Oil Off The West Coast of Scotland
Waters off the the West Coast of Scotland and deep harbour ports of the Clyde were, (many year’s ago) declared by Westminster to be of immense strategic importance to the MOD and the USA. Following up the MOD announced that the area would provide a permanent base for Trident and nuclear submarines and extensive sheltered training areas for conventional submarines and other naval vessels.
Not long after oil and gas was discovered then developed, in the North Sea providing tremendous financial benefits to the UK, (but not to Scotland).
At around that time, it was projected, by a number of exploratory searches that there were even larger oil and gas deposits, (in place and undeveloped) in abundance off the West coast of Scotland, (confirmed by recent discovery of a substantial oilfield off the coast of Antrim, extending into Scottish waters.
Enter the spoiler, (the MOD) who ensured, (through Westminster intervention) implementation of a permanent bann preventing any exploration and development of oil and/or gas fields off or on-shore in the waters off the entire West coast of Scotland.
The entire matter was subsequently deemed to be, “Top Secret” and, (under the 30 year rule) all information was with-held from the Scottish public. Many supporting documents were subsequently lost or destroyed but information gained by volunteers, through time consuming research of, “Scottish Archives” confirms all of the foregoing to be fact.
It became necessary to address the subject of shipping traffic and ship building on the Clyde, which was noisy and did not provide a best fit for the increasing military presence in the area. It was decided that, Clyde ship building would be primarily confined to MOD contracts drastically reducing the need for a large skilled shipbuilding workforce. Mainline passenger shipping would be reduced, transferring activity to Liverpool.
Westminster, (Thatcher) further decided Scotland should be stripped of all industrial activity, transferring this to England. To facilitate the measure she used Scotland’s oil revenues providing finance sufficient to fund a massive expansion of long term unemployment. In a matter of months Thatcher destroyed Scotland’s industry and sentenced millions to a lifetime on the dole.
Adding insult to agony, (retention and projected further expansion) of defence arrangements by successive UK governments has been the cause of increasing stress within the Scottish population concerned about unreported or understated recurring radiation leaks and scares. This together with the threat of a, “First Strike” which would destroy Glasgow and the entire West Coast of Scotland, and two thirds of the population of Scotland is too horrendous to contemplate, but the possibility needs to be factored into future arrangements for decommissioning of the entire unwanted set-up. The under noted articles are worth reading;
In my view the way is clear. Vote, “Yes” in the referendum. Provide support to the first truly independent Scottish Government negotiating removal of nuclear warheads from Scotland. The USA is scheduled to make other arrangements by 2017, following introduction of new nuclear delivery systems and there is no reason nuclear submarines could not continue to use the existing facilities until that time. England would need to decide upon retention of their 2 nuclear submarines.
Without delay the Scottish Government should dismantle the past awarding contracts to companies, allowing exploration and development of previously identified substantial oil and gas reserves off the West coast of Scotland. Very soon after Glasgow will become the base for major oil companies mirroring Aberdeen, which has the lowest unemployment figures in Scotland and where poverty, on the scale brutally imposed on Glasgow and other towns in the West of Scotland has never been the case.