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A kind of goldrush

Posted on February 01, 2016 by

An alert reader directed us to an article on finance site Bloomberg today:


It’s interesting to see a business and bankers’ perspective on something that we’ve already pointed out a number of times on Wings, namely that the lower oil price has at least as many upsides as downsides.

It may reduce the amount of money in state coffers (at least in the first instance), but it does so by diverting money directly to consumers, ie us.

(For an idea of the scale we’re talking about, $3 trillion is over $420 a head – about £290 – for every man, woman and child on the planet, which would be £1,276 a year for the average family if divided evenly worldwide. In reality we in the oil-hungry First World would benefit far more than that.)

Rather than governments collecting money through taxation and then going through all sorts of contortions to try to give some of it back to people in welfare benefits and tax credits and whatnot, the oil price puts it straight into people’s pockets without the need for any middlemen or bureaucracy.

It reduces what they pay for fuel (petrol has now dropped in price by over 30% in the last couple of years), and cuts the cost of goods because they no longer cost so much to transport. Companies become more viable and can hire more employees, and people have more to spend and can buy more stuff, thereby channelling money back to the government in income tax, NI and VAT (and claiming less in benefits).

Every party in the land stands for election promising to put more money in voters’ pockets. Labour promise to do it through redistribution, Tories promise to do it by cutting taxes and state spending, the SNP promise to do it by diverting money to investment and creating growth rather than buying nuclear submarines, etc.

They rarely succeed, of course. The story of the last 30-odd years in Britain has been an unbroken tale of more and more money being sucked upwards to the rich and super-rich. But a low oil price achieves the goal directly and tangibly.

Unionists still screaming that it makes an independent Scotland unviable might want to try asking people if they’d rather pay an extra 50p a gallon in order to make GERS look prettier. We suspect we know the answer already.

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  1. 01 02 16 15:43

    A kind of goldrush | Speymouth

201 to “A kind of goldrush”

  1. Hamish McTavish says:

    I’m guessing that Gideon will worry about his squeaky clean coffers and increase fuel duty in the coming budget, thereby snookering the consumers again.

  2. Dan Huil says:

    “…namely that the lower oil price has at least as many upsides as downsides.”

    But not in Scotland, according to gutless britnats.

  3. Capella says:

    Certainly works for me. Last year I was paying £246 per month for heating oil. Now I pay £80. A saving of £166 per month or nearly £2,000 per year. It’s an ill wind!

    But no doubt Gideon is furiously scheming ways of relieving me of this windfall.

  4. Davie says:

    It frustrates me to see the case for Independence boiled down to unwinnable arguments about whether we’d be a thousand pounds better or worse off. I don’t care. The ability to make our own decisions,treat people ethically and not be ruled by the whims of a large right-wing neighbour is priceless.

  5. Hamish McTavish says:

    what Davie says.

  6. jimnarlene says:

    And yet, we are still cursed with the black gold.

  7. Juteman says:

    The thousands of folk that have lost their jobs in oil, and oil related jobs all over Scotland couldn’t give a fuck how cheap petrol is.
    They are too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads as the bills pile up. Sacked hotel workers and on-shore supply workers don’t earn big bucks.

  8. Bruce L says:

    I’m sure a certain person will be along shortly to chuckle in a patrician manner without so much as a hint of irony or self awareness.

  9. jimnarlene says:

    What Davie says, too.

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ‘The thousands of folk that have lost their jobs in oil, and oil related jobs all over Scotland couldn’t give a fuck how cheap petrol is.
    They are too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads as the bills pile up. Sacked hotel workers and on-shore supply workers don’t earn big bucks.”

    Judging by employment figures, many if not most of them have found other work. But, y’know, things change. Shale miners had to find a new vocation too. There are always winners and losers when shifts take place and the oil business has had a good long time at the trough. If Aberdeen has to get a wee bit poorer to make the whole country better off, I can probably live with that.

  11. Macart says:

    I suspect you’d be right about that answer. 🙂

  12. heedtracker says:

    UK car insurance is being hiked though. They say more vehicles on the road for longer means higher costs for them and its brought out the “wrong” kind of driver too.

    Which says

    Cost of car insurance rises by £100 Beat the hikes with our cheap car insurance tips 21 January 2016 The cost of car cover has increased £100 in 12 months but there are ways to save The average cost of car insurance has surged by £100 in just 12 months, research by the AA has revealed. According to the study, the average cost of a comprehensive policy was £520.06 at the end of 2014 but was a whopping £625.70 at the end of last year.

  13. yesindyref2 says:

    “if they’d rather pay an extra 50p a gallon”

    More like £1.50 a gallon, at 4.5 litres per gallon.

  14. Martin says:

    Whilst this clearly puts more money directly into peoples’ pockets, I’m not sure about the redistribution angle, as surely the wealthy benefit also. Perhaps not by as much % wise of their income, but likely as much in terms of real figures, so I don’t think the gap shrinks. Things being more affordable for poor people however is excellent progress.

  15. Clootie says:

    I agree with the article as things stand at present. However the Oil & Gas operators have reduced their lifting costs significantly by a reduction in employees via changes to work cycle. They have reduced their costs by forcing rate cuts on supply companies and contractors ( who pass it on to sub contractors).

    In summary people will benefit from a low oil price at present BUT when the price recovers the companies will make A significantly higher profit for the same barrel price.

    The big boys play the long game and and when / if the price recovers will the reduced lifting cost be passed to the consumer? Will the leave Rotas be re-established for offshore workers?

    Who will benefit from the increase profit margin.
    The Oil Companies?
    Westminster via a windfall tax?

    I know who won’t benefit!

    A year ago most companies were losing money at 60 dollars a barrel. Many can now make a profit at 40 dollars a barrel. If the price goes above $60/bbl then they will make $20 more on every barrel compared to earlier operations.

  16. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    I hope the SNP are working on an innovative economic Independence offering. Based on a post oil scenario.

    If oil price recovers, then invest proceeds into an oil fund.

    If not, then I fear the unionists’ Project Fear part II, will make Indy 2 a pipe dream.

  17. yesindyref2 says:

    @Davie, @Hamish McTavish
    I understand your point of view, but it’s not a referendum winner. If the undecideds or soft NOs see that, they are entitled to presume that Indy supporters accept that the economy will be doomed, that it will all cost us more much more money and that Project Fear is right.

    Well, Project Fear was wrong, and that’s the argument we have to make, not that personally we don’t care. Well, personally in fact I do care, like many I can’t afford Indy to cost more but I know myself that it won’t.

    In fact medium to long-term we’ll be better off for certain as the Scottish Government of any political flavour can set economic policies that suit Scotland, a country of currently 5.31 million people but a large geographic area and relatively low population density. Whereas the UK Government has to legitinatly have policies that suit a relatively high population area, and the UK as a whole, not just Scotland. The trick will be to minimise or remove any short-term disadvantage, not to try to convince people they’ll be better off paying more!

  18. Legerwood says:

    Heedtracker @ 2.37

    Is part, if not all, of the increase in car insurance down to some sort of premium tax brought in by Mr Osborne in his budget last year?

  19. Macart says:

    Question as ever for people being –

    Who would you rather made the decisions for the future? So far those bods who are making those decisions, the ones with the ‘broad shoulders’, haven’t exactly done a bang up job.

    Its never been about the resource, but about the decisions, the choices. Having the wealth of Croesus doesn’t mean Jack if someone else is making the decisions (poorly) on your behalf.

  20. yesindyref2 says:

    I agree.

    But the whole point of having a better economy overall is that that economy can and should then take steps to minimise the damage done to that disadvantaged part of it – Aberdeen and around.

    In this case the Scottish Government has announced a £25 million improvement for Aberdeen Airport. That’ll not help short-term, but if Aberdeen can have more flights to the likes of Iran which has £billions to spend now sanctions are mostly lifted, then Aberdeen can directly benefit from that by allowing better communications to Iran, daily flights perhaps, to handle the increased demand for executives, sales and marketing, and ultimately engineers and workers.

    Salmond set the scene with his visit, and trade delegations are due in march I think.

  21. carjamtic says:

    O/T ?

    I am on the Megabus – Aberdeen to Glasgow

    £6.50 each way

    Don’t know if that’s oil price,directly related,but it’s a good deal.


  22. bobajock says:

    You do know Rev, you are now the go-to-guy for any of the unionist morons commenting in so many places.

    Oh, and we all know, the ‘drops’ take forever, the rises are more or less instant. Disgusting gouging.

  23. yesindyref2 says:

    I said: “The trick will be to minimise or remove any short-term disadvantage, not to try to convince people they’ll be better off paying more!”

    For me that could be covered by greatly extra revenue from the tourism, hospitality, food and drink, and even propery sector as embassies are needed, HQs and XYZ Scotland Ltd subsidiaries and housing for higher wage staff.

    Scotland would, well, will be, the newest Independent country / State in the World, and will be open for tourists – and business. The wealth will follow.

  24. Iain More says:

    I have no doubt in my mind that Fuel Duty will be whacked and the Fuel Duty Escalator will be back with interest the first chance the Brit Govt gets. The first to whinge about it will be the Brit Nats. Westmidden lives on Scottish pockets!

  25. yesindyref2 says:

    Correction – £20 million not £25 million, for Aberdeen Airport; From the Herald:

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced an extra £24.5 million of support for the oil and gas industry on a visit to Aberdeen.

    Ms Sturgeon also unveiled a £20 million investment in Aberdeen International Airport as part of a series of engagements in the city.

  26. tartanfever says:

    And what is all this ‘bailing out money’ being promised for the North East and the oil industry ?

    Yep we bailed out the banks (mistake), but do we really go around bailing out private corporate companies with tax payers money. Who’s next, MacDonalds ? Kwik Fit ? Amazon ? Are all of these companies now on a ‘to important to fail’ list ?

    If a private run business can’t make their business succeed then thats all part of the market forces and although job losses are sad, it’s all part of the game.

    The message here is proof enough that corporations control governments and the threat of job losses is enough to get the government to fork out cash to these businesses.

    Sure some will moan at my post, but why divert money that could be used to support homeless, disabled and sick people into the pockets of large multinationals employing pretty well off middle class educated people.

  27. Grouse Beater says:

    MacDonald: If oil price recovers, then invest proceeds into an oil fund. If not, then I fear the unionists’ Project Fear part II, will make Indy 2 a pipe dream.

    We used to be the fourth wealthiest nation in the world, until 1706, and there was not a drop of oil in sight, or indeed electricity industry to boost an economy. Strange that.

    PS: In 1707 we were not bankrupt. We had lost about one third of our money in circulation, the recklessness of a few wealthy investors. But immediately on gaining a loan from England they raised our taxes to pay for the loan.

  28. Joseph Simpson says:

    Yup – what Davie says

  29. Juteman says:

    I’m in Dundee, not exactly a rich city. This has been devastating for workers here. It hardly gets reported though, as it’s 4 jobs here, 9 jobs there.
    Unless you work in life sciences, the only prospect for skilled folk made reduntant is a job in Tesco. If you are lucky.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s not “bailing out” oil companies, it’s providing £12.5 million for R&D, and £12 million for retraining the workers. Plus £20 million for the Airport.

  31. Dave Hansell says:

    This does does not negate the central point in any way that Scotland, with a diversified economy, does not need to depend on oil for its independence.

    Oil prices are dropping not simply due to oversupply but because of lack of demand due to a stagnant global economy in which the wherewithall to continue previous consumption levels is not there. This is down to the fact that after 40 years or so of falling wages in which productivity has increased, profit levels have only been maintained by incurring high levels of personal and company debt. That debt is more or less maxed out now and is no longer providing the necesary stimulas to consumption and therefore profit levels. Hence the problemn is chiefly on the demand side.

    No one is investing seriously in innovative technologies to drive the next regeneration of the system to produce jobs that provide sufficient levels of pay and stability to maintain demand (see Paul Mason’s last book) and what now passes for the modern economy is to all intents and purposes essentially a rentier one.

