Cultural shift

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Aren’t the economics and 
politics of Scotland more complex than Joyce McMillan’s macro cultural perspective allows (Perspective, 25 April)?

Take for example the North-east, the epicentre of the oil and gas industry. Cosmopolitan, relatively rich in millionaires, with many expensive houses and 4x4 vehicles, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire form an economic subculture.

Given this, it is difficult, if not impossible to see this micro-economy through the prism of “social democratic values”. Would it be an exaggeration to suggest the North-east’s micro economy is a subculture of 
neo-liberalism? It is likely, 
for instance, that private healthcare and education flourish there compared with Scotland as a whole.

Interestingly, this neo-liberal subculture is the context within which the North Sea oil industry faces its biggest challenge.

Sir Ian Wood, in his review of the North Sea industry asks the oil companies to collaborate with each other rather than compete against each other.

Most significant is the view that they ought to work for the “common good” not “commercial gain”. Can this seismic shift in economic behaviour be achieved in a neo-liberal subculture 40 years old?

Arguably oil companies, independents and corporations need persuading that “co-operation” and working for the “common good” is in their self-interest.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

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