Saturday, 28 August 2010

Good news on the oil front

Only three months after the find of an approximate 300 million barrels of oil in Scottish waters, a further 100 million barrels has been discovered by German firm Wintershall.

At today’s prices the latest find would equate to something in the region of $7billion of a boost to the Scottish economy. Added to the $21 billion in May, that makes a tidy wee sum which could easily be salted away as an oil fund...

Prof. Josef Stiglitz has called for an Oil Fund. The Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, said on BBC Scotland’s Newsnight programme last Tuesday that the UK had “squandered" its oil wealth and that it is now "imperative" an oil fund be established to secure the wealth that remains under the North Sea for future generations.

Fat chance! When oil was first discovered in the North Sea in the late 1970s, the details of how much there was, and how much money was involved were deliberately hidden from the British and especially the Scottish people by the Labour government. It was feared that knowledge of the potential wealth in Scottish waters would encourage the Scots to ditch the union in favour of the life style now enjoyed by Norwegians, a lifestyle which might be described as being from an altogether different planet.

Mrs Thatcher failed to correct Labour’s criminality. Instead of investing in the run down industry that was rife in the north of England and the central belt of Scotland, as for example the Germans have done with their eastern länders (without the benefit of oil), Mrs Thatcher used the oil money to support a vast unemployment programme whilst converting Britain to a service economy which made nothing but money. Insurance and banking, tourism and popular culture. In the mean time vast numbers of people in Scotland were dumped on the dole.

And as the unemployment figures rose, she ordered that people be transferred to the more secretive Sickness and Invalidity Benefits which were supposed to be for people incapable of work (as opposed to those who had become an embarrassment to the government).

Messrs Blair and Brown used the oil money to help fund war wherever they could find it. So the money from our oil wealth was used for anything but making our country comfortable.

I am forever hearing of an oil fund in this or that country. Vast amounts of money put away in the good times to help support the country in the future. It’s happened in Norway where there is over $500 billion of wealth in a country of 4 million people, making them the richest folks in the world at $117,000+ per person in a bank account... and they are only just over the water from us. Amazingly Scotland produces almost the same amount of oil as Norway, and yet not a penny piece has been put into a fund.

Funds exist in feudal states. Sensible and prudent government from the likes of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Gulf Emirates, countries in which there is little if any democracy. And even when a state is not totally independent, like Alaska and in Canada, the federal government has still seen to it that oil funds are set up for these states.

Scotland must the only country (or if you want it province) which found oil and got poorer.

We really have to insist that with these finds the Scottish government be allowed to set up a fund for the future of the Scottish economy when oil has dried up. To do anything else is criminal lunacy... and we have already had 30 years of that.


  1. I believe it's a UK resource for all the UK, at least until you achieve independence and currently you have no chance of achieving that in a referendum as even Salmond admitted. Still it can be used to pay off the debts left us by the Scottish cabal of Blair, Brown and Darling ;-)

  2. More oil? So no doubt that means that the Tory love in with Scotland will go on indefinitely. That’s 300 million barrels more respect and 300 million barrels further from the English giving the sponging wingers and benefit cheats north of the Watford gap independence al la Chekoslovakia (where the senior partner{not the USA} wanted rid of the junior one).

    Of course QM it is a UK resource, well you would say that wouldn’t you! How libertarian of you, you liberate our resources until they are all gone then no doubt you will be all for a velvet revolution and at the front of the queue of horrified people aghast at the cost of the Scots to the UK, then you can liberate yourselves from us.

  3. Works for me Munguin :-D

    That said, if the Scots wont vote for their liberation from the British state, then you have only yourself to blame at said states plundering of your resources. Personally I have no problem with the Scots going their own way and taking the oil with them, though I might laugh a little when the Shetlands declare independence from you for hogging all their oil.
    As the City of London for all its piratical ways generates more taxable income per annum than the oil reserves I suspect the English will get on just fine without you too. Just wish someone would ask us if we'd like to leave.

  4. Tris,

    Rubbish, sheer and utter rubbish! Why waste money on an oil fund which would benefit the less-well-off when it can be more sensibily spent on invading other countries, Trident replacement, WMD, the House of Lords, the Royal Family, Tony Blair's security, MPs' expenses, subsidised meals at Westminster, Ministerial luxury cars, Scottish MPs in London, George's bar-bill, etc etc - the list of these essentials is endless and completely necessary to maintain the UK's pretensions to be a WORLD POWER.

