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The Holyrood Hillbillies

Posted on November 17, 2013 by

So you find oil and want to make life better for your people. It’s an asset that makes you fabulously wealthy and provides the sort of financial security that people normally can only dream of. But you get coerced and cajoled into giving it to your neighbour to look after on your behalf. The neighbour gives it to their banker friends who all enjoy lavish lifestyles at your expense.

Whenever you get fed up with how you’re being treated and begin to long for the good old days when you were free to do as you wished, the neighbour comes up with ridiculous ploys, scare-stories and scenarios to keep you where you are; each time becoming more ridiculous and farcical in order to keep control of your money and please their banker friends.


No, you’re not Scotland; you’re Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies, an American show from the 60s with a plot so ridiculous only backward yokels would fall for it.

In the show Jed was on a hunting expedition when he shot the ground and out came ‘a bubblin crude’. The OK Oil Company paid Jed a fortune to acquire the rights to drill, and Jed moved his family into a mansion next door to his banker in the wealthy Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles. Plots would frequently involve absurd efforts by the Clampetts’ banker to keep the family in Beverly Hills and their money in his bank.

Whenever Westminster discusses oil and gas production with the world it paints oil as a major boon to the UK, yet the image portrayed when its face is turned to the Scottish public is of a dangerously unreliable commodity that without the expertise and size of the UK would sink our small independent economy (you know, just like it’s done with Norway, Qatar and Kuwait).

Last year Tory MP Nicholas Soames (a grandson of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill), urged the UK government not to forget the “enormous” economic importance of North Sea oil and gas and to understand that irresponsible management could kill “a goose that lays a golden egg”.

Compare that analysis with the following from our very own ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling, discussing the positive case for staying in the Union:

“I do not argue that Scotland could not go it alone – that’s a silly argument. But we would be rather too dependent, for my liking, on North Sea oil. It’s worth between about 1%-2% of the UK’s GDP, but about 10%-20% of Scotland’s, and the trouble with oil is that it’s a tremendously volatile diminishing asset.”

Upon independence, the oil and gas within Scottish waters as defined under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea III – the rulebook delineating maritime borders and the extent of the exclusive economic zone to which a country is eligible – will come under control of the Scottish Government.

This was made clear in the now-infamous McCrone Report, which asked:

“Can one be certain that the oil is without doubt a Scottish asset or, even if it is, that these substantial revenues and balance of payments advantages would indeed accrue to an independent Scotland?”

The answer was unequivocal: 

“It is hard to see any conclusion other than to allow Scotland to have that part of the Continental Shelf which would have been hers if she had been independent all along … It must be concluded therefore that large revenues and balance of payments gains would indeed accrue to a Scottish Government in the event of independence”.

Further to this, analysis by Professor Alex Kemp of Aberdeen University estimates that, when Scotland’s share of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is demarked using the median line, it accounts for 96% of UK oil production and 52% of gas production.

This results in Scotland having an estimated 78% of total UK hydrocarbon production. But this isn’t the end of the story. Scotland’s  share of  offshore tax revenue is far larger, due  to the prevalence of oil production (which is more profitable than gas).

Scotland’s geographical share of oil and gas production is estimated to have  generated £10.6 billion in tax revenue during the same period – or put another way, 94% of the UK total North Sea tax take.

We can see using the statistics for 2011 that:

  • UK oil production was 1,099,000 bbl/day, giving the UK a rank of #19 among oil-producing nations globally after Qatar, and above Colombia.
  • UK gas production was 47,430,000,000 cubic metres annually. This meant that the UK was ranked #17 largest gas producer globally, after the United Arab Emirates and above India .

The figures for an independent Scotland, based on 96% oil and 52% gas, would be:

  • Scottish oil production of 1,055,040 bbl/day, giving Scotland the rank of #19 among oil-producing nations globally, after Qatar and above Colombia.
  • Scottish gas production of 24,663,600,000 cubic metres annually, ranking Scotland the #28 largest gas producer globally, after Oman and above Brazil.

Independence would mean that Scotland – at 5.4 million people the 111th-largest country by population (between Slovakia and Finland) – would be in the world top 20 oil-producing and top 30 gas-producing nations, generating far more oil and gas than we use domestically and leading to a very significant balance of payments surplus.

For the rUK however, the story wouldn’t be as rosy:

  • rUK Oil Production of 43,960 bbl/day, giving a ranking of #67 for oil production, after Bolivia and above Papua New Guinea.
  • rUK Gas Production of 22,766,400,000 cubic metres, ranking the rUK as #30 for gas production, after Scotland and Brazil and above Kazakhstan.

But why does the UK care? After all, it wouldn’t be London’s problem any more, and if oil’s so volatile you’d think they’d be almost glad to be rid of it, with it only being 1% of the economy anyway. As it happened, George Kerevan – writing in the Scotsman this week about currency, not oil – may be able to offer a clue as to the reason.

“The present United Kingdom relies heavily on Scottish exports of oil, gas and whisky to generate foreign currency earnings. Even then, the UK runs a massive current account deficit – importing more than it exports, and borrowing internationally to cover the difference. In fact, this deficit is actually getting worse.

If Scotland retains sterling after independence, its foreign trade earnings will flow into the common pot (as they do at present) helping reduce the current account deficit. But the moment Scotland shifts to a separate currency that changes.

Instantly Scotland will start to run a trade surplus, boosting its currency and raising its international credit worthiness. That, all things being equal, will bring interest rates in Scotland down. But just the reverse happens in rUK.

The EU Commission forecasts that the present UK trade deficit will hit 4.4 per cent of GDP next year – the highest of any major industrial country. Take away the circa £50 billion annual export earnings from Scottish oil, gas and whisky and you will near double the trade deficit of rUK. It would climb from 4.4 per cent of GDP to a staggering 10 per cent.

That is unsustainable and the financial markets would punish rUK piteously. The rUK’s international credit rating would plunge, sending interest rate upwards, depressing economic growth.”

Oh, right. Independence would be good news for Scotland, which would have the option of switching to a strong currency which would have a beneficial effect on both interest rates and the country’s credit rating, but losing North Sea oil would threaten a fiscal catastrophe for the UK – unless the UK agrees to the Sterling union that it keeps pretending it won’tNow it makes sense.

In claiming that oil is actually a dangerous, volatile burden which the UK’s larger economy generously relieves us of, the UK government is treating Scots like a bunch of slack-jawed country bumpkins, in order to scare them into thinking they’d lose the pound. (Frightening them about oil revenue itself is just a welcome side-effect.)

It’s hard to blame them for that, of course – partly because of what’s at stake, but also because it’s worked for decades up until now. The result of the referendum will hinge on whether Scots swallow it again.

We’ll finish on a trivia fact: Paul Henning, the producer of The Beverly Hillbillies, was born and grew up in Independence, Missouri. We’re claiming that for an omen.

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    122 to “The Holyrood Hillbillies”

    1. scotchwoman says:

      As well as that, low estimates are used by UK gov to value the asset – $90/barrel, versus current price of $108.55 (typical of the whole of 2012-13). Anyone know what effect this has on Scotland’s financial contribution to the UK ahead of GERS figures?
      Sorry haven’t mastered the archiving trick but this Scotsman story again confirms importance of oil and upwards pressures on price (and therefore value) :

    2. gordoz says:

      Great Stuff Scott – Yet again
      It is difficult to see how Scots (Excluding the ‘Proud Scots’) and others living in Scotland cannot see  this gift of a resource, OIL for what it is.
      But then again I think it comes back to ‘laziness’ as opposed to indifference.
      We need to wean ourselves and our undecided neighbours off the drug known as ‘Britian’.
      I feel ‘brit’ disrtracts and manages to dull the senses & stop us seeing clearly.
      For some it is addictive but genuinely they are unaware of the harm it causes for the short term return. And those pumping ‘brit’ to us, as you know do not have our best interests at heart.
      Since schooldays we were told (by our teachers) that they were not allowed to tell us of the acutal true value as it would fuel independence thoughts (which were bad). The great Donlad Dewer used to slag off Alex Salmond for suggesting it would achieve $80 dollars / barrel.
      We were also told – no oil West of Shetland (or on the Clyde); how gullable do we have to be to perpetuate these myths.
      Last question – Oil discovery off Ireland  ?  Would this be a bad thing ?

