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Wings Over Scotland

Looks like we’ve slept in again

Posted on March 19, 2015 by

Sometimes the UK media is so soul-crushingly moronic, readers, that it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. Nevertheless, we’re pretty sure we haven’t nodded off and woken up in 2017, so today’s papers must be even more idiotic than usual.



That’s the left-wing Mirror and the right-wing Telegraph both singing/gloating from the same songsheet this morning over some revised figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility about oil revenue. Here’s the Telegraph:

“The extraordinary extent to which the SNP inflated North Sea oil revenues during the independence referendum has been disclosed by official figures predicting they will be more than 90 per cent lower than the Nationalists claimed.

Now let’s phrase that story another way:

“The Office for Budget Responsibility has replaced one guess about future oil revenues with a different one, admitting that it got the last figures wrong, because it was no better at foreseeing the oil price collapse than anyone else.

But regardless of the fact that they didn’t see it coming, we’ve decided to treat their new guess as a definitive fact, even though in reality the oil price could double, triple, or even halve again between now and 2017. Absolutely nobody knows, and the new figure is exactly as meaningless as the old one.”

(The OBR’s December estimate, buried deep down at the bottom of both stories, was £2.4bn – so it was itself out by a whopping 300% compared to what it now says, yet we’re instructed to treat its new guess as gospel truth carved in stone.)

And here’s the Mirror’s stat-crunching “Ampp3d” spin-off spluttering incredulously:


“What will actually happen”? You call yourself a statistical watchdog and yet you’re treating a prediction of oil prices two years from now – when nobody can reliably predict the oil price two WEEKS from now – as a fact? Seriously?

(We’re not even going to get into the fact that the oil price fall was recently shown to create other benefits in the economy which outweigh the loss in tax revenue, and that most oil companies are still planning for growth, let alone that Alistair Darling has described the “impartial” OBR as “part of the Conservative Party”.)

Still, we’re not alone. The predictions are for 2016/17, which makes the Telegraph’s strapline reference to “next year” a curious one. Financial years start in April, so we’re still in 2014/15, and “next year” will be 2015/16. Maybe they think they’ve slept in too.

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  1. 19 03 15 12:23

    Looks like we've slept in again | Politics Scot...

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170 to “Looks like we’ve slept in again”

  1. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

    Excellent, as usual!

  2. Lesley-Anne says:

    I’m guessing that this is the same OBR that has NEVER even been close to getting any figures it produces thinks up close to the REAL figures.

    When you want completely off the wall sets of figures about anything that bear no relation to reality who you gonna call … O.B.R.! 😀

  3. Croompenstein says:

    Did Flipper not tell us the oil would run out in 2017? 🙂

  4. Training Day says:

    SNP BAD?

  5. heedtracker says:

    If Scots oil is worthless, give us it back.

    It all shows how insanely desperate our chums in the south are to stop Scotland taking control of the Scottish economy. Red tory twits like Libby Carrell of rancid Guardian are going vote NO crazy, 6 months after they won the ref.

    UKOK Unionists are weird.

  6. Capella says:

    It’s the “impartial” bit about the OBR which was created in 2010 by George Osborne that I particularly like, composed of civil service wonks, from the IFS etc.

    But they are so right. Oil is a curse and we have no idea how to manage it. I bet Norway is depressed about not having the UK Treasury managing it’s measly oil income.

  7. K1 says:

    They ‘won’ the referendum, why are these stories still relevant? It’s just big bad SNP all the live long day for these rags, still trying to ‘steady the horses’, justifying the No vote?

    Listen to the voters who voted No reciting this for the forseeable, over and over again, that’ll be the echo chamber the Alexander and his ilk favour.

    Honestly, do they sit around in a cupboard working out how they can use any old statistic that the OBR throw out to undermine ‘what would have happened if’. Is that the only thing they have left?

    Recycling the same old shit, doesn’t make it any less than the original shit it was. All this shows as you say, is that they have rearranged their ‘estimates’. It tells us the sum total of zero about the future and what may have occured if we were independent.

