Blogs

The Etonian, the SNP and the Black, Black Oil

24 February 2014

12:00 PM

24 February 2014

12:00 PM

You will recall that, according to the greatest account of England’s history, every time the English thought they had solved the Irish Question, the Irish changed the Question. 

Something similar afflicts David Cameron’s grapplings with the Scottish Question. The poor man is damned if he does and equally damned if he doesn’t. The other week he was lambasted for his effrontery in giving a speech about Scotland in, of all places, London. Today he is lambasted for bringing his cabinet to Aberdeen. How dare he lecture us from afar; how dare he venture north like some touring proconsul!

The optics, as the pros say, are not very good for the Prime Minister. The cabinet very rarely comes to Scotland. Drawing attention to that fact may not help Mr Cameron’s cause. It risks reinforcing precisely the negative stereotype he seeks to counter. (On the bright side: at least it’s not, say, August 11th.)

Moreover the ground upon which the British government chooses to fight today may not be the best terrain imaginable. There is, to be sure, something to be said for attacking your opponent’s strength. Beat him there and you defeat him everywhere. Even so, it is a bold move. North Sea Oil is Scotland’s economic strength and, frankly, the industry that makes independence conceivable.

[Alt-Text]


Oil accounts for something like 15% of Scottish GDP. As problems go, this is one of the better ones to have. Granted, this means that onshore GDP per capita is lower than the UK average and this too highlights the extent to which an independent Scotland would, at least initially, be awkwardly dependent upon oil revenues. Even so, this is a problem most of us would rather endure than not (the exceptions being Green crackpots who wish to leave the oil where it is).

It may be, as Douglas Fraser has suggested, that a British government would be better placed – by virtue of not being so reliant upon oil revenues – to enforce the kinds of reforms to the industry suggested by Sir Ian Wood but, frankly, even if true this is a hard thing to sell politically.

Because, whether the British government means to suggest this or not, it leaves Westminster arguing that, in the end, Scotland is too small and too weak to manage the oil industry. At least that is the implication of the latest iteration of the now-familiar security argument in favour of the Union. Again, there is something to this: pooling resources is not necessarily daft; Scotland would be much more vulnerable to swings in oil prices than the UK is at present. As Larry Elliott remarked yesterday, this is classic boom and bust territory.

Be that as it may, the suggestion that Scotland would make a balls of the oil industry is one that will strike many Scots – not all of them committed Yes voters by any means – as something that is inherently daft. They don’t want to believe this and many of them will not believe it. To put it bluntly, we are not Azerbaijan but if Baku can run an oil industry perhaps we can too.

True, the Unionist case is a little more nuanced than sometimes suggested. It is not that Scotland could not manage life as an independent nation state but that its interests are better served by the Union. Quite Good Apart but Better Together.

Perhaps the Prime Minister will succeed in persuading swithering Scots that the oil is too complicated, too uncertain and too important to be left to an independent Scotland but, on the face of it, I wouldn’t want to wager too hefty a sum on that proposition. Not least since not everyone will be convinced Britain has used its oil revenues as effectively as it might have.

It’s Britain’s oil, of course, not Scotland’s. At least for now. But for how much longer?

 

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • wullie G

    They Westminster pederasts have totally undermined the scottish economy for decades, deliberately failed to replace the jobs that each pederast government have wiped out in scotland , like the mine’s there was no replace for these people who lost there jobs, also when ravenscraig was shut down also there was no replacement for the recently unemployed, and yet these rats have the gall to come here and threaten us with what we can’t and can do!!!!!!!!

  • Orphic

    The UK PM arrival in Scotland, is 30 years too late and and the financial incentives he offers are at least £400 Billion short. The narrative the PM brings to Aberdeen is that, only the UK’s “broad shoulders” would guarantee the necessary investments in North sea oil and gas, furthermore Scotland by itself could not cope with the decommissioning costs and the fluctuations in O&G revenue.

    On Investment, the pattern in the oil industry is that the huge sums required for exploration and first stage production are borne by private capital, the governments role in early stage development is the allocation of oil blocks and tax incentivization through allowances up till cost plus production. There is nothing to suggest that Scotland particularly with its Aberdeen based legal expertise (on Energy law) would be unable to structure its energy investment laws to meet the requirements of incentivising the O&G industry.

    From the multibillion dollar investments in the Russian far east islands of the Sakhalin to the equally multibillion dollar investment in the Gorgon and Wheatstone Projects off the coast of Australia, and not forgetting the hundreds of billions raised by the industry to develop the pre salt deep water Santos basin of Brazil. The Oil industry has never needed the aid or indeed “broad shoulders” of any government in bringing difficult multibillion dollar on/off shore projects to productive fruition. To imply that this industry requires the “broad shoulders” of any government is at best laughable and at worst a prime example of Westminsteresque electoral deceit.

    The PM goes further on decommissioning, raising this spectre in order to conjure an image of the danger and cost structures usually associated with nuclear decommissioning. Decommissioning in the North Sea is governed by the contracting parties to the1998 OSPAR Convention (for the protection of the marine environment of the North- East Atlantic). Scotland’s current position as a region of the UK makes it ineligible to act as a contracting party and in the event of independence Scotland is hardly likely to negotiate itself into this treaty, by agreeing to absorb the costs of legacy assets that were exploited to exhaustion by the UK.

    Nevertheless, once again the role of the government is exaggerated by the PM, the decommissioning of UK oil and gas assets is primarily governed by Part IV of the Petroleum Act 1998 This act requires licensees – Oil companies – to pay for offshore installations to be properly decommissioned (complete removal from the seabed).

    On the fluctuations of O&G revenue, the intensity of the UK’s exploitation of North Sea oil resources vis a vis Norway should be highlighted. While a typical Norwegian field like Ekofisk has a productive life of 70 years, its UK equivalent Brent has a productive life under 50 years. It may be suggested that such differences arise from geological factors. Unfortunately this pattern is repeated and can be seen by a comparative analysis between UK and Norwegian fields, from the Viking graben next to the East Shetlands right through to the Mid North sea adjacent to the Norwegian Central graben. Indeed this is further displayed by peak production data between the UK and Norway that suggests the statistical normal curve reflecting the life cycle of production is much steeper in UK fields – with a peak production of 6.4 million barrels a day – than it is for the better managed and gentler declining Norwegian fields – with a peak of 3.4 million barrels per day. The intensity in exploitation is further displayed in the amount of structures in the North sea region, while the UK has 281 structures, the Norwegians have 77, for producing practically the same amount of oil and gas, considering that experts estimate that the Norwegian sector contains about 55% of the North Sea’s oil reserves and 45% of its gas reserves. Alternatively, the image of two buckets of oil – representing UK and Norway reserves – can be imagined with one bucket punctured with 281 holes and the other with 77 holes, I leave it to the reader to guess which bucket empties first.

