If, on the 17th of December, in 1903, had you suggested that a new invention would enable wars be won and lost, and ordinary people would have used such to go on holiday thousands of miles from their home, you would have been locked up for being a madman. On that day, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first powered flight. Let me sidestep the argument that a Scotsman may have invented powered flight for a moment and concentrate on my point. Even if you knew the Kitty Hawk aeroplane had made her flights that day on the beaches, you would still be hard pressed to understand the future of nations would either fall or be victors because of such a momentous event.
Scotland has access to oil under the North Sea. How much oil depends upon which expert or scare monger you choose to listen to, either or both are to some degree correct. However, my belief, as much as the world could not predict the events that would follow the flight of the kitty Hawk, nor can we predict the future for the oil and gas under the north sea. How long will it last depends not only on the extraction rate, but the extraction difficulty, boundary ownership and political geography of the location of the wells in the North Sea.
To base a countries future on one argument could be catastrophic if things went wrong. It is one heck of an argument, if we are right, and we believe we are right, the future could be bright. If we are not quite as right, well maybe there will be a little less, but the future would not be dimmed. To follow this line of reasoning misses the point entirely. Let me revert to the original metaphor.
The dream of flight was always there for the Wright Brothers, the construct of the aeroplane was always there for them, they had it just about right and they knew it. It took a retired mechanic with a little insight to produce an ignition coil and spark system, that in turn allowed the small engine to produce enough horsepower to maintain powered flight long enough to fly the distance needed.
The SNP has the metaphorical aeroplane, it has the belief, it even has the engine, they just need enough people in the right place to make things happen, and slowly, they are getting them together. It is known the country of Scotland cannot base it’s future on the North Sea alone, technology will change and such change will alter the rate and value of the oil, but Scotland has a powerful army of bright thinkers, an intelligent army of inventors and if they put their minds together, so many more avenues will become apparent that Scotland will be able to fly along hitherto hidden pathways to increase the wealth, the power and the success of Scotland.
Had you been in a position to wager a few gold coins on the Wright brothers given what we know now, you would indeed be wealthy. I know many Scots not in Scotland, would love to come home, make more money than they do now, have a brighter future than they do now and have greater stability than they do now, to the benefit of everyone proud enough to support Scotland and her brilliant people. We need to stop basing all our trust on the ‘experts’, but have a side wager that if Scotland were self governed, she could choose her own paths and make of it what she will. I have no doubt in my mind, Scotland would be a most successful place to be.
Scotland, the future could be bright.
by Kaela Street, 25th September 2014