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Careless Torc tells lies

Posted on March 11, 2013 by

When the Daily Record lost Magnus Gardham to the Herald, they made sure to call on a like-for-like replacement. Torcuil Crichton, the newspaper’s self-styled “man in Westminster” (and who has never approved a single comment on his political blog in almost five years), is Gardham’s only rival as the most virulently and overtly Unionist staff reporter – as opposed to opinion columnist – in the Scottish media.

donaldcrichton

A story under Mr Crichton’s name today, though, is unsubtle even by his standards.

In a piece trying to both keep alive the No camp’s limp “decoy dossier” of last week and pre-emptively discredit the Scottish Government’s own just-released forecasts on future oil revenues, Crichton savages both Swinney and the SNP in general, ironically using the word “bluster” no fewer than three times in the midst of a strained and rather tasteless metaphor based around the Exocet missiles that killed dozens of British sailors during the Falklands War.

Let’s take a walk through it.

———————————————————————————————–

SNP badly wounded by John Swinney’s friendly fire
Torcuil Crichton

An Exocet into the heart of independence, aimed and fired by the SNP.

Who let John Swinney into the armoury? Left in charge of Free Scotland’s defences for an afternoon, the otherwise steady Finance Minister punched his own postcode into the targeting system of the SNP’s limited arsenal.

His leaked document on the parlous finances of an independent nation sent a rocket straight through the SNP’s own letterbox.

Hold on a second, tiger. The Cabinet briefing paper did NOT describe the finances of an independent Scotland as “parlous”, nor anything remotely similar. What it actually said was that Scotland had “nothing to fear and everything to gain” from the economic possibilities of independence.

A bullseye for the Better Together brigade, no matter how much Swinney tried to bluster his way out of it yesterday.

From deep within the heart of the SNP, the truth about the cost of independence emerged through the smoke of the explosion.

Nothing in the paper described “the cost of independence” at all, but rather the financial challenges that Scotland will face in the coming years whether it’s independent or not.

The official Government paper warned that Scotland faces a £28billion deficit in the coming years, with the economy dependent on the see-saw price of North Sea oil.

The phrase “£28 billion deficit” is one that’s cropped up in several Unionist papers in the last few days. Yet it’s a completely meaningless term. A cumulative deficit built up over several years – which is what’s being referred to – isn’t a “deficit” in any sense that the word is used in economics, where it specifically means the shortfall in a nation’s finances in ONE year, so as to distinguish it from “debt”.

The only purpose of talking about a “£28bn deficit” is to make Scotland’s finances sound much worse than they are, because a deficit of £3bn or £4bn just doesn’t sound scary enough.

Swinney’s paper suggests pensions and welfare payments would have to be cut and defence spending, a perennial complaint of the party’s Westminster MPs, would be slashed.

It absolutely does not do either of those things. There isn’t a single sentence in the paper that proposes cuts to pensions or welfare, and the SNP’s proposed defence budget is considerably higher than what is actually spent on Scotland’s defence by the UK at present.

No amount of wriggling gets away from the document’s central assertion that there would be “significant” costs to setting up a new country.

The document addresses that fact head-on, including the actual projected costs, rather than attempting to “wriggle” anywhere.

Salmond had no choice but to bluster onwards, telling Parliament on Thursday that public spending will grow in “real terms” sometime after 2017. In the real world that means cuts in public spending.

This is perhaps the most extraordinary paragraph in the entire article. Crichton simply comes straight out and tells Record readers that black is white, that the Scottish Government is lying, and that when it talks of real-terms increases it means the exact opposite. No justification is offered for this extremely serious accusation whatsoever.

What SNP ministers said was “scaremongering” by their opponents was, in fact, the plain, unvarnished truth – as told to them by their own civil servants more than a year ago.

It’s hard to know what this assertion refers to. We’ve challenged a number of people in recent days to identify a single section of the briefing paper which contradicts any public claim by any Scottish Government minister, and been met so far with only silence.