    3. Rod Mac says:

      Ireland Out gunned by Australia , however Red rose blooms despite loss to All Blacks.
      The football exploits the night before were similar , so it is not only in oil and gas that differences of language  are made.

    4. Ken500 says:

      Any country can use any currency it wants. It’s just a form of exchange. What matters is how/if the books are balanced. Scotland could/does balance the books. The rest of the UK doesn’t.
      Scotland (pre recession) Imported and exported £40Billion. No balance of payment deficit.

      The dollar is used worldwide. The US has a massive deficit, it could take the world economy over a cliff.

      Scotland should join the euro cut red tape and costs for business.

      Scotland raises £60Billion in revenues, enough for all Scotland’s needs. Get back £48Billion (including £17Billion pensions/benefits). UK gov sends £720Billion. Raises £610Billion (including £40Billion Royal Mail theft?) The rest of the UK borrows and spends £120Billion. Scotland would need to spend (pro rata) £70Billion to have equal spending to the rest of the UK.

    5. call me dave says:

      Speaking of McCrone in Dec 2005:
      Tam Dalyell, who served as Labour MP in West Lothian for 43 years, agrees that the document could have led to independence. “In my view it might have done,” he said. “It could have tipped the balance it a number of seats including mine. Oil was very much a totemic issue. It was new and it was dramatic. Politics at that time was very different. In 1974 my majority went from around 6,000 in February to around 2,000 after the October general election.

      “It was most unpleasant. People were saying ‘it’s our oil’.”
      Let us step up to the plate and take Scotland back.  The oil is a bonus and it is up to whichever SG is elected in 2016 to use in the best interests of us all.  We all know which main party we are talking about.  The unionist others have to eat some humble pie , and discard the rotten apples and regroup before being electable.

    6. wee jamie says:

      With the announcement of the new oil about to be exploited off shetland, and the reserves under the clyde hidden from us by the M.O.D, I’m scared of all that EXTRA volatility and uncertainty, how will a poor wee nation of numpties like us ever manage without England to relieve us of that burden ? maybe we should just dae as we are telt and leave it to the people who know better!

    7. Juteman says:

      If factual articles like this were printed daily in The Sun and the Daily Record, the vote would be a landslide.
      Murder ‘n fitba are more useful for the Unionists, alongside the Project Fear version of ‘the facts’.

    8. Any  body  know  where   Darling  is  or  is  it  a  case  of  hes  set  the  economic   bar  that  low  for  Scotland  he  canny  slither  under  it  any  mair   where,s he at

    9. Well  done  Scott  lookin  forward  to  more   enlightening   pieces  from  you  ,  to  wee  to  stupid  aye  rite  noo wi  people  like  you  on  guard  o  the  treasure  chest  mair  credits  tae  you

    10. handclapping says:

      I liked the Clampetts, they were people. But it is very much follow the money. My favourite statistic is that the wonderful saviour of the British economy, financial services, produces a foreign exchange surplus of 35 bn which is pretty wizzy. Until you realise that net imports of food and fuel come to 41 bn. Forget your iPads and Galaxy S111s, we can at a pinch do without them but the UK at present cannot even pay for the food and fuel we can’t do without.

      The kicker is when you tell them that not only does Scotland export oil, gas and electricity as well as whisky, meat and sea food but we make money on financial services as well. So where does that leave the rUK? Titanic and lifeboat?
      The chairchoob has got the wrong end of the stick; I hope John Swinney is looking at the constraints he will need to put on Westminster before he will allow a currency union 🙂

    11. Atypical_Scot says:

      but losing North Sea oil would threaten a fiscal catastrophe for the UK – unless the UK agrees to the Sterling union
      I like the article, but I don’t like this. The reasoning behind this maybe sound as far as going into a currency union is concerned, but as for getting out of it again? At what point does Scotland get to say – Now we have independence, we want a fiscal union, and then say – right, we’re happy to go away on our own with our own currency, and we know that will leave you (rUK) in the shit, and therefore the currency union we wanted is now terminated.
      Nope. Logic says that if the rUK need a currency union, they will accept the currency union, as long as the currency union remains in place until both parties are in a fiscal position to break the union.
      The UK has been running a negative top sheet for over a decade, and this does not seem likely to stop anytime soon. We will be locked in currency union with little say on the currency for as long as the UK wants us to be.
      Immediate withdrawal from the sterling is paramount. Understandably, it is hard to imagine a new currency in 2016, and I therefore believe the only option for Scotland is the euro.

    12. braco says:

      O/T, sorry Scott but it’s just to quickly clear up the Anas Sarwar mystery.
      Courtesy of Lord Monty over at Munguin’s republic.
      apologies if this info has already been posted but thought it might be of interest. As you were.

    13. Taranaich says:

      It blows my mind how many people fall for the “volatility” thing. I know a few people personally who are really worried about the oil running out, and how apparently it isn’t the massive source of income it actually is. They’re also very worried about the pound, of course. I’m therefore directing them straight to this article, as I have with many of Scott’s.

    14. Atypical_Scot says:

      I would also add, the financial implications for the rUK are so obvious, their reluctance to accept the position that a currency union is favourable from their perspective, reeks of a bluff. Making Scots believe it’s in our benefit rather than the rUK’s in order to achieve the leverage they need to implement the fail safe clause. 

    15. call me dave says:

      Good list and a lot of voters wont give all these things a moments thought. 
      Mr Swinney And Mr Salmond Put the word out on Tuesday.
      PS: Radii 5 Live are starting a daily referendum slot  Monday to Friday tomorrow . We should begin to see ourselves as others see us through the prism of the BBC South Britain.  How far behind the curve are they going to be. Victoria Derbyshire (who I like) heading up the programme.
      Question : Has Mr Naughtie improved GMS?

    16. simon says:

      Atypical_Scot, what stops an independent country withdrawing from using one currency and changing to another? I believe the Republic of Ireland started out using pound sterling, then switched to their own currency pegged to the pound, and then stopped that and used the Euro?

    17. macdoc says:

      When explaining to people worried about oil volatility etc I use this anology:

      Imagine at the end of the year you get a bonus worth between 10-20% of your annual wage, this will vary depending on various factors such as company profits. 

      Do you believe this end of year bonus is a good thing that will contribute hugely to your wage or do you through a hissy fit and declare it more of a nuisance than what its worth as some years the bonus will be better or worse than the preceding years, is that uncertainty too troubling?
      People soon laugh at how absurd the britnat argument is!!!!

    18. Roll_On_2014 says:

      I remember reading this comment some time ago:

      In 1904 JM Barrie invents a character called Mr Darling who doesn’t believe in Never-never land.

      In 2007 NuLabour invent a character called Mr Darling who puts the whole land on the never-never.

      By the way you can always tell when Darling is lying….  his lips move.

    19. gordoz says:

      braco says
      The comments on Sarwar are brilliant !

    20. Atypical_Scot says:

      Agreements do. A sterling zone will have to have an agreed framework, Scotland will want to argue for some control over the pound – a seat in the BoE – and that will have to be ‘bought’. There is no way the rUK will enter an agreement that allows Scotland to walk out at any time when the stakes are as high as Mr Kerevan points out. 
      The best option is on the 19th September 2014, get straight over to Brussels, get the deal signed for full integration, and get on being part of the wider world in a gigantic 12 Trillion GDP currency, and forget the pound. 
      Don’t forget. Who are the people that have benefited thus far from the UK not adopting the euro?
      It certainly isn’t the Scots.

    21. velofello says:

      Handclapping you missed out a concealed Scottish export MONEY! We have been exporting money to the UK Treasury for decades, see the article by Business for Scotland,and for at least 32 years by Bus for Scot really is absurd, can you imagine a country’s people exporting money! But then in reality it wan’t the people who decided on this concealed export of money it was the country’s politicians, and they are still proposing that the concealed export continues. Fortunately we have another nine months to ensure that the true situation is placed before the nation.