    Since the popping of the finance bubble in 2008 things have only been held up by the twin sticking plasters of central banks printing money through what is known as Quantative Easing (QE) and many companies maintaining their stock price and values by levereging themselves borrowing money to buy their own stock to keep it artifical growing on the stock market indexes.

    This is an unsustainable bubble which is currently running alongside at least two other bubbles, housing and motor vehicles (current throughput on motor vehicle sales (for which production levels of motor vehicles is dependent upon) has seen a massive increase in rental sales which is the only way to temporary keep the bubble inflated)).

    Now, Capella, above, raises the very pertinent issue:

    “But no doubt Gideon is furiously scheming ways of relieving me of this windfall.”

    The key questions here being how Gideon might go about that task and, more pertinent, why?

    Regardless of this aggregate windfall of 3 trillion whatever and the historical fact that previous recessions of recent decades have been brought about by increases in oil prices, the stock market is in bear mode. The Japanese have recently announced negative interest rates (where it actually costs you to keep money in the bank rather than spend it or hide it under the mattress), and, for those who missed it, a number of, shall we settle for interesting, hares were set running/ideas run up the flagpole last year, not least of which was the linked notions of negative interest rates and abolishing cash (whether I Tom, Dick, or Harry think this is barking is not really relavant as the key point is they are being floated by the oxygen breathers).

    These bubbles are about to burst, much like in 2008. Given the current private debt levels which dwarf this 3 trillion by some magnitude, much of it due to the aforementioned levels of company debt due to levering themselves to buy back their own stock to maintain their stock exchange index values, the question arises as how the coming crash, like that of 2008, might be mitigated.

    It does not take much thinking to work out that, as with 2008, people like Gideon will be looking to use public money to bail out the system. Having committed to a surplus in the coffers of the State this by definition means that that 3 trillion and a whole lot more will get redistributed back to the rentier classes even if it means abolishing cash and setting negative interest rates to force it from the grubby hands of us serfs.

  32. james says:

    Rev says
    “Judging by employment figures, many if not most of them have found other work. But, y’know, things change. Shale miners had to find a new vocation too. There are always winners and losers when shifts take place and the oil business has had a good long time at the trough. If Aberdeen has to get a wee bit poorer to make the whole country better off, I can probably live with that”

    Crikey have you been hacked Rev? Your sounding like a Tory – tell that to the miners, steelworkers etc

  33. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dan Huil says: 1 February, 2016 at 2:25 pm:

    ” … But not in Scotland, according to gutless britnats.”

    Ach! Dan, If the more than abundant rain that falls on Scotland was to suddenly change into 28 carat gold nuggets, the Britnats would not only claim it was bad for the Scottish economy but also claim that the SNHS was not meeting its targets to treat those whose heads it had injured while falling.

    They’d claim the Scottish education system was underfunded to teach Scots children how to count the profits they made from picking the stuff up and that the Scottish Polis were not up to dealing with the larger number of bigger posh cars.

    In any case it would all be the fault of the SNP and, anyway, the gold rain had fallen upon, “Extra-Regio-Territory”, and thus it belonged to Her Majesty’s Treasury in London. What is more it would be worthless as it didn’t have a Hallmark stamped on it by London.

  34. yesindyref2 says:

    Herald article’s worth reading or archiving. It’s URL without the www. heraldscotland .com bit is:


    The R&D money seems to be targetted more at small companies, which has been identified long time ago as the better way forward to exploit old fields, with cost-effective methods.

  35. ian says:

    The UKOK lot have had 308 years to get it right its now our turn for 308 years and if it does’nt work they can try again if they win a referendum of course.

  36. Dan Huil says:

    Even if oil prices rise between now and Indy2 the gutless britnats will still rely on Project Fear – it’s all they have.

    It is of course, even today, a very tired britnat argument. Project Fear 2 will be a very weak version of PF 1 – relying on lies to an even greater degree than PF 1.

  37. ClanDonald says:

    The great irony here that the likes of Blair McDougall will never see is that it’s actually more worrying for a Scotland still in the union if oil prices go back up: consumers will suffer greatly but all the revenues will keep going straight to the Treasury in England.

    At least if we were independent the increased revenues would stay in Scotland.

    But better together and all that.

  38. ScottishPsyche says:

    We lived in Aberdeen at the peak of the oil boom and we saw only short term redistributive effects from a small group of extremely wealthy people.

    At that time mortgage rates went as high as 15%, property prices were hugely inflated and the infrastructure was not there.

    As time has gone on there have been more jobs for support industries but it seems the city is still at the mercy of boom and bust. Some oil workers can look overseas but many rely on regular maintenance contracts for the North Sea. When these go it is not the super rich who suffer, they just move on to another post, a bit like bankers.

    It is the short term outlook of successive UK governments which has led us here. Each trying to get as much as possible out of the industry for their particular agenda.

  39. yesindyref2 says:

    Reading a bit between the lines, with the O&G Regulator now based in Aberdeen (and Glasgow), with the Wood Report(s), and this money from the ScotGov, it looks to me like a plan is at last coming together. I certainly hope so. If I’m right, that would benefit smaller national companies rather than South-East England based or multinationals.

  40. Almannysbunnet says:

    The oil industry is volatile and fast at adjusting its cost structure, up as well as down, depending on which way the price is heading. One of the more visible results of lower oil prices is cuts in personnel. Some of the cost cutting the man in the street doesn’t hear about are truly staggering. For example the day rate for leasing a drilling rig has dropped from around $400,000 to $250,000 a DAY in 2015 alone. It will probably half again in 2016. This is a massive saving for the oil company but a disaster for the rig leasing companies. Those rigs you see sitting in the Cromarty Firth aren’t costing the oil companies a brass farthing. It is not “a graveyard for oilrigs” as described by a gleeful media. It’s a parking lot for the rig companies who are the Hertz of the oilfield. The oil companies rarely lose out. It’s the oil service companies that take the main hit.

  41. Thrawn says:

    The crash in the oil price is not caused by an excess of supply (production levels are basically unchanged) but a huge reduction in demand notably from China. In other words the engine for the last 10 years of global growth is stalling and we have not seen the full consequences yet….when we do the cost of petrol will be the least of our worries

  42. Alison Rollo says:

    I’m with Davie too — cost of independence — priceless!!!

  43. ScottishPsyche says:


    I hope so. We need to be seen to be managing an industry which will inevitably decline but at the same time have workers with transferable skills across a range of hopefully developing industries.

  44. Their are over 30 car plants in England producing over 1,500,000 vehicles and employing directly and through the supply chain 750,000 jobs,

    as far as I can see not one car produced in Scotland,

    pooling without the sharing,

    maybe any new car plants could be located in the North East (Scotland) to help that area diversify from reliance on the one industry.

  45. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Grouse Beater: I agree. I meant project fear 2 will scare the shite out of the less well informed.

  46. One_Scot says:

    I’ve always said that oil has nothing to do with Scotland becoming Independent, and that people who moan about a low oil price, just use it as a pathetic excuse to hide behind.

  47. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, decline yes, but there’s still the same amount of oil left there, the trick is to stop or delay decommissioning and infrastructure dismantling, otherwise remains of fields will close.

    But there’s also CCS and CO2 storage, these old fields have been identified as having the potential to store one quarter of the whole of Europe’s CO2 in future. And it looks like the CCS project may be revived, in spite of Osborne discarding the industry like an unwanted stuffed toy.

  48. galamcennalath says:

    ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    ” … project fear 2 will scare the shite out of the less well informed.”

    … and our job is to minimise the number of poorly informed targets for PF2.

  49. Hamish McTavish says:

    The most easily accessible figures for oil prices are West Texas & Brent Crude (both on the EBC website).

    As far as I recall the quality of the oil sourced in the North Sea is pretty “good” and some of the lightest crudes extracted anywhere. The stuff from the big deposits in Suadi and the ME are the heavier crudes. I’ve not seen any indication of the prices for that “less good” quality of crude.

    Is there anyone on here that can elaborate on the prices for light vs heavy and/or the prices for “good” (whatever that might mean) quality crude against that for “less good” (my terms because I really don’t know how to describe otherwise)?

    Again, as far as I know the North Sea crude is able to yield significantly more of the end-products such as petrol and the Mid East crude the heavier things such as tar.

    I’m more than happy to be educated in both the pricing and the end-product of the various flavours of extracted crude.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  50. ScottishPsyche says:


    ‘Decline’ in terms of the emphasis less on exploration and extraction as it was in the earlier days. But yes so much oil still there and I totally agree, do not let the fields close.

    The Carbon Capture programme is exactly the sort of developing industry we should push. We have to capitalise on the expertise already there.

    Any reason that these industries could not coexist? When the price goes down, one compensates for the other?

  51. Robert Peffers says:

    How the hell can Scotland’s economy be based upon the barrel price of oil? Scotland currently has no tax raising powers and thus all revenues go to the London Treasury.

    Furthermore, the bulk of the oil industry workforce spend their earnings outwith Scotland and the bulk of the companies have head offices in London. Even the VAT deducted in Scotland goes to England.

    What scraps of revenue income remain in Scotland are in the local spending of companies and staff. A tiny proportion is retained by local councils as Business rates etc.

    It is a total myth that Scotland depends upon oil or even whisky.

    As long as the revenue is collected centrally by London the UK economy is based at least partly upon Scotland being part of the UK. Which is why we have to fight so hard to be independent.

    Any effects upon the Scottish economy of oil price drop is thus minimal and secondary and only seems large because all other revennues also go directly to London.

  52. yesindyref2 says:

    I’ve been a bit bogged down with work and stuff recently, but got my company accounts done in time, after a week’s worth of finally sorting out 15 years of papers.

    Suddenly today there’s new signs for Scotland, and it comes to my mind other stuff I’ve read recently, but not had the time to look at properly.

    Putting it all together and extrapolating (guessing!!), I find myself in a huge mood of optimisim today, huge, immense. I think the spanners are in for a bad time.

  53. call me dave says:

    Interesting times:

    On January 31, 1919, The Red Flag of Bolshevism was raised at George Square in the city and around 60,000 protesters gathered.

    I have seen similar pictures before and read the stories concerning Mannie Shinwell etal: But some of these pictures are new to me.

    Shinwell had some detractors however.

  54. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmmm, I think the SNP are overdue to “socket” to the spanners. That’ll be a wrench for those monkeys.

  55. ScottishPsyche says:

    @Robert Peffers

    I agree,

    I, like many, fall into talking about the ‘dependant on oil’ trap. I want our next white paper to make it absolutely clear we are not.

    I do, however, want the resource to be managed well and I get really frustrated with the idea perpetuated by Yoons there the industry up here is dying for no reason other than mismanagement.

  56. Dr Jim says:

    In Libya petrol is one pence per litre…1p

    Average petrol price worldwide is sixty eight pence per litre.. 68p

    Check it out, why are some of the most supposedly corrupt countries in the world selling petrol cheaper than us

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    Thins about it is, that the less the SG say about all this, the more “independent” groups, thinktanks and economists are kind of forced to do it themselves. Which means they’re making the SG case, rather than being able to spend time nitpicking on the SG’s one. And they get better access to the media than the SG, as well.

    I can see some kind of parallel with Asimov’s Salvor Hardin and Hober Mallow. Now that’s really weird!

  58. Gary45% says:

    The fear in the supposed loss in revenue from the drop in the price of oil, is spun the same way as the 2008 financial crash.
    Back then the public should have been given the money to spend rather than bailing the bankers.(The economy would have bounced back quicker)
    Simple economics, if the public have more money in their pockets,they will spend more on goods to help the economy, rather than keeping it with a few greedy morons.
    Giddy is totally clueless.
    Bought The National for the first time since October, following discussions on WoS, it was good to see Curtice giving “advice” on the May election.
    Having read his couple of pages, I will still be voting SNPx2.