    All this suggests that UK management of O&G is focused entirely on short term revenue maximisation as opposed to the Norwegians – also presumably an independent Scotland – who view this asset as worthy of saving – managing for the long term, for future generations. To those who respond that surely any alternative suggests that Scotland would seek to control output, I say all countries who manage O&G resources – after all that is what OPEC is about – ensure price and revenue maximisation through production control. In fact, one of the very few that pumps intensively irrespective of price is the UK government. The 80’s and 90’s were a period of low oil prices and not surprisingly – coming from a country with the notoriety of selling its gold reserves at the cheapest price – coincides with UK peak North sea oil production of a staggering 6.4 million barrels per day ( an output that competes with the Saudi Arabia and Iranian output) way in excess of what those fields could prudently support. Conservatively managed the North Sea is a 2-3 million barrel per day operation, instead double to triple its conservative production output was extracted at a time of cheap and falling oil prices. Such intensive production abuse suggests that an independent Scotland – it couldn’t behave worse – would be a more benevolent parent of North Sea O&G going forward. Readers should not be deceived into seeing the UK government as historically incompetent, but understand that to the UK, North Sea oil – its output and price – are but pawns in a geopolitical game against middle eastern suppliers to ensure cheap energy for western industrial factors, an imperial economic pretension that Scotland has no time for.

    While all this paints a pessimistic picture, there is hope for Scottish O&G production and that hope rests in the West Shetland, the Orkney Shetland platform with future fields like Schiehallion and Clair as well as deep water fields such as Foinaven. Technology also comes into play permitting 3/4D seismic and other techniques used elsewhere – such as in pre salt deep water – to open new areas for exploration as well as allowing enhanced recovery techniques, steam injection and fracture simulation, to prolong the life of mature fields. Contrary to the impression promoted by the UK media, this production is worth anywhere from £500 Billion – (>) £1 Trillion to the state that has sovereignty or control over the W. Shetlands area.

    Scotland can thus respond to Westminster, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”, when considering the North sea component of the independence debate and mindful of the deceit played on Scotland in the late 70’s by Westminster politicians. http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/7408-labour-party-lied-over-true-worth-of-north-sea-oil-admits-former-chancellor

    The Scottish electorate should understand, that as regards North Sea Oil and Gas, this is its last chance of having any say, as the intensity of exploitation suggests that in the hands of the UK government, North sea O&G has but a generation of production left.

  • ROBERT BROWN

    English Parliament NOW, no ifs or buts……let’s get it done.

  • jelliedeels

    Just a correction Alex the onshore GDP of Scotland is within a fraction of Ruks

    the oil is a bonus

  • rjbh

    Cameron is out of his depth,… he may seem effective against Ed .. but against Alex, he is being outplayed every time.

  • Andrew Morton

    Having read as many of the comments as I could stomach (including the putative declaration of war by England on Scotland) I’m surprised that nobody has bothered to challenge Massie’s assertion that without oil the Scottish economy would be a basket case. As the Financial Times recently pointed out (and Massie must have read this so he’s being economical with the truth) Scotland’s non oil GDP per head is greater than Italy’s, with oil it is greater than France’s (http://archive.is/vcQ78).

    With London excluded, Scotland’s GDP per head would be greater than the rest of the UK. The fact is that oil is a welcome bonus, not an essential element.

    • allymax bruce

      Nobody bothers with Massie; full stop

      • Michele Keighley

        So – why are you bothering to comment then?

        • allymax bruce

          It’s a political forum; that’s what this is for, commenting.

    • serialluncher

      You’re obviously so focussed on being offended that you didn’t read the article – eg. “Quite Good Apart but Better Together.”?

  • Orphic

    The UK PM arrives in Scotland, his timing is 30 years too late and and the financial incentives he offers are at least £400 Billion short. The narrative the PM brings to Aberdeen is that, only the UK’s “broad shoulders” would guarantee the necessary investments in North sea oil and gas, furthermore Scotland by itself could not cope with the decommissioning costs and the fluctuations in O&G revenue.

    On Investment, the pattern in the oil industry is that the huge sums required for exploration and first stage production are borne by private capital, the governments role in early stage development is the allocation of oil blocks and tax incentivization through allowances up till cost plus production. There is nothing to suggest that Scotland particularly with its Aberdeen based legal expertise (on Energy law) would be unable to structure its energy investment laws to meet the requirements of incentivising the O&G industry.

    From the multibillion dollar investments in the Russian far east islands of the Sakhalin to the equally multibillion dollar investment in the Gorgon and Wheatstone Projects off the coast of Australia, and not forgetting the hundreds of billions raised by the industry to develop the pre salt deep water Santos basin of Brazil. The Oil industry has never needed the aid or indeed “broad shoulders” of any government in bringing difficult multibillion dollar on/off shore projects to productive fruition. To imply that this industry requires the “broad shoulders” of any government is at best laughable and at worst a prime example of Westminsteresque electoral deceit.

    The PM goes further on decommissioning, raising this spectre in order to conjure an image of the danger and cost structures usually associated with nuclear decommissioning. Decommissioning in the North Sea is governed by the contracting parties to the1998 OSPAR Convention (for the protection of the marine environment of the North- East Atlantic). Scotland’s current position as a region of the UK makes it ineligible to act as a contracting party and in the event of independence Scotland is hardly likely to negotiate itself into this treaty, by agreeing to absorb the costs of legacy assets that were exploited by the UK.

    Nevertheless, once again the role of the government is exaggerated by the PM, the decommissioning of UK oil and gas assets is primarily governed by Part IV of the Petroleum Act 1998 This act requires licensees – Oil companies – to pay for offshore installations to be properly decommissioned (complete removal from the seabed).

    On the fluctuations of O&G revenue, the intensity of the UK’s exploitation of North Sea oil resources vis a vis Norway should be highlighted. While a typical Norwegian field like Ekofisk has a productive life of 70 years, its UK equivalent Brent has a productive life under 50 years. It may be suggested that such differences arise from geological factors. Unfortunately this pattern is repeated and can be seen by a comparative analysis between UK and Norwegian fields, from the Viking graben next to the East Shetlands right through to the Mid North sea adjacent to the Norwegian Central graben. Indeed this is further displayed by peak production data between the UK and Norway that suggests the statistical normal curve reflecting the life cycle of production is much steeper in UK fields – with a peak production of 6.4 million barrels a day – than it is for the better managed and gentler declining Norwegian fields – with a peak of 3.4 million barrels per day. The intensity in exploitation is further displayed in the amount of structures in the North sea region, while the UK has 281 structures, the Norwegians have 77, for practically the same amount of oil and gas and considering that experts estimate that the Norwegian sector contains about 55% of the North Sea’s oil reserves and 45% of its gas reserves. Alternatively, the image of two buckets of oil – representing UK and Norway reserves – can be imagined with one bucket punctured with 281 holes and the other with 77 holes, I leave it to the reader to guess which bucket empties first.

    All this suggests that UK management of O&G is focussed entirely on short term revenue maximisation as opposed to the Norwegians – also presumably an independent Scotland – who view this asset as worthy of saving – managing for the long term, for future generations.

    While all this paints a pessimistic picture, there is hope for Scottish O&G production and that hope rests in the West Shetland, the Orkney Shetland platform with future fields like Schiehallion and Clair as well as deep water fields such as Foinaven. Technology also comes into play permitting 3/4D seismic and other techniques used elsewhere – such as in pre salt deep water – to open new areas for exploration as well as allowing enhanced recovery techniques, steam injection and fracture simulation, to prolong the life of mature fields. Contrary to the impression promoted by the UK media, this production is worth anywhere from £500 Billion – (>) £1 Trillion to the state that has sovereignty or control over the W. Shetlands area.

    The saying “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”, comes to mind when analysing the North sea component of the independence debate coupled with the deception played on Scotland in the late 70’s by Westminster politicians. http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/7408-labour-party-lied-over-true-worth-of-north-sea-oil-admits-former-chancellor

    The Scottish electorate should understand, that as regards North Sea Oil and Gas, this is its last chance of having any say, as the intensity of exploitation suggests that in the hands of the UK government, North sea O&G has but a generation of production left.

