My hope and vision for Scotland, is that in taking our energy from the sea we will need to develop our marine fleet, which in turn will see renewed requirement for shipbuilding and Scotlands world famous engineering capabilities. It is an offence to me to see these giant machines of war sliding down the slips of Govan and out of the sheds of Scotstoun on the Clyde whilst in KG5 dock we see the wind turbines for Whitlee wind farm arriving from Denmark on Danish built ships and then been transported on Danish trucks too the site. What a dreadful irony.
Scotland and the Clyde once built 75% of the ships afloat. On almost every ship afloat, a Scottish engineer delivered the engineering expertise. Hence the character of the chief engineer Scotty on the futuristic Star Fleet Enterprise, in Startrek. Scotland once supplied almost every steam engine on the railways of India, Africa, and many other countries, built in Glasgow. Many of them are still running today. Polar engines built in Glasgow still power many ships on the high seas today, although the company has been in the grand tradition of the union subsumed into a British one.
The vision that Alex Salmond has is an honourable one, and one we must grab with all our strength. It is an industry that could see Scotland stagger from it’s present supine postion in the UK to being what we should have been in the 70s with the discovery of oil in our national waters. If we fail this time then it really is game over, and we will be buried forever in the coffin of the UK. God help us if Iain Gray becomes Scotland’s next first minister, we cannot let that happen.