|116 children and 28 adults 'buried alive by the national coal board'.|
So is this our legacy from our abundance of natural resources? Memorials to people murdered by the greed of those that got rich? In Norway they have put aside some of the money raised through the taxation of their oil. Their sovereign wealth fund currently stands at over $790 billion (about £490 billion).
In Norway the legacy they are leaving for their children is a sovereign wealth fund worth almost half a trillion pounds. In Wales we just have memorials to people who died so that land owners, pit owners, aristocracy and politicians could get rich. And it's not just us in Wales. Our Celtic cousins across the channel have nothing to show for the copper and tin that was brought across to Wales. Our Celtic cousins in Scotland have nothing to show for the oil money that goes straight to London. In fact you could quite easily state that Norway's sovereign wealth fund is $790 billion more than Wales' coal fund, Scotland's oil fund and Cornwall's copper/tin fund put together.
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Norway has so much money it is more valuable than some banks, here in Wales we have people that cannot afford to buy food and must rely on food banks. The Red Cross is even planning on distributing food parcels around the UK for the first time since World War II. We export energy yet a quarter of Welsh households experience fuel poverty. We're at the bottom of just about every economic league table in the EU. The UN branded the UK as the most unequal country in the west with a gap between rich and poor equivalent to Nigeria.
Where is our inherited wealth? Where is our legacy from the colonial theft of our natural resources? Where was the investment in a cleaner, safer economy. Where was the investment in our people, in our children's education? All I see are memorials to dead miners. And that's the legacy we have to leave to our children.
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Edit - This was original published in October 2013, by January 2014 the Norwegian oil fund was up to $828 billion which is enough to give every single Norwegian a million crowns each.
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