    • Doug Melville

      Bravo – but you do realise that many contributors will deeply resent the injection of facts into their faith-based argument? 😉

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Pontificating from the secured environment of a dungeon-like velodrome is now replaced by addressing ‘the people’ of Scotland from an oil rig?
    The eyes are always on the prize — this is seriously bad PR, I am not joking.
    You need to pull yourself *together* and get *better* at this…

  • Iain Paton

    The biggest problem is the tone and substance of the debate. The SNP are the ones courting voters and have made a reasonable and balanced case for independence, far removed from the rallying cries of past decades. Most voters, in fact, want devo max – they have placed enough confidence in Salmond’s stewardship to elect a SNP majority government with the prospect of another one in 2016, undermining the engineering of the Scottish Parliament, supposed to be a coalition arms-length executive of London. It is sobering to realise that Holyrood controls only around 13% of Scottish expenditure, and to remember the tussles over airgun legislation, which reinforces the desire for change. And there is not a great deal of difference between devo max and the SNP’s independence.
    Unfortunately for the nation, Better Together hasn’t risen to the challenge. The complacent assumption was that the Yes vote would languish at around 25% to 30%, whereas it has been running ten points higher. Now wev’e had an incoherent mixture of carrots and sticks, with belated interest from Westminster after long ignoring complaints about the bedroom tax and other matters. And the arguments from BT and Westminster are not credible. The reality is that a post-independence settlement would be a mature concordat to the maximum advantage of rUK and Scotland, almost certainly with a currency union and use of the pound and agreements on defence and other issues. The scorched-earth tactics of BT are bewildering and most people realise it is bluster.

    There are good reasons to maintain the UK but these are also honest reasons and not those reasons proposed by BT. This is why I expect the independence vote to rise and a closer result in September than ever considered by BT. An outright Yes is still less than likely but the likelihood is increasing as devo-maxers like myself decide to vote for change rather than no change. And even if the vote is for No, the margin is likely to be close enough to prompt a further referendum in 2018 and an undiminished appetite for change.

    The only certainty is that the trio of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg will not be together after 2015.

    • flippit

      The ruk will still be here. Still the vast majority. We won’t be taken to the cleaners by this.

  • rtj1211

    I guess you must ask whether this is the divorcing wife syndrome or not: I”m sure Roman Abramovitch’s second wife would have been ‘richer’ ‘together’ with old Roman, but she preferred to divorce the philandering two-timer, take £500m of his £10bn fortune and not be humiliated by him shagging someone almost young enough to be his daughter.

    In other words, if enough Scots hate the English enough, then they’d rather be a bit poorer and shot of perfidious Albion than a bit richer living together with the wankers in perpetuity.

    I don’t think they do as it happens, but that’s what the nub of the argument is about.

    • Crying out loud

      Albion does not mean England…do you not know your history boy?

  • scotcanadien

    “Perhaps the Prime Minister will succeed in persuading swithering Scots
    that the oil is too complicated, too uncertain and too important to be
    left to an independent Scotland but, on the face of it, I wouldn’t want
    to wager too hefty a sum on that proposition”

    The Scots would certainly make a better job of managing the oil than WM which has done nothing but waste the proceeds during the last 40 years on tax benefits for the rich and to shore up the City of London while building white elephants all around London and the SE England.

    • terregles2

      Cameron said that Scotland needs the broad shoulders of the UK to manage the problem of North sea oil for them. Poor old Scotland the only country in the world to discover oil and be too silly to know how to handle it. Just as well we have big Dave and his trustworthy team to keep us right.

      • Doggie Roussel

        The oil is mostly in international waters… the oil was mainly exploited and extracted by international conglomerates…. the oil fields could have been exploited much more easily from Tyneside than Aberdeen… Scotland will not have the money or abilities to continue to develop the North Sea oil resources.

        • terregles2

          Thanks for the laugh.

          • Doggie Roussel

            So, where’s the argument ?

            • Paul Bethune

              Expert on Maritime laws Doggie? So how far from the baseline at Tyneside is say the Brent Oil Field?

              • Doggie Roussel

                133.5 nautical miles

                • Paul Bethune

                  133.5 nautical miles from Tyneside haha funny Doggie.

                  Lerwick is 470 miles away from Newcastle. The Brent Oil Field is 101 nautical miles (116 miles) away from Lerwick.

                  Try again.

                • Doggie Roussel

                  And why don’t you keep tugging your two-inch hampton !

                • Paul Bethune

                  Hey Doggie, so where’s the argument? 🙂

                  “hampton” – is that posh boy chat for wang aye?

                • Doggie Roussel

                  Hampton Wick…. Sweaty Sock… get the picture ?

            • terregles2

              When I have managed to stop laughing I will answer you. I think you are on a wind up though.

  • dougthedug

    Poor Dave. The Better Together campaign was trundling on funded by money from Tory donors and fronted by Labour staffers but now by coming north with his Cabinet and pronouncing on North Sea Oil he’s made it quite obvious that it’s a Tory campaign.

    The very thing he wanted to avoid by avoiding Alex in a debate has happened.

    • terregles2

      This is the same Dave that tells Scots he is more trustworthy than Alex Salmond. I reckon he should appear at the Edinburgh comedy club before he scuttles back over the border.

      • HJ777

        It would be rather difficult to be less trustworthy than Salmond, wouldn’t it?

        You can’t get much less trustworthy than spending £20k of taxpayers’ money on trying to conceal the fact that the legal advice you claimed you had received never actually existed, can you?

        • dougthedug

          In the interests of accuracy rather than hearsay the case was about whether a Government has to confirm or deny it has received legal advice not about the content of that advice.

          It’s the same principle that Westminster operates to and using that principle Westminster will not confirm or deny it has received legal advice on any subject.

          http://stephennoon.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/dont-do-as-we-do.html

          • HJ777

            That’s what I said, didn’t I? I never mentioned the supposed content of the (non-existent) legal advice, I talked about the fact (or rather fiction) of its existence.

      • Colin

        “This is the same Dave that tells Scots he is more trustworthy than Alex Salmond.”

        At least he knows what currency his country will be using.

        • terregles2

          He also knows how much his pound will plummet when he loses Scotland’s resources. Hence the Cabinet meeting in Scotland, They scuttled back south after releasing a few press statements.
          Not one of them man enough to sit in front of the press and answer open questions. What a bunch of chancers,

      • Doggie Roussel

        I thought Cameron was Scotch….

        • terregles2

          Well Scotch is whisky. If you think Cameron is a drink that explains your bizarre comments. Perhaps you have a tipple yourself from time to time.