The wrangling over oil finances will continue forever, but some key points emerge from the debacle. From Swinney’s point of view, why commission such a destructive piece of work without knowing you would get a favourable answer? It seems politically inept.

There are almost too many fallacies in this short passage to list. Swinney didn’t “commission” the paper, he wrote it himself. It contains nothing “destructive” – only things which have been spun destructively by the No campaign – and it had no “political” context at all, because it was a private cabinet briefing document not intended for political use.

Then why decide to present the findings formally to Cabinet colleagues? They’ve all now spent the last year in the public presses saying one thing when it appears they knew the opposite to be true.

As noted above, we await an actual example.

“If they had asked we could have written it for them,” one Downing Street aide told me, making a laughing stock of the Scottish Government. This one paper, and the fact that the entire leadership had sight of it, haemorrhages away vital trust from the current cabinet before the debate properly begins.

We’re in a kind of phoney war on independence now before the battle royale of 2014. But this financial explosion in their ship’s magazine leaves the SNP limping out of port, despite the comical attempt yesterday to insist there will somehow be an oil boom swiftly after the referendum.

The use of the word “comical” is propaganda, not analysis. Countless impartial sources predict a far better outlook for the oil industry than the OBR, and given the OBR’s poor track record in that respect it’s entirely reasonable to consider those sources reasonable and reliable.

Maybe it is just as well the information was leaked now. Had they taken the country to sea on a falsehood and been rumbled after the event, the public backlash against SNP ministers would have been enormous.

When the Scottish Cabinet meet this week they will take a hard look around the room. There will be the paranoid search for a Daniel Defoe, an English spy, in their midst.

Um, it’s not “paranoia” when you clearly DO have a spy.

It is not who they should be asking themselves, but why?

Someone with a close-up view of an SNP Government, avowedly one putting Scotland first, decided these leading politicians did not have Scotland’s real interests at heart and exposed the situation.

Someone thought: “These guys are at it and I’m going to tell the world.”

Or, someone in the civil service is against independence and leaked something they knew could be negatively spun.

All the bluster in Banff cannot hide what that alone tells us.

This much is true. It tells us how much to trust the Daily Record.

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63 to “Careless Torc tells lies”

  1. Seasick Dave says:

    Come on, Torcuil, you can do better than this negative guff.
    Think positive and you’ll feel much better for it.
     

  2. Iain says:

    Torcuil likes his clumsy military metephors, doesn’t he. From the blog that the picture links to:
     
    ‘Donald is standing for Labour in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, the Western Isles constituency, where the SNP lead with over 600 votes. He is coming from behind, but he is marching like General MacArthur back up that beach with his claim for Labour.’

    How very New Labour to use a crypto fascist, egotistical military incompetent as a model, though at least MacArthur did actually march back up his beach. 
     
     

  3. Macart says:

    Scottish Government official release of analytical bulletin.
     
    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/03/oil-analysis11032013
     
    Mr Crichton along with many another journalist we could name seem to have difficulty in finding the the Scotgov site. Scotgov are really quite helpful in posting information you know. Still that would mean working for a living and spending a few extra seconds on a keyboard. Writing the first thing that suits your bosses agenda is far easier than asking pertinent questions, or quizzing the government, oil industry experts or executives, running historically comparative figures and chasing down oil economists for educated input. Nooooooo, much easier to spin like a top whenever possible and hope that others are a lazy as he clearly is.

    Courtesy of Peter Bell’s scoop it page and some finger to keyboard application. 🙂

  4. Yesitis says:

    The Daily Record being a Labour rag, and Mr Crichton being a Labour sheepdog/lapdog herding his too wee, too poor, too stupid sheep. Och well…shit happens.
    Torcuil, you really are a total Brit.