    22. fairiefromtheearth says:

      The currencey we use after independance the Scottish pound.Its time to say FO England youv robbed us enough.

    23. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      This is the article I have been looking for, the No arguments crumble and die in the light!

    24. a supporter says:

      1. Excellent article. I hope the White Paper will be written as clearly; and will be explicit about the oil, McCrone, and oil which may be out to the west.

      2. Atypical_Scot. We will be using Sterling during negotiations up to at least 2016 anyway so we may as well use it for a year or two afterwards until everything has settled down. This would help protect the Scottish economy from currency manipulation by the City spivs; although I wouldn’t rule out some attempts at this. I assume that the SG are well aware that they must not lock themselves into long term agreement; after all they are well advised by internationally acclaimed economists.

    25. Atypical_Scot says:

      @a supporter;
      We will be using Sterling during negotiations up to at least 2016 anyway so we may as well use it for a year or two afterwards until everything has settled down
      No offence, but that is not an agreement, it is a demand.
      If the ramifications of no currency union are that mentioned above, then they are most likely the reason for the entire Better Together campaign and the McCrone report suggests this to be the case. 
      We all agree in principle that Scotland would have been better off out the union a long time ago, and that the union has blatantly lied to the Scottish people to keep them in the union.
      So why do we now believe that the rUK will not continue to protect it’s interests by entering an agreement that did not protect the rUK from the very thing that the agreement was entered into to prevent happening?

    26. Scaraben says:

      Immediate withdrawal from the sterling is paramount. Understandably, it is hard to imagine a new currency in 2016, and I therefore believe the only option for Scotland is the euro.
      Unless Scotland is thrown out of the EU upon independence, or the EU is prepared to waive its rules on the Euro, this is not an option. A country wishing to become part of the eurozone is required to have its own currency which is part of ERM II and then to meet the EU’s ‘convergence criteria’ on economic performance for at least two years. Montenegro was able to adopt the Euro unlaterally because it is not in the EU and therefore not bound by the EU’s rules.
      I do not think that any SNP government would be daft enough to sign Scotland up to a currency union which did not include a clause allowing either side to terminate it with a reasonable notice period. If, as appears to be the case, the rUK need a currency union more than Scotland, they will not be in a position to dictate the conditions.

    27. Papadocx says:

      GB the land of make believe! The only people in the whole wide world who still believe GB is a rich great powerful country is the EDL, BNP, UKIP, TORIES, Labour LIBS and some other out of touch sad people, and the NO camp in Scotland. 
      GB has a massive dept.
      GB has a pond navy.
      GB has toy town army
      Good they may be, but insignificant in today’s world.
      Like the wee boy in Hans Christian Andersons story The King Has NO CLOTHS. GB is the land of make believe. 

    28. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      It makes sense if you are trading in the same market to use the same currency.The UK main market is Europe but we haven’t joined the Euro because Broon/Balls invented 5 tests that had to be met before we would join.
      1.  Middle England must go for it.
      2.  Middle England must go for it.
      3.  ……..
      4.  ………
      5.  ………

    29. Famous15 says:

      Troll alert! The article says it all so no need for misdirection.

    30. Marian says:

      As someone else here has said I sure hope that the White Paper sets out the compelling reasons why oil and gas is such an important issue in as clear and succinct way as WoS has done here.

    31. a supporter says:

      The Euro would not be a viable option for Scotland for at least 5 years after 2014. And I can see no good reason for Scotland to enter the Eurozone until it has a good few years under its belt as an Independent country. And I don’t know where you get the idea that rUK would be obtaining concessions to suit itself during pre and after Independence negotiations. You seem to be forgetting that an “Agreement” means the articles in it are agreed by both parties. And I am sure Scottish negotiators would be well capable of negotiating.

      For myself I would like to see Scotland using £ for a few years till everything has settled down before considering either a separate Scottish currency or the Euro. That solution would set many peoples’ minds at rest. Remember we have to WIN the Referendum first.

    32. Linda's Back says:

      “If factual articles like this were printed daily in The Sun and the Daily Record, the vote would be a landslide.”

      To-days Sunday Hootsman effort is more typical of the Unionist press with front page headlines on MSPs renting offices from their own political parties and in the case of Alex Salmond for a modest £3000 a year, While Tom Peterkin mentions Wasteminster the online story doesn’t mention the numerous Labour MPs who do the same thing.

      Edinburgh South Labour MP rents his office from his disgraced predecessor Nigel Griffiths at £10,500 a year cost to the taxpayer.

      And one contributor states

      “Ian Murray must be struggling on his £66,396 a year salary as according to the Edinburgh Evening News, print edition, on 6th November he claimed the highest amount of any Lothian MP for his energy bill of over £747. Good to see taxpayers paying for an early energy freeze for MPs when many are struggling to heat their homes this winter.

      The Edinburgh South Labour MP claimed a total of £181,840 in expenses, on top of his salary,  including the third highest amount in the UK for his Constituency Office at £26,593 which is crazy as since Devolution Scottish MPs have fewer responsibilities than English MPs. 

      The Office expenses don’t include his staff salaries amounting to £121,430 which also provides extra household income by employing his partner as a secretary.   No wonder these Westminster MPs are so hostile to Scottish self determination as it will end their London gravy train.”

    33. Vambomarbeleye says:

      It has been said that if we were going to join in union with the Fuk now. That the answer would be no.
      Does the same question not also apply to sterling. Would you really want your currency tied to a dodgy neighbour.
      We decimalised years ago. So changing to the euro is really not that scary. If it was still LSD then not so easy.

    34. Rod Mac says:

      There is a lot of talk that in any negotiations Westminster hold all the aces .
      I totally disagree , as simple as this , Osborne says no currency union, no Type 26 on the Clyde,,indeed they say no to anything ,we say “fair enough, you have 30 days to get your WMD out of Scotland!!”
      Bish bosh ,game set and jerseys!!

    35. Atypical_Scot says:

      If Scotland approaches the EU on Sept 19th 2014 with a clear request for full integration and a GDP surplus, I’m sure the EU would be happy to invite Scotland unilaterally.
      The question is not one of how daft the SG are, but more one of leverage. If presented with the negotiating levers;
      1. Scotland needs to sort out it’s currency within a time frame.
      2. Scotland wants an amount of control of the currency.
      3. Scotland wants to leave the agreement whenever it wishes.
      No currency union will leave the rUK with unworkable trade deficit.
      Scotland want three things, but the rUK will want to keep the currency union for as long as they want it.

    36. ScottyC1314 says:

      Cheers Scott…..this will be shared far and wide!

    37. Famous15 says:

      When canvassing the doorstep wisdom is keep Sterling. The elderly in particular will support independence if Sterling is retained. The rUK would be committing financial suicide to impede an independent Scotland using Sterling so the only reason they are talking tough is to deny a YES vote but in they event they would fold fast and cooperate. Remember it is a tradeable currency and usage cannot be refused.

    38. Yodhrin says:

      Scaraben has the right of it, I expect the agreement will include a five-year or thereabouts termination clause, which the SG will probably use after about five years of independence. Ten years gives us enough time to diversify our exports as much away from rUK as possible, and if they can’t sort their trade deficit out in a decade, it’s never going to be sorted out.

      If they point-blank refuse to negotiate a reasonable break clause, we’ll have no choice but to use the pound unilaterally for a couple of years while we put the arrangements in place, then establish our own quasi-independent national bank and our own currency. It’s not an ideal situation as without a lender of last resort those couple of years using the pound would leave us vulnerable, but since our own currency would be a requirement to join the Euro regardless, and we would be lunatics to sign up to a currency union with the rUK that was established entirely on their terms, it could be our only option if they decide they want to shoot themselves in both feet.