          • Doggie Roussel

            If describing the Scots as Scotch was good enough for Shakespeare and Dr Johnson, then it’s good enough for me. Here are a few observations on the Scots from those afflicted by them :

            Come let me know what it is that makes a Scotchman happy…. Samuel Johnson

            A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland, supports the people… Samuel Johnson (on oats)

            The noblest prospect that a Scotchman ever sees is the high road to England…. Samuel Johnson

            Sir, it is not so much to be lamented that Old England is lost, as that the Scotch have found it… Samuel Johnson

            … and not be subject to a needy, beggarly nation… Sir Walter Raleigh (on Scotland)

            There are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman on the make… JM Barrie

            The most uptight and unfunky people in Europe… Charles Jennings (of the Scots)

            I have been trying all my life to like Scotchmen, and am obliged to desist from the experiment in despair… Charles Lamb

            Humourless and grasping, insensitive to the feelings of others, while thin-skinned about their own grievances, real or imaginary, they are now a scourge on England’s
            green and pleasant land… Paul Johnson (On the Scots… Spectator 2/9/00)

            The poison of Low Scotch malice… Paul Johnson as above

            …to blow the Scotch back again into Scotland… Guy Fawkes

            A wee, pretendy Parliament… Billy Connolly… (On Scotland’s new Parliament)

            The Scots are a race who keep the Sabbath, and every other damn thing they can lay their hands on… Lyndon Baines Johnson

            Seeing Scotland, Madam, is only seeing a worse England… Samuel Johnson

  • John

    Although the oil argument is one that should be a Nationalist strength they’ve already failed with their “It’s oor oil” campaign. There is something vulgar about the black gold grab with Salmond. Almost as vulgar as his name calling today of the Westminster being “Thieves of our oil”. Something that he played part in.

    I don’t trust Salmond and his “I’ll save it for an oil fund & and I’ll increase our public spending” at the same time. It’s pure Salmondomics. Where he gets it so drastically wrong just like his “arc of prosperity”, his “Currency Union”, his “automatic entry into the EU” and his Harvard crowing speech “Scotland has brands money cannot buy [about the RBS]” a month before we taxpayers were called to bail it out.

    It’s a NO to Salmond and to Nationalist Separatism for me.

    • Jambo25

      Nobody in the SG used the term “Thieves of our oil” as far as I know.

      • John
        • Jambo25

          Actually Salmond does not accuse the Westminster Government of thieving Scottish oil. Its very sloppy journalism by the Independent and very sloppy reading by you.
          What Salmond is quoted as saying is as follows.
          “I’ve got some form in oil and gas as I was an energy economist before I fell among thieves, by which I mean the House of Commons and not the Scottish Parliament.” That is an allusion and a tolerably witty one to the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

          • John

            Absolute garbage.

            Weasle words from an apologist for the biggest snake oil salesman in politics who divides Scots never mind the rest of the UK.

            Still – only 200 odd days to go until his political demise.

            • Jambo25

              You claimed that Salmond had said something. I’ve just quoted you back the exact words that Salmond spoke, according to the Independent. He said no such thing. You are either a liar or cannot understand the English language. Show me where Salmond characterised the Westminster Government as “Thieves of our oil.”.

              • John

                “He said no such thing”

                Salmond called the people in the HoC “Thieves” in relation to oil. And yet he said no such thing.

                Delusional Nationalist.

                • Thepnr

                  A great many in the HoC are thieves and have been proven to be. Some of them have been sent to jail for thieving from the UK taxpayer. Or had you forgotten?

            • terregles2

              You sound very angry calm down. You have to accept that we all have different opinions it would be a dull world if we all thought the same way. Calling people names belongs in the playground.

              • HJ777

                Pot. Kettle. Black.

              • John

                Certainly not angry. I may not suffer fools gladly and apologists for liars but hey ho. Some people do I suppose.

                In terms of “calling people names belongs in the playground. It may surprise you that I would agree. But I am a mere blogger and at times get caught up in tit-for-tat. But the corollary of that is finding it excusable that a so-called leader of a Nationalist government calls others “thieves” in reference to oil – not in the heat of debate but in craving newspaper columns.

                But as I asked you. I’m looking for specifics rather than rhetoric about the big bad English and British Government

    • terregles2

      Nobody is grabbing anything. Many of us would vote for independence even if there was no oil. The oil that has come from the North sea belonged to everyone in the UK and should have improved the country for all of us. Instead Westminster squandered the lot. They were not sensible ebough to set up an oil fund and both Westminster Labour and Tory governments have proved incapable of managing oil resouces to the best advantage.
      They cannot be trusted with the remainder of the oil which anyway up until now they have been telling us is almost of no value.

      • John

        They have a partly Nationalised system that supports an oil fund. They also have triple the amount of oil. And a 10% lower population. (They also have the highest sick benefit claimants in the European landmass but I digress).

        “Squandered the lot”? Pray tell? Sometimes specificity works.

        • terregles2

          Squandered the lot. What did they spend it on.? How have they improved anything for people throughout the UK.
          The idea of anyone trusting Cameron,Clegg or Miliband is beyond laughable.
          I wouldn’t trust any of them to run the local car boot sale. The idea that they have any regard for Scotland is unbelievable.
          We are making a choice on Scottish independence it has nothing to do with SNP policy. They may not be elected in the first Scottish general election.
          Scotland will be independent long after Salmond and Cameron and all of us are long gone.
          Scots have one question to answer in September. Who do you trust most to look after the best interests of Scotland. Holyrood or Westminster.?

          • John

            Hmmm. You don’t do specificity. You, like a Nationalist, make a charge you believe inherently true, I ask a question and you answer with a question.

            The SNP have formed the question, the timing, whose eligible and have formed the vision [or lack thereof] of how an iScotland would look like! This is an SNP referendum. The problem is – you don’t even seem to know what the question is – you’ve just redefined it!

            I have a healthy distrust of all politicians. You trust Salmond who lied about advice on Europe, looked idiotic on joining the EU, looked idiotic on a currency union, looked idiotic on the “celtic tiger” economy, looked idiotic a month before the banking crash by talking of “brands money can’t buy (RBS) and how they could lend money cheaper” (only to flip flop).
            I could go on but that should be enough for your trust to digest.

            But Nationalists are nothing if they don’t have rhetoric over substance.

            • terregles2

              You seem to presume quite a lot about me. I am a Democrat not a Nationalist. I have never voted for Alex Salmond but will be voting YES in September. I have a healthy distrust of all politicians and that is yet another reason I want independence. It will be easier to keep an eye on their behaviour in Holyrood and vote them out when need be,
              The SNP did not form the question. The original question they wanted was disallowed. Eligibilty to vote etc are all powers that Westminster have and the election is being held under Westminster election rules. The SNP chose the timing nothing more.
              I think that Scotland should be like almost every other country in world and have self determination. I think all people living in Scotland should decide how we are governed. That does not make me an SNP supporter or indeed a supporter of any other political party. After independence I will decide which Scottish party has policies that most appeal to me. I believe in democracy and look forward to not having the undemocratic House of Lords having influence in the future of my country.
              I do not form my opinions by listening to any politician nor indeed by listening to any celebrity or pop star. I form them by doing my own research looking at government figures and reports and by thinking for myself.

              • John

                There is so much wrong with your “I want for my country” list that for brevity I’ll pick on just a few.

                1. “The SNP did not form the question. The original question they wanted was disallowed”

                They brought forward their referendum and posed the question. Are you claiming them not being allowed “Devo Max” as part of an in/out referendum? They amended it to suit the Electoral Commission rules (an independent neutral body). Salmond posed the question – not Westminster. And for that – the question is biased.

                2. You say that you want independence yet the irony of Salmond’s proposition is that there will be less independence as the currency will be dictated by a now “foreign country’s” interest. And damn Scotland.

                You do spout Nationalist rhetoric that is based on Salmondomics and not Economics. That clearly is your right as a voter.

                3. As for the HoLs concern;

                Experts in their field that challenge knee jerk reactionary laws that democratic governments push through. Even then there powers are extremely limited to be able to pass it back and forth.

                Would you prefer another elected Salmond / Sturgeon / Lamont etc dictating Law, business, policy, economics?

