As a civil servant in London in the 1960s, and being part of the establishment, I always accepted the general view that an independent Scotland would not be able to survive on its own without financial help from the London Exchequer.
However, when in 1968 I was able to closely examine the UK’s “books” for myself in an official capacity, I was shocked to find that the position was exactly the opposite: that Scotland contributed far more to the UK economy than its other partners. And this, of course, was all before the oil boom.
I realised that the Treasury would wish to keep this a secret, as it might feed the then-fledgling nationalistic tendencies north of the border. I decided to keep an eye on the situation to see how long it would take for the true facts to emerge, which I felt would only be a short time. However, the machinery of Westminster, aided and abetted by the media, did an excellent job of keeping the myth about “subsidised” Scotland alive.
In fact it took another 30 years before the first chink in their armour appeared.