Union came before oil (Gordon Harmer)
How many of you have been subjected to the plainly absurd nationalist claim that oil “was just a bonus”? Yeah, me too.
Let us look back at how much of “just a bonus” it was to Alex Salmond in the run-up to the referendum, with a few quotes out of the former First Minister’s own mouth. He said he would pursue the introduction of an oil fund in the next five to 10 years, stating: “Scotland’s oil is worth more than £300,000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland” (later subjected to a down-revision of £40,000 per capita, when oil was trading at $113 a barrel, it’s now worth less than $50 a barrel).
Oh dear, but there’s more: “Scotland’s oil would make Scotland’s GDP 115 per cent higher than the rest of the UK”.
The vein of comedy value gets richer at every turn: “Our oil would make Scotland the sixth richest country on the planet”.
And then: “There is little doubt that Scotland is entering a second oil boom where we predict crude will retail at $150 a barrel.”
Yes I know, embarrassing isn’t it? An older one, but no less farcical: “Many oil analysts believe the cost of oil will reach $200 a barrel by 2010”.
Salmond went on to state: “Because of our oil, we’d be in the top three nations on a global scale in terms of GDP per capita. We would be standing side by side with Luxembourg and Ireland.”
The above is not an exhaustive list of nationalist crackers regarding oil; there are more where these came from. If you can find more there is a first prize of deputy leadership of a bitter separatist party.
But please remember oil was just a bonus. Oil represents just two per cent of the entire UK’s GDP for 2012/13, now at 50 dollars a barrel and falling it will represent far less.
When England and Scotland merged to become Great Britain, Scotland was a bankrupt basket case – fact!
The oil came much later, and those of you think that the reason that the unionists believe in this union is because they jealously covet North Sea oil, you are merely projecting your own sins onto others, only nationalists think in terms of “us versus them”.
People believe in this union because of emotional and family ties as well as 308 years of shared compatriotism, shared heritage, shared borders, shared economy, shared family, shared blood, not because of some resource that has only been commercially exploited within the last 40 years and which as soon as the oil companies start going bust will become a significant negative to the UK’s economy.