                How much does this really impact you? How much do you think your life will change? Or do I dare suggest that you are a Romanticist rather than a Rationalist (even if you do fall for Nationalist rhetoric)?

                • Jambo25

                  And you were still caught out lying above.

                • terregles2

                  There is so much wrong with my ” I want for my country list”.
                  That is your opinion not mine. Independence for Scotland will be better for everyone living in Scotland quite simply because we will have

                • John

                  Your opinion of “Independence for Scotland will be
                  better for everyone living in Scotland quite simply because we will have self government” is naive and falsely premised.

                  You are voting for you – not for “Scotland”. When you lose and we vote to remain in the UK (happily turfing out Salmond) – is that also “for Scotland”?

                  You cannot claim anything for Scotland but it would seem you do follow Salmond rhetoric in claiming your devotion to it. Your language is Nationalist.

                  Tell me, without rhetoric, what part of your life do you think will be “better”. What part would turning our biggest economic ally into our biggest economic competitor and allowing a foreign country (as it would be) to dictate monetary and fiscal policy “be better”?

                  Admit it – you’re attracted to the idea and anti-Britishness but have no clue about the reality or rationale.

                • terregles2

                  I am voting YES you will vote NO. No need to get so wound up about it.
                  We are all entitled to our opinion.

                • HJ777

                  And John asked you for your opinion on an important issue, yet you weren’t able to give it.

                • allymax bruce

                  Squealing like a stuck rat!

            • Jambo25

              And you were caught lying above.

              • John

                So not only infected by a Nationalist delusion – you have a stutter also?

                • Jambo25

                  And a strong ability to smell bullshit.

                • John

                  Ah – you have the problem of your nose being too near your mouth?

                • HJ777

                  Accompanied by an infinitely greater capacity to generate it.

                  That’s presumably why you can smell it so often – you’re in such close proximity to the source.

                • Jambo25

                  Oh, you’ve been trying to develop a sense of humour.

                • HJ777

                  I already had one but I’m afraid that I can’t help you to develop one for yourself if that what you were hoping for.

                  But I wasn’t using it – I was just being straight with you.

                • allymax bruce

                  comes with the territory of with being a farmer.

    • terregles2

      With respect if you think the referendum is a vote for any political party should you not perhaps find out a bit more about it before you vote.?
      We are voting on whether we think Scotland should be governed from Holyrood. We are not voting for which political party should govern us.
      Quite a difference and important that you understand that difference.

      • HJ777

        Then why does the white paper make a series of SNP policy pledges?

        • allymax bruce

          Squealing like a stuck rat!

          • Doggie Roussel

            Do you mean pig, birdbrain ?

      • John

        I don’t have a beef with the idea of independence and I have an an above average economic understanding of what it means for me and for the country. But thanks for the tips.

        I have a beef with what Salmond and the SNP are dishing up. They are the sole custodians of what “independence” will look like and that is the choice which we have to decide upon. He is trying to get his vote by deception. Not by conviction.

        As HJ highlights; Sillars is a man of conviction. I say Salmond is a man who should be convicted for deception as a pretence to cheat us Scots.

        I’m not convinced from an economics perspective. I’m not convinced from a rational perspective. From an emotional perspective I don’t trust liars – with Sillars I would listen as he at least can define independence and is honest.

        The only thing Salmond will achieve on the 19th of September is a lot more bitter, enraged & emotional Nationalists who will feel cheated and retreat back into their NatCaves to ponder whether they will have to wait another generation or two to start their campaign again.

        • allymax bruce

          Step up and have a go!
          None of the Unionist Party’s are vying any iScotland options!
          Basically, it’s down to one party; SNP; who will, and is only, willing to offer Scots & Scotland Independence!

        • terregles2

          I think the SNP may come across as sole custodians of the independence debate simply because they are the majority party and are in government in Holyrood. They are presenting their ideas on how they would govern after independence. They are however aware that they may not win the first general election after independence so in one sense their opinion and their manifesto is irrelevant.
          There are another four political parties campaigning for YES. If Scotland does become independent we do not know who the Scottish people will elect as First Minister which again makes Salmond irrelevant.

  • CraigStrachan

    I’m struggling to see what where David Cameron went to school has to do with the price of oil.

    Now when can we expect your blog in response to Hugo Rifkind and the posh folk?

  • Daniel Maris

    The UK has never grasped the thistle of its rather odd constitutional make up.

    If we were serious about stopping the independence movement, we need a properly federal union but the position of N. Ireland has bedevilled clear thinking on that.

  • Raw England

    If it was up to me, we’d go to war with Scotland to make sure that oil belongs to England, which it probably already does, to be honest.

    We’re far more powerful than Scotland military-wise, technology-wise; I think we’d do well to take advantage of that. Because be in no doubt that were the tables turned, an SNP Scotland would do so against us.

    • Michael Rossi

      Ha ha, that’s hilarious! I reckon you should chuck in a few other countries for good measure. Your suggestion that the SNP would also want to invade England was also very amusing (you should read Simon Heffer or David Starkey who seem to think variously that Salmond is Hitler and Mussolini – quite impressive for the leader of what’s in effect a pro – business social democratic party)

      • Raw England

        Nah, Salmond definitely can’t be compared to those two people, because the red-faced Leftie Haggis WANTS immigration and multiculturalism.

        • Michael Rossi

          Funnily enough haggis was first noted in the 15th century as an English delicacy.

          • Raw England

            Hmm. I find it hard to believe as Haggis is clearly anything but.

            • Michael Rossi

              Well, elements of a sheep, eaten in every (or most) countries of the world so not that unbelievable. Given the movement of peoples over the centuries / millennia it’s easy to see how this English delicacy came to be adopted in Scotland

          • Kitty MLB

            Indeed it was.
            I found a recipe for Haggis and neeps shepherds
            pie with whisky gravy, but I shall not try it myself.
            I was also quite surprised to hear that the Romans
            introduced black pudding to England,
            no idea why they would eat that revolting substance.

            • Baron

              Why would they (the Romans), the aristocracy or anyone else like Baron eat it? Because it tastes good, Kitty, black pudding, that is, and both black pudding and haggis go well with whisky.

              • Kitty MLB

                I can understand haggis with whisky, after being
                out for a chilly morning in the Highlands shooting ( if you are the aristocracy )
                working or walking for everyone else, both very warming for lunch. Yet black pudding and whisky?
                I assumed black pudding was something you
                had with a cooked breakfast.
                Perhaps they all are more suitable for the gentleman
                palate anyway.

              • Jambo25

                Romans did not ascribe the same table of values to food as we do. They probably prized fish, offal etc more than prime cuts of meat.

            • Michael Rossi

              Yes I was surprised to read it when I first came across the story but fascinating nonetheless

          • Jambo25

            Probably French originally.

            • Michael Rossi

              Makes sense – from France to England and thence to Scotland

              • Jambo25

                Some modern French boudins can be a bit reminiscent of haggis.

    • Daniel Maris

      At the height of English football hooliganism, the one place English thugs would never go to cause trouble was Scotland.

      I wouldn’t pick a fight with them if I were you.

      • Raw England

        Oh be quiet, Daniel, you wuss.

      • Wessex Man

        The real reason that English Football Thugs never went to Scotland was because Scottish Football just wasn’t good enough to attract them.

        Stones and Glasshouses etc, who had to bring in laws because of secrtarian fighting at their football matches?

        • scotcanadien

          Are you kidding? And what country ‘s teams were banned for 5 years because their thugs murdered other teams supporters…and their own.

