As a former marine engineer in the once proud but now much diminished British Merchant Navy who has worked on several excellent Norwegian built ships, I often wondered why one of the most expensive countries in the world could build ships which were affordable for other countries’ shipowners to buy when Scotland (in fact, the whole of the UK), once the shipbuilding centre of the world, was unable to do the same. That’s a lie; I never wondered for an instant. I knew just how the political decisions of the Thatcher years did its utmost to kill the Clyde and that New Labour under Tony Blair did nothing to revive the patient. (Edited to add this from 1994)
Now the pro-Union campaign are threatening that if Scotland leaves the UK these last jobs are under threat. They may well be but I would say they are under threat right now within the Union. It is something that I have a personal stake in as my brother in law (who I suspect is a No voter) works in one of the yards on the Clyde and I do not want him to lose his job. But at the same time, placing the work of 3000 people ahead of the 50-100,000 children growing up in poverty seems like a massive imbalance (though I acknowledge that these 3000 jobs lost could send more children into poverty).
But bear in mind that a vote for Yes allows the possibility for a Scottish government to make political decisions that will revitalised the Scottish shipbuilding industry and recreate those lost 29,000 jobs. Certainly a new Scottish Navy will need ships and can you see them being built anywhere other than on the Clyde and or at Rosyth?
Nobody with any sense is suggesting that independence is without risk, but surely some risks are worth taking?