    39. Andy-B says:

      Good piece Scott, and very true.
      I can’t blame Westminster for trying to keep up the masquerade, no I blame the never say die unionist Scots, who care more about being British than, prosperity for Scotland, that kind of mental state would have Sigmund Freud reaching for his note pad.
      I’m pretty sure a fair chunk of pro-unionist Scots, need to take the Rorschach Test, to determine why they psychologically support a dying inept union.
      Or could it be a case of mass Cognitive Dissonance?

    40. msean says:

      Westminster loves spending oil cash-in the overheating s e of england.In the case of it looking like a yes vote,they will probably try to lure folk back to voting no by offering new powers over devil dogs or such like.It won’t work,i’m still voting YES.

    41. Scaraben says:

      “If Scotland approaches the EU on Sept 19th 2014 with a clear request for full integration and a GDP surplus, I’m sure the EU would be happy to invite Scotland unilaterally.”
      I doubt whether the EU would be that willing to bend its own rules to allow Scotland to adopt the euro immediately, as it would set a precedent. Certain EU states which are holding back from adopting the euro, such as Sweden, might be reluctant to go along with this as it might make their position more difficult.
      In any case, I do not think that many people would want Scotland to join the eurozone within the next few years, given the problems that some eurozone countries have been experiencing. I suspect that if the Yes campaign were misguided enough to advocate immediate adoption of the euro, the probability of a ‘Yes’ vote would go down significantly.

    42. JLT says:

      I know I shouldn’t be thinking like this, but I’m sick to the back teeth of the ‘currency’ issue. Anyone who is clued up, knows the real truth.
      And so, for lying, and dragging us through this, as though we were getting root treatment at the dentist, I am sadistically awaiting the moment that a ‘Yes’ vote is confirmed.

      I’m …dying …to see what Westminster does. You can literally imagine the screams of horror that will emanate from that building (certainly, the Labour MP’s will be howling big time that day).
      The Tories will also be bricking it! How do they explain to their own electorate in the South East of England …whom, will all be baying for Scotland to be barred from using UK Sterling, and telling them that the rUK MUST allow Scotland to use Sterling. Oh! All those lies coming back to bite! What goes around, comes around!

      I can almost see Salmond and company sitting down with ‘Call me Dave’, Cleggy, and Darling, and asking, ‘Well …what shall we discuss first then? How about Sterling? So …do you guys want us in or out? Yes or No? If we are really honest here, we’re not bothered either way, as a Scottish Pound will be backed by possibly £4 trillion pounds worth of Scottish oil alone. Tell me …what will you guys use as collateral for UK Sterling should Scotland go its own way with a Scottish Pound? Hmmmm? Tell me …I’m curious.’
      The silence will be deafening…

    43. call me dave says:

      I would pay Scottish money to see that!  🙂

    44. Atypical_Scot says:

      I accept there is hesitation regarding the euro, and that it will require external influences to be in agreement. My main concern is a sterling union with a proven criminal with a prevalence to lie, to be selfish, profiteering and cruel. 

    45. Les Wilson says:

      Well as far as currency is concerned my preference would be our own. Look at those who have departed from Westminster, Australia, Canada, Singapore and more, they give more than a hint of how it could work. For me I like the idea of the “Scottish Dollar ” or SC$.

      This trading on par value with £ should make no difference to trade payments, and would be acceptable to keep cross border trade working fine. 

      To have your own currency is the target of nations, why should we take instruction on finance from the likes of Osborne, or, god forbid Ed Balls ! No they are not to be trusted, what we see and hear now makes that obvious. Our own currency working on par value would do us just fine, and WE make all the decisions regarding it. Without bending over a barrel for Westminster.

    46. JLT says:

      Les Wilson,
      I know what you mean about giving Scotland its own Scottish currency name. For me, I like the sound of ‘Scottish Florin’. It has a feminine quality about it, and a nice continental feel to it.
      If we did have our own currency, I would certainly move away from the words ‘Pound’ or ‘Sterling’ as it would give the impression that we are still tied to the rUK sterling.
      Overall, my preference is to use our own currency, and not Sterling.

    47. Vambomarbeleye says:

      Scottish Merk with florins, groats and bawbees.

    48. wee jamie says:

      BTW ,just so you know, I was being sarcastic in my comment above, obviously I’m NOT  concerned about the volatility of oil lie,and agree we will have the stronger bargaining position in any currency union talks. I don’t believe for a minute that the unionists have reached the limit of dirty tricks, as the vote gets closer, they will become more desperate, but if we do vote yes,they will ultimately have to accept the new situation , and be grateful for any help we can give them .

    49. msean says:

      I too would prefer a Scottish currency,after all,we do have the collateral to back  up our own currency,unlike some others who don’t.

    50. david says:

      know I shouldn’t be thinking like this, but I’m sick to the back teeth of the ‘currency’ issue. Anyone who is clued up, knows the real truth.And so, for lying, and dragging us through this, as though we were getting root treatment at the dentist, I am sadistically awaiting the moment that a ‘Yes’ vote is confirmed.

      here here

    51. JLT says:

      Wee Jamie,
      Don’t worry. We know you were tongue in cheek!
      The more information that is coming out at the moment, with Oil in the Clyde area, even more oil than thought of in the Atlantic side, and still £1.5 trillion in the North Sea, I’m beginning to believe that if I dig deep enough in my back garden in Livingston, that I might just strike some of the magical black gold!

    52. Papadocx says:

      sure you would, probably some shale gas also. You could be double unlucky,

    53. wee jamie says:

      Great to be in a position , where we can ban the dangerous practice of fracking, as we have so many other resources at our fingertips !

    54. lumilumi says:

      Yay! My leccy’s back on! An autumn storm swept over Finland and some trees fell on power lines near where I live. I’m wearing three or four layers because my house has electric heating and it’s only +2C outside and still quite windy.
      Anyway, @ macdoc (2.42pm)
      I love your analogy about the 10%-20% end-of-year bonus. For the ordinary man/woman on the street, it makes the point about this oil volatility being utter nonsense better than any facts about oil prices, industry forecasts, industry investment, all these barrels, billions and trillions etc.
      I cannot understand why so many Scots don’t see the duplicity of the MSM media. Can’t they see they’re being peddled two totally conflicting stories?
      Oil in the UK = bonanza, boost to the economy, employment etc.
      Oil in independent Scotland = a terrible, volatile burden.
      [shakes head in disbelief]
      One thing I can say. If Finland finally located the elusive Baltic Sea oil, we wouldn’t leave it there because it’s so terribly volatile! 😀

    55. lumilumi says:

      On the currency issue.
      The most pragmatic solution for indy Scotland is to keep Pound Sterling initially. It’s also in the best interest of rUK (balance of payments, Scottish assets propping up the pound etc.).
      Westmister is making these ridiculous (and false) threats of Scots not being allowed to keep the pound because they think that might help the NO cause, as many – especially older voters – have this emotional attachment to the pound.
      That’s also one of the reasons the SNP and many others on the YES side are advocating the Sterling zone. Don’t scare the voters with too much change all at once.
      Another reason is, of course, that an initial Sterling zone would let the new indy Scotland government to sort out other things (welfare, tax, etc.) first, and turn (or return) to the currency issue a couple of years down the line.

    56. Oil and Currency linked together.  The campaign which said Its Scotland’s Oil was absolutely correct, and this must be hammered home.  No more pulling the wool over the public’s eyes (McCrone) etc.  Cut through the obfuscation.  Scotland won the lottery: do we use it for our own priorities, our own choices or do we give it away to our neighbour to use for Their benefit

    57. Mjaei says:

      Great article.
      JLT: well said mate.
      One thing that annoys me is whenever we talk about issues like currency union, oil field ownership, research council spending, ship building, EU membership etc., unionists seem to be of the view that if Scotland votes yes, then the rUK’s stance will be in negotiations to go out of their way to fuck us over, rather than to have friendly negotiations that can work well for both nations & start our new lives as friendly, peaceful, cooperative neighbours. I’d like labour, conservative & lib dems, to officially clarify that this is indeed their position in the event, and then explain why we should want to be in a union with such people in the first place…

    58. Boorach says:

      Apologies if this is way off track but in the unkilely event of rUK refusing currency union what would be the position regarding the colateral being held by the Bank of England to support the notes issued by Scottish banks?
      Would this have to be returned immediately to the Scottish banks which depending on SG’s position (continuing to use sterlingwithout. Binding union) could well continue to issue sterling notes?

