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Tag Archives: Scotlands oil

The Chancers autumn statement…

I thought we were in the winter by now? It starts on the 1st December, which makes it all the odder since the winter equinox is a couple of weeks away. Whilst on the subject of timing and stuff you’ll have heard the BBC claiming that this year is likely to be one of the warmest years on record. It will be, but only because the satellite record started in 1998.

Back to topic if there is such a thing anyway…

Chancer Gideon Osborne stood up and ranted on for a while about how well the UK was doing and how we were well on the mend to normality. We were one of the fastest growing economies, employment was up and we would get tax reductions and various wee tempting things to make us smile.

Within a few hours the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a paper rubbishing the Chancers claims. Oh dear. And an election coming up fairly soon. Not helpful. Now the Chancer and the sub-prime minister really like the IFS. They really, really liked it during the run up to the Scottish Independence vote. I bet they aren’t as keen on them now?

It was also interesting to hear that the Chancer was going to set up a Sovereign Fund for Manchester and that general area, based on fracking income. Most countries in the world, who have oil or other such resources within their borders have similar arrangements. Texas, for example, gets to keep a lot of the taxes collected on oil extraction and refining.

In Scotland we get zip. Worse than that we don’t actually get to know how much taxation has been taken on the 95% of the oil which is in Scottish territorial waters. We don’t know how much taxation in general goes into the Westminster pot. Could it be because WM doesn’t want us to know? Could it be that the 95% of the oil which, lies in the Scottish waters part of the UK has been propping up governments since the Queen turned the taps on?

It looks very likely that WM will make life very difficult for Scotland and try to make sure that the SNP and the whole idea of independence won’t ever be a possibility again. Until, of course, the oil has gone

Just one mention of Liebore. Yesterday at First Ministers question time Mr Grey from Liebore stood up and, with a large smile on his face, stated that it was a good job that the Scottish people had rejected independence since they could now see how volatile oil prices could be. Yes he smiled. Another nail in the coffin of the Labour Party in Scotland.

What joy.

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Oiling the wheels of democracy.

I watched about half of the BBC TV debate on Independence shown after the 10:00 BBC News last night. It fitted pretty well with the way these programmes have been structured so far. Nicola versus the rest, although on this occasion, Lesley Riddoch was pretty fair and unbiased and took the politicians to task.

The opening few minutes saw Johan Lamont and Jim Wallace have their uninterrupted say but when Nicola was given hers she was interrupted repeatedly by them both and also by Glenn Campbell the presenter.  I don’t think we can expect anything more from these people. On the one hand they have to play the political game and on the other they will try every trick in the book to make sure that Scotland does not achieve independence.

Why? Simple, England cannot afford Scotland becoming independent. England has a huge amount to lose. It’s power, such as it is, will be greatly diminished within the EU in particular and global bodies in general. What about Scotland being diminished because of independence? No, of course not. Are we interested in being a major world player? No, of course not. Do we want to have any major input into any particular world body? No, not really.

Independence is an aim, which if delivered, should be a catalyst in making Scotland a better and fairer place to live. We can do this and it’s not too late to do what Norway has done. That is make the best use of oil revenues from our territorial waters to invest in a secure future for ourselves, our children and successive generations thereafter.

Some of you may be thinking that there is very little oil left. There isn’t if you consider 25-30 billion barrels as a little oil. This figure is an estimate from the oil producers of which some reserves may require a higher oil price to be financially viable although new technology is making oil exploration and production cheaper all the time.

You’ll be aware of Professor Gavin McCrone? If you are a teacher you may well enjoy some McCrone time today or during this week. However, you may or may not be aware of a report that Professor McCrone developed and delivered in the 70’s. In his report, which was kept secret for 30 years, he provides estimates of the value of oil to the Scottish economy and describes how Scotland would be a country with a persistent budget surplus. He also demonstrates the flow of money into Westminster’s coffers, the fact that the Treasury have not reported the correct value of oil revenues and how substantial losses of income for the Treasury were lost due to poor licensing agreements made with the oil companies.

I’d suggest you follow this link or do your own research, if you haven’t already done so starting with McCrone and working out from there.