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “‘Donald is standing for Labour in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, the Western Isles constituency, where the SNP lead with over 600 votes”

    You’d also have to hope he meant “BY over 600 votes”, not “with”.

    And indeed he did. The 2007 majority for the SNP was 687. In 2011, with Torcuil’s big brother “marching back up the beach” to contest it, the SNP somehow nevertheless managed to cling onto the seat with a new majority of… 4,772.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na_h-Eileanan_an_Iar_%28Scottish_Parliament_constituency%29

  6. Cath says:

    I’m getting utterly sick of this. The level of this “analysis” is similar to the level of “debate” on the British Unity pages. They run along the lines of
     
    We hate the SNP…the SNP are liars. The SNP always say….<add quote that media say the SNP say although in fact they say the oopposite>
     
    Eventually after many posts there’ll be one that says, “but do the SNP actually say that? If you look at the Yes page what they’re saying there is…
     
    That’s a Yes page. It’s clearly biased, I’m not looking at it. No, what the SNP are saying is…<repeat the lie ad infinitum>
     
    The media are at that intellectual level. Take a lie and repeat it over and over again and it apparently becomes a truth. That’s their assumption anyway.The ironic thing is that even some of those on the Better Together facebook page seem to beginning to question all this guff. It makes these journalists look even more cretinous.

  7. JuanBonnets says:

    Poor Torc failed to consider another possibility – that the document was ‘leaked’ deliberately to give the MSM and the NO campaign enough rope to hang themselves. We have to move on to that metaphor since they’ve already shot both feet off with the credit rating downgrade, EU membership stuff etc.
     
    For most people this will all be forgotten about in a couple of weeks as the next scare story/outright tissue of lies is brought out by Darling et al. Notwithstanding its contribution to the ‘drip, drip’ of negativity which is a constant background anyway. But surely in all the coverage of the NO campaign falling over themselves into previously-uncharted (even for them) realms beyond parody, perhaps even just a few undecideds or No inclined will have realised they are being taken for fools. And once their eyes are opened they won’t be fooled again – and oh look there’s some nice shiny new GERS figures showing by how much we’re all being robbed blind (£824 per person, always worth repeating), waiting to be found all over the internet when any waverers do try to find out more.
     
    Maybe I’m just getting desensitized to the ‘NO Scotland’ cycle of lies and insanity, but I hereby make an uninformed reckon that the stramash last week has/will produce a *small* net gain for the YES side 😉

  8. FreddieThreepwood says:

    Unfortunately, if we’re right about the Soaraway steadying itself to jump the unionist ship then, according the rules of tabloid competition (see also Old Firm), we can expect a lot more of this guff from The Record.
    I suggest we write the gits off.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I don’t think there was ever a hope of the Record turning. Wouldn’t entirely rule out the Sunday Mail, though.

  10. CW says:

    Torcuil Crichton is quite possibly the worst journalist in Scotland. I’m not joking, go and read his blog, it’s awful. He’s even worse than Magnus Gardham.

  11. Hermione says:

     
    Hmm. Oil production numbers now out for the whole of 2012.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/91864/et3_10.xls
     
    2012 was down 14.4% on 2011.
     
    Which itself was down 17.5% on 2010.
     
    Still, mustn’t grumble.

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “2012 was down 14.4% on 2011. Which itself was down 17.5% on 2010.”

    “Thing that went down can never possibly go back up, even though lots of people who ought to know what they’re talking about say it will, and even though it’s a meaningless figure anyway when divorced from the price! Don’t you separatists understand? We’re TOO WEE, TOO POOR and TOO STUPID!”

  13. Dcanmore says:

    Thinking about it, do you think Mr Crichton would lose his job as Westminster correspondent after Independence? Maybe he thinks he would as Scottish newspapers would be less inclined to keep such a position in London. Anyhoo he is a former employee of Brian Wilson’s West Highland Free Press and of the BBC so his absolute hatred of the SNP comes before being positive about Scotland’s aspirations. He’s a Westminster hack, a job he’s always aspired to, getting into the London bubble. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s hawking himself around the London newspapers as we speak.