          • HJ777

            There were no murders at Heysel. The only convictions were for involuntary manslaughter.

            Still, you don’t care about facts, do you?

            • Jambo25

              Yes and the Italians still speak highly of you. After all your brave lads only involuntarily manslaughtered those 39 Italian fans. Thank god they didn’t murder them.

              • HJ777

                The Italians still speak highly of me?

                “My brave lads”?

                What on earth are you talking about? I’m not even a Liverpool fan (Spurs and Rangers actually).

                Or were you trying to make a racist anti-English attack by tarring all English people with the same brush? Even that is misdirected because I am as Scottish and as Welsh as I am English.

                You are utterly contemptible.

                • Jambo25

                  Simply pointing out that from the Italian PoV dead is dead.

                • HJ777

                  No you weren’t.

                • Jambo25

                  Oh yes I was.

                • HJ777

                  Well, I can see your comment where you make personal remarks about me and refer to “your brave lads” – as if they had something to do with me (or vice versa).

                  Let me remind you that that my original comment was merely a – correct – factual correction.

                  You really do lack any credibility. Grow up man.

                • jelliedeels

                  are you sure your not northern irish

        • Doggie Roussel

          The Scotch are useless at soccer, at rugby, at cricket, at culture… granted they have a sour-puss tennis player who has won Wimbledon, but they have also spawned money-grubbing and expatriate vermin like Sean Connery and Fred the Shred and they are governed by a slimy tub of lard called Salmond whose most notable political achievement was to release an Arab terrorist under false pretences and see the Saltire being vigorously waved in Tripoli upon his much-heralded arrival in Libya.

          • Doug Melville

            I think that may be one of the singularly most ignorant trolling comments I have ever seen. Well done, if it was deliberate, and if it wasn’t – perhaps you could consider redoing kindergarten (and the rest that follows) – or perhaps reading something other than your own tea-leaves.. or Scatomancy –

            • Doggie Roussel

              Scatomancy… an interesting word… presumably a combination of Scatology and Romance… I commend you… and empathise with your dreadful predicament of being one of those sun-starved Scots whose future is about to be blighted by having to subsist on a daily bowl of gruel and a can of Irn Bru in the forseeable future.

              And, my previous comment was most definitely deliberate.

    • MichtyMe

      The Governments of China, Korea, Norway, Middle Eastern States and others together with North American and European Commercial Corporations own the rights. Is it World War III you want to fight.

      • Raw England

        Why not. Its going to happen anyway in some context. Better to have it now whilst we (Whites) still exist, and still have some morsel of power.

        • scotcanadien

          I didn’trealise you were a moronic racist as well. Which is it? BNP, EDL, SDL, UKIP Orange Order, or all of them?

    • Ingenious Cognomen

      I am massively amused by the use of the word “we” there, since you are the epitome of a spineless, yellow-bellied Internet troll who is unlikely in the extreme to ever place their worthless carcass in harm’s way.

      • Raw England

        Refer to the Guidelines on comments, Troll.

        • Crying out loud

          You are the troll.

    • scotcanadien

      Go and give yourself a good old toss under the blanket. It’s about all you’re good for with stupid remarks like that. England couldn’t even field a company to go to war with anyone let alone Scotland.

      • Raw England

        We’d EASILY win a war with Scotland : )

      • Raw England

        Also: *ScotCanadian, lol.

      • Doggie Roussel

        She’s also a woman… or hadn’t you noticed… giving herself a good old toss under the blanket might have some logistical problems…

        However, the fact that you are a complete w….r has never been in doubt !

        • Raw England

          Thank you, Doggie x

    • Crying out loud

      What English army? it is now reliant on Africans and Fijians to boost numbers. English soldiers cannot even walk down London streets without being knocked down, stabbed and beheaded. Hardly frightening stuff for Scotland.

      • Michele Keighley

        I find your comment utterly and totally offensive.

        • Crying out loud

          Given that English soldiers cannot walk down the capital of that countries streets without immigrants running them over and cutting their heads off, I think I am right.

  • manonthebus

    The SNP claims that an independent Scotland would husband the oil taxes in a Future Fund set aside from current expenditure. At the same time, the SNP says it will be able to run its country far better than Westminster has and that the Scots would be about £3,000 pa better off. But if the oil tax is set aside for the future, how will the SNP pay for current expenditure which will have to cover a large public sector and with what could be a much smaller financial industry? IMHO, the SNP will mortgage future oil tax income on Day One of independence and will never recover from an initial public spending splurge as it tries to remain popular.

    • terregles2

      For decades Scots have been told that the rest of the UK subsidises us. We are a poor uselss country looked after by the rich clever people in Westminster.
      Useless poor Scotland kept afloat by rich England. When Scots then say we will take our poor useless country away to save you spending any more money on it, we are hit by another tirade of abuse.
      Suddenly now we are greedy and selfish trying to keep all that oil to ourselves.It was worthless until Westminster was going to lose control of it. Now suddenly it is very valuable and we are very selfish.

      • HJ777

        You have a vivid imagination, clearly.

        Where is the tirade of abuse? Who elected you to speak for Scots? Who ever suggested that the oil was worthless?

        You just make this stuff up so that you have a straw man to attack.

        • Jambo25

          And who ever appointed you?

          • HJ777

            Nobody.

            That’s exactly my point and the reason why I never use the collective noun “we” as if I were somehow speaking for other people.

            Terregles2, however, seems to believe that she is entitled to speak on behalf of Scots, hence her frequent use of “we” when referring to Scots and how they think and act, how they are supposedly treated and what they will do.

            • Jambo25

              That really isn’t how you come across.

              • HJ777

                I’m not responsible for the way you think I come across (thank goodness). I have never pretended to represent others.

                Once again, I see that you can’t present (or rather don’t have) a coherent argument.

                • terregles2

                  Have you never predicited a no vote in the Scottish referendum? If you think you haven’t someone else must have posted for you while your back was turned.

                • HJ777

                  Yes – it was a prediction.

                  Not a claim that when I speak, I represent Scots in general. Unlike you.

            • terregles2

              Well you have said often enough that Scots will vote no and that the YES voters are a small noisy minority. You have often said that sensible Scots will reject nationalism.

              • HJ777

                Do you not understand the difference between a prediction and a view of how I think people will respond and a claim to be representing their views?

                Clearly not.

                • terregles2

                  If you say as you frequently do that Scots will vote no then you are claiming that you know for a fact that people in Scotland are opposed to independence. You suggest that you know what most of the Scottish electorate is thinking.
                  Most sensible people do not make any prediction for the referendum. Obviously we hope that our particular opinion wins but we know that a week is a long time in politics and seven months is a lifetime.
                  It is silly in the extreme to predict who will gain the most votes in September. We will not know until the 19th September 2014.

                • HJ777

                  Come off it. You are increasingly ridiculous.

                  I was making a prediction – and one backed by polling information. You may think that making a prediction is “silly in the extreme” but the bookmakers are quite happy to in order to set their betting odds. Are they “silly in the extreme”?

                  And what would you know about “most sensible people” anyway? Your posts are mostly nonsensical garbage.

                  I, however, unlike you do not pretend to speak collectively for Scots by using the collective noun “we”. In fact, all the polling data suggests that most Scots disagree with you.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  No he doesn’t. If I predict that the Scots will lose their next rugby match, and I do so predict, I do not say I know it fo a fact. Predicting votes before they happen is something everybody does. I predict the Scots will vote NO. But of curse I could be wrong. Get it? Naw. Of course you don’t.

