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...


Alex. said...

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

Robert Craig said...

Ach... someone has to love the place!