NO NEED TO SCREAM MATE. AT LEAST YOU'VE GOT A PENSION COMING...
When North Sea Oil was discovered above the UK and to the left of Scandanavia in the 70s, there was talk that the UK would never be poor again.
We had visions of become the new Sheikhs of Europe, lighting giant Cuban cigars with ten pound notes, and instead of learning how to cook decent food, we'd simply buy France and get them to do all the cooking for us.
And the cleaning while they were there.
How wrong we were.
Instead, most of the income from North Sea Oil was used to give the rich tax cuts by Thatcher so that a small proportion of Brits could drive around in Porches for a decade, commonly known as the 80s.
Other triumphs include spending the money on getting the police to fight the miners, introducing and then scrapping the poll tax, giving discounts on council houses, and privatising the gas, water and telecommunications industries at vastly cut-down prices so that the rich got richer and the rest of us paid higher bills for the rest of our lives.
Not so, in Norway.
When the Norwegian Government got their share of the North Sea Oil, they thought: "Why not save it for a rainy day? One day, this cash will come in handy."
And so they ring-fenced it and put it in what is now the world's biggest pension fund, despite the country having just 4.5 million people. It has overtaken the $200 billion Californian Public Workers Fund in value, and is still rising..
Norway is now the world's richest country per head, with a GDP of around £35,800 ($60,000 US) per head, higher than the USA, Switzerland, and a mile ahead of the UK's £21,000.
And while the UK and other countries fret about pensions, the Norwegians sit back, eat a pickled herring, and relax. Even if they do live in a country that lives in darkness for half the year.
It is a bit grim in Norway.
I love the country, and the art, and the people.
But it is, to be honest, a bit grim. Like a closed Ikea store on Christmas Day.
But at least they have a retirement to look forward to.
A retirement so lavish, they can move to somewhere warm and sunny when they get old, and not die in poverty like the rest of us.
Picture: "The Scream" by the brilliant and tragic Nowegian Edvard Munch, who left his work to the city of Oslo. And the city of Oslo let it get nicked half a dozen times. He painted a lot of other stuff too.