The Scottish nationalists were being paranoid, they said.
From Forbes a much needed reminder of the lies that Westminster will tell, to keep Scotland. We must learn the lesson of history and reject the lies and scaremongering this time.
Back in the 1970s, when the people of Scotland last had a vote on independence, Scottish campaigners accused the English of were stealing their country’s North Sea oil revenues. “England Needs… Scotland’s Oil,” read the campaign billboards. An independent Scotland, they argued, would be far better off and far richer than it would as a small part of a United Kingdom.
“”The English establishment in Westminster scoffed. The Scottish nationalists were being paranoid, they said. They were being ridiculous. Their estimates of the oil reserves were pure fantasy. Their claims that Scotland was getting short-changed were nonsense.
But guess what? It turns out that the Scottish Nationalists at the time were right. Even more remarkably, it turns out that the English governments at the time knew full well that the Scottish Nationalists were right. They had in their hands a secret report which said so, and backed up the Nationalists’ charges. So they did what any self-respecting government would do. They lied.
In 1974 the English government had received a secret study conducted by economics professor Gavin McCrone. Nearly all that North Sea oil is Scottish, Professor McCrone wrote. The oil reserves were far bigger than most people realized, he said. An independent Scotland would become one of the most prosperous countries in the world, comparable to Switzerland or Norway, he wrote. Its coffers would overflow. The biggest problem the country might face would be dealing with its massive balance of payments surplus.
Meanwhile, of course, the big loser from independence would be England.
The English government suppressed the report. The McCrone Report was hushed up, and didn’t see the light of day until about ten years ago.We only know about it because the Scottish Nationalist Party, using freedom of information laws, forced the English government to reveal it.”