  14. Barontorc says:

    I really must protest that Torcuil is being cut short in his lying prime to Torc and I refute any claims of association!

  15. Les Wilson says:

    We need to call in the European people who monitor referendums , just cannot understand why we do not, it would be a positive influence surely. Can we not all tell S/G it is the shot in the arm we need to shut up the MSM.

  16. Ghengis says:

    FAO Wings Over Scotland
     
    Would you be able to add a simple form on your follow page so that people can sign up to receive email updates?  http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/blog-subscriptions/ or similar
     
    The only way I see to do that at the moment is to add a comment and tick the ‘notify me of new posts by email’ .. but many people would not add a comment to be able to receive email updates, it’s one step too many.

  17. Bill C says:

    @Hermione – May I respectfully suggest that you take an educational city break to the Granite City otherwise known as the Oil Capital of Europe. There you will see dozens of crazy oil companies spending billions of pounds on office accomodation. The fools seem to think that  they are going to make even more billions of pounds than they have spent out of Scotland’s offshore hydrocarbon reserves.  I know its nuts but they really think they are going to make massive profits. Treat yourself to a laugh, go and have a look at all the shiny new office blocks and weep at their stupidity.

  18. Dal Riata says:

    O/T-ish, but related!
     
    Has there been any investigating by the SNP, or anybody else, about how that document was leaked?
     
    The Rev. Stu makes the assertion, which I agree with, that it was probably someone in the civil service who was responsible.
     
    Presumably(?), an investigation is done on who had seen the document and from there, by way of deduction, a probable source of the leak is found. Is that even practical in this situation? Would it even be worth the SNP’s time to follow this up?
     
    Any detectives out there with some answers?  

  19. Training Day says:

    @juanbonnets
    “Poor Torc failed to consider another possibility – that the document was ‘leaked’ deliberately to give the MSM and the NO campaign enough rope to hang themselves.”
    Now, I’m sure that the thought of deliberately leaking a relatively anodyne document in order to see – and allow to be seen – what was bound to be the hysterical overreaction of the MSM and in particular the BBC in Scotland.. this would be unworthy of the SG.  No, really.

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The Rev. Stu makes the assertion”

    Just to split hairs – I make a suggestion that it could have been that, not an assertion that it was.

  21. Albert Herring says:

    @JuanBonnets 
    It also proves beyond any doubt that the BBC/STV/etc are fully paid up members of the No campaign, that they are prepared to lie in the most blatant and shameful manner, and that they have every intention of suppressing  the actual facts, i.e. GERS, as much as they possibly can.  

  22. JuanBonnets says:

    @Training Day
     
    Have to say I agree with you that it would be the sort of underhanded tactics that, so far, the SG have resisted in their determination to remain firmly encamped on the moral high ground (and rightly so) – I would be disappointed if the scenario I suggested turned out to be the case. Though that disappointment might follow an extended laughing fit, at the expense of the people who utterly fell for the ploy.
     
    Having said that, we have already seen since May 2011 that the SG is perfectly capable of playing the opposition for fools publicly and entirely above board, without needing to resort to deliberate leaks. Take the Edinburgh Agreement for example, and the now-deceased Devo Max option in the referendum.

  23. Barontorc says:

    ….hook, line and sinker!….

  24. thejourneyman says:

    The bottom line is, everyone knows there are still big prizes at stake from oil, this is the reason why Bitter Together are spewing such vitriol. They are totally bereft of any other positive reason for us to stay together, but as Peter Jones’ article in the Torygraph or wherever it was published points out, the huge impact on UK GDP by the loss of oil revenues, irrespective of how much it is up or down, is only matched by the massive difference it makes to giving Scotland the chance to create the kind of country we want it to be.
    In ’79 the Labour Government fixed the referendum through their treasonous 40% rule and one can only surmise what kind of Scotland we might already have become had the majority Yes vote on that occasion been democratically allowed to stand. If for a second time in my lifetime Labour politicians succeed in deceiving the people they claim to represent through lies and propaganda then it’s the fault of the people.
    Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice then shame on us!. 