    59. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      I did some business with an American chap three years ago. The business was transacted in Europe in Euros. As far as I could determine beforehand the American chap operated business transactions on 100% self-interest reasons. When the transaction had been concluded it was no surprise when he confided in me that the reason for him selling was that he was winding-down his business interests in Europe, as he had seen that power was now shifting to the Far East i.e. rat deserting a sinking ship scenario. Since then the capabilities of Google have enabled me to to view from afar his expanding business activities in the Orient. The point of the story in a UK context is that with this global power-shift, the days of the City of London centre-of-the-universe funny-money scams are drawing to a close, and that if we in Scotland want to build a better society going forwards we need to look even more to the wider world, and do things under our own steam (of which we have plenty).
      Scotland joined with the British Empire for reasons of economic imperative 300 years ago. The end of that particular auld sang will come in September next year, when Scotland will signal the end of the Union, in large part for the same reasons.

    60. Scaraben says:

      There does seem to be a real possibility that, if Scotland adopts its own currency on becoming independent, the debt-burdened rUK economy will suffer badly as the rUK’s credit rating goes down and the interest on its debt goes up. Given the way that Westminster and the British Establishment have lied and cheated, the idea is a tempting one.
      However, economic problems for the rUK, as Scotland’s neighbour and trading partner, would harm Scotland as well. A few years in a currency union would give the rUK time to come to terms with the new reality and start to economise – perhaps they will forget about replacing Trident and put both the new aircraft carriers up for sale. Even if the rUK economy does eventually crash, then postponing this for a few years is still a good idea. The Scottish government will have more than enough to do in the first few years of independence without having to cope with the consequences of economic chaos next door.

    61. JLT says:

      Just seen this on The Scotsman
      ‘Scottish independence: SNP plan to be quizzed’
      Not as SNP bashing as it sounds. Seems that the SNP are inviting everyone and anyone in the business world to attend a conference two weeks after the White Paper is produced. John Swinney will discuss and prove Scotland’s ability to stand on its own two feet. This will take place on the 10th of December.
      Here’s the link to that headline.
      On a further note, the Scotsman is also doing one! Here is another link, laying out the entire day of the conference.
      This Scotsman conference happens on Tuesday the 26th of November and begins at 8.45 in the morning after some coffee and biccies. Finishes with a networking lunch at 1pm.
      Would be cool if any ‘Yes’ business folk who come to this site were attending, and report back what took place!

    62. Atypical_Scot says:

      At the risk of becoming further isolated, the idea of a short term sterling union has what seems to be a gigantic drawback. 
      What would the global markets think of sterling at the point of currency union if it was known that in ‘x’ number of years it would be the rUK’s only, which would have an unsustainable trade deficit? The markets would pull out immediately. The only way to have a sterling zone is if it is long term.

    63. call me dave says:

      I agree, because we have no gripe with the English or Welsh people only the social policies pursued by their political parties and their outdated institutions based on class and privilege. 
      We can afford to be, and should be, good neighbours. I look forward to that and getting on with building our own country.

    64. JLT says:

      Grrr… I hate it when that timer thing happens as you try to amend!
      Just seen this on The Scotsman
      ‘Scottish independence: SNP plan to be quizzed’
      Not as SNP bashing as it sounds. Seems that the SNP are inviting everyone and anyone to attend a conference two weeks after the White Paper is produced. Alex Salmond will discuss and prove Scotland’s ability to stand on its own two feet. This will take place on the 10th of December.
      Here’s the link to that headline.
      On a further note, the Scotsman is also doing a business one! Here is another link, laying out the entire day of the conference.
      This Scotsman conference happens on Tuesday the 3rd of December and begins at 8.45 in the morning after some coffee and biccies. Finishes with a networking lunch at 1pm.
      John Swinney will lead the charge here.
      Would be cool if any ‘Yes’ business folk who come to this site were attending, and report back what took place!

    65. Scaraben says:

      @Calgacus MacAndrews
      “Scotland joined with the British Empire for reasons of economic imperative 300 years ago.”
      My understanding (and I make no claim to be a historian) is that Scotland was forced into the Union because, when faced with the prospect of the death of Queen Anne with no surviving children, the English picked their next monarch from far down the line of succession to get one who was Protestant; they were worried that the Scots would insist on making a different choice. With different monarchs on the thrones of Scotland and England, there would have been a possibility that Scotland would ally herself with whoever England was fighting on the Continent.
      I think I read somewhere that not only bribery was used to bring about the Union, but also a threat of invasion.

    66. JTL ,  Why  dig  yersel  the  hole  I  ll  phone  Pamala   Nashes  office   fur  ye   ,   I   you  ve  goat  a  long  hose  ave  goat  a  stirup  pump  ,   jist  a  couple  ah  45  gl  drums  tae  sort  oot  ,  hows  aboot  a  30 / 70 % suit  lol

    67. JLT says:

      I agree …to a point.

      I’m happy for Scotland to continue in a Sterling zone for as long as we assume that Westminster and the BoE are not going down a dodgy path with another financial bubble in the near future, or that somehow, they start tackling that massive debt properly.
      If I believed that Scotland, long term, was going to suffer due to daft Westminster policies, or the BoE turning a blind eye to more extreme forms of reckless banking, then sure as ****, I would have Scotland prepare for its own currency within a short time frame.

      If Westminster and the Elite want to commit hari-kiri by continuing down a path of sheer greed, then they can do it without Scotland. At that point, I wouldn’t give a monkeys about Sterling and whether it crashed through the floor. It would serve them right, the greedy soan-soas!!!

    68. JLT says:

      Ronnie Anderson,
      What are you typing on? You seem to leave a helluva big gap between words!

    69. Dcanmore says:

      O/T … 36 hours to go for the brilliant ‘Fear Factor’ team to raise just £2400, to reach £20,000 to produce a feature length documentary on Scottish Independence.

    70. JLT says:

      Cheers Dcanmore.
      Just donated a tenner to the cause!

    71. Atypical_Scot says:

      I shudder at the thought of a long term agreement with the rUK. Mind boggling thought. There should be no concern for the rUK’s welfare in this matter. They’re big enough and old enough to manage themselves…,    
      …so we’re constantly reminded. 🙂

    72. BuckieBraes says:

      It’s something no independence-supporting politician will say, because it sounds too vague, but it’s nonetheless true – have faith: the big things will be sorted out. (It’s probably the wee things that nobody is predicting that will trip us up, but hey!)
      Currency, EU membership, NATO membership…despite whatever scare stories the No side tries to peddle, all these big pieces of the jigsaw will fall into place very quickly once Scotland decides on independence; but we have to obtain that Yes vote first. With a Yes vote we shall have infinite choice; without a Yes vote next to no choice.

    73. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      I think I read somewhere that not only bribery was used to bring about the Union, but also a threat of invasion.

      Totally agree. When I said that “Scotland joined with the British Empire for reasons of economic imperative 300 years ago.” I meant “joined” in the context of Scotland in 1707 = The Parcel of Rogues guys.