  5. Quiet Man,

    Extensive research has shown that there is a demand for Shetland indendence by a huge majority i.e. Mr and Mrs Brown and their dog, Gordon. Their time will come!

  6. There you are QM something for you to do with your life. Why don’t you get out there and campaign for the Tories (or whoever you vote for) to adopt that most excellent policy? Almost half the Scots are already on your side so of you go and mobilise the English. No? Can’t be bothered? Too busy? Or don’t think the Tories and the rest of the English will go for it?

  7. So much of the seperatist case is a bet on the oil price.

    You have just confirmed that.

    Now I am sure I'm a unionist.

  8. Check my site Munguin, I do campaign for an independent England. Though I don't vote Tory (or Labour)

  9. QM: don't you think a more mainstream approach would prove more fruitful? Until you convince the Tories that a land of milk and honey is waiting once England gets its independence instead of losing a land of milk and honey without our oil you really aren't going to get anywhere are you?

    By and large the so called libertarian bloggers love to have a pop a all the celtic scroungers but dancing around on the political periphery is not going to solve your problem. And neither will cosy arm chair speeches!

  10. QM:

    Yes. For as long as you guys own us, you also own the oil which by international ruling is in Scottish waters, but you own the Scottish waters too. I say Scottish waters because the international ruling said Scottish waters... and therefore subject to Scots Law.

    But the UK or Britain or whatever it is or was handy at taking other people's countries one way or another and then taking as much of their resources as they could manage to get for as little return as possible. India, Asia, Africa, North America, Australia.... Scotland.

    He he... but we love you of course...well, most of you. ;-)

  11. It is true that it seems Munguin, that the English do hate us. The rants last week by members of the House of Aristocrats, about the scroungers on benefits and how all their taxes go to pay for us and the great applause that that got from an English audience made that more than clear.

    The English would get rid of us in a second, but the politicians don't want to.

    It's a bit like the European Union. The population would dump it in a heartbeat but somehow all the politicians manage to avoid any kind of referendum on the UK's future within

  12. Oh and QM don’t you think it’s a bit incongruous that as a campaigner for English independence you should be coming and telling us all that as far as you are concerned it’s the UKs oil?

  13. The trouble is QM is that the vast majority of the people of Scotland think that the unionist parties in Scotland are "Scottish" when in fact they are English funded and run parties. The press in Scotland is mostly English owned as well and trashes real Scottish parties at the expense of these unionist parties.

    I am all for English independence, especially as the Scottish MPs at Westminster are doing absolutely nothing but interfere in English matters, so the best way for you to gain independence is to stop funding these "Scottish" unionist parties.

    The same goes for independence supporters here in Scotland start telling everyone else that these unionist parties are not Scottish parties but are in fact English-funded and run parties - They don't support England at football so why are they supporting their political parties at elections is an excellent way of putting it.

  14. Yes Tris, though oddly enough it was the Scots that bye and large ran it and expanded it after your little failure in Darien when you had to come to the English state to bail you out. Scots complicity in the Empire has been carefully whitewashed out of the history books and minds by historical revisionists ;-)

  15. Tris it’s the libertarian way. Plenty of moaning very little action.

  16. Sorry to disappoint you Munguin, but it is the UK's oil, whether I like it or not. Can't dispute the facts now.

  17. Oh I see QM you want an idependent England but you want it to keep the UK's oil. How very convenient, why don't you just keep Edinburgh too and the nice bits of Glasgow, keep the water too that is no doubt the UK's as well. How about the sunlight and the oxygen?

  18. I'm not dissapointed QM how could I be? When that is the attitude that has come out of England for my entire life one can hardly be surprised.

  19. Brownlie:

    I’m sorry ... it was the middle of the night. I couldn’t sleep... and for a brief moment I forgot about all these important things.

    It’s not, I realise, any kind of selfishness on the parts of these politicians.

    It is that the world could not do without our expertise. The genius that was Tony Blair when it came to planning a complete turnaround in the Middle East. I mean, really, had it not been for his input, where would the Iraqis be? Come to that the Palestinians too would be lost without him.

    Then there is that stateswoman Margaret Thatcher. Where would the world be without her sorting out the situations in Zimbabwe and in Hong Kong; that great war leader, just like Churchill. Why, if only she’d had a cigar who knows what foes she could have vanquished.

