The history of Scottish ports illustrates our colonial status

Image: John Peat Munn: Grangemouth Docs 1950s

Leah Gunn Barrett

There has been pushback from Unionists denying Scotland is a de facto colony of England. 

The history of Scottish ports illustrates our colonial status. Ports used to be owned by the Burghs (local councils) who owned thousands of hectares of prime waterfront land. Ports once supported the entire economy, creating much of the wealth of the town and sustaining the local population. They raised substantial revenues from local taxes on goods and ships, enabling the Burghs to re-invest in new port infrastructure. 

In the 1960s, the UK government transferred port ownership from councils to private trusts which operated in the vested interests of the trustees, not the community. In 1991, the UK Government allowed the trusts to sell the ports to private companies. Half the revenue went to the UK and half to the trust owners. Burghs received nothing. The owners then sold the ports to private equity firms at inflated prices. The private equity model doesn’t allow for investment in new infrastructure because the ports are bought in leveraged transactions with debt. Port profits are then used to pay the interest on this debt. 

A colonial territory has no control over its land or people because colonialism is about economic exploitation involving external political control. Scotland is run by Westminster where our MPs are outnumbered 10 to 1. Without a Scottish veto over English decisions, there is no union. 

Today, none of the major sectors of the Scottish economy are Scottish owned, not even renewables. The Scottish people have received very little from the mass sell-off of their assets. 

Colonialism results in an under-developed nation where people lack opportunity. To eradicate poverty and restore prosperity for all Scots, we must stop the plunder by returning Scotland’s wealth to the Scottish people. 


2 thoughts on “The history of Scottish ports illustrates our colonial status

  1. Thatcher centralised transport through London S/E. Closed ports around Britain. Tilbury Docks 26 miles. Total congestion Subsidised London public transport. Scotland pays for it. Subsidised Heathrow paid BA slots. Terminal 4 & 5. Anywhere but Heathrow.
    More flights from Scotland.

    Investment in rail services in the North and Scotland would have cut journey times. To rival flights. Instead of £Billions wasted on HS2. A total waste of monies.

    Prestonpans is intended base for improved hub in Scotland. Scotland could be a base for exports and travel east and west. For US to the Europe and the east connection. Already flights via Iceland to the US

    Renewables and energy can be taxed for fairer distribution. Instead of profits going South. Especially if Independent.

    Brexit lost Scotland £Billions. £Billions are lost to tax evasion. Paying back payments on loans not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Scotland paying too much for Trident and the military. Little comes back.

    Westminster increased Defence spending £5Billion. Instead of funding the NHS.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. According to current unionism,Scotland cannot be a colony because it is not a country.
    In their view, Scotland ceased to exist in 1707 and is now a region of Greater England whose capital and government is in London.
    To that end they are intent on eradicating anything which gives Scotland an identity separate from England.
    However,they know that trying to sell that particular story on Scottish doorsteps will be met with a large degree of hostility so they have to dance around it by pretending that we have meaningful devolution of power over our affairs whilst at the same time doing all they can to undermine it.
    The smoke and mirrors union.

    Liked by 1 person

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