Friday, 17 December 2010

Grangemouth and the CIA

Ask an American tourist what the main sights in Britain are and they might reply: Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Dove Cottage, the Loch Ness Monster. It is unlikely that Grangemouth petroleum refinery would be high on their list of priorities.

Beautiful Grangemouth:


Which is why the CIA World Factbook is so illuminating.

The CIA, historically, has furthered US interests abroad - sometimes, in unfortunate cases like Iran or Chile, against the democratically expressed will of the populations. They have a particular interest in strategic assets. And a look at their map reveals the sites they have their eyes on in Britain. There is no place for Stratford-Upon-Avon or Stonehenge: not even a largeish city like Leeds. On the map instead: major ports like Felixstowe or Dover, and otherwise obscure places like Grangemouth, Peterhead, Scapa, Sullom Voe. International trade and the oil industry.

Map of UK courtesy of CIA World Factbook:


"Oh wad the power the giftie gie us," wrote Burns, "to see ourselves as others see us." Much maligned Grangemouth, it turns out, is one of the UK's most important places...

2 comments:

Alex. said...

Cracking pictures of Bob`s favourite place in Scotland..!

Robert Craig said...

Ach... someone has to love the place!