Mike Vickers' Blog

August 10, 2013

Population, Land and the irrelevance of Independence to the fate of Scotland

Filed under: economics, Politics, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 9:12 am

There are two articles in yesterday’s Scotsman (09/08/12), the first on Scotland’s growing population and the second by Joyce McMillan on the Arts and Independence; taking first Scotland’s growth, the article takes the assumption that growth like economic growth is advantageous.  Yet taking a paragraph out of Joyce McMillan’s article, following independence, whatever the outcome, Scottish society will still face the same intractable issues of economic recession, structural unemployment, environmental stress, shameful inequality and routine abuse of power that plague governments across the planet.

If I now go back to the first article on growth I note from the map provided in the article that the growth has been concentrated in the south east around Edinburgh but that the growth in the Western Isles and in the Highlands has either been small or negative.  This takes me back to a previous blog where I make the point that sorting out the Highland land problem in making land more fully available to a wider population, will not necessarily get the population back into the Highlands or Islands where a growth in population would certainly be advantageous.

As I see it, independence will not solve either the problems that Joyce McMillan brings up, the dubious value of growth whether population or economic, or the repopulation of the Highlands and Islands. Joyce McMillan also makes the point that given that the only options available in the Referendum are Yes or No removes the possibility of a more Devo Max based solution which most of the population seek.

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