    “The National” Doesn’t quite go to volume 11, sort of simmers at volume 2.
    Wings over Scotland helps unleash your inner mullet.

  59. Lesley-Anne says:

    If I have read this right, and I probably haven’t, then it looks like it is not all doom and gloom in the North Sea after all. 🙂

    Total won an exploration permit in December 2014 apparently and from the article it appears they will start drilling in the third quarter of this year. 😉

  60. Legerwood says:

    Dr Jim @ 4.59

    Other countries sell petrol more cheaply than us because their governments don’t tax it as heavily as UK government.

    I was in New Zealand in 2008, petrol was 80p per litre while here it was over £1.30 per litre. Furthermore petrol was the same price wherever we went in NZ either north or south Island.

  61. Weechid says:

    So why isn’t my bus fare coming down?

  62. Ali says:

    “From (local) oil producers to global consumers”.

    i.e. the cost accrues to Scotland as a valuable resource is depleted for lower returns. The benefit accrues mostly elsewhere. It would be great for us if we weren’t one of the producers.

    If I have more cash and spend it on goods from outwith Scotland/the UK then not only do we lose oil revenues but also leak cash. Doesn’t that not only reduce our GDP but also harm our balance of payments?

    It’s a shame there is no impartial commentator without a dog in the independence/Union fight who you could trust for a balanced opinion. I’m not buying the up side on this one to be honest.

  63. ScottishPsyche says:


    That’s maybe why we don’t have a Chief scientist!

  64. Ken500 says:

    If they are spending money on Aberdeen Airport could they not put a new Terminal building beside the train station, not at the other side of the runway.

    The UTG Project would have pedestrianised and improved the City Centre with a exit to the Green and Union Square. The Unionist/Green council refused a Gift of £80Million.

    Reducing the 60% Oil tax would have retained jobs, as well as the benefits of reduced Oil price. Google pay 3% tax. Prices for goods haven’t fallen much. Gas prices have only fallen 5% Electrifity hasn’t fallen. Bills are less because of the warmer weather before Christmas.

  65. yesindyref2 says:

    A couple of interesting pages re fuel price.

    First the duty makeup in the UK (57.95p duty pre litre plus VAT which will be less at the current lower price):

    Then the price comparison other countries:

  66. r.esquierdo says:

    The largest oil producer in the world is Russia .The USA and the Saudis have flooded thee market to bring the price down

  67. Lesley-Anne says:

    Whilst the yoons keep going on about falling oil prices perhaps it may be useful tp actually look at the reality of the situation.

    Since hitting a low of around $27 a barrel on 20th January 2016 Brent crude has slowly but consistently begun to rise and is now sitting at around $34 a barrel.

    I am no expert but to my inexperienced eye I think we are looking at the beginnings of a gradual but steady rise in Brent crude oil price in the coming months.

  68. CameronB Brodie says:

    If Aberdeen has to get a wee bit poorer to make the whole country better off, I can probably live with that.

    But think of the children….

    That’s a utilitarian perspective – a form of consequentialism that posits the morally correct choice is the one that maximises the overall good. What is the overall good though and who decides? What agents define one’s boundaries in a globalised world?

    IMHO, utilitarianism has failed to ensure social equity and is somewhat past it’s sell-by date.

  69. Dr Jim says:


    I know, that was my point, without the tax on oil the Yookay England Region can’t afford to buy their own dinner

    Whereas by comparison with Independence we could afford regular curries even without oil

    Fish suppers regularly thrown in

  70. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmmm, SNaPpers v Spanners, home advantage.

  71. Lollysmum says:

    From Mr Malky on twitter-George Kerevan is kicking banksters asses right now in debate on Bank of England and Financial Services Bill.

    At same time-3 SNP MP’s in Westminster Hall are leading the DWP questions on WASPI campaign for fair treatment of 1950’s born women & state pension equalisation.

    No one can accuse them of sitting on their hands 🙂

  72. velofello says:

    What if:

    An independent Scotland initiated a substantial national renewables industry that enabled low KW/hr unit costs for business and the public.

    An independent Scotland had a national oil&gas company that extracted sufficient oil and gas to supply Scottish business and the public consumption.

    An independent Scotland that was self- sufficient in food production – arable, animal and fishing.

    Scotland could then operate a low fuel cost economy that provided the economic advantage of low operating costs to her business sector, and small local businesses potentially made viable. Fuel poverty in the population could be eliminated.

    In my business time in the Middle East, a few years back now, fuel was around 5p a litre.

    We feed a Westminster establishment gorging on the tax returns of the UK, at large. We are better out of it, and then we can manage the “what ifs” above to Scotland’s benefit. Currently we export each of the “what ifs”, to Westminster’s benefit.

    The SNP’s awareness and evenhandedness towards business and the needs of the public are spot on. We don’t need rampant Tory business oriented greed, nor ultra-socialist doctrines. There is plenty statistical data available to measure and compare company performance be it public or private owned.

  73. t42 says:

    “Weechid says:
    1 February, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    So why isn’t my bus fare coming down?”

    Good question, and train companies are keeping their heads down also..

  74. woosie says:

    What Davie said.

    There are many very intelligent, well-read posters on this site, providing insightful comments on economic and political fine points. But the vast majority of voters in Scotland wanted to hear the Yes side say we’ll have our own currency, we won’t depend on oil, all pensions are guaranteed.

    Indecision on these and other basic points probably cost us dear last time.

    Keep it simple – Fuck Them!

  75. Dan Huil says:

    @ woosie 5:46pm

    Spot on. And keep saying it over and over again.

  76. yesindyref2 says:

    From the Herald: “Mike Russell calls for change in local government structure”

    ” Scotland’s 32 councils need to be broken down into “much smaller units” with schools handed control over their own budgets, the former education secretary has said.

    Mike Russell argued change was needed as local government “in many places has lost contact with those it is meant to serve”.

    That’ll make COSLA and Labour happy. More Spanners in the works, or vice versa.

  77. Gary45% says:

    Oil doom and gloom until just after the May election.
    Then the industry will kick off again.
    “Project Oil Fear” with constant reference to Scotland being Fu**ed if it becomes independent, “you cant trust the SNP” blah blah.
    Fortunately for Scotland it never went back in the box, we know it was a wee extra bonus for us, the UKOK doesn’t have a pot to piss in.
    Gideon, Dave the pig Fu**er and the rest of the yoonies will never “get it”

  78. john young says:

    We need to find a new way forward free from the old dis-credited capitalist system,away from foreign controlled jobs,look to our strengths and encourage and invest in them,reduce the burden of high mortgages/rent/transport/energy,put money back into the system,as for oil/economics I wouldn,t give a toss about so called experts as they didn,t see any of the crashes coming.I know that we can,t compare ourselves with Russia but all the experts go on about the roubles weakness against the dollar,well Russia has no debt and will be self sufficient in food production free of GMCs,USA/dollar 20trillion and growing who is better off?

  79. Inkall says:

    “If Aberdeen has to get a wee bit poorer to make the whole country better off, I can probably live with that.”

    Aberdeen is already pretty poor likes. Awful infrastructure, money wasted on brutal building projects part paid by businessmen looking for nothing but profits on the side, food banks, etc…

    The people as a whole have certainly never seen much in the way of the benefits of all this money Aberdeen supposedly has.


    Sir Ian Wood’s UTG plans were a joke. The vote on what to do with the gardens was more warped than the independence referendum.

    Numerous other courses of action could have been taken rather than the two presented, Woods utter destruction vs leaving the Gardens as they are. Both were to me bad options but sadly those two are what the factions involved managed to boil it all down to, all others pushed into touch.

  80. Jimbo says:

    Dave says:

    “It frustrates me to see the case for Independence boiled down to unwinnable arguments about whether we’d be a thousand pounds better or worse off. I don’t care. The ability to make our own decisions,treat people ethically and not be ruled by the whims of a large right-wing neighbour is priceless.”

    Exactly. It’s not about what we’ll have, or not have. It’s about being masters of our own destiny. Sadly a lot of NO voters were frightened into putting personal wealth before the country’s common weal – Apart from a couple I know of whose NO vote was based on what football team they support.

  81. DerekM says:

    mmmm curries much rather have them than the dog shit kebab the UK keep offering us.

    Ah the black stuff why do we go after it since it seems nobody will admit they need it lol low oil prices are good for the economy this is a more realistic economic outlook than an over inflated derivative fake oil market,the boom and bust mentality is going to get us real messed up especially now the rest of the world arnt shy about crashing the price further than the seven sisters wanted lol

    The new oil companies control over 50% of the reserves the seven sisters only 13% and that includes the lie that is the Saudi fields ,what we are witnessing is the take over from the old to the new.

    Oh and the UK well we are fucked should have legged it when we had the chance no voters.

  82. yesindyref2 says:

    Sadly a lot of NO voters were frightened into putting personal wealth before the country’s common weal

    I think most people, YES and NO voters, can’t afford to face substantial drops in income or rises in prices. The trick isn’t to try to make the population of Scotland altrusitic when most can’t afford to be, the trick it to convince people that they won’t be any worse off, and will, over time, be better off.

  83. Roboscot says:

    Dan Huil
    ‘Project Fear 2 will be a very weak version of PF 1 – relying on lies to an even greater degree than PF 1.’

    Yes, but next time they’ll offer devo max or near-feder…Oh.

  84. davidb says:

    Just a couple of things.

    Petrol prices I have seen are much the same across the western bits of the EU, so I suspect the EU has some say in how taxes are set. I wouldn’t be surprised if its an agreed policy to allow prices to fall as a deliberate economic stimulus. It was not long ago every fall was responded to by a “green” tax hyke. Why not this time?

    I am impressed yet again that this site reports free market economics are a good thing. Is Adam Smith back in favour with Scots?

    The old cynic in me sees interest groups hijacking levers of economic power for their own benefit everywhere. I think the Saudis are colluding with other interested parties to keep production up and prices down so it damages Iran and Russia. Its all proxy warfare over Syria. Neither Russia nor Iran can stand low oil prices, but Saudi has deep pockets. Once the Syrian game is finished the Saudis will turn off the tap and the price will go up again. 2 years at most.

  85. Papadox says:

    Where’s big Gordy when we nead him?

    Gordy, Gordy whit should we dae? Gordyyyy! We’re to wee, to poor to stupid and were naw genetically programmed tae make decisions, Gordyyyyy.

    Wee’l some o us aren’t,

  86. MJack says:

    If oil has dropped so much, why are we still paying over £1 per litre? These drops are not being passed onto us fully.

  87. jimnarlene says:

    CameronB Brodie at 5:58 pm

  88. Molly says:

    Ot I see on Facebook there is an apology of sorts from The Daily Record , Herald to Tasmina Ahmed Sheik.

    Apparently they didn’t mean to imply anything

    Aye right

  89. Tearlach Macdaid says:

    OT but I’ve just a Yougov poll on voting intentions for the May elections, and any future indyref including questions on attitudes towards the Governments record on Health, education, police, fracking, tuition fees etc.

    Wonder who its for.

  90. Fireproofjim says:

    Hamish McTavish @4.30
    Your comment re different crude oil prices. You are right that Brent crude is one of the most valuable as it is so called “light sweet crude”, which means it has a very low sulphur content, and is easier to refine, unlike many of the Middle East or West Texas crude oil, which have a high sulphur content and a high cost of refining.
    Actually almost every oil well around the world has a different cocktail of chemicals and some very heavy crude oil from Bachequero in Venezuela is valuable because much of it can be refined into valuable lubricants. However heavy crude is usually cheaper and Brent has become the world benchmark for a high quality light crude.

  91. @Grouse Beater:

    “We used to be the fourth wealthiest nation in the world, until 1706, and there was not a drop of oil in sight, or indeed electricity industry to boost an economy. Strange that.

    PS: In 1707 we were not bankrupt. We had lost about one third of our money in circulation…”

    Fascinating. Can you point me in the direction of some sources/reading about this? Just so I’m prepped for the next time somebody raises the spectre of Darien.

