A recent report by oil economist and chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr Richard Pike, as well as other petroleum experts, points to the fact that North Sea oil will last for another 100 years – twice as long as previous estimates.
In 1975, and only revealed under Freedom of Information after 30 years, leading Scottish economist Gavin McCrone presented to the Cabinet office a paper revealing that North Sea oil could have made an independent Scotland as prosperous as Switzerland.
An independent Scotland’s budget surpluses as a result of the oil boom, wrote Professor McCrone, would be so large as to be “embarrassing”. Scotland’s currency “would become the hardest in Europe, with the exception perhaps of the Norwegian kroner”. From being poorer than their southern neighbours, Scots would have become richer and been in a position to lend heavily to England and “this situation could last for a very long time into the future”.
While McCrone was saying that an independent Scotland would be Europe’s Switzerland, the Unionists were saying that it would be like Bangladesh.
With another 100 years of black gold left, surely we cannot be stupid enough to make the same mistake again, can we?