Wednesday 1 May 2002

Thanks to Brian Micklethwait of Samizdata for pointing out the post on the Liberty Log about Scotland. Now I note that Liberty Log is suggesting that Scotland’s descent to North Korean/Chinese/East German/Hungarian levels is something that may happen in the future but in my experience all too many people think that Scotland is already an economic basket case.

Let’s look at this map, which was recently shown on Instapundit where our attention was drawn to the visual evidence of the difference between the North and South Korean economies. Now zoom westwards. What’s that large blob of light across central Scotland and continuing up to the northeast? Some of us eating our deep-fried Mars bars under the lamppost no doubt, but quite a few are out at work generating £857 per capita in exports compared with £639 down in England.

According to the Office of National Statistics, Scottish GDP per capita is 94.2% of that of England - not quite in the North Korean league. Indeed, of the twelve UK economic areas, Scotland’s GDP per head comes in at number four, beaten only by London, the east and the southeast of England. The real economic divide in the UK is not between England and Scotland (nor for that matter Wales and Northern Ireland) but between the southeastern corner and the rest. It’s up to us Scotbloggers to support the growing number of business leaders up here who are loudly calling for pro-capitalist policies and also to explain just why the UK economy is so skewed in favour of the southeast.

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