  92. CameronB Brodie says:

    Adam Smith advocated a market system bound by social responsibility, not laissez-faire economics.

    It’s your zombie drones of Milton Friedman voodoo hocus pocus who suggested otherwise, either through ignorance or malice. A meme the right-wing sociopaths in the media were only too happy to propagate, again, either through ignorance or malice.

  93. DerekM says:

    @ davidb

    Thats what they are planning david however the new companies Malaysia,Brazil, Venezuela,Russia,China and Iran are messing with the derivative market to crash the price further,they have all learned their lesson from the 80-90`s when the west used derivatives to crash their economies and have been preparing for us to do exactly what we always do to them,well we are getting a taste of what we have been handing out.

    Yes it will act as a stimulus to social economics but as for financial economics well they are so tied up in this selling of non existent oil it could bring the whole house of cards down.

    We have been trading a lie and now we are caught in our own trap,a 1st year economics student out on the piss could do a better job than broon and osbourne put together,any country dabbling in derivatives as an economic growth are totally insane and morally corrupt and have no respect for its people who inevitably have to pay for the folly of those seeking avarice when the whole rotten pyramid collapses.

  94. Ali says:

    I’m in the transportation business and I reckon the current oil price is putting £1500 extra into my wage packet this year, so cant really argue with your logic Stu.

  95. ArtyHetty says:


    Nice of you to consider the plight of the no voters. However, certainly where we are, the no voters are all extremely well off, many retired nice and early, nice pensions, love their bus passes and cold weather payments though.

    I have a friend in a poorer part of Edinburgh, she said just about everyone had yes posters up. The odd state reliant pensioner was conned but mostly, the no voters really did not care about the consequences for the poor, the kids’ futures, or for Scotland as a whole. Oh and their offspring had free degrees, got fancy jobs in London and are doing well without that huge debt burden.

    And what Jimbo says @6.05.

  96. CameronB Brodie says:

    Cheers. I picked it up from @MiruDL, so it looks as if it’s contagious. Best not spread. 😉

  97. DerekM says:

    or could it be Indonesia not Malaysia i might have got that wrong but you know what i mean there is a new oil group in town and OPEC are bricking it,all the oil producing countries are taking a stand against the seven sisters

  98. yesindyref2 says:

    @ ArtyHetty says: “Nice of you to consider the plight of the no voters.”

    Isn’t it just? All 55.3% of them. Without whom, or a fair amount of, we won’t get Indy.

    Personally speaking I want Indy rather than having the self-satisfaction of saying what a bad unhealthy greedy nasty fearful lot the NO voters are. I’m not one of the “45”, I want to be one of the 50%+1.

    And as a 40 year + Indy supporter, I still put my family first.

  99. Fireproofjim says:

    There are many histories covering the Darien Scheme, but most of them come to the wrong conclusion that “Scotland was bankrupted”.
    The Scheme was badly thought out and mismanaged, but the only bankrupting was of a few hundred foolish aristocrats in search of a get- rich -quick scheme. The ordinary people were largely unaffected.
    Having lost their fortunes in this gamble the aristocrats were easy pickings for the English supporters of the Union and were easily bribed to vote for it. At that time only the aristocracy had the right to vote and, despite the citizens of Edinburgh rioting in protest, they signed away Scotland’s independence for a few thousand pounds. “Such a parcel of rogues”.
    Their descendants are still with us, and just as shameless.

  100. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    woosie at 5.46

    But the YES side did say these things. It said Oil was a “bonus” on top of a stable and self supporting economy and it pointed out that pensions were guaranteed and it published the guarantee provided by Department of Work and Pensions.

    The problem was the media and the fact that many people did not digest the information we were trying to get out.
    Some people of course were not listening well enough.

    On the currency issue the White Paper detailed four options. A stable currency union at the point of independence was by far the most sensible option. But it wouldn’t have mattered what option we chose it would have been pilloried relentlessly by Better Together as part of Project Fear.

    There is no evidence that the currency debate did us any harm whatsoever so don’t swallow this myth.
    This suggestion is an after the event invention of the unionists which too many people are believing. They would like us to get mired down in a peripheral argument about this issue again.
    Our vote continued to climb during the currency debate and every informed Scot knew we could use sterling if we wanted. Do you remember the huge cheer from the audience at the second debate when Alistair Darling conceded this?

    In supervising a very intense canvas of my area for over a year the currency issue did not come up once. Mrs Smith or Mr Jones don’t care what the currency is called as long as they have enough if it to pay the bills and buy the messages.

    Whether a stable independent Scotland should at the right time choose another currency option – its own currency? join the Euro?- is worth considering and our own currency has huge attractions

  101. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    MJack at 7.04

    Because most of price is tax. You pay about 10p per mile to the Treasury every mile you drive in a an average car.

  102. Robert Peffers says:

    @ScottishPsyche says: 1 February, 2016 at 4:58 pm:

    “I, like many, fall into talking about the ‘dependant on oil’ trap. I want our next white paper to make it absolutely clear we are not.”

    The big scandal, Scottishpsyche, is that Scotland really should have a fair proportion of her economy based upon oil & gas revenues for at least 95% of what the UK claims is geographically Scottish.

    However there is the far more subtle UK con trick that fools a great many Scots into thinking Scotland gets an 8.4% share of the Oil & gas revenues on a per capita basis.

    We do not. That per capita figure is only used by the UK Government to asses other figures to dream up even more misleading statistics.

    The sad truth is that, at the moment, Scotland’s entire funding comes from the Block Grant which is set by Westminster using a fiddled per capita figure for England. Not all English funding is included when they apply Barnett’s Formula.

    There are ne mentions of oil, gas, or indeed any other commodity, anywhere in Barnett’s Formula.

  103. jimnarlene says:

    Robert Peffers @9:00pm

    Spot on.

  104. Chic McGregor says:


    And of course the other false but accepted wisdom is that Darien was an example of how the Scots were incapable of running themselves.

    That nonsense was or should have been, put to bed just a few years after Union when the South Sea Bubble scheme absolutely dwarfed the losses seen by Darien.

    Furthermore, whereas Darien was on paper a reasonable business model which could have worked if the British crown had supported rather than undermined it, the SSB was known by its instigators to be a scam from the start, hypothecated as it was on control of a slave trade which simply did not exist in anything like the required numbers to pay off investors.

    But how many know about the SSB and that it was the first serious collusion between politicians and scammers to rob innocent investors of their money?

    All we ever hear is SNPBaaad/Darien, never UnionWorse/South Sea Bubble.

  105. call me dave says:

    London and Edinburgh in stand-off over Holyrood’s proposed new tax powers

    Corbyn warned poor results in May could lead to leadership challenge

  106. CameronB Brodie says:

    Of course, although John Stuart Mill (utilitarian demigod), advocated the abolition of slavery, he was an employee of the British East India Company and staunch proponent of colonialism, especially British imperialism.

    A man of his time I suppose.

  107. K1 says:

    Scunterbunnet, here’s some very informative reading on Darien, from our very own Scott Minto, this goes some way toward myth busting the airbrushed ‘britnat’ version of this episode in Scotland’s history:

  108. Robert Peffers says:

    @Ali says: 1 February, 2016 at 5:13 pm:

    ” … i.e. the cost accrues to Scotland as a valuable resource is depleted for lower returns.”

    There is no great need to be a mathematical genius nor a need to use big words to understand the matter of Scotland’s financial place within the Union.

    Nor is there to understand the UK’s economy under the last several Labour, Coalition or Tory governments. That simple statistic is this : –

    Beginning with a Labour Government that swapped tho old direct taxation system, PAYE, (Pay As You Earn or Income Tax), for a series of Indirect Taxation, such as VAT, Road Fuel Fuel Duty, Betting Tax, Alcohol Duty, Tobacco Duty, et al.

    Direct Taxation is levied mainly upon what is called, “Disposable Income”, (that sum left after Statutory Tax and Insurances are paid). Obviously there is a tax allowance to cover the basic necessities required for a reasonable lifestyle. In direct taxation those best able to pay tax, pay the most tax.

    Under indirect taxation it is those less able to pay who bear the main burden of taxation. As a basic example to illustrate the point, it costs the rich man exactly the same for the tattie on his plate as it does for the poorest in the land and we all pay the same indirect taxation.

    That single statistic I first spoke of is this. Under indirect taxation the gap between the wealth of the rich and poor has continued to widen. So much so that even throughout the financial crisis, while the poor continued to get poorer under austerity measures the richest people in the UK more than doubled their wealth.

    Quite simply put – you cannot be suffering any form of austerity if you are doubling your total wealth.

  109. Dr Jim says:

    Yookay panic:

    Oil, we never had it they did and then spent it
    Scotlands coastline, without control they’re feart nothing between us and Iceland (not the shop) paranoia about Russia who knows they might like us Scots
    Scotlands seas, Absolutely vital to the whole of Europe and Engerland if you enjoy a wee bit of fish and free electric

    We’re smarter…They’d all be dead of Syphilis had we not invented Penicillin, I won’t list everything else, mibbees Chloroform, Tarmacadam, Modern Economics
    Maybe that last one was a bad idea

    What have the Romans ever done for us, See that’s humour, but when you think about it What have the UK ever done for us really that we didn’t already have before they bullied us into submission by weight of numbers, slaughtered thousands, cast thousands adrift in boats to other countries to get rid of us so they could turn Scotland into Fukcing Butlins for the wealthy

    And they’re still coming up with a load of lying shit to distract from the fact they need us we don’t need them
    Battered wife syndrome, keep telling her she’s useless till she believes it while she’s doing all the graft
    That’s us,… Battered Scotland

    SNPx2 Ah want a Divorce… Let’s Batter they Bastirts

  110. heedtracker says:

    SNPx2 Ah want a Divorce… Let’s Batter they Bastirts

    The last thing red and blue toryboy England wants is a successful social democratic PR Scotland. They’re own plebs will be wanting one too and that’s just not going to happen.

    Arise Lord Darling of HouseFlippershire

    All hail the glorious Workers’ Republic!
    The Right Honourable The Lord Darling of Ruilanish, revolutionary socialist of Her Majesty. 10 December 2015.

    What ever they say, UKOK produces some of the biggest lying hypocrites in the world

  111. Rock says:


    “The message here is proof enough that corporations control governments”

    That is why the filthy rich keep on getting richer while the poor keep on getting poorer.

    It was not the banks, but their wealthy clients that were bailed out, at the expense of the poor.

    Free market capitalism, only when the rich benefit from it.

  112. Wuffing Dug says:

    See there is a small inshore drilling rig in Nigg bay.

    Must be taking core samples to assess the viability of this proposed new Aberdeen harbour.

    Will need to look into that, heard decom work mentioned.

    See some other posters picking up on the risk to infrastructure if key assets are removed.

    Truth is life extension cannot be justified on some assets (thinking Dunlin here, most reports say it’s ****ed – [engineering terminology]).

    Not safe to leave a lot of these things out there. 40 odd years exposed to that environment, jeez, surprised some are still standing.

    There is a tangible risk to north sea viability through decom though….

  113. Tam Jardine says:

    Dave McEwan Hill

    I agree with much of what you say although I also think long term that any kind of currency arrangement with England will be impossible. We would gain more by having a currency union rejected then leaving the UK national debt behind. I don’t think we can rely on the Westminster government being a strong ally as long as the current red/blue cabal is in charge.

    The good people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will want to stay close but Westminster will want to punish us, blame us for their failing economy and will be fearful that the Scottish Government continues to show them the way.

    There are a number of options long term for currency but how can we really get a sense for the best path until the books are opened and our economy is extricated from the UK? We will then be able to make informed decisions on trade and international cooperation that are made with one object in mind: the welfare of Scotland and her people.

    Christ- just imagine: macro-economic decisions based on what is best for Scotland rather than the city of London!