  25. Doug Daniel says:

    I loved this section from Torcuil’s blog entry that you link to:
     
    He’s not a nationalist, small n or big N, and not for tribal party reasons. Like me, like many, he does not want to create divisions where none exist, he does not believe that to be constructive or progressive 21st century politics. Others are entitled to their opinions but stronger together, weaker apart, is his plain approach to question of national identity.
     
    Ahh, the old there-is-no-border-between-Scotland-and-England-even-though-Scots-law-jurisdiction-must-end-somewhere argument so beloved by Duncan Hothersall. Ooh, and there’s the entire BetterTogether argument there as well.
     
    I hope Torcuil doesn’t try to pretend he isn’t a paid-up unionist, because it would be a laughable lie.

  26. BillyBigbaws says:

    Thanks for the laugh Bill C. That was classic.

  27. Dal Riata says:

    @Rev Stu
    Sorry about the assertion/suggestion thing – you are correct, of course!
    From the University of Google:
    assertion (n) A confident and forceful statement of fact or belief.
    suggestion (n) An idea or plan put forward for consideration. 

  28. MJB says:

    The Elgin field was out of commission due to a Gas leak last year,If i remember correctly a UK minister was moaning about the resultant loss in Corporation Tax receipts,we`ve also had a shutdown on one of the TAQA platforms which closes down a pipeline,that can also explain why production falls.
    According to the Oil and Gas people,up to 20% of all UK Corp Tax receipts comes from Oil and Gas,throw in the supply chain and it`s closer to 25% http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/taxation.cfm.
    Hermy has quoted production figures for 2010/2011,interestingly,figures regarding the Oil price and the Value of Sterling seen to have been omitted,have a look at page 11 of the report http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/prt/og-stats.pdf.

  29. Adrian B says:

    @MJB
     
    Can you repost those links – can’t find the HMRC link

  30. scottish_skier says:

    Erm, Hermione can’t even name the 4 most common phases which come out of hydrocarbon reservoir if you drill into one so I suggest not paying much attention to her.

    If you can hermione, place them in order of descending value. Hell, even tell me which one can make or break a marginal field and why (clue: it’s the one of least value).

    Come on, come on, this is 101 stuff.

  31. Hermione says:

    A girl doesn’t need to know all the technicalities of oil, condensates, NGLs and gas (I’m only reading off the column headers on the production stats) to be able to add them all up and work out that the total is dropping like a stone.
     
    As it’s been doing since 1999.
     
    Makes today’s Swinneycasts of a miraculous turnaround seem a bit, well, unlikely.
     
    BTW, there are people here who seem to think that this production collapse is the result of some sort of deliberate choice. Perhaps you could find time to explain it to them – you know, OPEC vs non-OPEC, surplus capacity or lack of it, that sort of thing.

  32. scottish_skier says:

    Ok, so you don’t have really any understand of what comes out of an oil field. I imagine therefore you don’t understand how oil was formed, how it came to be trapped where it is, how it can be produced, how you can find it, how you can enhance recovery etc. At least not without trying your best to grab stuff from wikipedia. Ergo, you should maybe not try to pretend you know anything about the subject; you are making yourself look silly.

    You also appear to not understand the economics either. It’s a supply and demand thing you know.

    Your nice wee excel file data for North Sea production rate in a given year plotted as a function of Brent Crude price in that year.

    http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/8648/northseaproductionratev.png

    Care to give your thoughts? Interesting trend there.

