Gordon Brown’s call for a nationalisation of North Sea oil has left the industry cold - but then energy firms aren’t the former prime minister’s target audience, are they?
"It’s all about the oil, isn’t it?" one committed nationalist told me on the shores of the Forth last September. "It’ll be around for years to come. Just think what we could do with the money."
It was a surreal situation - the harbourmaster of a tiny port in north-east Scotland talking about the benefits North Sea oil could bring to his nation, if only they had control of it. Out in the estuary a distant oil rig could be seen on the horizon. Despite the fact that North Sea oil is set to fall to just 1.3 million barrels a day in 2018 from a peak of 4.3 million barrels in 1999, this harbourmaster was completely confident a Scottish government could turn it around.
He would have been bitterly disappointed by the referendum result. The No campaign’s victory was achieved in part because of Brown’s last-gasp interventions.Read More »from Gordon Brown's North Sea oil promise offers Scottish Labour a flicker of hope