    We got bogged down throughout the indyref, and continue to get bogged down today with a non existent “Scottish economy” being judged when really the discussion is preposterous. The question is: “where are decisions best being made?”.

    If Scotland is in good shape then we are better together, no? If Scotland is in good shape, imagine how much better we could be independent without the dead hand of Westminster?

    If Scotland is a basketcase then we need Westminster to bale us out, no? If Scotland is a basketcase then who in their right mind would want to keep the management structure in place, keep Westminster at the controls when that regime has impoverished the most energy rich country in the EU?

    The economic case on both sides validates pre-existing prejudices and beliefs. Kevin Hague sees black holes because he wants to. I see Scotland having the potential to be a modern, egalitarian society, with a dynamic, diverse economy, a renewable energy world leader and I am as convinced we can be a success as Kevin is convinced we will fail.

    There is an element of belief, of faith in both views. What seems more realistic is to state that the future is unwritten and with Independence we are MORE in control of our path than we are now.

    Currency played into the ‘uncertainty narrative’ and was just part of that juxtapose of uncertainty against stability. The uncertainty narrative is about to take a torpedo beneath the waterline unless there happens to be a decisive vote to remain in the EU. Even if the UK remains IN by 55% 45% we can expect to see another vote within a decade.

    A yes vote to stay in the EU? A yes vote to settle the constituional question once and for all? A yes vote to control our resources and regulate economic activity, to insulate us from the casino capitalism of the city of London? We are starting to look at a Yes vote being a vote for stability and common sense in uncertain times.

  114. @fireproofjim, @k1 … thanks

  115. Cadogan Enright says:

    Daryush Valizadeh
    Is this another pseudonym of the mysoginist who hides his employment as a so called journalist in the BUM under the name Brian Spanner on Twitter?

    The fact that he seems to be able to use more than 4 letter words suggests they might not be the same person?

  116. Grouse Beater says:

    Scunterbunnet: “Point me in the direction of some sources/reading about this? Just so I’m prepped for the next time somebody raises the spectre of Darien.”

    The lie Scotland was bankrupt is best illustrated as Tesco selling out to Sainsburys because they lost £250 million from their profits. And they voted to do that because Tesco’s directors were desperate to protect their earnings, for so it was that so many of our Scottish Government MPs, who had financed Darien, voted for the Union.

    There are any number of books on Darien, my first was John Prebble’s minutely researched work, still available in paperback: The Darien Disaster

    The book’s contents are drawn from original sources in the records of the Company, the journals, letters and memoirs of those who tried to turn William Patterson’s dream into reality. (Patterson created The Bank of England – irony waterfall.)

    We got into the Darien adventure because England was angered at the way we had defied them in who we traded with. They strangled our foreign investment. They blocked our economic progress. I am certain that original fear (sin?) lay behind a lot of people who voted NO – they sensed we would be faced with another trade war.

    I get very angry every time I hear a neo-colonialist begin that piece of our history with ‘Scotland was bankrupt’ and move on from there gloating and jeering, without explaining how we reached that pecuniary situation.

    (Right-wing public school head boy – Oxford educated, Ian Hyslop, last ignorant utterance I heard, oft repeated on television.)

    Darien was meant to be the solution to our weakened bargaining position, a trading post that would outsmart the English blockades.

    (Sound familiar? That blockade is no different from this one threatened: “If you walk away from the Union you walk away from the pound”)

    Raising taxes to pay for a loan is evidence the population is not bankrupt. There is money, commerce and daily living transactions available to tax.

    We were given only half of the loan promised – the usual Treasury scam. The other half was given in company debentures. They turned out to be worthless. So, we paid higher taxes to pay back the loan – and we paid all of it, including the half that was worthless.

    We have austerity cuts now for staying in the Union, ergo, we are paying double again for England’s economic friendship.

    Three hundred years ago the Parliament of Scotland, in one of its last acts before the nation lost its political identity, defied the King and the persistent hostility of the English to establish a noble trading company, to settle a colony, and to recover its people from a century of despair, privation, famine and decay.

    The site of the colony, Darien on the Isthmus of Panama, was the enduring dream of William Patterson, the erratically brilliant Scot who had helped to found the Bank of England. He called it ‘the door of the seas, and the key of the universe’, and believed it would become a bridge between East and West, an entrepôt through which would pass the richest trade in the world.

    The first attempt to make the Company a joint Scots and English venture was crushed by the English Parliament. The Scots created it by themselves, in a wave of almost hysterical enthusiasm, subscribing half of the nation’s capital. Three years later the ‘noble undertaking’, crippled by the quarrelsome stupidity of its leaders, deliberately obstructed by the English Government, and opposed in arms by Spain, had ended in stunning disaster. Nine fine ships owned by the Company had been sunk, burnt or abandoned. Over two thousand men, women and children who went to the fever-ridden colony never returned.’

    It was a tragic curtain to the last act of Scotland’s independence. But as soon as we signed the ‘Equal and Sovereign’ Treaty we knew we had been stiffed. And the detestation of English political shenanigans has continued to this day … and proves completely justified.

    Grouse Beater

  117. Dr Jim says:

    Roulanish, Roulanish is it, where is it? never heard of it

    Who comes up with these names for these Lords, it’s utter madness
    BBC2 Showing some sort of history on how Mary QOS head got chopped which would be history if anybody actually knew the facts but they don’t so we get “Speculation” on what the protagonists might have said and meant and even written and then presented as historical fact, psychic historians the Yookay breed (But it’s a fact)

    It’s like reading the Daily Record or the flaming Guardian hundreds of years in the future with Jackie Bird and David Clegg as the expert historians, total nuts

    Tell a joke at 9 in the morning by tea time it becomes an entirely different joke
    Every time the Telly bring on an “Expert” to tell us about history I just glaze right over (Eyes Rolling)

    Brought up on this crap and took me years to find out it was twaddle, the clergy does it all the time and we used to accept it, favourite line “What God meant by this” Aaargh!!!

  118. CameornB Brodie says:

    Sorry for droning on about utilitarianism but it all boils down to values, see. 😉

    For example;

    1. Changing Modern Moral Philosophy
    a. Anscombe

    In 1958 Elisabeth Anscombe published a paper titled “Modern Moral Philosophy” that changed the way we think about normative theories. She criticized modern moral philosophy’s pre-occupation with a law conception of ethics. A law conception of ethics deals exclusively with obligation and duty. Among the theories she criticized for their reliance on universally applicable principles were J. S. Mill’s utilitarianism and Kant’s deontology. These theories rely on rules of morality that were claimed to be applicable to any moral situation (that is, Mill’s Greatest Happiness Principle and Kant’s Categorical Imperative). This approach to ethics relies on universal principles and results in a rigid moral code. Further, these rigid rules are based on a notion of obligation that is meaningless in modern, secular society because they make no sense without assuming the existence of a lawgiver—an assumption we no longer make.

  119. Giving Goose says:

    OT apologies.

    Can someone advise, please.

    If a Facebook user posts a comment that The First Minister should be shot, does that constitute banter, or what?

  120. Grouse Beater says:

    If a Facebook user posts a comment that The First Minister should be shot, does that constitute banter, or what?

    Hate speech: threatening physical violence against an individual or group, an incitement to violence – now a police matter.

  121. call me dave says:

    1p for Scotland two says ‘Scottish’ labour.

    They might have borrowed wee Wullies calculator. 🙂

  122. onelessday says:

    I don’t think Kez can raise two bands by 1p and raise the top band by 5p I thought all bands had to be raised by same amount

    Have I got it wrong?

  123. Kenny says:

    Tam Jardine, I agree about Westminster having loathing for an independent Scottish economy. It would be like the situation between West and East Germany — very similar.

    Because I hope the SNP or whoever is in power will guide Scotland towards a balanced, mixed economy, rather like the FRG, with workers not being exploited, but given a fair wage for productivity and representation on boards, no financial ponzi schemes, an economy where people rent and HPI is in no one’s interest, a country where everything is spread out (capital Berlin, finance Frankfurt, industry Munich and Stuttgart, trade Hamburg…).

    On the other hand, I always compare Toryism in Scotland to communism in Eastern Europe. Foisted on a nation which does not want it and votes continuously against it. Cronyism, state bailouts for toffs who have all the privileges, yet know nothing. So now we have Ruthie playing down Scottish initiative to be independent: we cannot! we must depend on our foreign neighbour to the south, rather than stand on our own two feet…!

    And long-term who is going to be the winner? The country with all the natural resources, with the internationalist approach, with the pro-EU population, openness, with the likes of Swinney in charge of the books? Or the casino economy with Gideon at the helm, a spiv and nothing more, with a current trade deficit which is the hole in the proud ship UKOK, and a sense of superiority over one and all, blacks, browns, frogs and jocks alike?

  124. Thanks to everybody who replied about the Darien thing. My impression is that this episode of history is a big component of the cringe of ProudScotButs. I’ve read a fair bit about the years before 1707, but only ever came across one interpretation of Darien: the Neil Oliver-esque story about too wee, too pure, too stupid. Euch!

    So it wasn’t a national disaster, then? Just a few greedy rich people who got a ‘haircut’ after a bad investment… same thing that happens everywhere, throughout history.

    I’m genuinely amazed that Scotland was the fourth richest country in the world… the impression I had was that the people were surviving on gruel and rat tails at the time.

    History really is bunk.

  125. Capella says:

    In May 2016 we vote out the dross in Hoyrood by voting SNP x 2
    In May 2017 we vote out the dross in the LA elections

  126. Dr Jim says:


    At the moment you’re correct, raise one band you have to raise them all
    If, and it’s getting to be a big If, a Fiscal framework for the Myth commission can be agreed then the power to vary bands applies

    So Kezia is proposing a policy on a proposition that as yet is non existent….But that’s nothing new for Kez
    What she should have said is, If a Fiscal Framework is agreed she’d blah de blah blah
    Wee Willie has done the same

    Yoon Noise for the sake of it

  127. Chic McGregor says:


    Philosophy was my humanities option at uni. Not then a common choice for physics majors but then again physics was originally called ‘natural philosophy’. There is a large methodological overlap between philosophy, physics and mathematics (logical rigour etc.).

    I studied JSM quite a bit, as I did other philosophers of course. He is a tough read, prose it isn’t. My conclusion was that Utilitarianism could be described as social hedonism with accountancy checks and balances thrown in. ‘Greatest good for the greatest number’. It makes a kind of sense and is a fairly logical extrapolation from Smith’s economic theories.

    However I did not agree with it ultimately because in essence for the moral Utilitarian it comes down to control over curiosity.

    Aside from the focus on the individual I see not a lot of similarity between Kant and Mill. Kant, a third generation Scot (the first to use a ‘K’ rather than a ‘C’ for his surname) started out in philosophy but then switched to astronomy. However, upon reading Hume, he abandoned astronomy to return to philosophy and after about a 10 year reflective period, eventually produced the works for which is famous. These were, to some extent, an extrapolation of Hume’s ideas, admittedly a large extrapolation. And Kant did sublimely condense the spirit of the Enlightenment down into one phrase better than any home-grown Scot – “Dare to think”.

    Personally I despair at the polarisation between behaviourists and empiricists on economic theory.

    To me it is analogous in physics to deriving the gas laws from macroscopic observation versus doing so from statistical analysis of molecule dynamics. Both produce the same results, there is no dichotomy.

    However economics – ‘The Queen of Sciences’ is very far from being a science proper. They have not even reached the precursor stage of defining fundamentals like ‘What is an economy actually for?’, ‘What are its base units of measurement?’.

    As a result, it is at about the same level of development as science proper was in the middle ages, where astrologers, alchemists and perpetual motion ‘inventors’ were were pretty much held in the same regard as genuine scientific researchers.

    Economics today is still full of shamans, shysters and charlatans drowning out any truly reasoned approach.