  33. Tearlach says:

    @H – “production collapse” is a wee bit over the top. What we are seeing, and what has accounted for a lot of the drop in production in the last few years, is a dramatic rise in “unplanned maintenance”, ie shutdowns cos a lot of the kit is well past its design life. Now there are two ways of looking at this. The first is the one followed by the UK Government and their civil servants, is to project this unplanned maintenance as the norm, and extrapolate it to grow. The second is the one being followed by the Oil Industry, supported by the SG through innovation funds is to tackle this downtime as a problem to be solved, and as an investment opportunity for the Scottish supply chain.
    What you are also not taking into account is the huge growth in new fields, in West of Shetland and in the Northern North Sea. 60 new projects in the next 10 years.

  34. scottish_skier says:

    @Tearlach
    Yep, there have also been a few ‘oopsies’ with piplelines blocked (=major field shutdowns). My co and I are helping with one right now. Production loss on this alone is probably ~$1m/day. Not naming any names as it’s all rather embarrassing for those concerned. No danger (hence not in the news), but if it’s not coming ashore, it’s not making £’s.

  35. Hermione says:

    Wow, this detour into technicalities really is an attempt at diversion into irrelevance, isn’t it?
     
    What a lovely graph. A perfect demonstration that correlation does not equal causation.
     
    Because if it did, it implies that either:
     
    1) North Sea oil producers are stupid, and produce most when prices are lowest, or;
     
    2) Production levels from the relatively tiny North Sea determine what the global price is. 
     
    Which one of these (equally bonkers) theories are you proposing?
     
     

  36. Tearlach says:

    Most folk forget that Torquil is a protege of Brian Wilson, back when Brian ran the West Highland Free Press, and our Torguil was a cub reporter, and brought up in that weird world of West Highland Labour politics, where the SNP and Edinburgh were loathed in equal terms. And that was before the Scottish Parliament!
     
    Westminster has a strange effect on Herald Journalists. Remember that Torquil replaced Catherine Macleod, another Highlander (her Dad was a Skye bobby) who spend years in London and made the amazing decision, just months before the 2010 GE to join Alastair Darling as his special advisor. Talk about a rat joining a sinking ship.

  37. Seasick Dave says:

    Hermione, you are Fifi laBon.
     
    You can keep the fiver.

  38. scottish_skier says:

    @H
    I didn’t propose any theory, I was simply asking what you thought. There is a very clear correlation between reduced supply and price.

    This is more economics though; i.e. as something in demand becomes more scarce on the markets, it increases in value?
    I’m thinking long term here. There is no disagreement that at least as much oil which has been produced from the Scottish CS is still there to be produced. Ignoring any more that can (and will) be found (e.g. WoS), what should happen to the price given we are supposedly past ‘peak oil’ globally?

    Is there a difference between producing 10 barrels/day at 100$/barrel and 100 barrels/day at 10$/barrel?

    (maybe, your remaining reserves last longer in the former case but you get the same income)

    Oh and technology is crucial. Don’t dismiss it. 30% recovery from a field used to be good. Now 60% is possible. That’s why some of the oldest fields in the world are still producing decades after they were supposed to have been shut down. The same applies today for new fields  You need to consider this – the advance of technology – if you want to make sound investments, not just in oil and gas. This is why I said understanding the fundamentals is important. You need to read up, maybe take a degree in the subject, work in the industry…

  39. Hermione says:

    “There is a very clear correlation between reduced supply and price.”
     
    1) Do production levels in the North Sea influence global prices? Yes/No
     
    2) Do North Sea producers have the technical / economic capability to adjust production levels in order to influence prices? Yes/No
     
    3) Have North Sea production levels been in continuous decline since 1999? Yes/No
     
    Come on. Shouldn’t be too hard for a boy of your knowledge.
     