                • HJ777

                  She is disturbingly unintelligent.

                  Perhaps she really thinks that she was selected to speak for Scots as an homogenous group? Who knows what is going on it her head?

                • Kitty MLB

                  She will be so disappointed when someone sticks
                  a pin into the ever inflated ego of Alex Salmond.
                  Its quite mindboggling that some in Scotland actually
                  see Salmond as the same heroic saviour character
                  as people saw Tony Blair.
                  Blair was going to save England from the Tories
                  and Salmond is going to save Scotland from the Tories.
                  Also some might think it a coincidence that Salmond
                  waited for a Tory government, but I do not,
                  he is very cunning.

                • terregles2

                  She will be so disappointed when someone sticks a pin. You don’t mean me do you Kitty.?

                • Kitty MLB

                  No you will not stick a pin into him,
                  but someone will. Its all quite exiting at the moment
                  but reality has a habit of knocking on the door.

                • Thepnr

                  When reality knocks on your door on the 19th September, don’t be too shocked if the one feeling deflated happens to be yourself.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  It’s a woman, is it?

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes she is a female and from Glasgow.
                  The penny as also dropped.
                  Some think Salmond is Tony Blair_ he is the absolute same- everyone here just think about it.
                  Egotistical, promising a land of milk and honey,
                  Tory-Free, playing to the common denominator
                  and as sly as a fox, charismatic ,devious
                  and opportunistic.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Female from Glasgow! All is revealed. You don’t want to have anything to do with Glasgow females!

                • jelliedeels

                  you wouldn`t be a tory ,kitty would you

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  But of curse I could be wrong.
                  One could read this as a typo. Or one could suppose that by predicting NO the Scots will be cursed and go for YES, only to regret it in the morning! : )

                • Fergus Pickering

                  They would certainly regret it in the morning. Winston Churchill the wee man isn’t.

                • allymax bruce

                  Freudian slip? Then, a catastrophic change? Not on yer nelly. One thing for sure, the Scots psyche will be much happier with a Yes vote.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Ally, its about cold reality, sense and reason,
                  not what makes the heart feel warm
                  and cosy, you know that 🙂

                • allymax bruce

                  Yes, Kitty, and that’s just what I’ve replied to Swanky. Just because iScotland will run its own show after the Yes vote, it doesn’t mean we don’t love you; ofcourse we do. Like you say, Kitty, it’s a basic reality Scotland wants self-determination.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Well Ally, we all love you too,
                  that is why we are concerned about what
                  will happen to you, regardless
                  of the colourful remarks about Salmond
                  And Cameron, yet if you read some remarks
                  here you would think it a personal battle
                  between those two, you are not even interested in Devo max.
                  Oh well I wish you luck in whatever you
                  decide.

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  Is it patriotism or economics? Is it wanting to stand before the nations of the world as not merely part of the UK? But then where does that leave the rest of the UK? What shall we call ourselves? The Less United Kingdom?

                • allymax bruce

                  Swanky, thanks for your comment. It’s about cold hard facts; Scotland has been ravaged by successive UK Westminster governments. The poverty in Scotland is higher than in any other EU nation-state, and it’s all down to UK Westminster policies, regardless of which political party is in power. The politicians will lie, cheat, con to any length, so as to protect their Elitist UK Westminster Class System. That causes ‘imobility for the masses’, but is fundamental to the operation of UK Westminster; that’s so out-dated and unfair, it is ridiculous to think anyone could find any credit supporting it in this 21st century! First, and foremost, it’s about running our own country, so that we give our children, & children’s-children, a better fairer future. All the rest like patriotism is supplementary, but great to identify with as Scotland & Scottish. I don’t know what you can call UK after Scotland votes Yes; it’s really not my choice anyway. But please try to see it from our perspective in Scotland; we’ve really had enough of the UK Westminster ‘system’.

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  Thanks for that explanation, A. B. I can certainly understand wanting more democracy!

        • Doug Melville

          Have you ever read the BTL comments on the Telegraph, the Guardian, The Daily Mail and so on? A tirade of abuse against the ‘Sweaty Socks’ is exactly what it is. If it was directed against another nationality (as greedy, feckless, stupid, nasty, drunk, mean, useless, drug-addicted scroungers, and social-security abusers) then it would be completely unacceptable. As Scots, we’re just told.. ‘oh you can’t take a joke’.

          Is it still acceptable to characterise all Irish as stupid sectarian and bigoted?

          Or is it only the Scots that have to accept being told we aren’t good enough to join the community of nations on our own two feet?

          • Doggie Roussel

            Yes !

      • Doggie Roussel

        Do you remember that glorious Scotch effort, the Darien experiment in Panama ?

        • terregles2

          You are comparing 17th century economics with the 21st century. Good heavens.!!!!
          Do you think the great fire of London 1666 will have any detrimental effect on future fire insurance to properties in Pudding Lane.?

        • Doug Melville

          Bless! – he must have heard something down the pub that didn’t point out the bits about the English navy blocking supply ships, the English investors withdrawing capital, and the English colonies in the Americas refusing refuge and support .. nowadays we call it economic sanctions. So not really Scottish incompetence, more English warfare. Have you ever heard of ‘The Rough Wooing’ or are you as ignorant as you try to come across?

          In the last 500 years, so just a bit less than the 307 of the Union, my hometown has been burnt to the ground by English forces twice, and bombarded by the English Navy.

          So would you like to compare history again from your position of ignorance?

          • Doggie Roussel

            Significant points made by Jimmy Shand… the most telling being that the Scots felt let down by the English failing to offer them support and rescue when their ill-conceived and ludicrous venture flopped.

            As usual nothing comes out of Scotland but the clenched fist of grievance or the outstretched palm for yet another subsidy or handout.

            Begone, you wretches, and make it speedy and permanent… and no, you cannot hijack Sterling.

    • jelliedeels

      “But if the oil tax is set aside for the future, how will the SNP pay for current expenditure ”

      as the non oil tax take in Scotland is the same as RUks and the oil is a bonus ,Scotland can do as the UK and most countries do and borrow ,its normal .

      If cameron continues to refuse Scotland any of ruk assets ,even better we start with no debt ,the markets will clamber to lend at a low rate to a country with no debt but large oil reserves

  • MichtyMe

    People familiar with the North Sea Oil industry, whatever their politics, agree that its stewardship by the UK Government has been abject. There is a mountain literature on this failure, books have been written

    • Fergus Pickering

      I know Chris Harvie. A dear, dear man, but quite barking.

      • allymax bruce

        Brilliant writer, though!
        You really should read his work; just, excellent.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I have. Like Nietzsche, brilliant but barking.

          • allymax bruce

            Fine line between genius and ‘barking’.
            Who is to tell who is genius, or not? Only another genius?

      • MichtyMe

        Rather harsh Fergus, just met him the once, long ago, a bit of a polymath, did you know the Daily Record calls him Professor Snooty, you and others here would enjoy his book “Broonland – the Last Last Days of Gordon Brown” full of good stuff.

  • Kitty MLB

    ‘ It risks reinforcing the negative stereotype’
    Rather like using the word ‘Etonian ‘ as a way to mock,
    and yet Slippery Salmond just innocently remains the SNP.
    Although I agree, Cameron with his stupendous education perhaps
    is walking into one big trap with this one and playing into the oily hands of Salmond.
    Also having a cabinet meeting in Scotland, very transparent Prime Minister,
    why do something so foolish.