    Why can’t they just leave it alone, we’ve moved on. Time they did too!

  8. The Man in the Jar says:

    That will be the unionists hymn sheet sorted for the next couple of weeks then.

    I predict that over the course of the next two months I will hear the phrase “Thirteen Times” 2,597 times! 😉

  9. Murray McCallum says:

    I suspect an independent Scotland’s reaction to this would include (1) tax breaks to the industry to ensure ongoing investment and (2) issue government debt.

    Exactly what the UK government are doing now. Option 3 would have included drawing on a Sovereign Oil Fund but alas the UK has never had a “long term economic plan” despite harping on about one.

    Regards forecasts, didn’t the UK Treasury and various impartial economic experts forecast back in 2010 that the UK budget deficit would have been eliminated by now? Didn’t they say that the UK national debt would be reducing? Instead we have coming on for £1.5 trillion of national debt.

    Now that *is* a big number.

  10. MajorBloodnok says:

    Imagine it was gold instead of oil they were talking about. Would they still be able to scare people this way?

    But really, the SNP based its predictions on the OBR’s figures and now the OBR has changed its figures so it’s not the SNP that got the prediction wrong, but the OBR.

    But hey, there is an election coming up and they want to remind Scots that we are, as usual, worthless.

  11. Lollysmum says:

    They also conveniently ignore the fact that the White Paper on Independence took the oil figures from UK government’s published projections but hey that’s a minor point isn’t it? NOT.

    Why are they not castigating UK Gov for getting it’s projections wrong & thus spreading disinformation.

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “But really, the SNP based its predictions on the OBR’s figures”

    Um, I don’t think they have.

  13. sydthesnake says:

    Mirror/Telegraph say no more
    it must be true then, NOT, if they told me it was raining I would still look out the window to check


  14. G H Graham says:

    That the entire business of predicting oil prices is about as reliable as a torn condom is neither here nor there.

    The London based media have a job to do; maintain the cosy Establishment status quo. And use whatever means, including waffle rich propaganda, to prevent the democratic will of the people of Scotland from having ANY real influence in Westminster.

    The real story then, is that Britain pretends to be an open & fair democracy even while it uses the power of the print & broadcast media to attenuate the aspirations of about 1/3rd of its own electorate.

  15. Valerie says:

    We know Scotland voted No, and anything that can be fabricated to continue ramming it in, is worth a punt. If it’s not racist cartoons, then it’s this garbage about oil.

    Cheap oil is down to lots of global factors, and I’m pretty sure part of it is to put a spoke in the wheel of the frackers.

    BTW, please try and attend the local tradeshows by Ineos coming next month to try and sell us snake oil, and offer us beads, in exchange for our health and environment. This is important, people, as we remain part of the UK.

  16. Doug Daniel says:

    The thing is, people still believe this guff. While door-chapping the other day, I came across a guy giving it the usual “your economic argument was completely based on oil” – this is a guy who’s voted SNP in the past couple of local elections, and whose wife is apparently SNP to the bone. It’s an idea that just refuses to shift itself from folk’s minds.

    Sometimes I wonder if the oil isn’t so much a bonus, but more of a curse…

  17. mogabee says:

    Well the OBR is only parroting what it’s master wants it to…

    Isn’t that right Georgie boy?

  18. Peter Sneddon says:

    It’s concerted and it’s pure propaganda, these people have us all down for gullible guppies, though sadly some avid Daily Record types might actually swallow this bilge, it’s not only here, I lived in The Netherlands for a few years and also a year in Copenhagen and still have friends there and it’s the same story, the press and media going insanely to the right, no one allowed to stray of narrative which is set and controlled completely by the media to suit a right wing agenda, I’m not one for conspiracy theories but this gang are starting to scare me a wee bit.

  19. David Braidwood says:

    Isn’t it also true that the new figure takes account of the reduction in taxation from yesterday’s Budget. That was a drop from 30% to 20%. That will drop revenue by a third by itself, so how the Scottish Government could include that I don’t know (unless they’re skills run to clairvoyance).