    It’s going to be obvious if you try and avoid answering…

  40. MJB says:

    @Adrian B,don`t know what happened there,i`ll try again  http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/economics.cfm and http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/prt/og-stats.pdf
     

  41. Grahamski says:

    “When the Daily Record lost Magnus Gardham to the Herald, they made sure to call on a like-for-like replacement.”
    A factual error within the first twenty words of an article by the self-appointed (ahem) media monitor and self-proclaimed ‘professional’ journalist, Mr Campbell,
    Mr Davis Clegg replaced Mr Magnus Gardham when Mr Gardham joined The Herald.
    The truth: not terribly important to your average cybernat media monitor….

  42. scottish_skier says:

    @H:
    Are you saying for a commodity in demand that a reduced supply will not increase price? I hope you don’t dabble in the stock market.
    1) Erm, of course not. They may reflect it though. In fact you’d expect this in a global market
    2) Erm, same as above
    3) Yes, but they have fallen then peaked again in the past (as the data you posted the other night showed), but it is revenues I understood were of importance (data show higher revenues per barrel at lower production rates)
    Why would I try to avoid answering?
    ‘boy’? Long time since I was called that. I’ll take it as a compliment.

  43. Hermione says:

    Of course reduced supply will, other things being equal, result in a higher price. But that supply reduction is in the hands of OPEC and Saudi in particular.
     
    I am relieved that you don’t really think the North Sea influences global prices.  In fact your graph could be taken to show the opposite. (Although it doesn’t; what it actually shows is a non-OPEC province in “salvo chasing” mode: high prices -> producers invest in exploration & upgrades -> time passes -> by the time new capacity is producing, prices have fallen).
     
    But your last sentence again implies a belief that falling production will somehow *cause* a price increase. You’ve already admitted that it won’t. Price is in the hands of OPEC, falling production just means we have less scope to benefit from the upswings.
     
    So this part of the independence case has the major weakness that the decline in production is more or less certain – dictated by geology and physics – while the future path of price is wholly UNcertain. There are a few downside drivers for price, aren’t there: shale, Iraq, environment, technology.
     
    I note you’re not trying to defend today’s Swinneycasts. The OBR numbers are almost certainly a low-ball view (that is their job), but the idea of any sort of significant, sustained recovery is fanciful.

  44. The Man in the Jar says:

    My oh my, the trolls are out in force today. Must be the weather or to distract from the humiliating ridicule that bitter together are quite rightly suffering after the “Top Secret revelations” and GERS.
    Shower of numpties, best ignored.

  45. scottish_skier says:

    H:
    What makes you think prices are fully in the hands of OPEC these days?
    I consider oil/gas an ‘extra’ bonus Scotland has. Not sure why some are making a big thing of it. Most countries don’t have any.

  46. Yesitis says:

    @Grahamski
    “The truth: not terribly important to your average cybernat media monitor…”
     
    The truth: not terribly important to the BBC, the Herald, the Scotsman, the Daily Record, the Labour Party, the Conservatives, the LibDems, Grahamski…
     
    Blind-faithful little British bulldogs.

  47. scottish_skier says:

    H: dictated by geology and physics
    Erm, don’t go there. You’ll only look silly.

  48. cynicalHighlander says:

    Hermione
     
    http://www.theoildrum.com/
     
    Understand what you are talking about rather than spout nonsense.

  49. Grahamski says:

    Yesitis,

    Are you not just a wee bit concerned that this piece, which accuses another of being a liar, manages to lie in its first sentence?

    That doesn’t bother you?

  50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    What lie is that, dear?

  51. Grahamski says:

    That “Torc” replaced Magnus.
    You being a media monitor would know that was untrue…

  52. Bill C says:

    @BillyBigbaws – We aim to please. I was even thinking of inviting Hermione up for the weekend, just to give her a wee tour of all the crazy oil companies who are determined to pour billions into the barren North Sea. Two things put me off: 1. It might turn her into a YES voter! We need the Herimones of this world to ensure a solid YES majority. 2. The wife!

