I’ve been thinking recently about what independence will actually mean for the individual people in Scotland. Apart from the “fairer and more equal” bit, what does the average person actually gain?
The answer is, as is the case with all questions like that, very complex. Here, I’ll try to un-complex it for you. It’s all about resources and wealth. Most people think the wealth of the nation is something to do with the silly bits of paper they have in their wallet or purse. Wrong. Real wealth is based on resources. Money used to be a representation of that wealth and in fact the word “Sterling” comes from the sterling silver it was once based on. The banks of course changed that to a “gold-standard”, but for many years now the link between these things and the money have been severed. Most currencies are called “Fiat” currencies where they have nothing to back them.
So where is the real wealth in Scotland? That’s a simple one, our wealth is in our resources which are;-
- Sciences and Life Sciences
- Wind, wave and tidal movement
- People and ideas
- Oil and Gas
I’m pretty sure that everything apart from “people and ideas” has been discussed to death and back, so for the sake of this article I’m going to concentrate on just that – our people and their ideas.
Scotland has always been a place of education. We consider that important. From as far back as the reformation where Scottish communities didn’t have to pay money to the Roman Catholic Church any more, they instead put their money into the education of their children. That is just a historic fact. That was the beginning of the process we now call “the enlightenment”.
Since that time our children have benefitted from an unrivalled education system and one that produced some of the most starling discoveries and inventions of their times. I have often heard the phrase “Scotland invented the 21st century” and where I might point to other discoveries and inventions by people from other countries, it is true that from such a small nation big things did emerge.
For any nation to be successful, it must educate its children and retain them. Aye, but there’s the rub – we haven’t retained them, have we? For many families in Scotland who have seen their children pass through the education system with flying colours, the saddest thing for those families is that the child decides that there isn’t enough for them here and climbs onto an aeroplane never to return. What we are losing there is the best of the best. The people who would grow into a veritable asset for Scotland. And make no bones about it, Scotland is a poorer place without them.
The Scottish diaspora now number in the tens of millions and Scottish folk are in every nook and cranny of this planet. I suppose this is something we should be very proud of , however, if an independent Scotland is to be a success, we really should be looking at ways to entice these bright people to stay and help build our country into what it could be.
How would we go about achieving something as difficult as that?
The answer is in the Scottish economy. Sure we have all the wealth we need but that makes it’s way to Westminster. Once we’ve got rid of the “middle man” we’ll be free to put in place policies and decisions that start to work for us and use a little of that wealth to create a great place for business. Those people who now represent the Diaspora may see an opportunity for their company and decide to invest in Scotland along with others by setting up a manufacturing plant or some other commercial or industrial concern in Scotland. That would bring jobs, lots of them, and careers.
It is only by opening Scotland for business in this way that we will succeed in the short to medium term. That becomes our moment of opportunity and many of our brightest and best will decide to make their life in Scotland and take up the opportunities which now exist here.
Then we can truly call them the “Scotlandaires” because they will have inherited Scotland’s wealth.
David Milligan Lvss