  20. galamcennalath says:

    Drip, drip, drip of Unionist propaganda.

    Tick, tock, tick, tock of time the Union has left.

  21. Capella says:

    “Almost all this work is focused on the public finances at a UK?wide level. But the Government has also asked us to forecast the Scottish receipts for four taxes that it plans to devolve to the Scottish Government from April 2015 onwards – namely
    income tax, stamp duty land tax, landfill tax and the aggregates levy.
    We have been publishing these forecasts since March 2012, alongside our UK revenue forecasts.”

    From their May 2013 lecture page 7. George Osborne must be psychic!

  22. Tattie-bogle says:

    by the time i finish writing this my pants will have fallen down. Damn it never happened

  23. Midgehunter says:

    Lets all play “Guess the revenue” for 2015 – 2020.

    Everyone send in a number which we’ll add together and divide by the number of left-handed sheep in Perthshire.

    The OBR will be really, really proud. 🙂

  24. Helena Brown says:

    Well those independent bodies who actually work for the Tory Party are so non Political are they not, so we are supposed to swallow what ever they say.
    Now petrol was at it’s lowest at the pumps somewhere around £106.7 at my local Asda, now at £108.7 and rising, saw it yesterday at the Maybury in Edinburgh at £110.9.
    I so agree how can they possibly know what the price of a barrel will be even tomorrow. This is a diminishing resource, the only way it will go is up.

  25. Stoker says:

    Unionists = Born & Bred liars.

  26. CyberNiall says:

    Should that be AMPP3D, instead of AMP33D?

  27. CyberNiall says:


  28. Colin Church says:

    The SNP uses multiple sources and then come up with a decent figure as a projection, Everyone gets it wrong but = SNP bad / incompetent.

    GMS uses budget to re fight the IndyRef in an atracious interview with Swinney. All the doom and gloom (oil revenue hole) belongs to SNP and all the “good” bits (political freebies) Scotland couldn’t do without UK broad shoulders.

    You didn’t sleep in but went into Project Fear Hottub Time Machine.

  29. callum says:

    It’s in Scotland’s interests to leave as much of our natural resources untapped whilst we’re part of the union.

  30. Capella says:

    @ Helena Brown one way they know what the oil price will do is to make a deal with Saudi Arabia to flood the market so that the price falls. Previously, Saudi used to cut production when there was a glut to keep the price stable. It suits our Imperial Masters now to collapse the oil price as that hits Russia, Venezuela and Iran (and Scotland too but that’s OK because it gives consumers a price cut before the election and provides some handy pre-election propaganda to bash the SNP since they are never party to these deeply devious international pacts).


  31. X_Sticks says:

    SNP incompetent SNP incompetent SNP incompetent SNP incompetent SNP incompetent SNP incompetent SNP etc etc.

    Seems to be the MSM cry. Trying to undermine the SNP’s high confidence ratings in the polls?

    Some may be fooled by this propaganda, but I suspect more may be questioning the truthfulness of the MSM.

  32. Lesley-Anne says:

    MajorBloodnok says:

    Imagine it was gold instead of oil they were talking about. Would they still be able to scare people this way?


    We have GOLD?

    But I thought oor wee Gordie Broon sold most of it off to help oot his new bestest friends over in the U.S.A. in 1997. I didn’t know we actually had any left over. WOW! 😀

  33. gordoz says:


    Well said sir !
    (Been my thoughts on the matter for years)

  34. nodrog says:

    Oh great so they will have no problem handing over that burden for us to carry on our own??? Aye that’l be right!!!!

  35. Grouse Beater says:

    Yes, the right wing Scotland haters (and that includes Labour and BBC now making the same statement) will have a field day with those latest ephemeral figures, just as they keep saying we’d be bankrupt if we had relied on oil, as if oil was the entire edifice of an independent Scottish economy, not the dividend we had hoped to secure.

    Love their attitude:

    Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, but not really.

  36. Thepnr says:

    As recently as July 2011 the OBR were forecasting oil and gas receipts from Corporation tax for 2015/16 of £9.5 Billion.