  53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That Torc replaced Magnus”

    I didn’t say that he did. Even your diversionary hairsplitting is rubbish, let alone the embarrassingly transparent attempt to dodge the actual issue. You’re losing it, old fruit.

  54. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Scottish-skier
    May I trouble you with a couple of questions.
    I think that I read recently that because the UK is a net importer of oil it can not be in OPEC. On the other hand an independent Scotland would be a net exporter of oil it would be eligible to join OPEC?
    Would it be an advantage to be in OPEC?
    Or did I make it all up?

  55. Yesitis says:

    @Grahamski
    “Are you not just a wee bit concerned that this piece, which accuses another of being a liar, manages to lie in its first sentence?
    That doesn’t bother you?”
     
    I`ve become immune to lies. Read my last post.

  56. Tearlach says:

    Troll alert, but @Grahamski – I’ll bite.
     
    You seem happy to highlight a possible factual error (Torquil is the Westminster Editor of the Record, but I do not see in the Rev’s post where he stated that it was like for like replacement) with deliberate misrepresentation. So, on that basis please let us know where The Rev has “lied” in his deconstruction of the lost boy one from the WFFP article in the record, or where he has been factually incorrect. Torquil may have made errors – gosh we are human – so please tell us where he was right – ie telling the truth – and where the Rev was “lying” in his analysis?

  57. cynicalHighlander says:

    Grahamski
     
    The biggest liars on the planet is the BBC and their lackeys.
     

  58. Adrian B says:

    @CynicalHighlander
    Amazing video from 1976 – I see the arguments have yet to change.

  59. Grahamski says:

    Tearlach
     “..but I do not see in the Rev’s post where he stated that it was like for like replacement..”
    How about the first sentence:
    “.. they made sure to call on a like-for-like replacement.”
    Anyhoo, bed time for bonzo
    night y’all….

  60. Dave Smith says:

    Different Century; same patronising shit.

  61. I came to see if any of the comments were thought out and got my answer some were and some must obviously been joking.Now as a country with a food and power surplus Scotland is sustainable without oil,we are a net exporter of food,and electricity.It was not so long ago that we sent electricity to France,and dog license money to the exchequer although in England and Wales the local authority kept the dog fees.There are many little things that continue to add to the reasons for independence,but the only one I need is that it is normal for a country to run its own affairs.When the union of Scotland and England joined the Common market we as part of this union joined a larger union and should have started to use our voice in the new union,as we sure don’t get the chance in the older union.The time ws then to re-assert our nation,but better late than never.

  62. velofello says:

    Spot on Charles Patrick O’Brian. i do wonder whether the people of Kuwait, Norway etc., have endless handwringing discussions over when their oil resources will run dry, and they have greater cause to be concerned than we Scots, since the revenue from their oil is their revenue  to keep.
    This article’s comments are like a Dads’s Army episode. Hermione playing the part of Fraser – we cannae, we’re doomed. Grahamski as nitpicking Mainwaring. Credit to Scottish Skier as he patiently played the role of Mainwaring’s sergeant to Hermione. Bill C, with a light touch plays the spiv – ‘come and see my wares in Aberdeen, all at good prices”.
    No offence meant to anyone, forgot my sunhat today, feeling a bit lightheaded.

  63. McArthur – that will be the same general who sacrificed thousands of US Army personnel and local people to retake the Philippines simply to fulfill on a boast he had made.

    Whose PR machine spun McArthur as the USA’s saviour at every turn while the US Marine Corps carried the can time and time again.

    The same general who refused to listen to his intelligence officers and consistently under-estimated the Japanese forces on the Philippine Islands then blamed the self same intelligence officers for his reverses and high levels of casualties.

    Whose arrogance, intolerance and ignorance, during the Korean War, lead to Eisenhower giving him the boot from command of the US Forces in theatre.

    Yep – McArthur makes sense as a Scotch Labour icon in all regards – I can see why he was picked.



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