  128. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tam Jardine at 10.19

    I agree with much of what you say. In particular arguing about Scottish economic figures based on Scottish economy trapped in a struggling UK economy is really stupid. These figures are irrelevant unless we want to be independent to continue to run things the same way.
    Yet we still get sucked into arguing about them with people who make up the books.

    We find ourselves fighting battles on the enemy’s chosen ground a lot of the time. We should sharpen up.

    My support for a sterling union was only unconditionally for the transition to independence period

  129. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I am happy to see the Darien Disaster properly described. Scotland wasn’t bankrupted by it but a lot of our big boys were and sold us out to pay their own debts. The Scottish Burghs were enjoying growing prosperity at that point,in particular trading into Europe, but an embargo of trade into England (initiated by William the Third – aka Good King Billy)was part of the campaign by England to weaken Scotland

  130. CameronB Brodie says:

    Chic McGregor
    Thanks for that Chic. I’m the first to admit that I’ve only scratch a very shallow understanding of it all, so I’m the last anyone should look to for answers. However, I’m pretty certain the Anglo-American model of ethics will continue to fail in achieving social equity.

    Are the 1% the living embodiment of utility monsters?

  131. Sandy says:

    Quiz time:-

    What is Scotland’s most valuable export?

  132. Thepnr says:

    What is Scotland’s most valuable export?

    Our children.

  133. Chic McGregor says:

    Just for the record.

    In 1707, Scotland had virtually NO National debt.
    England had a huge National Debt, most probably the biggest in the World at that time.

  134. The big challenge for the next referendum isn’t selling the idea that Scotland can be more prosperous and fairer as an independent country… all else being equal. I don’t think I’ve heard anybody argue against that idea, even hardline unionists. The Yes campaign completely won that part of the argument in 2014.

    The challenge now is showing we can prosper even if rUK decides to play silly buggers post-Indy. Project Fear was all about the implied threat of our erstwhile partner(s) becoming economically hostile. It was that threat that swung the referendum. Removing it would swing support for indy well past 55%, surely?

    With a sovereign currency, unblockable free trade with EU and rest of world, positive balance of payments, diverse economy, plentiful resources – there’s little rUK could do to significantly damage iScotland, without self-harming massively. We’d be as immune as any nation on earth from swings in global commodity prices. rUK can’t renege on fiscal responsibilities like pensions without busting its reputations for credit-worthiness and financial stability, which are its bread and butter. Project Fear was a bluff, this isn’t 1703.

    How to we get that message across?

  135. louis.b.argyll says:

    And children who grow up well educated and with a strong sense of community.. ARE AN ASSET.

  136. Sandy says:


    Good answer.
    However,was looking for something inanimate. Something along avaristic lines.

  137. CameronB Brodie says:


  138. Sandy says:

    CameronB Brodie.

    Have I invented a new word. If so,stand to be corrected.

  139. Sandy says:

    Sorry,if NOT

  140. CameronB Brodie says:

    Valuable, inanimate export associated with greed?

    New word?

    I’m the last to consult on that one. 😉

  141. Eddie Munster says:

    Also with Darien history could forget the “Alien Act” of 1705.

    The Alien Act was a law passed by the Parliament of England in 1705, as a response to the Parliament of Scotland’s Act of Security of 1704, which in turn was partially a response to the English Act of Settlement 1701.

    The Alien Act provided that Scottish nationals in England were to be treated as aliens (foreign nationals), and estates held by Scots would be treated as alien property,[1] making inheritance much less certain. It also included an embargo on the import of Scottish products into England and English colonies – about half of Scotland’s trade, covering goods such as linen, cattle and coal.[2]

    The Act contained a provision that it would be suspended if the Scots entered into negotiations regarding a proposed union of the parliaments of Scotland and England. Combined with English financial offers to refund Scottish losses on the Darien scheme, the Act achieved its aim, leading to the Acts of Union 1707 uniting the two countries as the Kingdom of Great Britain.

    I doubt the likes of Neil Oliver or Simon Schama would bring such a thing up in one of their many white washing history programmes of the history of “Britain”, or the army and navy of England amassing on the border to make sure the Lord’s voted the right way, or be prepared for an invasion, either way England was getting what it wanted, union or not.

  142. Sandy says:

    CameronB Brodie.

    And my answer was to be money to Wastemidden.
    Ta, tho’, for your originality.

  143. Sandy says:

    Re.Treaty of Union.
    My father was headmaster of a rural primary school in the North of Scotland. In the late 50’s (I was a youngster at the time), I recall him saying that he was instructed NOT to teach Scottish History prior to 1707.
    Talk about a red rag to a bull. Every child, by the time they went to Secondary, had an in depth knowledge from prior to the Picts to the present day.
    His last act of defiance was to refuse to pay the annual teachers’ £1 registration fee that was introduced a couple of years prior to his retirement under threat of sacking. The local Director of Education paid on his behalf.
    At General Election time,the school was used as a voting station with him in charge, As there was no Scottish Candidate,he never personally voted.
    I have resolutely followed his footsteps in that, although I vote, I have NEVER voted for an English party in my life.

  144. Still Positive. says:


    Well done to you and your dad.

    The first time I voted it was for Jimmy Reid who stood as a Communist, because all the churches were telling us in the Clydebank area that Communism was incompatible with Christianity. That was my red rag moment – pun intended.

    Ever since then I have voted SNP whenever they stood or I put in a blank ballot paper.

    There must be a lot of us who have been wanting independence since our youth and I sincerely hope we all live to see it.

    I always say I don’t just want to die in an independent Scotland, I want to live in one too, so that I can see the benefits for all of us.

  145. Sandy says:

    Still positive.

    Yes, we’re all getting a bit older so the sooner the better.
    Oh for those doubters of 18th Sept. No consideration for we who know that freedom is inevitable. I,like yourself, have SELF-RESPECT & PRIDE, was born with a conscience & will die with one & have no time for greed & jealousy, of which “Wasteminster” knows not the meaning of. History tells us of that.
    Why can’t people understand that our representatives have Scottish hearts & are very obviously dedicated to our cause. I am not so naive to believe that one or two might slip through the net or be planted but when found out, wil be completely ostracised from our society.
    Aye, if Jimmy Reid were around today, he wouldn’t just kick the Irn Bru crate from under a dubious character’s feet, he would make him ashamed to ever again appear in public.

  146. Still Positive. says:


    Totally agree.

    Almost finished MacWhirter’s book Tsunami. Although I don’t totally agree with him, it is well worth a read.

    Hoping for a copy of ‘Blossom’ for Mother’s Day as got the follow-up at Christmas.

  147. Sandy says:

    Still positive.
    Book man?
    Suggest “And The Land Lay Still” – James Robertson.
    The most apt title for the content of any book I’ve read.
    Especally the reference to the “murder” of Willie Macrae.


  148. Sharny Dubs says:

    Sorry not had time to read through all your posts though I’m sure they are incisive and intelligent, however having worked in the oil sector for years and now working in the freight forwarding business, we may be missing the point here. Lower oil prices equates to more usage equates to more global warming. We may win the battle of redistribution of wealth but loose the war at the cost of our increasing climate problems.

  149. Tackety Beets says:

    History Education in Prim Schools

    West Eiberdeenshire .
    During the 60’s , weekly @ circa 11 AM our Prim Head Techer tuned into a Radio Station (I assumed Radio Scotland?)for a 20 min broadcast on early Scottish History. This was followed by a 10 or 20 question test to see how much we had absorbed.

    I think it was a series that covered all the usual events Bannockburn, Killiecrankie etc etc. It’s lang syne so cannot comment on the accuracy of the broadcast detail.

    IMHO , he was a useless teacher overall. I’m now wondering if some posts above are correct , and I’m not doubting them, was our teacher defying instructions? If this “No history info pre 1707 ” existed why did these transmissions exist ?

    Ouch ! ” That’s nice”. SLab want to tax us an extra 1% !

    Born Free …. Taxed t Death !

  150. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Earlier in this thread the question was posed as to what was Scotland’s most-valuable export. The only answer given: “our children” has not been disputed.

    To illustrate this, our local newspaper: The Cumnock Chronicle last week ran a picture of the 1959 Cumnock Academy rugby First XV. There are 16 players in the picture; of whom, no less than nine now live in England, having gone there, either on leaving school – two, for instance, went straight to the Metropolitan Police as cadets, or on completing university.

    Of the remaining seven, only two still live in the Cumnock area, and only one of them actually worked in the area throughout his working life.

    Extrapolate that snapshot of the brightest and best from one school, across Scotland and I think you get the picture of life in the last 50-years.

    Back then, the local coal industry was still thriving, although the decline was about to start. Today, we have little or no local industry, I would suggest those locals who have jobs, by and large commute to elsewhere in Ayrshire: Ayr, Prestwick, Kilmarnock and Irvine, or to Glasgow and its environs, or, like the majority of that XV, they have left Scotland.

    We have to have independence, control of our own destiny, to avert this continuing.

  151. David Smith says:

    I’m just wondering if there is a truly definitive and accurate account in print of the events leading up to the 1707 Anschluss. I’d like to learn the whole sorry business word for word so I can bat down every patronising Unionist and Imperial Exceptionalist who throws the “Scotland was skint” fabrication in my face. I’m sick of hearing this rubbish from them and I feel the need to educate others as to the facts.
    In that sense, the list of figures telating to the late Victorian/Edwardian accounts for Scotland are also useful.
    What a shame we don’t have the same for more recent times. (Only half wondering why…)

  152. Still Positive. says:

    Socrates MacSporran @ 7.39

    You are so right – no coincidence that England’s population has grown so much more than ours since 1707.

    My eldest son went to work on a graduate training programme in the Civil Service in London and apart from 3 years back here more than 10 years ago he has lived almost half his life in England – the salary is 2/3 times what he would earn here.

    I have been on several Saga holidays and there is almost always ex-pat Scots on them who have lived in England for 30/40 years.

  153. sinky says:

    Nurses on minimum band £150 worse off under Labour’s income tax grab

  154. sinky says:

    Teachers £188 worse off under Labour’s tax grab.
    Income tax is a very blunt instrument and Labour’s rebate of £100 is taxable and Labour haven’t worked out their plans.

  155. Brian McHugh says:

    All council workers got a 1% pay ‘rise’ (cut really) this year… Labour want to even wipe that out.


  156. Golfnut says:

    @ David Smith.

    Scotland was not skint, anything but, England was however bankrupt, England would have been in no position to bail out a skint Scotland, it was and still is a pernicious lie.

    The Darien adventure however did place many Scottish nobles and merchants in serious financial difficulty with regards to loans taken out to finance Darien.

    Scotland’s difficulty lay in the provision of its military, which was provided by the armed and financed retinues of the nobles, similarly with the burgh’s.

    The Darien adventure left Scotland without it’s traditional and highly effective defensive structure.

    The Scots parliament’s solution was to initiate the creation of a standing army, this would have created a serious problem for the English parliament.

    The bullying tactics used by England were conducted at a time when England needed bailed out, and Scotland was at its most vulnerable.

  157. Ghillie says:

    Scotland’s greatest asset: OUR CHILDREN!

    Well said Socrates McSporran and others before.

    The ‘BRAIN DRAIN’ to wherever is in fact a modern day CLEARENCES.

    Somebody a few days ago commented that why doesn’t it strike us all as odd that parents proudly state that their son or daughter managed to get a ‘good’ job in London or somewhere far away from their roots?

    Travel can be a wonderful experience but not when there is no alternative.

    When moving far away is the only option for starting a career based on the excellent education and training our children have received here in Scotland then surely there is something very unbalanced that they cannot find suitable and attractive employment here.

    Why are wonderful opportunities for our children not as readily available here? (Yes, I know everyone here knows the answer to that!)

  158. Famous15 says:

    Dear Kezia

    Ye’r a wee scamp. I like that wee cheeky grin as you try anither ploy.Ask yer Mammy can ah come an play.


    Oor Willie

    Abodies Wullie

  159. Macart says:

    Anyone clocked the message du jour of Scotland’s Chumpion yet?