    Total receipts would include the petroleum revenue tax which would add a further £1 Billion as a minimum.

    Their latest “forecast” proves that they overestimated O&G receipts compared with their guesstimate less that 4 years ago by a factor of 17!

  37. Onwards says:

    The fact the oil price is volatile shows exactly why an oil fund was so sensible.

    It makes me laugh that unionists are now using oil as a weapon. Norway has built up a £600 billion oil fund, whereas Scotland has a huge share of debt.

    That’s the price for lack of control.

    Of course, one strategy for keeping Scotland in the union, is to never let Scotland get ahead.
    The UK government WANTS Scotland to be subsidised.

  38. HandandShrimp says:

    Commodity prices fluctuate but the oil will be there for decades. We were not planning to be independent for just one year (15/16). I think the screaming headlines reveal more the panic that exists the breastie of the Unionist mouse than anything relevant they have to say about the OBR, oil or the SNP.

  39. Buster Bloggs says:

    Lets hope the polls are correct and Scotland has truly woken up to Unionism, first step kick every single Unionist out of Scotland come GE15, only then will we be on the road to Independence.

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    Saudis aver the price won’t stay low for long, and they deny the conventional view that they lowered the cost to undermine the fracking industry.

    It’s my personal opinion that they did lower cost per barrel for that reason; has to be in their long-term interest to make fracking financially worthless.

    Officially they use the excuse recession lessened demand.

  41. Dcanmore says:

    It’s the fallacy being sold that Scotland solely relies on oil to exist. This is what people are being told to believe, take the oil away and Scotland’s economy turns to dust, so important is that message then the oil must be managed by Westminster and therefore Scotland can’t risk being independent.

    This is how an utterly pathetic a side of the Scottish electorate think, the MSM knows this and so the propaganda war continues to be waged by the newspapers to try and keep the population in the dark ages. This is nothing short of a betrayal, the cold hard manipulation of people made to feel they are not supposed to think above their Wellington boots… think like pleb, work like pleb, vote like a pleb.

  42. Lesley-Anne says:

    Sorry for O/T so early but just read this unbelievable tweet from BBC Cumbria.

    A “major incident” has been declared at the Cumberland Infirmary because they have run out of beds.

    I guess this is what comes from us all being Better Together then.

  43. wull says:

    I typed ‘OBR oil and gas predictions’ into google search and a letter came up from the OBR addressed to Kenneth Gibson MSP, sent in July 2014. It is very revealing.

    The OBR clearly admits how difficult it is to predict oil and gas prices, while all the same trying to justify revisions it had just made to its own previous incorrect forecasts.

    These revised forecasts of mid-2014 still look wildly wrong in view of today’s actual prices. I doubt if any OBR prediction, or revised prediction, has ever proved correct.

    The letter to Kenneth Gibson therefore serves only to confirm that the whole (futile) exercise is pure guesswork. It demonstrates that all such predictions – especially (though not uniquely) from the OBR – should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

    Since the OBR have never got it right in the past, there is no reason to suppose they have got it right now.

    The reference below might also bring up the same letter:

  44. icyspark says:

    Scotland’s GDP per capita without oil is typically 99% of the rest of the UK.

    Oil is a bonus.

  45. Ken500 says:

    Can these ‘financial journalists?’ no read.

    Osbourne in a deliberate act to muck up the Scottish economy, put Oil tax revenues up 11% (£2Billion) a year (up to 80%) in the 2011 Budget. This cost Scotland £4Billion a year in lost revenues. In total £16Billion. Now workers are losing their jobs because of the fall in Oil revenues. Osbourne has only cut the Oil tax the 10% increased in 2011. Osbourne is deliberately trying to wreck the Scottish economy, as the Unionists do. The Oil companies who donated £Millions to the Tories and supported NO are extremely misguided. Scotland would be £10Billion better off with fiscal autonomy/Independent.

    Scotland still raises £54Billion in taxes. (Pro rata more) The UK raises £466Billion. The rest of the UK raises £412Billion (+borrows and spends £90Billion). Westminster, associates and multinationals tax evade through the City of London. Westminster sanctions the vulnerable and starves them to death.

