The Lost Tribe of Scotland
Last night, I dreamt I went to Muck again...
My opinion of the television programme which is probaby Scotland's finest ever, Weir's Way, and of its presenter Tom Weir, are articulated perfectly in this review by Cameron Borland. There is no word of exaggeration in it.
Last night's journey was to the island of Muck. Mr. Weir interviewed an Aberdonian incomer to the island who had started a business selling wooden crafts objets.
And then the following phrase came into my head -
"We weren't doing so well with native crafts".
Years ago, I heard these words spoken in a TV interview with a Mashantucket Pequot tribal elder from Ledyard, Connecticut, as the reason for their construction of the Foxwoods casino.
And then it hit me...
As much as Scotland might have the will to be independent, it does not possess the means. The critical problem for us will be the creation of an environment where there are not only thriving cash generating industries here, but also that the profits of such industries are retained, invested and spent here.
Under the reservation system, the tribes have autonomy over their own affairs and are largely exempt from state laws, so it is very much easier for them to ensure that profits from such ventures stay within the tribe.
Precisely this problem was brought into focus today by the news that planning permission has bee granted for the construction of a £120m casino and hotel complex at Ibrox Park. The operators of the casino will include Americans, so a portion of profits will be transmitted back to the United States.
What can we do to overcome such obstacles to national enrichment, and the betterment of our people?
Somehow, I don't think we'll be allowed to become a reservation.