    I’d recommend sitting down first and placing sharp or heavy objects well out of reach.

    Facepalm and fail all in one.

  160. Nana says:


    I certainly did see it early this morn.
    I’ve calmed down now, well a wee bit.

    Here is Nicola’s response

  161. galamcennalath says:


    Yes. The idea that it is something is to be jointly deliver is so off-the-mark!

    Cameron alone has to deliver. Scottish Government pass judgement on whether it has actually been delivered and is acceptable, then accept.

  162. call me dave says:

    Kezia’s big idea will disappear by bedtime into the toy cupboard and be swapped with something else by next week.

    Moray council not to defy the council tax freeze and the hike of 18% will not proceed, Swinney breathes a sigh of relief 🙂 🙂

    Call Kaye giving it large…

  163. Macart says:


    Its a beaut isn’t it Nana? Yeah, also clocked the FMs response.

    I’ll maybe save comment till later on. I reckon the Rev or Paul may just have found a topic in that howler.


  164. Macart says:


    Pretty much, but then the Record are looking for a get out of jail free card here.

    Strangely, I can’t see folk forgetting who sold them on ‘the vow’.

  165. galamcennalath says:

    The mission of the media in the UK is to always seek out the answers to the wrong questions.

    That way, the right questions never need to be answered.

  166. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Just a wee thocht Ah had a meenit or twa ago, but, might UKOK be the greatest manifestation yet of “The Stockholm Syndrome”?

  167. galamcennalath says:


    … nor telling the public it had already been delivered.

  168. Luigi says:

    Aye, after the great “Vow” betrayal, the Daily record now warning someone else not to “fail Scotland” really takes the biscuit. There are so many light years beyond the joke. Have the people forgotten already? Well we will find out in May. Another GIRUY on the way, methinks.

    RIP Faily Record, it won’t be long now. The great pain you feel will soon be over. Oblivion is bliss. Tick tock. 🙂

  169. Hamish McTavish says:

    @fireproofjim yesterday 7:52pm

    Thanks for that information. I had vague recollections of that being the case but couldn’t quite remember.

  170. Luigi says:

    galamcennalath says:
    2 February, 2016 at 9:32 am

    The mission of the media in the UK is to always seek out the answers to the wrong questions.

    That way, the right questions never need to be answered.

    Or, put another way:

    Always seek the truth, unless it is inconvenient to the establishment. In such circumstances you must avoid it like the plague – your future knighthood depends on it.

  171. Breastplate says:

    @ Socrates MacSporran, yes, I always thought that most of the Nawbags were afflicted by that particular syndrome.
    Weak minded gullible fools who believe every utterance of The Establishment.

  172. Helena Brown says:

    Nana, thank you so much for you links, the one from Facebook was utterly horrible, for Mother and Daughter to have to struggle with what they are without financial support, words fail me.
    Macart, we laughed like a drain at Kezia’s (Labour’s)announcement this morning. They want the SNP to put a penny on tax, they won’t be doing it but if the SNP fail to do so, they will be screaming whilst if the SNP were as daft as they are, the population would be screaming. You have to laugh other wise you would cry.

  173. Macart says:


    Yeah, heard about that and had a bit of smile myself. Sooooo basically they’ve shaken the APD money tree omnishambles for every soundbite and now its the old penny on tax bollox. They really did have to look down the back of the sofa for that one.

    Thank Gawd we’ll see the back of most of these buffoons in May. They really should leave governance to the grown ups.

  174. Bob Mack says:

    The whole thing is utterly bizarre. It is like your neighbour pleading with you to take over most of his or her run down garden, then demanding you pay to have it landscaped.

    It is little wonder we now call them Yooners. They are literally losing touch with reality. Thus far at least, the Scottish Government have avoided every trap laid to ensnare them further in the Union. This whole nonsense is such a trap, and they are annoyed that we will not willingly fall into it head first. What bait will be next?

    Well played SNP.

  175. steveasaneilean says:

    The SNP are right to resist tax rises under the current set up as it disproportionately hits the less well off under the current arrangements.

    There are currently 3 tax bands – 20p, 40p and 45p. Under the current arrangements if you increase one band you have to increase them all by the same amount.

    Let’s say SG wanted to hit the well off a bit harder so they up the top rate to 50p. In so doing they would also have to increase the other two rates by 5p to 25p and 45p.

    So the top rate of tax would have been increased relatively by 11%. The middle rate by 12.5% and the bottom rate by 20%.

    That’s simply not fair.

  176. Molly says:

    ah The Daily Record. Which one of them is the expert in finance, negotiating a deal , understanding the economic impact on Scotland and the rest of the U.K.?

    Is this their crass attempt to put pressure on the Scottish Govt just to sign away any benefit to Scotland in securing the best financial framework to go forward?

    The DR should stick to what it does best- the telly page .

    As for Kezia 1p tax. So it mitigates the Council tax, despite councils sitting on 1.8 billion in reserves?

    The services are still being cut .

    I believe the Council tax accounts for 12% of a councils budget so what are they going to do about the other 88% if your 1p is used for the council tax?

    Perhaps we should wait until we KNOW what we can do before jumping the gun .

    The Daily Record, dont ever play poker, you’ve as transparent as George Osbournes sincerity .

  177. Nana says:


    You are welcome, sometimes I swither about whether or not to post some of these truly despicable stories and then I think well the more folk read what the tories are doing then hopefully less people will vote for them.

    Being a realist I know fine there are plenty out there only to happy to see others suffer, those who are too blinkered, unable to see what illness or joblessness may be around the corner ready to bring them down & out.

  178. Ken500 says:

    Scottish Oil sector tax 60%. Oil price has fallen 75%. Google pay 3% tax.

    Labour/Unionists want to put up tax in Scotland to pay for Trident/illegal wars, tax evasion and banking fraud. The Unionist councils complain about cuts. They voted for cuts from Westminster. Vote No you get nothing. Austerity.

  179. yesindyref2 says:

    We all have the choice whether to click the links or not, or have a quick look and not read – the links are very useful.

  180. Robert Peffers says:

    @woosie says: 1 February, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    ” … But the vast majority of voters in Scotland wanted to hear the Yes side say we’ll have our own currency, we won’t depend on oil, all pensions are guaranteed”

    Just for starters, Woosie, that, “vast majority”, is an exaggeration. It was a very close run thing. You only need half of the difference between the two to break even. That is if 2.5% had come over to YES it would have been 50%/50%.

    Next up is the simple fact that many voters seem incapable of seeing the big picture. They are focused on the fine details. Every thing you mentioned as the swing factors is factually totally irrelevant.

    Our own currency is the Pound Sterling every bit as much as it is England’s. The Union is of only two Kingdoms, not four countries, and the two signatories are equally sovereign partners.

    As for the oil & gas, Scotland gets none of it as it all goes to Westminster but, upon independence, 95% of the current UK oil & gas revenues would accrue geographically to Scotland.

    Now to further illustrate my point of the general public, “not seeing the wood for the trees”, (and being led by the nose to do so by the Establishment propaganda machine), I point you to BBC Radio Scotland this very morning.

    The subject pushed down listeners throats is the Labour led idea of a penny increase, across the board, for Scots only, on income tax. Let us look at that complete and utter idiocy for a moment.

    It is being laughingly attributed as stemming from that font of clear and accurate thinking, Kezia Dugdale, but is quite obviously straight from the Establishment think tanks of the Westminster Blue/Red/Yellow Tory cabal.

    Here’s the simple and factual truth of the matter. At this very time we have our own John Swinney in talks with the present representatives of the Westminster Unionist Cabal on the matter of what funding would be Scotland’s fair share of what UK revenues should be returned to Scotland in future.

    You need not have a brilliant intellect to figure out that if the Scottish Government are then having to increase any form of taxation to compensate for Westminster’s austerity policies then the proposed share of the UK’s funding for Scotland cannot be a fair share because the UK’s own statistics prove that the Scottish per capita GDP is higher than both that of England alone and the UK as a whole.

    Thus the fact is, on a per capita basis, each Scot contributes more to the UK than we get back and we should not need to increase taxation only for Scots if we get a fair settlement of UK resources.

    You should know by now, Woosie, that Labour are unable to either think or act without, “Their Master’s Voice”, sounding in their ear all the way from the Westminster cabal.

  181. galamcennalath says:

    Nana says:

    “Being a realist I know fine there are plenty out there only to happy to see others suffer”

    Indeed. We usually stereotype them as No voting, Tory voting, till-death-BritNats. However, the truth may be more complicated and depressing. There are literally ‘plenty’ who put themselves first to the exclusion of others, with different affiliations,

    As always, though, we only need to open the eyes of some to the realities of Tory austerity and Indy as the only practical solution to that. Some with be persuaded to Indy in disgust, while others will need to be persuaded with appeals to their self interest!

  182. Hamish McTavish says:

    @Macart 10:05

    I wouldn’t be too sure about losing the numpties. Here’s the list of numpties that want to be on the list for SLab

    Recognise a few of those names? Failed MPs clamouring to get back on the bandwagon.

    I also note that Kezia is already guaranteed a top spot.

  183. Tam Jardine says:

    I don’t get this at all. Labour are essentially fully behind the tories austerity agenda (not talking rhetoric but the reality of their voting record at westminster).

    They are also firmly against devolution of meaningful powers to Scotland, again not their rhetoric but their voting record.

    Now they want to increase income tax in Scotland do to mitigate against the tory policies they backed.

    I am just a thick yes voter but why would I ever vote for labour when on every issue they come down against the best interests of my country?

    Whenever they push policies like this I ask (myself) if it’s such a good idea, why not go further- increase it by 2p or 3p?

    They see Scotland increasingly as a vassal state to be milked by Westminster and they are right- difference is that is the extent of their ambition for Scotland but it is not MY ambition.

  184. brian watters says:

    rest assured , there are very few countries who have the great advantage of the sophisticated design , engineering , construction and operating expertise that we have in this country. Those that do have anything approaching our level of expertise will guard it and treasure it for the huge economic and reputational benefits it brings their country internationally. Our Engineering companies and those Scots working in the Oil and Gas Industry around the world have the highest reputation and bring huge advantages to Scotland from international earnings , contacts and huge respect. Hopefully people on these pages wont fall for the “big lie” being peddled daily by the British media that the Oil industry is a mill stone around SCotlands neck. We’ve allowed our world class expertise in Steel , Coal , Shipbuilding and various other important industries to be stripped away whilst other European countries have successfuly retained them. If we now allow the same to happen to the Scottish Oil industry which has been built up over decades because of a no doubt short term drop in prices we probably dont deserve to be Independent

  185. While Scotland remains locked in this miserable Union, if it raises income tax by any amount, that same amount will be reduced through the Barnett formula.

    Thus, Scotland raises exactly the same money as before except an additional bureaucracy is now in place to administer it.

    And when the cost of that bureaucracy is factored in, the net effect is to reduce the amount of money available for exactly the type of programs Kezia “Dizzy” Dugdale keeps whining about on BBC Radio Shortbread.

    Remember the key words in the 3rd Report, 2015 (Session 4): New Powers for Scotland: An Interim Report on the Smith Commission and the UK Government’s Proposals

    Fiscal framework, institutional arrangements and the operation of ‘no detriment’

    144. Leaving aside the specific tax proposals and translation of the Smith Commission’s recommendation into draft legislation, the most significant issue that we took evidence on were the proposals for a new fiscal framework between the Scottish and UK Governments that would underpin this package of devolved powers. This includes the provisions on ‘no detriment’ arrangements.


    Perhaps Labour’s North British Accounting Unit, might care to explain how there can be “no detriment” when the folks in Scotland are asked to pay more in income tax than those in the remainder of the UK?

  186. TD says:

    Robert Peffers at 10:50 a.m.

