It isn’t Scotland that’s broke and broken

14
634

By John Maclean
 
The Economist article ‘Skintland’ is a creature of sensationalism, as one James Delingpole has said, “Never believes a word you read in The Economist,” to which the magazine’s former Deputy Editor, Andrew Freeman, has said is, “a gigantic excuse for would-be Oxford Dons to get their names out and about.”
 
Now, if we actually look at the article more carefully than the author, we find a several problems:

One, the Scottish public’s apparent stupidity in not understanding that oil will run out so quickly that everyone will be reduced to a state of decrepitude.

By John Maclean
 
The Economist article ‘Skintland’ is a creature of sensationalism, as one James Delingpole has said, “Never believes a word you read in The Economist,” to which the magazine’s former Deputy Editor, Andrew Freeman, has said is, “a gigantic excuse for would-be Oxford Dons to get their names out and about.”
 
Now, if we actually look at the article more carefully than the author, we find a several problems:

One, the Scottish public’s apparent stupidity in not understanding that oil will run out so quickly that everyone will be reduced to a state of decrepitude.  I think the author should really read the ten richest countries in the world and find himself swamped with the likes of Brunei, Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, that we should abhor any association with them.

The Economist has unequivocally and in its other articles commented on small-nations, their unstable, unsustainable yields and addictive dependency on oil, “when the richest reserves have already been exploited, leaving inaccessible oil that becomes uneconomic when prices fall.”

The truth is that the world’s wealth and oil–richest countries have populations equitable to Scotland, and a small country often manages its resources better than as a colony.  In a recent Deloitte report on the “Capabilities to exploit 21st century North Sea Oil” it found “a new breed of low cost operators had begun to move in,’ when the price of oil was only at $45-75 per barrel, and “not only do previously marginal fields become economic,” but new technology would make oil “an attractive proposition.”

The Economist patronises us by saying most of the North Sea oil supply has already frittered away but our appetite to capitalise on it, yet Deloitte’s study shows “only half of the North Sea’s oil has been recovered” and “both BP and Shell are building new offices in Aberdeen” as the referendum looms, “that the message is very much they are here to stay.”

We have to wonder if in the make-believe of jolly “Skintland” the Economist might have been confusing fantasy for a very real place south of the border.  Broke and broken Britain, excluding Scotland, has an economic forecast edging on recession, and leading economic historian Tom Devine explained in relation the Economist article that we “have been doing rather well”. In fact, few have argued otherwise, until the Economist published this article.

One of the article’s other sophisticated, blandly superficial, and misleading arguments is that small countries are often unable to manage temporary shocks to their economy compared to much larger ones.

Greece and Ireland are small, but their hopelessness is played out in a background of opting into a larger union for the wrong reasons, specifically the European Union, in essence becoming part of a monetary super-state with the loss of a vast amount of their independence. All the while being pinned under the gauntlet of the financial markets where a vicious cycle of graphic economic devastation continues to today.

Whereas Spain and Italy are not exactly small and the French have just recently lost their AAA rating, they are so large that most bondholders and credit rating agencies have distanced themselves greatly, living in unfazed fear that their massive electorates, regional and autonomy-related politics, will spell their doom unlike their much smaller neighbours from Luxembourg to Liechtenstein.