Saturday 4 April 2009

Norwegian generosity

I noticed amongst my news feeds during the week, while the G20 were fretting over the future of the world economy and the UK Government starts to consider calling the IMF, there was a small article on Reuters which gave an indication of where some of this bailout money was coming from.

Oil-rich Norway said on Saturday it was ready to offer up to 30 billion crowns ($4.56 billion) to support the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and called for the fund to play a bigger role in supervising financial markets.

Fancy that. Labour have been gleefully gunning for the arc of prosperity, but here we have cast iron evidence of how a small, oil rich nation can contribute to the world. Norway have invested their oil wealth, rather than squander it across the decades. $4.46 billion is pocket money in a fund worth $300 billion. Remarkably, this generosity comes at a time when their oil fund isn't even in the peachiest of health.

How much better off would we be as a nation if North Sea oil had been invested in this way? What do we have to show for striking black gold? As a Scottish Nationalist, you would expect me to argue the It's Scotland's Oil case. And yes, it's ours. The McCrone revelations showed that our only mistakes were underestimation of our potential wealth, and stopping our campaign too soon. I believe that we have been incredibly lucky to have oil. The majority of nations have not been so fortunate, but not having oil hasn't hindered their independence.

I have heard the SNP accused by unionists of various political persuasions of being selfish and greedy for even trying to ask for our fair share of our oil revenues to spend or invest. Who's to say that if we had taken a truely prudent approach back in the seventies that we wouldn't be able to give our neighbours a helping hand?

Norway's example of how to make the most of a finite resource should be an example to the UK government. It's not too late.


Administrator said...

Excellent article Belle, what a delicious irony if Brown ended up being bailed out by Norwegian oil money.

joe90 kane said...

Montague Burton my learned friend,
don't you often wonder who Gordon Brown is borrowing all this money from, which he claims he is using to repair the damage to the economy (caused by Thatcherite-New Labour de-regulated free-market reforms lets not forget)?

It must be the banks - or at least, the ones who didn't take any of that welfare-state-for-the-rich, neoliberal guff, spouted by Thatcher-Major-Blair-Brown seriously.

If any banks and financial institutions did take the Thatcherite-New Labour-Reagonomics seriously, then they would be out of buisness by now, or looking for welfare handouts from taxpayers because they don't actually take the idea of a 'free-market' seriously themselves.

I did read somewhere that PM Brown is borrowing money (from banks!) using New Labour's Credit Card 'PFI', charged at credit card rates no doubt.

Typical. The general public are repeatedly forced to fork out squillions and all they'll have to show for it at the end of the day are vast debts and a bunch of failed banks!

The thing is,
who is going to pay back all this borrowed money if we don't have it in the first place to pay back, with the usual rates of interest attached into the bargain?

I thought that is what got all of us into this economic mess in the first place - money being loaned to people and institutions that don't have the wherewithal to pay it back?

Sorry for going on.

all the best BB.

The latest instalment of another of my fave bloggers -
Indygal Goes to Holyrood!