Thursday, October 30, 2008

Norway No Way for Scotland - Norway

The last unhindered bastion of Alex Salmond's arc of prosperity turned around and bite him yesterday. With the Emerald Tiger of Ireland stalled and Iceland floundering Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway's foreign minister, has said there are major differences between Norway and Scotland and the comparisons and plans made by Alex Salmond based on Norway's achievements do not add up.

For starters the oil fund that Salmond is so keen to replicate and use in so many ways in Norway is the pension fund. Its monies are "for our children and grandchildren" with very little available for current spending to the exchequer.

Also unlike in Scotland, "We [Norway] don't consume any of our gas, we export almost all of our production." The situation is reversed for the North Sea gas in the UK and Scotland, most of it is used domestically.

He also said there were major differences historically in how Norway and the UK were geared up to use the resources discovered in the North Sea in the 70s:

"Our social sector and structural system were ready for the big changes. We
started with major investments in oil and gas in the early 1970s and it was only
in the late 1990s that we went into surplus."

Finally the often almost robotic call of cybernats when challenged regarding Iceland or Norway has been the fact that both of these have escaped the vagrancies of various forms of some sort of greater Scandinavia through the centuries. Mr Støre however also said that he would be "upset" if he thought that his country were being used as a "source of division or strife in other countries".


Jeff said...

I like how people delight in commenting on the difficulties faced by Iceland and Ireland, as if the UK is living in times of bread and honey at the moment.

We're all feeling the pinch.

That said, 90% growth in Ireland followed by a mere 4% drop during the recession giving an overall 86% growth doesn't sound too bad to me.

But as I say in my own post, we need to get past looking to other countries to solve our problems. How nice would it be if we read in foreign newspapers "why can't we be more like Scotland" once in a while.

Jock Coats said...

I have a friend who is investing some of Norway's oil money in social project in Scotland...:) In fact he's in Linlithgow!

Check out the comment on this page from "ChrisCook, Linlithgow."

Stephen Glenn said...

Jeff, interesting you pick up on 8 words of my entire article which was merely a place setting and ignore the meat on the plate. I merely commented on a Norwegian minister's comments on a country that Alex Salmond has been looking to, to build his independence template on.

It is not me, nor the Lib Dem, who have been looking to these "small independent nations" alone for frameworks to make an independece argument for Scotland.

Anonymous said...

You should know better than to quote a sub-literate Unionist rag like the Daily Mail. Another pathetic story exploded here.

Stephen Glenn said...

Actually agent I was quoting the Times though I appear to have posted the wrong link yesterday.


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