      Times have changed, even if the Rogues not so much, but hopefully Scotland in September 2014 = The Scottish People

    74. Yer   aw  waxin  lirikil  on  currency  every  thing  fae  wallies  groat  bawbees   In  the  15  th  century   Holland  had  a  TULIP  currency  ,  noo  some  o  you,s  will  think  am  talkin  mince  (  Gallowys   only  )  if  ah  talk  mince  its  only  the  best   onny  wi  we  re  ah   ken   enough   tae  see  through  the  game  UK  gov,s playing   if  the  BBC  /  MSM  were  un  BIAS   we  lot  would  be  Redundant  before  we  started  all the  informtion  is  there   but  the  wider  Scottish  people   Dont  have  that  information

    75. REV,,  You  stop  winding  up  TalkTalk  ah  though  I  was  bad  enough  tapping  wi  ma  fingers  own  a  laptop   am redused  tae  a  I  pad  n  a  fkin  rubber  pen  (  still  nae  hinternet  fae  Thurs )  am  pullin  a signal  fae  upstair

    76. lumilumi says:

      more on the currency issue…
      (I apologise in advance, I’m going to write about Finland again. Maybe you all WoS readers are sick to your back teeth about my ramblings. But I think maybe perspectives from other small independent countries might be of interest to WoS readers.)
      Many Scots are emotionally quite attached to pound sterling. It’s perfectly understandable and even valid. When Finland was contemplating joining the euro, there was a lot of emotional outpouring for keeping our markka.
      The Finnish markka (Finnmark, FIM) had been a symbol of our nationhood for about 140 years.
      Since the 13th century, when Swedes came on crusades to Finland, we’d been a part of the Swedish Rik (~kingdom) and used Swedish money. In 1809 Sweden, in yet another war with their neighbour (most of those fought on Finnish soil), lost Finland to the Russian Empire.  From 1809 Finland was officially part of Russia, a semi-autonomous grand duchy.
      We kept our own (mostly Swedish) laws and our way of life, and then, Finland being the most industrially advanced part of the Russian Empire (our industrial revoultion was started by a Scot, James Finlayson!) we were given lots of concessions. Even a currency of our own, markka, in 1860. That’s 57 years before we finally became independent in 1917.
      So you can see why giving up the markka for the euro was a hugely emotive issue in Finland.
      I and most of my friends – thirtysomethings at the time – weren’t really fussed, having a common European currency just seemed convienent. No need to change money when visting friends or family in other European countries, and easier cross-border trade. The place I worked for at the time moved it’s “British” trade and co-operation from England to Ireland because it was just easier, not having to muddle with currency exchange rates (plus Ireland was already into internet banking while England was still using cheques!).
      The problem with euro is, of course, that the eurozone countries have very different economies and fiscal policies and political cultures.
      Finland is one of the northern European countries with a dour, prudent and strict financial outlook while it seems our southern friends are happy to waste public money on corruption and perks and freebies and whatnot and are very bad at actually collecting taxes (a bit like Westminster, actually).
      It is a failing of the EU that prolifgate (southern) European countries were allowed to the eurozone with cooked books for political reasons. Finland has been just about the only original Eurozone country that has stuck to all the terms and conditions. Even Germany hasn’t. No wonder anti-EU, anti-euro feelings are rising in Finland. We’ve managed our financed well and end up paying for mismanagement by our cousins down south, and as a consequence, our national debt is rising – that’s how it seems to the common man/woman on the street.
      The lesson? Currency union without fiscal policy union is going to end up in tears. Scotland’s problem is that a Sterling currency union might leave Scotland liable to bail out the rUK in the long term.
      McCrone said in the early 1970s that an independent Scotland’s currency would be embarrassingly strong. Now, a strong currency is a double-edged sword. A strong currency hampers exports, so could potentially be counter-productive to the national economy as a whole.
      Before Finland joined the euro, it had a tool. Devalue the currency to boost exports. I can remember it being used a few times. It of course made imports more expensive, or foreign travel, as the Finnmark was worth less agaist foreign currencies.
      I’m no economist but sometimes monetary issues touch you personally. In the early 1990s, my boyfriend was coming from Scotland to Finland for 2-3 months, he’d been saving money. Finland devalued, and there were rumors of UK also devaluing. I called my boyfriend: “Change all your pounds sterling into finnmarks NOW!” Stupid git didn’t do it, the UK devalued the pound two days later and he lost out on £200-300 of “free money”. [head banging against brick wall smiley].
      Whatever indy Scotland does about currency, it’ll be all right. Scotland is a rich country. All those natural resources, the well-educated workforce, and, dare I say it, after independence, people who want their country to succeed and will work towards that (regardless of how they might’ve voted in the referendum).

    77. Jingly Jangly says:

      Read somewhere recently that its Scottish banks have 3 billion held in deposit at the BoE and that the BoE would have to hand it back if we didn’t have a currency union.

      As an aside from Sterling we are also due about UK Pounds 14 billion of gold as well, pity that Gordon Brown sold off 395 tons at rock bottom prices averaging $275 per ounce (Its $1829 per ounce today)

    78. call me dave says:

      ronnie anderson 
      Hi Ron , what a coincidence I was just talking about tulips the other day ‘the black tulip’  funny thing the world of finance where a tulip was worth a few gilders.  Parts of New York bought from the indians for some glass beads ,shells bartered in the pacific etc etc.
      Keep on posting!

    79. Brian Powell says:

      The Scotsman headline, “Scottish Independence: SNP Plan to be Quizzed”, is giving a typical slant, as if they had no choice.
      The reality is Alex Salmond and John Swinney  arranged the Q&A session to coincide with the release of the White Paper.

    80. JLT,  Its  a  wonder  the  texts  no  in  Sth  Lanarkshire  the  wie  ma  hawns  shakein  am  some  people  pull  me  up  fur  ma  bad  speelin  ah  fuk  it  am  no  dainn any  corrections  this  is  4  min  worth

    81. call me dave says:

      ronnie anderson 
      pulling a signal from upstairs. . . . naughty boy!  But resourseful.
      smiley thing.  😉 

    82. Call me  Dave ,  noo  theirs  no  many   people  no  that  thats  two  of  us  oot  the  funy  ferm  lol

    83. rabb says:

      My heart says raise our own currency but my head says it’s not the right time.
      The best scenario is for us to retain the £ at least in the interim period.

      During this period Scotland MUST work towards opening up trade across the rest of the EU & the rest of the world thus reducing the reliance on trade with rUK. I seriously worry about what’s coming just round the corner for the UK economy.
      Any agreement should have a get out clause for us to walk away if we have a better option.

      Once in a more comfortable position we should then look at raising our own currency and sticking it into the ERM2 as a 2nd option.
      All being well we can then cut the ties and push on ahead.

    84. mjaei says:

      Great article.

      One thing that annoys me is whenever we talk about issues like currency union, oil field ownership, research council spending, ship building, EU membership etc., unionists seem to be of the view that if Scotland votes yes, then the rUK’s stance will be in negotiations to go out of their way to screw us over, rather than to have friendly negotiations that can work well for both nations & start our new lives as friendly, peaceful, cooperative neighbours. I’d like labour, conservative & lib dems, to officially clarify that this is indeed their position in the event, and then explain why we should want to be in a union with such people in the first place…

    85. annie says:

      O/T good to see the UK keeping the EU money due to Scottish farmers being flagged up by Country File tonight.   Apparently Northern Ireland farmers get about 3 times as much needless to say Scotland comes last of the four nations.  Government minister had a really good excuse for this though and he might look at it again in 2017.  How lucky are we.

    86. call me dave says:

      Mr Darling and Lamont will be banging their heids against the wall in thon bunker.
      Meanwhile in Bute House tea cakes are being served with a nice tea in the china cups.

    87. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

      All this talk of currency, I don’t care what it is as long as it’s legal tender and I can buy my shopping with it, If it’s scotts siller that all right with me.

    88. CR says:

      @annie, thanks for that, will watch it on iplayer

    89. Gus says:

      There is a problem with existing pensions and pension pots if we do NOT enter into a currency union and subsequently sterling goes down in value against whatever currency an independent Scotland is using. The current non-state pension and pension pots are denominated in sterling and with Westminster refusing to admit that a currency union is the best option is just sowing discontent amount people faced with a reduction in the value of their pensions and pension pots.

