Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Oil And Gas UK reckon a quarter of North Sea oil remains.
The SNP reckon half.
They're going to die on their arse in a referendum. They might still govern Scotland better than their opponent's though, and good luck to them.
If it is only a quarter that's left, then the whole game is a bogey. Oil reserves are not like baths where, physics pedantry to one side for a moment, the effort required to extract the content remains constant. It's a simple fact that even the last half can be nonviable in that it takes more energy to extract it than is actually yielded. It all depends on the geology and the North Sea is not the most hospitable place on earth.
On a more general note, I did a couple of decades in the land of the skirt wearing wife-beaters and am still closely aligned to the business community there; they are divided on the likely outcome of a full-independence vote. On the one hand, Scotland has little home-grown core industrial or commercial infrastructure but on the other, there is a skilled and willing talent pool that could easily pay dividends on inward investment. The problem is, so has China and and and.
It is inconceivable that HMG would off-shore quite as many (if any) functions and jobs to an independent Scotland while unemployment remains so high in England and this could be a fatal blow. Not one statutory regions of the country has less than 22% of the work force in public sector employment (Source ONS) and in Embra, Strathclyde and the Highland & Islands the proportion is significantly higher.
The banking "industry" has been decimated, fishing verboten, heavy industry is a distant memory and the IT sector shipped out of all but the universities more than a decade ago. What's left? Tourism, agriculture, jam making and that mad lady who makes bras.
I know that I am going to run the risk of claiming constructive hindsight but I called this whole situation as soon as the coalition was announced. The Tories would be so feart of losing the next election by a whisker that they would happily cut Scotland loose in order to secure a majority next time round and be sitting pretty evermore. That is why I believe they are sabre-rattling with the Scots public and doing whatever they can to rattle the ghost of Mel Gibson and a thousand misty morns. That is why the mail are falling in like the dutiful foot-soldiers we know them to be. This has nothing to do with democracy and self-determination in their purest sense - this is gerrymandering on an unprecedented scale.
It all works perfectly unless you are one of a handful of the land-owning aristocracy or a monarch (who will be duly assuaged anyway) and Tory England will merely leave the hated EU to put a sympathetic arm around the stragglers of the Tartan Army who might have been well advised to be careful what they wished for.