    And then there’s Gordon. Bless him. Our very own Gordon. (Such a good looking man don’t you think?) Without his world leadership where would the world be? Unsaved! That’s where. And he even told us that he’d done it. Bless him.... Why without his financial genius Britain would have been dragge into that horrid old recession thingy that all these other countries are suffering but that we were blessedly saved from.. and best placed to come out of... Oh Gordon.... why did you leave us? [Sob]

    [Sob] If there are stains in the page, it’s just my tears of pride. [Sob] How Great are the British?

    No wonder wherever they go in the world we are shown deep respect. We are loved and revered ......and all because you and I live in a third world state so that it can all be funded.

    Ask yourself this question Brownie. If Norwegian politicians went all over the world spreading all the good what them Brits do, why, just think, they could be as well loved as what we is... and their education system could be as good as what ours is....two!

    Who needs hospitals, schools, road, trains, care for the elderly...we have Trident and a seat on the Security Council, oh yes, and George’s bar bill can be paid!.

    I’m sorry Brownlie. If I ever feel the need to get up in the middle of the night and rant again... I shall think of these things and be silenced.


  20. Dean:

    Nope. I asked for an oil fund.

    I mean why didn't Britain set up an oil fund?

    I'm saying that the majority of other countries with substantial oil in their territory seem to ahve taken the precaution of setting up an oil fund. Why?

    Because normally oil is a huge bonus. It turns the economy of the country round. It makes life immeasurably better. Even in the dictatorship of Saudi. Have you seen their hospitals, where care is free. I have a mate who worked out there. He was gobsmacked at the facilities.

    We of course have an oil deficit.

    So this need for an oil fund confirms your belief in being a part of the UK? We don’t need an oil fund, we have England to lean on?

    Why Dean, do you think that Scottish people are less able to manage their own affairs than Norwegians?

    Do you think that prior to oil Norway was a basket case?

    Is Luxembourg a basket case?

    Is Denmark?

    Maybe it's just that you think Scots are dim and we need clever English people to steer us through the murky waters of running a country for its people?

  21. Yes Billy. All the unionist parties are run and funded from England. The Scottish branches seem to get some money from London. They certainly get their instructions from there.

    And rather like our idiotic bus company, run from Birmingham by people who have never even been in Scotland, it doesn't work.

    Even Dean will admit (as we have discussed before) that Ms Goldie is excellent against Mr Salmond in parliament when she is asking her own questions. But when she has the questions sent by London she falls apart because the questions are not relevant to Scotland... and on occasions she has had to be told so by the PO!

  22. QM is right Munguin.

    It's Scottish oil. But Scotland belongs to London and therefore, it is London's oil.

    And as Brownlie says, they know what's best for little old us, the junior partner to the junior partner.... UK minimus if you will....... Trident, Security Council, G8, House of Nobles, Expenses, BBC...etc.

    I know that now. Listen to Brownlie Munguin. He knows what he is talking about...

    See the light....

  23. Where on earth did I say I wanted Scotland's oil?
    I just pointed out, at the moment it is the UK's oil and until Scotland chooses to go its own way it will remain the UK's oil. If England were to go its own way, I certainly doubt we'd take anything of Scotland's with us, nor would we want too.

  24. I shall bow to the consensus

  25. You don't want it QM... But the British/English government does.... big time.

  26. It seems only fair that Scotland should realize some benefit from the oil resources in the waters recognized as being within its legal jurisdiction. Even in the US, which is a federal union, the states have control of their own oil and mineral resources, which includes those resources in waters under state control. This is generally three nautical miles offshore, but is 10.5 statute miles for Texas and the Gulf coast of Florida. Oil revenues beyond these limits, out to 200 nautical miles, are federally controlled. For years, states have pushed for a share of the federal offshore revenue. Beginning in 2017, the coastal states will receive a 37.5 percent share of offshore oil royalties from federal waters. In the wake of the BP oil spill, the Gulf Coast states are pushing for moving up this timetable.

    The Alaska oil has been a windfall for the state. Alaska is one of only two states that do not levy either an individual state income tax nor a state sales tax. And in 1976, Alaska set up a Permanent Fund, which sets aside at least 25% of the proceeds from lease sales and royalties for the benefit of all present and future Alaskans. This Alaska Permanent Fund declares and pays a yearly dividend. In 2009, each resident of Alaska received a check for $1,350. In 2008, the check was $3,269, which included a special rebate.

