Siol nan Gaidheal

Economic and Natural Reserves

For far too long Scotland and her people have been subjected to the continual denigration and rubbishing of her nationhood by England's imperialist politician's and their spiritual twins, Scottish unionists. "Scotland would never be able to make it on her own", "Scotland would be a silly little country out on the outskirts of Europe", "You've got too small a population to be independent" etc, etc - we've all heard these absurd and ridiculous slurs thrown against our nation by unionist parties and individuals over the years, the principal design of which is to give us inferiority complexes, make us look like we are incapable of running ourselves and therefore vote ourselves back into the safety of mother England. "Scotland is Booming" we are told when successive British/English governments want us to vote for their unionist agenda. Yet when the SNP are riding high in the polls and nationalism is on the increase we are subjected to a barrage of negativity from them - "You have a budget deficit of such and such billion!", "There is little oil left and you wouldn't be able to make it on your own" and so on.

The real story which these imperialist money-grabbers would not have you hear is that Scotland is a country unusually blessed with economic and natural resources. It has a strong manufacturing base, a burgeoning financial sector, a reputation for excellence in education and a positive image abroad.

In terms of wealth creation (as measured in Gross Domestic Product per head (the market value of all resources located within Scotland), the inclusion of 90% of North Sea energy output that will accrue to Scotland when independent would place Scotland at No. 8 in the league table of industrialised countries of the world. Scotland would be behind only the US, Japan, Canada and four other small European countries (all with around the same population as us). It would be ahead of Germany (at No. 11) and ahead of the sick man of Europe - the UK - languishing at No. 17.

One of the main economic reasons for independence in recent years has centred on the nationalists' claim to Scotland's oil. Scotland has nearly 70% of Europe's oil reserves. According to government figures 13 billion barrels of oil have already been produced, and estimates on the total remaining oil reserves is that there are about 50 billion barrels left - OVER THREE TIMES PRODUCTION TO DATE! The figures on gas production are equally encouraging for Scotland. 982 billion cubic metres have already been produced and there are 1915 billion cubic metres estimated identified reserves and around 5000 billion cubic metres estimated total reserves. When it comes to the allocation of these oil and gas reserves between Scotland and the rest of the UK, the 1968 UK Continental Shelf Jurisdiction Order, which would have the final decision in this area has stated that Scotland would get approximately 90% of this oil and gas output and revenue.

The annual value of these North Sea revenues is now set to increase after some years of decline, to over 4 billion per annum, and despite government and unionist lies, these oil and gas reserves will be highly significant to a small independent economy like Scotland.

At today's production levels, even the most conservative estimates indicate a production level of 30 years or more. At a recent Scottish parliamentary question, the government claimed that there were reserves to last UP TO 50 YEARS. As Scotland enters the next millennium, these oil and gas reserves are a good opportunity for our nation to develop a wider industrial base during the first half of the next century. Yet what has happened to the oil produced so far? Over 130 billion of oil reserves has been used to fund Tory income tax cuts and reduce budget deficits, while in Norway they have been building an economic development fund for industrial diversification - a far better model for Scotland to follow than that offered by the self-motivated Westminster scum that we are used to. This so-called "Scottish parliament" grudgingly ceded to us by New Labour will give Scotland no access whatsoever to our massive North Sea oil and gas reserves. Scotland would also have no control over the management of her oil fields, and would have no control over the "dash for gas" which is currently taking place as one of the most serious mismanagements of the North Sea's resources. Under successive Westminster governments, the people of Scotland have seen NO BENEFIT from the vast oil reserves in the North Sea. Over 100,000 million in oil revenues have already been siphoned off to be squandered by Westminster and lost to the people of Scotland. Our oil reserves have been used as nothing more than to disguise the failure of the bankrupt British economy, and devolution cannot stop this unique opportunity for prosperity through Scottish oil revenues from being squandered by London.

Apart from our oil Scotland has vast sources of renewable energy, with a massive potential to produce energy from wind and water where this can be accepted from an environmental point of view. Scotland's environment and natural beauty are great economic assets with a huge potential that is only partly realised. Currently the tourism industry contributes some 2.2 billion to the economy and employs over 175,000 people. Our manufacturing base is also strong. According to the SCDI Annual Export Survey, Scottish manufacturing export productivity is 55% higher than the UK and higher than both Germany and Japan! Scotland has great strength in its electronics industry, producing 13% of Europe's semi-conductors, 30% of Europe's personal computer's, 45% of Europe's workstation's and 50% of Europe's automated banking machines, and this with the 1.5% of Europe's population so laughed at by the unionist scumbags and New Labour minions.

Our financial sector is also booming with Scotland having the third biggest financial centre in the EU ranked by total institutional equities and second in terms of Asia Pacific Equities. The Scottish financial sector employs over 280,000. Scotland's life assurance companies have some 110 billion of funds under management - almost one third of the UK's investment trusts' assets are managed in Scotland. Our banks employ over 45,000 people and have been responsible for pioneering many technological advances.

But perhaps Scotland's greatest strength is the quality of our teaching and research institutions. Recent study by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise shows that Scotland is ranked third in the world in publication of scientific research in learned journals. Our skilled workforce is praised by foreign investors. Being at the forefront of product and process design is vital to sustained economic success, as there will always be other countries offering cheap labour and subsidies, which is not the route to long-term success. Maintenance of this excellence in education is vital to the progress of an independent Scotland and it must not be diluted through lack of attention or investment and the continual interference of Westminster.

Scotland is a wealthy nation. Scotland is the 8th richest country in the industrialised world. We hold 70% of Europe's crucial oil reserves. We are endowed with natural resources and have a skilled and well-educated population. Business and industry is still innovative and productive and we have a national and international reputation for quality and honesty. WE ARE NOT JUST A NATION OF WHISKY AND OATCAKES! Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Luxembourg (with a population smaller than Edinburgh) all have prospering economies and have attained full employment. Yet none of these countries have the abundance of natural resources that Scotland enjoys. When the people of Scotland eventually waken up to the tragedy of this situation, the feelings of anger and a realisation of what we have lost will be profound and unshakeable, and we will make sure this never happens again, in any form!

As part of the UK we can only remain in this spiral of economic and social decline treated as second-class citizens by a distant Whitehall, interested only in the benefiting of London and England (especially the wealthy south-east of England) at Scotland's expense. Without sovereignty or the ability of Scots to be in control of Scotland's revenues, this "parliament" has no ability to make effective decisions regarding Scotland's economy. How can this parliament improve prosperity in Scotland when we have no say over economic or fiscal policy?

Only when Scotland is ruled at every level by Scotsmen and women can we be ruled effectively with the benefit of Scotland and the people of Scotland in mind. We in Siol nan Gaidheal believe that Scotland is the cultural and spiritual homeland of the Scots - it is not a commodity to be bought and sold in the market place by the highest bidder. Only with full independence and national self-determination can we use the power of full and complete sovereignty to unlock our vast indigenous wealth, follow our own ambitions, take our destiny into our own hands and at last change our country for the better.

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