  46. Looks like the media have got Mystic Meg back on the payroll

  47. osakisushi says:

    “when nobody can reliably predict the oil price two WEEKS from now”

    This turns out NOT to be the case. But when I warned the YES people the price of Brent was going to an initial 70 with secondary 53 USD, the only email reply was “This is not helpful”
    Which was strange, because my prior warning of a coming Sterling / USD movement had been paid attention to. Though I am still aghast at the manual manipulation which was required two weeks prior to the referendum.
    No prizes – my job is price future analyst and I like to think I don’t suck at it.

  48. frankieboy says:

    O.B.R. Olways Bloody Rong (see what I did there?)
    Isn’t the Treasury supposed to be the responsible for the Budget?

  49. Al Dossary says:

    I always have a little chuckle to myself at figures like these mainly down to how naive the government has been and the fact that we, the populace take the figures at face value.

    Much was made last year of the record investment in the North sea by various companies. I would bet my life that each and every one of them have reviewed their investments for this year and next, and brought forward the costing of some of their projects underway so they can publish a “loss” or at least a dip in profits for this year. This they can write off to shareholders and Westmonster as being due to the low oil price. Further projects will be pushed back by 6-18 months (same as happened in 2008) whilst only those projects currently underway will continue.

    Osborne has just now given them their reward by cutting the tax rates, and you can be guarenteed that next year they will be announcing record profits again with the lower tax rates.

    The last figures I saw for the UK oil industry was for an average production cost of around 18 GBP for the UK. That stil leaves plenty of room for profit.

    Hell I can remember being on the Beatrice platform back around 2002 when Talisman were announcing that providing oil stayed above $24 a barrel they were viable till at least 2014.

    Ironically whilst all of the operators whine about the rate of tax they have to pay, you have the likes of Shell and BP in Iraq building production facilities and wells for the Iraqi’s – all the while taking only $2 per barrel from the Iraqi’s (the $2 per barrel is working out at around 11% return on investment).

    Gadaffi prior to his de-throning had extacted similar deals with the oil majors whereby they were receiving as little as 10% of all oil produced for their troubles.

  50. caz-m says:

    The Rev is right,

    Low Oil prices generate income in other ways. Low transport costs reduce prices in shops and other outlets. Low oil prices reduce the price you pay for your fuel. So there is a bit of a feel good factor to low oil prices.

    This leads to higher revenue being created, leading to more taxes being paid. Low inflation lets you buy more for your pound.

    A low oil price has it’s good points.

    So, be careful what you wish for, because very high oil prices give you the opposite of the above.

    I hope the Scottish Government can get a positive spin put on these oil prices, otherwise the enemy are going to hit you with it time after time.

    Tell them of the good things that a low oil price can bring AND remind them that oil is NOT our only source of income.

    I thought John Swinney stuttered his way through his answer this morning on GMS, must do better John.

  51. Alan Johnston says:

    The white paper oil revenues were estimated from the OBR EFO Mar 2013. In Dec 2014 the EFO predicted £3.5-3.8 billion and now they say 0.7 to 0.8.
    In any case oil is only 15% of Scottish revenue. We would still be reasonably well off.

  52. grahamlive says:

    Blair McDougall ejaculating with joy about this on my Twitter timeline yesterday, (thanks Daisley). Honestly, all the oil in the North sea could turn to cat piss on the stroke of midnight tonight, and I still wouldn’t vote for his rancid party.

  53. Socrates MacSporran says:

    We are always being told: “Scotland’s greatest export has been its people” – the displaced, cleared Highlanders, who emigrated to and built-up Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; the many Scots who went out to administer the British Empire in all five continents; the doctors, engineers and scientists from our universities who saw greater advantage in moving abroad.

    If this is correct, and how can it not be, then, we must accept, those of us who stayed must include the less-ambitious, the not-so-driven, those who are happy with, if not mediocrity, then with burbling along.

    If so-many of our best have gone, even if they have only taken the High Road South, then, we must assume, the native stock left at home is maybe not the very best. We might surmise, there has been a dilution of the quality of the breeding stock we have kept in Scotland.

