ your argument in their ‘contentious’ writing.
      Alex, I would never try to out-english, the English. This, is ostensibly their site; their homogenised creation. And they are very proud of it.
      Everybody, and their dog, knows that Scotland’s GDP is only 40% our oil; the remaining 60% of Scotland’s GDP is worth approximately £40billion; which is more than the pocket money we get fae Westminster. Scotland would be instantly better off independent, even without oor oil!
      Please ‘work-with’, good journalism like Alex’s writing.

  • MichtyMe

    The statistics have, per capita, non oil, revenues for Scotland almost identical to the UK average. This is not surprising as the UK has a uniform tax system. The oil is the bonus, the cherry on the cake.

  • terregles2

    Has Alex Massie ever read the McCrone report?

  • CraigStrachan

    “Jim Sillars, for whatever it may be worth, seems to agree with this view.”

    Besides which, he really can’t abide Alex Salmond.

  • terregles2

    Scotland will manage well enough without oil. Scotland is the only country that has discovered oil and been constantly told that it is a problem because oil prices are volatile.
    Truth is we have many more assets than oil.

  • http://twitter.com/tylochan Angus McLellan

    “It would be depressing if this were not the case after 300 years of Union.”

    Depressing? Well maybe. But unexpected? That it wouldn’t be. Look at Ireland in 1901, after 100 years of (official, more in practice) Union. Or Wales today, after 450 years in Westminster’s warm and loving embrace.

    Anyway, never mind Scotland today without oil – which would look not dissimilar to the average (median) bit of the UK – what would the UK have looked like in the ’70s and ’80s without it? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure: I’d have had a Canadian accent by now.

    • HJ777

      It would have made much less difference to the UK economy in the 70s and 80s if there had been no North Sea Oil than most people suppose.

      The industry, while valuable, has never constituted more than a very small percentage both of GDP and of tax revenues. Don’t forget either that it wasn’t all ‘free money’ – substantial amounts had to be invested, so there was an opportunity cost associated with North Sea investment. It is also arguable that during and after the 1970s oil crisis that the pound’s status as a petro-currency meant that the resulting high pound damaged other industries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

    This argument is based on an isolated analysis. Firstly, it ignores the other economic advantages an independent Scotland’s budget could draw on compared to a devolved one – the easy and obvious example being savings on defence which would amount to several billion pounds in every parliament even on the SNP’s quite hawkish spending plans.

    More to the point, it assumes oil is the end of Scotland’s natural resources. It isn’t. Wisely invested in renewables, the remaining oil could seed a bonanza which will make it look like loose change found down the back of a sofa, and last forever.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here