    I think you are conflating at least two separate issues when you tell Woosie he is exaggerating. No doubt Woosie will clarify if I am wrong but I don’t think “the vast majority” to which he referred equates to the 55:45 majority in the referendum. I think his point is that “the vast majority” of people wanted simple clear messages about the economy, currency and pensions.

    Although I don’t think Woosie was referring to the 55:45 majority in the referendum, as you have raised it I need to correct your arithmetic. If 2.5% of voters changed their minds from No to Yes then that would make the result 52.5% No and 47.5% Yes – still a majority for No. You would need a net 5% of voters to change their minds from No to Yes to achieve 50:50.

    I’m afraid I also have to disagree with what you say about SLAB’s proposed penny increase in income tax. You say

    “…if the Scottish Government are then having to increase any form of taxation to compensate for Westminster’s austerity policies then the proposed share of the UK’s funding for Scotland cannot be a fair share….”

    I don’t think that is true. It could be that the Scottish people, through their government, choose to have higher levels of spending and taxation than the rest of the UK and that might be achieved through an increase in income tax. The fact of increased income tax would not of itself prove that Scotland was underfunded relative to the rest of the UK.

    Having said all that, I agree with you that the SLAB proposal is idiotic. Dugdale’s notion that she can compensate lower earners with a £100 bung administered by local authorities is lunacy. There is so much wrong with that I hardly know where to start – administrative cost, arbitrary cut off at £10K per annum, churning money round in circles for no good reason etc. I agree with John Swinney’s position that we should only tinker with income tax rates when we have full control of all rates, bands and allowances. The best way to achieve that of course is to be in charge of our own affairs i.e. independent. And the best way to achieve that is to vote SNP at every opportunity until indyref2.

  187. gus1940 says:

    Hamish McT at 11.06

    Clicking on the site in your comment I couldn’t help noticing the name Fiona Dugdale – Who She?

    It’s not as if Dugdale is a common surname.

  188. Robert Peffers says:

    @Chic McGregor says: 1 February, 2016 at 9:14 pm:

    “Furthermore, whereas Darien was on paper a reasonable business model which could have worked if the British crown had supported rather than undermined it”

    First of all, Chic, you say, “if the British crown had supported”, but there was no British Crown before 1706/7. In fact, Chic, The whole Darien Scheme was more a scam than a scheme. Look at the facts.

    The London Scot, William Paterson was previously, in London. in a still independent Kingdom of England, setting up the subscription scheme, (that led to the Bank of England’s beginnings), it was designed to bail out the English Treasury due to England having massive National Debts from all the wars they had been involved in over the, “English Navigation Acts” :-

    Here’s a clip from a modern take on those acts:-

    The Navigation Acts (1651, 1660) were acts of Parliament intended to promote the self-sufficiency of the British Empire by restricting colonial trade to England and decreasing dependence on foreign imported goods. The Navigation Act of 1651, aimed primarily at the Dutch, required all trade between England and the colonies to be carried in English or colonial vessels, resulting in the Anglo-Dutch War in 1652.

    You will note the modernn author is still using the British/English terms interchangeably as propaganda today as I have highlighted.

    There was never a British Empire as Britain has never been a single unitary government and in 1551/1660 Scotland & England were still independent kingdoms and the English Acts were actually applied against Scotland. It was thus then only an English Empire.

    It was because of this English only Empire that Scotland wanted her own colony at Darien.

    The idea being pushed to the Scottish investors was that a land route across the narrow isthmus at Darien would pay as it would eliminate the dangerous, “Round the Horn”, sea trip and the Scots would control World Trade with the, “ English only colonies.

    Then England, (now in cahoots with the Dutch), offered to put up 50% of the schemes funds. Only to withdraw after the scheme was well underway and could not be shelved.

    It was thus manipulated to be underfunded from the start by England. Then, of course we had the withdrawal of both the Royal Navy and Royal Soldiers support by the English Royals.

    Next up we have the same obvious English Crown agent, Paterson and his proven good friend Daniel Defoe up in Scotland setting up the Scots parliamentarians, (who were also the rich landowners investing in the Darien Scheme), for the Union of the Parliaments. Defoe has since been proven to have been an English Undercover agent and his letters back to Westminster telling of how he was influencing the Scots parliament still exist today.

    Add to that the English fleet anchored off Scotland and the English armies across the Scottish/English border and the whole plot falls into place.

    Not to mention that English armies were still murdering innocent Scots civilians, after Culloden, in 1745, almost 40 years after the so called Treaty of Union. It certainly doesn’t sound like an amiable treaty between equals to me.

  189. Fred says:

    There was a plan to form a union with the Dutch which would have given Scotland access to their colonies & allow the Dutch to develop Scotland’s herring fishery, unfortunately it came to naught. Glasgow’s tobacco traders were against the English union as they were doing very nicely trading illegally with the American colonies, offering better terms to the planters than the Bristol merchants and a shorter sailing time.

  190. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s one of the reasons I go on about people not thinking everyone should vote YES for unselfish reasons. I think it’s everyone’s right to put their own family and themselves before all else, because nobody else will. There’s no filthy rich person will come to our doors and say “I hear you’re a bit strapped for cash, here’s a couple of hundred pounds”. So we have to make sure we can meet our own bills first. And it’s not just NO voters who think like this, it’s YES voters as well, including me. Sadly I’m not wealthy – except in my own family 🙂

    More to the point is I don’t think we will be worse off, in fact I’m sure of it. There would be 2 or 3 years to settle in and turn the economy around to one that suits Scotland not the UK, but that’s what Government borrowing is for. In fact the EU used to give new member states a grant of £2 billion to see them through their initial membership stages – I doubt they do that now though!

    After those 2 or 3 years Scotland will become better off, oil or no oil, and that’s perhaps the easy part of the message we have to get across. The other part is to demonstrate how over those 2 or 3 years people won’t suffer, that’s the harder part. It’s the one the next YES – and SNP – and Scottish Government – will need to address more firmly and realistically. That’s what I got from a lot of NO voters, pre-ref and after the ref.

    They wanted to be told the risks and uncertainties, not have them glossed over with a wave of the hand “it’ll be alright on the night!”

  191. Petra says:

    @ woosie says at 5:46pm 01/02/16 …. ”There are many very intelligent, well-read posters on this site, providing insightful comments on economic and political fine points. But the vast majority of voters in Scotland wanted to hear the Yes side say we’ll have our own currency, we won’t depend on oil, all pensions are guaranteed. Indecision on these and other basic points probably cost us dear last time. Keep it simple. Fuck Them!”

    Exactly woosie. Most people who visit this site have a very good idea of what’s actually going on and hopefully circulate the information far and wide however for the best part the ordinary man / woman on the street wont have a clue. Wont have a clue because ScUM make a point of not informing them of the continued applications for licenses, Companies preparing to drill or Francisco Blanch’s (Bank of America Meryll Lynch) positive opinion of the oil ‘price plunge’. Many people are left thinking thank God I didn’t vote yes as we’d all be going down the swanee by now.

    ‘Total E&P UK has confirmed a new North Sea exploration bid.
    The French company said it will start drilling of the Sween exploration well in the third quarter of this year. A spokesperson for Total said the well is believed to hold up to 100million barrels of oil equivalent. The company made the announcement as Prime Minister David Cameron visited the company’s offices in Aberdeen (recently).’


    ‘Last year Us oil and gas company Apache said it had made significant discoveries in the North Sea in both the Beryl and Forties field which could up to 70million barrels of oil equivalent. The US explorer said two discoveries were made on two exploration wells in the Beryl area as well as further discovery 50 miles south of the company’s Forties field. Apache said it also drilled two development wells in the Beryl area from which no reserves have previously been booked.’

    We should think of getting information out there through leafleting and so on, imo, which covers McCrone, Stolen Seas, current Licensing rounds, Companies preparing to drill and data such as is outlined on here (Francisco Blanch’s opinion).

    Additionally to list Scotland’s assets / resources and highlight a number of other countries, in particular small, that are doing EXTREMELY well for themselves such as Denmark and Sweden.

    Landlocked Austria that has no oil.

    The densely populated Netherlands which ranks second worldwide (after the US) in relation to agricultural exports (exports earning them €80.7 billion in 2014) by supplying for example one-third of the world’s exports of chilis, tomatoes and cucumbers using around 4,000 greenhouses. Why not Scotland with land to spare?

    I reckon we should adopt this approach because we’ll never convince many prior no voters to vote yes next time round based on debate over the price of a barrel of oil. We have to offer some kind of proof of us being able to go it alone without oil revenue at all.

  192. Chic McGregor says:

    Robert, while the gist of the argument you make and have made many times, is correct I think you over-egg things just a little.

    After the Union of Crowns James VI & I could not get either parliament to agree that he be called King of Great Britain but he did give himself that title by royal proclamation even though he was told in no uncertain terms that he could not use that title in any official or legal capacity.

    A key point, no doubt. However, there was an entity called Britain before the Union of Crowns and used as such by the Makaris and others long before it. And after the Union of Crowns both the Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of England had a single joint monarch. In that context I feel the term British Crown is quite appropriate and does not imply that there was a British Empire at that stage.

    Royal administration in Scotland was conducted by a Scottish privy council which was often at loggerheads with the Scottish Parliament and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but nevertheless was a real and present vehicle of royal control.

    However and especially in regards to the process of colonisation, which is the subject at hand, Scotland had to get a charter from the joint King which they did, for example, for their first colony in North America in Nova Scotia, long before Darien.

    So especially for colonization matters the British Crown or Crown of both Kingdoms making up Great Britain if you prefer, was relevant.

    Furthermore, during the interregnum and under the Protectorate Scotland was annexed by England. First in a defacto manner by proclamation in 1652 and then formally by Act of Union in 1657. The Tender of Union Act was agreed to by the Scottish shires and the Scottish Parliament was closed down with Scotland being given 30 MPs at Westminster. This situation lasted until the Restoration of Charles II.

    During this period Scotland was formally annexed and incorporated into what they called the Commonwealth of England. (not an Empire because no king at that time).

    Perhaps the conflation of England/Britain by the author you quote was in regard to that.

    Luckily for Scotland Charles II was not minded like James VI & I or he would have probably left the two politically conjoined.

  193. woosie says:


    Thanks for that. I fear Robert Peffers, undoubtedly one of the most informed posters here, while disputing some of the content of my first post, actually goes on to typify my entire point.

    The vast majority ( I’m one of them ) want simple statements of intent. Too much analytical content can be misinterpreted by ukok media, and regurgitated as fearful soundbites which many accept as gospel.

  194. Cherry says:


    I followed your advice this morning and I downloaded the book The Land Lay Still by James Robertson…Will you explain to my poor hard-working husband why I haven’t cooked his tea or cleaned the house!!

    A really good read, thanks for the suggestion. I’m normally a murder/mystery girl but this is quite enthralling 🙂

  195. Christian Schmidt says:

    For what it is worth, there is an interesting theory that changes in oil prices are non-linear.

    Small-medium decreases in oil price are positive as consumers spend more on other goods while producers just save less.

    Large-huge decreases in oil prices are negative as consumers only spend some more (and increase their savings rate) while producers must reduce spend.

    If so the impact in Scotland (which has never managed to save any of the revenue, and is also a substantial consumer) may well not be positive at all – and may be even negative if there is a consequential slow down in use of renewables which are a major growth sector in the Scottish economy

  196. Colin says:

    Growth is net energy. From the burning of wood, coal in a steam engine, oil, internal combustion and the petrochem industry, our economic growth has been the suns energy in whatever concentrated form. Leveraging that energy has vastly improved the standard of life of the fortunate. We ran out of “cheap to get” oil towards the end of the 90s (arguable timeline) and have used debt to fund further extraction. I believe the MENA interventions of the USA and it’s allies were an attempt to provide security of cheap energy by regime change. These interventions failed and the US has subsequently increased it’s own energy supply by fracking (at some environmental cost). Where does this leave us? Chasing infinite growth on a finite earth.

    The link is long read. If you understand it can you write me a synopsis?

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