The future looks uncertain.
Scotland has arrived at an unenviable position. The pandemic has resulted in deep economic shocks and destabilisation for the country. Severely punished, the arts, hospitality, tourism and oil and gas sector remain on the brink of collapse. The Scottish government has provided over £2.3 billion in aid to help stabilise the economy. Nevertheless, reports indicate that GDP has shrunk by as much as 18.9% in April alone.
There is no silver bullet that will fix the current economic damage. The pandemic has exposed the inherent weaknesses that we as a country face. Neo-liberal and austerity politics have damaged our communities and stripped away our spirit. This has left us more vulnerable and more dependent on help. It is clear that we must steer away from the current debt economy; where “rentier capitalism” has allowed some to profit from buying assets that others must in turn rent. The truth is that it has pressed inequalities deep into the seams of our society.
Scotland has arrived at crossroads. There is growing support that we take a new path. A path toward creating a Resilient Scotland. With it, there is an opportunity to use different economic tools to ensure a safer and more secure future. One that favours distributed and decentralised power, excellent infrastructure, regenerative relationships with the environment and high levels of civic participation. Alternatively, we continue on the original path (that got us into this mess) and that leaves us vulnerable to the next big economic crash.
- Resilient Scotland
Scotland must recover forward from the pandemic. Covid-19 has signposted the problems that we face as a country. Long and unreliable supply chains, communities over-dependent on tourism and the countries’ lack of economic sovereignty. There are three core components required for resilience building:
- Resilient Economy – By incorporating a variety of economic tools Scotland can make itself more resilient to economic shocks in the future. Local Wealth Building, Foundational Economics, Circular Economics, Green Import Substitution Reindustrialisation and Entrepreneurial State will work in conjunction with one another to provide a diverse and versatile economy. This will help to establish a broad and balanced, productive and useful economy that ensures high-skilled and well-paid jobs.
- Resilient Society – Ensuring that there is economic security for everyone, not only those who have wealth. Improving social institutions, providing reliable public infrastructure and supporting cohesive and integrated communities. The aim is to build upon high levels of public trust and strive toward greater levels of civic participation.
- Resilient Environment – Is one that provides Scotland with natural resources and allows for their management and regeneration. We need to restore and protect our environment otherwise we cannot ensure a decent standard of living for the people of Scotland.
A Resilient Scotland can become an incubator for a Green New Deal. The Common Home Plan outlines a clear path for a completely decarbonised Scotland. Generating a slew of new light green infrastructure, high-paid skilled jobs, increased well-being and future security for the people of this country. It is a chance for Scotland to tap into its excellent resources, people and natural, to provide the highest quality of life imaginable.