    90. southernscot says:

      I vote a new currency called the Minto in your honour Scott. Then we can all be minted. 🙂

    91. Monty Carlow says:

      Don’t apologise for all the information you give on Finland; it is very refreshing and reassuring to read how ”normal” it is for small countries to function, despite the universal scaremongering we are subjected to, and to learn how Finland has faced historical challenges, but managed to get on with it, and create a society which we in Scotland can (for now) only envy.  Keep posting in that vein, please.
      What I would like to know is how much interest, if any, is there  about Scotland’s referendum in Finland?  Do they have any views on it – is your goodwill widely shared?  It would be good if we knew that there was popular support across Europe, not necessarily active support, but at least an acknowledgement that if/when we vote yes, it would be accepted, and there would be reciprocal goodwill.  Do Finnish politicians ever comment?  Is there merit in seeking to opinion-form in other countries?

    92. LumiLumi , Whit  Finn,s  are  Dour  ah  yer  in the right  bleethring  site,  you  jist  keep  on  posting , your  posts  are very  informative, if  I  had  to  type  the  lenght  of  posts  that  you  do  it  would  be  the  Scottish  parliamentary  elections  2016  lol

    93. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      O/T … 36 hours to go for the brilliant ‘Fear Factor’ team to raise just £2400, to reach £20,000 to produce a feature length documentary on Scottish Independence.

      Fired-up the HTML editor and done a wee bit to help Scotland Yet get over the £20k finish line. Page gets about 5000 unique visitors per month, so here’s hoping it helps with the fundraising over the next day-and-a half.

    94. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Elizabeth Sutherland
      That’s exactly the way this issue should be dealt with. 

    95. MochaChoca says:

      It has always amazed me that an industry that apparently only generates 1-2% of UK GDP always takes up a fair few pages of any UK government financail analysis. Other individual industries seem to get barely a mention.

    96. Boorach says:

      Ronnie, don’t know if it helps but ASDA is doing a dongle (everything everywhere – orange & Tmobile) for around £30 which includes 3 months internet subscription. Could get your laptop up and going. 🙂

    97. Boorach says:

      Dammit, sorry forgot it’s in for a clean-up. Senior moment, apologies

    98. MochaChoca says:

      Posted this before on the Business for Scotland page but it’s relevant here.
      One of the main variables of Oil revenues are is of course global oil price, all financial ‘doom and gloom’ stories really boil down to oil revenues and primarily stem from predictions made by the OBR.
      Nov’10: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $87/barrel (and static thereafter)
      Nov’11: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $101/barrel (then falling $3-4 per year)
      Dec’12: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $106/barrel (then falling $4-5 per year)
      Mar’13: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $113/barrel (then falling $4-7 per year)
      In 2010 OBR were 25% out on a three year prediction, then having to appear more realistic as the outturn approaches.
      Despite prices remaining stable coming on for 3 years, with each publication the OBR forecast a steeper decline leading to a $90-93 price point in 2017-18, indicating a deficit scenario in Scotland’s early years of independence.
      The OBR have already admitted Oil price prediction is impossible, so have chosen a ‘magic number’ which suits the Westminster agenda and are working backwards to create the illusion of a ‘forecast’ with this endpoint. They only have to maintain this strategy until September next year.
      I predict OBR predictions following September next year will revert to an upward trend as all other agencies are forecasting.
      BTW the next instalment from the OBR is out in about 3 weeks, we’ll see what this brings.

    99. Monty Carlow says:

      On the subject of Finnish inspiration for Scotland, I remember a series of SNP Party Political Broadcasts in the 1970s – scenes of Scottish life, good and bad, showing grim housing, spectacular scenery, and ending with North Sea drilling, all accompanied by Sibelius, the Karelia Suite – stirring stuff.

    100. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Of course oil revenues are volatile. Sometimes it is worth a lot of money. Other times it is worth a helleva lot of money 

    101. Boorachach,  But  since  the internet  went  down  Thurs I put it in for a clean out so hopefully I will be back up & runing Tues  BT coming out Tues morn (  thats  BT engineer  )  lol

    102. lumilumi says:

      @ Monty 10.01
      Ha, that’s interesting, about the SNP using Sibelius’s music for party political broadcasts in the 1970s.
      Were they aware of the fact that all Sibelius’s greatest music was inspired by the struggle for Finnish independence? He was a “fennomaani”,  a FinnNat, through and through.
      He got his face on our 100 markka note, and every living Finn will have heard at least Finlandia, not least because it was used in the the 1955 film Tuntematon sotilas (“Unknown soldier”) about the Continuation War, which is shown on the telly every Independence Day.
      Finlandia is a beautiful piece of music appreciated the world over, played by symphony orchestras the world over, but in my view, only Finnish orchestras get it right. They know what it means. The despair, the struggle, the proud fight, the beauty of Finland, the snow flurries, the setbacks but the ultimate victory, new dawn and a promise of something better… The fragile flutes have me in tears every time.
      I’ve heard many foreign orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Japan National Orchestra and various others playing Finlandia and it just isn’t right. Not serious enough, not joyous enough, too fast, too sweet, too tawrdy.
      Thank god our national anthem is something much simpler, something people can belt out at ice hockey matches. As beautiful as the Finlandia hymn is, you can’t expect ordinary punters to be able to sing it! 😀

    103. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The Scottish Government hold all the cards on the Sterling issue as without oil revenues and Scottish exports in Sterling Sterling will crash.
      And of course England cannot stop anybody using Sterling anyway but they can stop a formal currency union if they want to bust themselves. Some chance!

    104. benarmine says:

      Great article again Scott, thank you. The more this information is spread the easier the job will be. I read a thread on the Dundee Mad supporters site – almost all were Yes, some with good factual arguments to back up their feelings. A really good signal that the news is getting out there.

    105. lumilumi says:

      One more note about FinnNats who fought for our independence.
      Most of the early FinnNats actually spoke Swedish as their mother tongue. Many of the next wave, such as Jean Sibelius, did. But they still felt Finnish. Felt that Finland was their country, not Sweden, and definitely not Russia. A popular slogan of the times was:
      Swedes we’re not,
      Russians we don’t want to be.
      Therefore, let us be Finns!
      This is what I want to tell to modern day narrow-minded “FinnNats” who want to abolish Swedish language teaching from our schools over some imaginaded grievance. Swedish-speakers have lived in Finland for nearly 1000 years, and they speak a different Swedish from the Sweden Swedish. They support Finland in ice hockey, football, whatever. They’re Finns. Finland is their country, end of.

    106. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ lumilumi

      Love Sibelius, but What do you reckon to, Hamish MacCunn – The Land of the Mountain and flood?

    107. Atypical_Scot says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill;
      Without a formal currency union, I don’t think the BoE would be the lander of last resort. With a currency union with a get out clause for Scotland, the markets will pull out because of the envisaged trade deficit, the rUK would not let this happen, and it would mean that i Scotland makes a loss because it is using the same currency.
      The point is, a currency union is a long term commitment to using sterling or it just doesn’t work. At no point have I suggested the UK would not agree to a currency union. 

    108. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      I know you believe that entering a formal currency sharing arrangement would tie us to Sterling forever, but that just isn’t so.
      In the short to medium term, Scottish and rUK economies will be roughly aligned.
      As more differences emerge due to differing economic policies, so divergence will occur and Scotland would be wise to move to its own currency.
      The point is that in the meantime there is no need to… in fact doing so would be counterproductive as it could damage our largest trading partner – and therefore us too.
      We maintain a Sterling zone for at least a decade – easily long enough for the rUK to try and tackle its balance of trade deficit – and then we pull out at a time that suits Scotland.
      A newly independent Scotland doesn’t need the extra hassle in year 1. Moving it down the line to when the economy is more stable and people are ‘used’ to an independent Scotland makes for a prudent decision.
      If we were to move to a new currency immediately then it would cause the issue you describe, AND damage Scotland too. Its not a sensible approach.
      Waiting a few years and then having a managed withdrawal is far better – and NO-ONE could stop an independent Scotland from doing that.

    109. Morag says:

      “Finlandia” is used as a hymn tune, and in that context it is an appalling dirge.
      “Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side, bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.  Leave it to God to order and provide….”
      Bugs me no end.  I hate it.  It reads like, “know your place, don’t try to improve your lot, be a good little drone”.  It put me right off that particular work of Sibelius’s for years.
      Anyway, Sibelius is great, especially the Karelia suite.  (And does anyone know why his name was given to the computer programme for writing music?)  But we have our own music, very distinctive it is too.  Just leave James McMillan out of it.