    • Wessex Man

      because he’s not very intelligent, you can give the best education in the world to someone, it doesn’t change the fact that they are not very bright. He’s been conning people for years into believing that he’s a world class Politician but he’s not. He’s merely a showman like Obama and Blair.

      • Kitty MLB

        That is the crux of the matter.
        intelligence and education as Einstein said are not the same things.
        Genius cannot be created.
        Some do not let their brilliant education get in the way of their ignorance, just look at the entire political frontbenches, especially labour.

      • Paul Bethune

        Precisely why he’s not on the same level as Alex Salmond and why Cameron’s advisers will be screaming at him to avoid any public showdown with oor eck.

        He’d get shown up – and as (supposedly) one of the most powerful politicians on the planet that is wholly unthinkable to to the Tory team in Downing Street.

        • Kitty MLB

          Utter atrabilious nonsensical balderdash.
          Some of you have puffed Alex Salmond up
          so much that no wonder he is floating around in a hot air bubble of self esteem.
          You see this as some kind of battle against Cameron.
          yet we all know Salmond is far more devious politically
          then Cameron, and if there is a meeting
          then Salmond will play to the lowest common denominator.
          Remember BLair, everyone thought he was the saviour.

          • terregles2

            Everyone though Blair was the saviour. Speak for yourself Kitty I never voted for him and would never ever vote Labour.
            I thought he was untrustworthy from the moment I saw him.

            • Kitty MLB

              and so did I, a snake ! you do not see any similarities between
              him and Salmond then, obviously.

              • terregles2

                No Kitty I don’t see any similarities between Blair and Salmond. Don’t think Salmond will ever be responsible for the deaths of countless thousands and I really don’t have any opinion on Salmond at all. Although I have never voted SNP I think some of the press attacks he is subjected to are very unfair and very often inaccurate. We are however voting on independence not Alex Salmond and I will be voting YES because I think it will be best for Scotland. What any politician thinks about it does not bother me one way or another. I certainly will not be disappointed on behalf of anyone else.
                I am surprised that you think YES voters are worshipping Alex Salmond. Will you say that all the English people who vote to leave the EU are doing so because they love and worhip Nigel Farage.
                Is it just not conceivable that they will be voting for what they believe will be best for England rather than blind worship of Farage.
                I find the assumption that a YES vote means blind worship of Alex Salmond bizarre in the extreme.

            • Doggie Roussel

              OK… so now you can devote all your energies in supporting that hermaphroditic toad, Salmond …

              • terregles2

                I am a YES voter and a YES campaigner but I have never voted for Mr Salmond. Although I don’t vote for him I don’t think he is as bad as the political deadwood that is mismanaging Westminster at the moment.

        • HJ777

          I am no great fan of Cameron, but at least he isn’t a slippery fish like Salmond.

          • Doggie Roussel

            Salmond isn’t a slippery fish, he’s a great fat slimy pig !

      • Doggie Roussel

        Wessex, I think his formative years were during his membership of the Bullingdon Club, along with Osborne and Johnson… although Dave appears to have drawn the sort straw.

  • William Haworth

    Has anyone agreed the boundaries of an independent Scotland in the North Sea? Salmond’s map had the boundary running East-West, whereas logic (and, I hope, the English negotiators) would have a continuation of the border, i.e. SW-NE.

    • allymax bruce

      Boundaries revert to 1707 Act of Union treaty. Bliar tried to con Scots & Scotland with his idiotic boundary shift at Berwick, but nobody is fooled by lying, cheating, conning, chancer Blair.

      • Wessex Man

        who was born Scottish, ah well.

        • Jambo25

          And who has publically identified himself as English and whose children travel on Irish passports.

          • GUBU

            Whereas he himself usually travels on the nearest billionair’s yacht…

            • Jambo25

              He is a scumbag.

          • Richard Ferguson

            Seriously? What’s the reason for that?

            • Jambo25

              No idea. Might have been as an insurance policy in case they were ever on a plane or boat hi-jacked by Islamists or something or possibly there’s some tax avoidance scheme./ Who knows how that sociopath’s ,mind works.

              • Richard Ferguson

                If true, tax avoidance sounds likely.

                • Jambo25

                  I wouldn’t dare to suggest you are correct but!

              • John

                Generally in the same way a nationalist schizophrenic mind works.

      • manonthebus

        From which I take it that you will disagree with any independent assessment that doesn’t give you what you want!

      • FF42

        Genuine question. What 1707 boundary? The Anglo / Scottish border is pretty well fixed surely – on land at least?

        • allymax bruce

          As pre 1707 Union, Berwick is part of Scotland; Bliar tried to redirect the land boundary around Berwick as England’s; pushing a skewed interpretation of Scottish waters. It ridiculously showed oil fields adjacent to Aberdeen being in England’s waters! Typical of the megalomaniac Bliar. However, all that was boundary pre 1707, will revert back to that same ordinance come iScotland 2016.

        • terregles2

          In 1999 Tony Blair hurried some legislation through patliament helped by Scottish Labour which moved the Scottish maritime boundary up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie. Scotland had 6000 square miles of sea annexed,

          • Jambo25

            Even Blair’s boundary gives Scotland about 94% of the oil. The old boundary would give Scotland the lot.

            • terregles2

              Good old British fair play. Sleight of hand as ever.

              • Jambo25

                Rule Britannia. Britannia waives the rules.

    • Angus McLellan

      No-one has “agreed the boundaries”. Blair’s government legislated one, so we do know whose law applies where today, which may be a bit of a give-away as to the starting position. And it seems that neither “project the land border” nor “line of latitude” are very likely outcomes to a dispute, if there were to be one. Various legal bods have opined on the matter, generally arguing for some sort of “equal distance” line, which is basically the situation today. In any case, it seems that you’d have to move the border a great deal to make much difference to the relative shares of oil and gas.

    • MichtyMe

      The UK government has run up the white flag on this one and surrendered.
      http://www.oilvoice.com/n/Vince_Cable_admits_North_Sea_Oil_is_in_Scottish_Waters/0b2275211fb1.aspx#gsc.tab=0

    • IainRMuir

      The Continental Shelf Act 1964 and the Continental Shelf (Jurisdiction) Order 1968 put the area north of 55 degrees latitude under Scottish Law. As I understand it, this is the main basis of the SNP’s claim and it appears to override the convention of extending the land boundary SW/NE.

      Just what the net value to Scotland would be after negotiations is another matter.

      • Jambo25

        Even the Blair boundary would assign 90%-94% of Oil to Scotland. That would be the least, under international law, that Scotland could expect.

    • jelliedeels

      in that case you better hope the germans dont push for the continuation of their border with the Netherlands as the oil would be in their waters

      • Doug Melville

        You clearly haven’t looked at international law on sea boundaries, generally speaking the lateral boundaries are extensions of the land boundaries (but they include latitude as the ultimate denominator to prevent the unscrupulous from setting the international boundary 1 meter from the coast at an angle of 12, or 168 degrees). Economic zones extend a fixed distance until they reach another countries zone. So for example, while La Manche (or the ‘English Channel’) is roughly 30 km wide, each country has to accept a mid point between their substantial landmasses as the sea border, and not the normal 200km.

        This is why Germany has no claim on North Sea oil.

        And before we hear comments about Shetland seceding from Scotland (a movement that appears to be entirely within the letter-writing imagination of one individual) – they would be considered to be enclaves in another countries (Scotlands) economic zone, and the limitation IIRC is a 6km zone, with NO oil in it.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here