The West will be hoping that the existing Gulf regimes aren’t replaced by something worse, while also hoping that the collapse in the price of oil will reduce flows of cash to extremist Wahhabi and Salafist groups around the world. If radical Islamist terror groups end up being the biggest losers, the collapse in the oil price could yet end up achieving more than sanctions or Western military intervention ever could; but a successful uprising in somewhere like Saudi could also risk turning a bad situation into a catastrophe. . .
As for Scotland, the nationalist electorate will eventually have to wake up to the new reality of a world awash with oil. The SNP’s plans for independence didn’t even come close to adding up even when the price of Brent crude was over $100 last year.At current prices and with output sliding, an independent Scotland that sought to retain the NHS and the welfare state would face immediate bankruptcy.Forget about politics and slick campaigns: if anything keeps the UK together over the next few years, it will be cheap oil and the latest, abject failure of Malthusianism, one of the most wrong-headed ideologies of the past 200 years.