There is a strong case for every household or registered voter to receive a copy of his report and see the truth of the situation. Yes the truth.

It is up to the people of Scotland to decide on our own future. Democracy needs to be established. A free vote determined. A Yes vote would sweep away legal arguments; democracy would and should prevail. It is the Westminster politicians who have behaved in a democratically unfair manner for many years. Labour, the Libdems and the Conservatives are staring extinction in the face in Scotland. A Yes vote would wipe them off the political map in Scotland and cause major change at Westminster also. The SNP would similarly follow sometime shortly after independence and new parties and visions would take their place.

There is much to lose then if you are a Westminster politician, regardless of where your constituency is. These politicians will fight to preserve the status quo. They have to; their future depends on it.

And a far better future for Scotland is at stake for the Scottish people.

As with all matters of this type it will be the people who want their view of the future the most who will win regardless of resource or political manoeuvring. Want is a significant driver.

We have to be on the winning side this time. We just have to.

 

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Independence Day 2022

What a day! The seventh Independence Day to be held in Scotland. It’s become one of the best days of the year. A days holiday and celebrations the length and breadth of Scotland with celebrations being held in many countries throughout the world by people with Scottish roots and expats.

Things have moved so fast and we have achieved so much. The initial referendum vote in 2014 looked like it was going to fail miserably but in the final couple of weeks leading up to polling day, more and more people decided to vote Yes and in the end it was a landslide. The Westminster politicians tried all sorts of scare tactics, which were negative, and never really managed to come up with a good enough reason as to why Scotland should remain within the UK. The day after the result was known was the biggest party ever, with people all over Scotland celebrating.

Of course it wasn’t going to last. The Westminster politicians then started to really fight their corner and tried to reduce the level of oil revenues and assets, which Scotland should be entitled to whilst pushing up the level of debt, which Scotland should accept. It looked kind of bleak for a while although most people would have accepted a bad deal just so Scotland would finally be independent. In the end it went through the international and world courts and the boundaries were agreed in favour of Scotland, meaning the greatest slice of oil revenues would be sent to Scotland, The assets were also agreed although perhaps not as fairly as it should have been and the debt was of course reduced to a realistic level. The icing on the cake though was a wee left of field plan, which Alex Salmond and his government had up his sleeve.

Alex went to the United Nations and raised an objection on the way Scotland had been treated by successive Westminster governments. He invoked the “indigenous people” standing which asserted the rights of the Scottish people to have a fair share of minerals found and exploited within the Scottish borders and territorial waters. The World Court found in Scotland’s favour and the Westminster had to pay reparations for the exploitation of the minerals and their lack of accurately attributing a fair value to them.

Now here we are seven years down the road. Our economy is in surplus by a huge margin every year. There have been further exploration taking place in the North Sea and around the rest of the coastline, which has resulted in huge finds of oil reserves. Fracking got underway in the Central Belt too and the price of gas has dropped substantially, due to the huge reserves found. We have our fishing grounds back and the fishing fleet has quadrupled in size creating jobs left right and centre. The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Bank of Scotland have been returned to Scottish ownership with their debts substantially reduced and investment money pouring in.

On the down side public employee numbers have dropped significantly, however, the private sector is growing and unemployment has fallen to it’s lowest in living memory. The state has shrunk! Regulation has been hugely reduced. The death of the climate change scam following the Goregate and IPCC court cases and resulting jail terms have resulted in cheap energy for us all.

One of the biggest surprises though, was the return of so many ex-pats from all corners of the globe. The change in status that was negotiated with the EU allows Scotland to be independent outside the EU but trade and work with the countries of the EU. This has benefitted everyone.

The entire country is a building site. The new bridge over the Forth is finished, the duelling of the A9 is racing ahead, the high-speed link between Edinburgh and Glasgow incredibly completed shaving 20 minutes from the journey. Edinburgh trams have been completed as originally planned with no debt, the rail link has been made to Glasgow airport and the three main airports are being upgraded to handle the traffic since we no longer fly via London.

You’ll remember the old phrase – Stop the world I want to get off! In Scotland we preferred “Stop the world we want to get on”. Gaining Independence allowed us to do that and we haven’t looked back.

 
 

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