Scottish Labour recently stated that 730,000 Scots-born people live south of the Border and Scottish Labour MP Margaret Curran declared this as “a sign of (Scottish) strength and our influence in the UK”. This is infantile nonsense so let me put Ms Curran straight.
The number quoted represents nearly 15 per cent of the current Scottish population and if they had remained, the population would now be around 6 million.
It does not include those Scots who have migrated overseas so the total loss is much greater.
This massive loss of people is not a cause for celebration – it is near catastrophic because those who migrate are invariably the youngest, ablest, most skilled and talented of Scotland’s people. They are also those who procreate, yet their loss is apparently pleasing to Ms Curran.
The loss of youth explains why Scotland has an ageing population profile which can seen be most sharply in areas such as North Ayrshire, where I grew up, Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Argyll and the Western Isles, where I have family and friends.
As a human resources director for more than 30 years I could monitor the vast number of young Scots moving south and the common theme was the lack of investment and opportunity in Scotland.
The Labour Party in Scotland presided over the exodus of those recent decades and said nothing but now we know why – it seems to believe this is a positive development.
The haemorrhage of young Scots will continue until an independent government is established.
It is the only option that will provide Scotland with the fiscal levers to develop its own economic strategies, invest in infrastructure, stimulate industrial and commercial growth, build more homes, create jobs in Scotland and retain its people.
I am deeply concerned that so little is made of this continuing drain on Scotland’s people.
The loss of a country’s youth is a gut issue affecting almost every family so why is it not being used as a rallying point in the independence campaign?