    That just might be a reason why we have, for so long, given our votes to the Unionist parties who now seem intent on crushing the last drops of Caledonian courage from us, who revel in keeping us down, and treating us as whinging, welfare-dependant subsidy junky “Sweaty Socks”.

    This General Election, on the back of the 45% backing for Independence, the “Sweaties” are kicking-up a stink which our Imperial Masters in the south do not like one little bit.

    So, like all bullies, they are threatening, blustering and will use every dirty trick in the book to best us. But, this time, at long last, Scotland is standing-up for itself and, kour Imperial Masters are very worried indeed.

    We have to keep pushing. They will let us go eventually, but, if it is left up to them, that will not happen until the day after the last barrel of Scottish oil comes ashore. We cannot, for the sake of our children, allow that to happen.

    One can only hope a strong detachment of SNP MPs will so-sicken the Westminster elite, they will consider it a good move to let us have independence, sooner rather than later.

  54. msean says:

    Again,after the referendum,we have learned to not trust any figures from the UK government. With the main parties state anything,there is always another narrative.

  55. Grouse Beater says:

    But when I warned the YES people the price of Brent was going to an initial 70 with secondary 53 USD, the only email reply was “This is not helpful”

    Don’t praise your self just yet.

    After all, it was not because you were concerned about Scotland’s economic health. And you were oblivious the oil was to be used as a windfall, a dividend.

    There were many on the Yes side stating oil prices were volatile. Swinney said so in many an interview.

    The Yes campaign didn’t need a self-appointed Messiah to state the obvious. More than that, with USA, UK and Canada chasing oil from fracking as if there’s no tomorrow, the Saudi’s made plain they would not sit back and have their income undermined.

  56. Desimond says:

    Its okay though, all those mansions being taxed in England will still see us get 1000 more nurses even if the SNP cant afford any nurses of their own!

  57. gordoz says:

    The sad fact remains that within this political system, people can say what they like (true or not) unchallenged by weak media(or state controlled media).

    They can also do it 1 or 20% (SNP) against 4 or 80%LAB/TORY/LIB/UKIP times within every story or % airtime.

    And don’t even bother with STV/ITV or the papers.

    I know Unionists who just chuckle over this and feel no disquiet at all; because its a mechanism that’s serving their ‘right and just’ Union.

    Its clever or sneaky anyway you look at it and it works sadly; lets face it.

    The BBC remains the biggest threat to democracy – not what LAB / Tory say or do.

  58. Legerwood says:

    Quote: The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look good.
    J K Galbraith

  59. Karmanaut says:

    They were super quick to revise their oil revenue forecasts based on the budget.

    Or else they had the new forecasts all ready to go out to the press.

  60. G H Graham says:


    What will the price of Brent Crude be on 27th August 2015?

    Or the medium sour Dubai Crude on 16th February 2016?

    How about WTI (West Texas Intermediate) on polling day in May?

  61. Will Podmore says:

    Agreed, forecasts are not worth the paper they’re written on. But hasn’t actual oil output fallen recently? Haven’t oil revenues fallen recently? Yes, oil is a bonus, but still a pretty handy one to have.

  62. liz says:

    I really wish we had never discovered oil.

    It is used constantly to beat us over the head and we spend too much time refuting the figures.

    I think the SG need to come up with a projected spend excluding all oil revenues.

    Twitter was full of ecstatic BritNats yesterday, delighted at the fall in oil price, even though as we know Scotland has 99% UK GDP without oil and we don’t even know how much of our own revenue is hidden within the UK revenue.

    We would not be spending money renewing trident, how hard is it to see that.

    According to Douglas Fraser, Scotland is having £5.4bn removed from next year’s block grant.

    Sometimes I feel so depressed at the blind irrational delight some of our own country folk have at our possible failure.

