Uncertainty – favourite word of the NO campaign

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By Dr Willie Wilson

Monday’s stockmarket reported a serious fall (21.5%) in the value of shares in Aggreko, the power company based in Dumbarton.  Aggreko has been doing very well for some years, supplying temporary power generation for headline events such as the Olympic Games. 

This recent fall, due to investors suddenly realising the company’s expectations of future profit are not so rosy as previously predicted, must remind the directors what uncertainty there is in the stockmarket at the best of times.

Only a few weeks ago, Mr Soames, the boss of Aggreko, put himself into the independence debate by publishing his fears that Scotland running its own affairs would mean “uncertainty” in the future of his company – without any real hint of why he should entertain this fear.  Since Aggreko operates in more than 30 countries worldwide, this seemed rather tenuous logic. 

His remark, however, was very much in tune with the constant stream of negativity and scaremongering coming from the NO campaign.  Perhaps now Mr Soames will realise that there are much worse uncertainties in life than what may happen were Scots to decide to run our own affairs.

The Scottish government cannot predict what the price of mince will be in two years time, but there is much worse “uncertainty” in the ability of the Westminster government to stop the UK from losing its AAA status and to prevent our economy from being crushed by the weight of our debts, which are still piling up by £10bn or more every month. 

This is real uncertainty, whereas there is nothing uncertain about Scotland’s huge natural assets.