    110. Robert Louis says:

      Slightly o/t, but relevant to this discussion,
      Michael Portillo present a rather excellent series of programmes on continental railway journeys on BBC.  Last night he travelled from Denmark to Norway.  Whilst doing so, in the latter part of the programme, he talked of how Norway had flourished since becoming independent, and is rich in natural resources such as fish, timber, and of course oil.  As I heard all this, I just couldn’t help but think, this is EXACTLY what commentators might say about Scotland following independence.
      For those who can stomach the (now relatively) tame thatcherite, Portillo, the episode in question in on BBC iPlayer (also repeated on BBC later in week) here;
      Best part starts at 43:35, and continues to the end.
      “Norway (as a country)’s one of the world’s wealthiest, thanks to an abundance of natural resources such as North sea oil and gas, along with forests and fish”
      Just like an independent Scotland then.

    111. Robert Louis says:

      You are right about Sibelius, although one ‘foreign’ orchestra did seem to get it right.  Unless I am mistaken, the former conductor of the (then) Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson, was a great enthusiast, and the SNO developed quite a reputation for their renditions of Sibelius.  Gibson was awarded the Sibelius medal by Finland for his work.

    112. Grant_M says:

      Excellent piece, Scott.
      I forwarded it to five dk/undecideds, three of whom have already replied very favourably.
      Andrew Nicoll, of The Sun, needs to read it…

    113. Atypical_Scot says:

      @Scott Minto;
      Morning Scott. I get the jist of the proposed currency union. I am most shocked by Mr Kerevan’s exposure of the financial fall out for the rUK IF the mission is to get the rUK to agree to the key points that an i Scotland desire from the currency union. In essence, Mr Kerevan has revealed that the rUK should not just benefit from a currency union, but will ultimately fail without it. To address your points.
      As more differences emerge due to differing economic policies, so divergence will occur and Scotland would be wise to move to its own currency.
      Agreed, which is why I am concerned.
      easily long enough for the rUK to try and tackle its balance of trade deficit 
      The rUK has completely destroyed its capacity to reform, and has stated it will remain in permanent austerity. This is Asia’s century, and the only winners in the rUK will be the bankers. I have no faith in the anti-social neo-liberal’s having the desire to lose their profit for the benefit of a negative deficit, just to let Scotland leave when we want. Do you?
      If we were to move to a new currency immediately then it would cause the issue you describe, AND damage Scotland too
      Agreed. But if Scotland wants to leave the currency union one year later, or ten years later that will happen anyway unless the rUK gets rid of the Neo-liberal capitalists that have wantonly created the trade deficit on purpose – baring in mind they own the UK with the £6 trillion in the city. The slightest whiff of a temporary arrangement will cause the markets to pull out immediately causing Scotland to lose out with the rUK. The only way to safe guard the sterling for the first decade of independence within a currency union, is to have a clause that stipulates that neither party can pull out if it is to the detriment of the economic viability of the other, which is the basis of my first comment > 
      and NO-ONE could stop an independent Scotland from doing that.
      > except for the agreement itself.

    114. Robert Kerr says:

      O/T a little.
      I am advised that the new Northern oil projects are being engineered to Norwegian NORSOC standards.
      I am sorry I am out of touch with detailed design now that I have retired so no link.
      Perhaps this could be followed up and speculation offered for this “sea change”

    115. Patrician says:

      @Robert Loius
      Don’t slag Portillo too much, he has already said if he lived in Scotland he would support Scottish Indepence. 

    116. Patrician says:

      Scott, brilliant article.  I have been trying to write something like this for a while as I am an economics geek and have been since I literally stumbled into the middle of an economics lecture at university.  I usually give up as I can never make the points so simple and easy to understand.  For all those in Scotland who meet people who don’t want to give up the pound, try this experiment:  Ask them to go into their wallet/purse and separate the notes into Scottish and English money, then ask why is a Scottish currency so hard to think about.  

    117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Nobody finds a Scottish curency hard to think about and I have seen no post that suggests that.

      It is an entirely legitimate option.

      Any Scottish Governement will be able to decide to adopt it.  At this moment in time and approaching independence negotiations for a number of different reasons the sterling position, in the balance, has more positives and gives us a huge advantage to place on the table.

    118. Murray McCallum says:

      I ran the “oil liability / volatility” better together story past my Finnish friend yesterday. He is a day trader and specialises in a few traded commodities including WTI oil. He just laughed and shook his head in disbelief.
      How people could view having the most sought after commodity on the planet as a problem was beyond him – “total naivety”.

    119. Patrician says:

      I was addressing the point raised by Tairanach about people being worried about the pound.  Should have linked to his name but I was posting on the move as it were.  
      Personally, I think going into an economic union with rUK is not in Scotlands best interests but I can see the benefit of doing so as part of the “don’t scare the horses” tactic.  
      Pegging a new Scottish currency to Sterling or the Dollar for that matter makes much more sense. Setting up the necessary infrastructure to do this would be a matter of priority for a new Scottish Government.
      I would enter the negotiations with currency off the table and let rUK then push for it to happen.  Currency union is more beneficial to rUK interests than it is to Scotlands interests.
      Sterling isn’t the safe bet it used to be.  If you want to make some money, short Sterling for:
      19 September 2014;
      Scottish Independence day 2016;
      and if the Tories win the rUK election in 2015, sell all the Sterling you own before 2017.

    120. Mr Angry says:

      I went to Oman last year for a Holiday, great it was. My wife and I went for a drive in the desert and our driver was a nice man and more importantly for us one who would discuss any topic we raised.
      They were celebrating the 30 th year of the sultans rule. They paid no income tax, no road tax, petrol was 23 pence per gallon and they were complaining!. There were no buses or trains as everyone had a car. When a man and woman got married the government gave them £35000 and if they wanted to build a house the government also gave them half an acre of land each.
      They have NHS that is the envy of anyone who sees it ( my wife is a consultant in the NHS ) the roads are perfect, there are new houses going up everywhere, new offices and other civic buildings.
      All children must attend school even those living in tents in the desert. Education is of course free. There is no such thing a child poverty.
      Our tour guide has a wife and two children and has just employed a housekeeper from Somali. This housekeeper has a proper contract of employment and the tour guide had to pay for her to come to Oman. Should the housekeeper decide to leave her employment the tour guide must pay her contract in full and also for her to return home…..He did say that Omani women are becoming fat and lazy!!!!
      They have done all this and much more since they broke away from westmister ‘rule’ and having controle of their own oil and other finances.
      There is little or no crime except for boy racers. The streets are spotless with no litter or pot holes.
      Now I am not saying we here in Scotland could become as the Omanies are now but it shows what we could have done on many levels if we had not had our oil controled by westminster and then squandered it as they did.
      The people love the Sultan as he think of his own people first. He tours the country every six months living in tents and brings his cabinet of ministers with him. They are not allowed to live in hotels. Each time they set up camp the local people can go see the Sulatan with complaints.
      We have a similar system over here where on can go see his or her Labour Mp with a complaint only to find they are to busy filling out expenses claim forms.

    121. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ lumilumi
      National Collective were having a discussion on the subject of anthems – I thought it would be good to have something orchestral so mentioned MacCunn…
      My thoughts…
      So like why has no one ever heard-of him? I know it is heavy duty romantic, but it is moving music, would it be appropriate in some ways?

      Why no MacCunn anywhere? Is it because he is Scottish? I think that the latter part of this piece could be made into a great National Anthem, kinda like Finlandia..

      Like the idea of music without any words but lots of feeling… Like driving through Rannoch Moor to Glencoe. in the snow… Epic and beautiful, think we need an anthem like that…
      Wonder what do others think?

    122. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Sterling certainly isn’t the safe bet it used to be – particularly if we point out that we are prepared  to come out of it if anybody starts playing silly buggers. 

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