    It seems that all Scotland receives for the riches in its own waters is the knowledge that its wealth is managed very nicely by politicians in London. Of course I don't actually know very much about such UK matters. But ignorance should never deter one from commenting on the issues of the day. ;-)

  27. attractive as that Permanent Fund Dividend for Alaska seems, one must always remember that to receive it, you actually have to live in the place. Oh well, there goes my dividend check. :-)

  28. Ah! the oil question or how to turn 'Base' unionist votes into 'Gold' Nationalist votes

    its all alchemy really not a science at all and that's why its in the realm of the snp and they cant get a majority.........can they????

    no they cant

  29. I've never known you comment on anything without knowing a good deal about it Danny!


    I suspect that a cheque of $1300 or so would not really be adequate compensation for living in the cold climate of your frozen north Danny.

    Of course..... maybe in heat of a mid western summer that might seem like a bonus...

    Actually it seems that most of our oil wealth is probably spent by American presidents as much as by English politicians!!!

  30. Nor of course can Labour Niko....

    Never have and never will.

  31. Niko is rather right here, I share his sentiment... lol [Gods forgive me for saying that!]

  32. Well!!!!

    I never thought I'd live to hear the likes!!!!!

    I hope you two will be very happy together...

  33. Dean,

    Niko still THINKS, along with quite a few of the more gullible souls, that NuLabour is still the party of the people. This is evident at every union conference where attempts are made by Labour activists to get authority to pay a political levy to NuLabour by unions who do not already contribute.

    The rich, however, KNOW that NuLabour is their party.

    NuLabour, having adopted most of the right-wing Tory policies means that you and Niko have lots more in common than is generally recognised.

  34. Incidentally, I remember talking to a member of a trade union who pay dues to the Labour party. He told me he was against the invasion of Iraq and when I asked him why he still supported Labour he replied. "We pay our dues to the Labour party and I don't want to see my money wasted", Sadly, this is the kind of mind-set that leaves this country on it's knees.

  35. Morning brownlie:

    I note that Unite has said it will pull the plug on the Labour party if they elect Mr Miliband Snr as their new leader.

    I wonder what they will do with their money instead. Maybe build up a fighting fund? They can hardly give it to the Liberals now that they too have become Tories.

    Certainly it seems odd, to say the very least, for "working men's" political subscriptions to be paid to the party of Brown and Blair and their policies which had as much in common with "Labour" or "labour" as I do with Prince Andrew!

  36. I may have got that Union wrong.

    I see from Dean's post that it was the GMB.

    My apologies!

  37. Tris,

    So almost did I, I had wrote UNITE, but realised my error moments before publishing ;)

  38. You just have to look at the % of UK tax receipts which come from Scotland and any economist will tell you that Scotland produces more in tax revenue than it receives in expenditure. With the discovery of more oil and a looming election next year and the dire state of the UK economy, the SNP have it on a plate.

  39. LOL Dean... you're obviously a little quicker than me.

    It's all that fraternising with Niko that does it. You have to be sharp when you’re around him.

    I got the tale second hand. I looked for it in the papers to confirm it but couldn’t find it, so I just went with what I’d heard.... then I read your post!

    Ta for keeping me right. (Right... did you see that? What with you being New Ri........ oh ok , never mind...)

  40. Well Allan

    I wish I had your confidence... but I don't.

    With all the things that you list (and in normal terms I would agree with you)I can't help thinking that the one thing that you have missed out is the 'red rosette on a donkey' syndrome which afflicts so many of our fellow citizens!

    I fear that wee Iain may yet be allowed inside Bute House...god help us.

    The scary thing is that as he is so completely incompetent, but a great mate of Gordon's... and seeing as Gordon has more or less given up on any kind of pretence of doing the job we pay him to do, I worry that he may try to be the power behind the throne...

    In which case I expect that Scotland will be totally broke within the first 3 months of a Labour administration.

  41. Tris.

    The red rossett I think will begin to wilt in the run up to the Scottish elections. People voted for Labour in the last UK election to stop the Tories wining. It will be a different scenario when the Scottish elections come around. I think the reality of having Grey in Bute house is a sure vote winner for the SNP.

  42. Well, I hadn't thought of it like that Allan...

    A possibility.

    And one I will work hard for in the weeks and months to come.