Is there too much gloom and doom surrounding the downturn in the North Sea oil and gas industry?
There are the horror stories; lost jobs, skilled workers now delivering pizzas and cleaning windows.
Others having to move away to find employment.
This is not new. Throughout history we’ve seen the movement of labour because of downturns and closures of industries.
Just ask the tens of thousands of – mainly women – who were employed in the jute industry in Dundee or the miners from the coalfields of Fife and Lanarkshire and beyond and you’ll hear the kind of stories we’re being told from today’s oil workers.
But while North Sea employees have skills that can be exported worldwide, those jute workers and miners did not have such a luxury.
They were left high and dry, unable to transfer their expertise. So, while we sympathise with those who have lost their income and careers, history has taught us enough to recognise there are opportunities elsewhere and that selling up and moving to another city, another country, doesn’t signal the end.
There may be a collective sigh of despair when, instead, there might be: “We had a great innings, a super-duper salary and a lifestyle which would be the envy of many. Now, we move on.”
Of course, there is a major consideration – having a property which cannot be sold or leased.
But is the obsession with seeing a house as an investment rather than a place to live part of our problem?
In most European countries and in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and even Australia, people rent the homes in which they live.
Maybe they’ve got it right.
Follow Jam Tarts’ lead
For reasons mentioned elsewhere in this column, times are tough for many people in Aberdeen and its environs.
So, had the Dons reduced their prices for last night’s Europa League tie against the mighty FK Ventspils, as well as being a good piece of public relations, it might have boosted the attendance.
Hearts were charging £12 for their home tie – now sold out – against FC Birkirara, of Malta, like Ventspils not the biggest of attractions.
That’s half of what it could cost you at Pittodrie last night.
What has Dave done?
Dave departed Downing Street this week with praise from fellow cabinet ministers ringing in his ears for “having done so much for Britain”.
Many of us are left wondering what that means.
Meanwhile, Labour does what it does so well, bickers and squabbles and tears itself apart.
And, the last time I looked, the Liberal Democrats were still there.