Immigration

I can’t remember where I read it, but there was a little anecdote about the differences between the Scottish and English political landscape. When asked about how Scotland would fill skill gaps in its economy, Alex Salmond said that Scotland would seek them from abroad. The journalist, sensing that he had talked Salmond into a corner, asked if this means he was encouraging immigration. Salmond said yes, and that immigrants were great contributors to the Scottish economy.

This was supposed to illustrate that in the UK-wide political world, immigrant is a dirty word, whereas the more liberal Scottish political scene recognises the benefits of immigration. Personally, I don’t buy it. I don’t think Scottish people are inclined to any less bigotry than English people, which is one of the more troubling excesses of certain Scottish nationalists.

As such, a study into Scottish attitudes towards immigrants should prove illuminating. The fist survey of its kind found that the majority of Scots wants power over immigration devolved to Scotland, and that, while Scots are slightly more favourable to immigration than England and Wales, they still would like to see it reduced.

As such, I would wager that Scottish attitudes and English attitudes do tend to overlap. Perspectives may differ, but the capacity to be reactionary or magnanimous is equal to both people.

Finally, the Scottish economy isn’t doing too bad for itself. Economic performance seems to represent a catch 22 for independence; when it’s doing bad, it erodes confidence in Scotland’s capacity to go it alone; when it’s doing well, it means the relative comfort of the status quo seems that bit more appealing.

Finally, in order to counteract Bob Dudley’s comments, the yes campaign has been busy finding their own oil and gas advocate. And, looks like they found one. Still, the head of BP he ain’t, and he doesn’t grab the headlines like Dudley.

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