  63. Free Scotland says:

    Odious Bunch of Rogues

  64. heedtracker says:

    The SUN front page is worth seeing/gagging on today with very creepy vote red/blue tory changes for their Scotland region. Its easy to write off UKOK unionist “journos” as a bunch of joyless reprobates and red /blue tory running dogs, like say at the Daily Record, but Murdoch really has the hots for Cameron and Osborne. Christ knows what uncle Rupert alone says to these clowns to make them debase themselves so hard.

    Come back Steve Bell. We thought you were as low as you can go but no.

    SLabour cant say Murdoch has SNP in his pocket today.

  65. Fiona says:

    @ Will Podmore

    Any income which comes from oil could be a bonus: but in fact it is not a bonus under current arrangements.

    A bonus should be used constructively: create an oil fund like Norway: invest in green infrastructure; any number of things

    When it is used to pay for current consumption, which arose because real productive industries were destroyed on the back of profit for the elite, it is not a bonus. It is the opposite, because it disguises the state of the real economy and the adverse effects on the people across the whole of the UK.

    This is where we are.

  66. scottieDog says:

    I believe oil is a curse in a way. It’s probably one of the main reasons the UK pulled so many strings to persuade people to stay in the uk. It’s monetary value is not so important – as we have seen and as we see with gold, it’s value can be manipulated.

    More important are it’s BTUs. Nothing else can touch the black stuff in terms of it’s energy intensity. It is physical and finite.

    People are still duped by the ‘value’ of the the city. There’s still this inability to see the difference between debt and wealth. So many are beholden to the printing of Fiat money as debt and calling it an economy. It’s quite incredible.

    someone once scoffed at me in the lead up to indyref – they asked what are you going to have as capital – water? I said , try asking a californian that question.

  67. Joemcg says:

    If every Scot shat gold bars out of their anus the unionists would say “it’s worthless because they are Scottish bumholes,English ones are far superior”

  68. Craig P says:

    I am intrigued by the stat that Scotland’s GDP per head without oil is 99% of UK GDP per head.

    In this stat, does UK GDP include oil?

    As a realistic comparison can only be made if neither set of GDP per head includes oil.

  69. Ken500 says:

    There is a solution to fund and vote SNP. The only way to protect Scottish services and Scotland. Vote NO you get nothing.

  70. call me dave says:

    What ever the value of oil ‘£Xbn’ it is worth more to the population of Scotland and it’s government (whatever colour that is).

    63M in the UK and 6M in Scotland go figure!

    Had a nice chap at the door a few minutes ago for the Fife Kinglassie and Glenrothes West by-election in a few weeks.

    I was polite, took his leaflet, and told him I was voting for my local SNP candidate. He was a tory. Hard ground in Fife for them.

    It seems that I am better of than I was before under the new budget, don’t need to fill in an annual tax form every year although there is an on-line thing to do and my meagre savings will not be taxed in future. Add that to my personal allowance moving up by £400 over the next two years and I’m holding my own. (no jokes please)

    Hey wait tory candidate maybe I should call him back!

    Oh wait… £30bn of unspecified cuts and some neighbours here on low wages and no savings + food banks etc etc. Labour party no better as they are mainly for ‘hard working people and f@@k the rest. What choice eh?

    I’ll stick with the SNP meanwhile! Roll on the general election.


  71. david agnew says:

    Also has to be said. They won the referendum. Scotland is still part of the union and the union is still getting the lions share of the oil money. Which means this price collapse should be of more concern to them than what it means for a hypothetical independent Scotland.

    Lastly they used their nuclear option last year with the currency veto. Didn’t do anything except to narrow the gap between yes and no.

  72. msean says:

    Agreed liz @ 11:51,can’t believe some folks delight at the oil price. Even if you believe in unionism,a low oil price hurts the uk also,so not a laughing matter at all.

  73. Dandy Dons 1903 says:

    Lies and statistics though in the OBRs case its all lies. We know your game unionists you have tried this nonsense before during the indyref some may have bought it, but dont expect it to work again. You can only cry wolf so many times before folk start ignoring you.

  74. Grizzle McPuss says:

    Move over Mystic Meg, we’ve got the OBR to help predict everything now.

    Lottery Syndicate anyone?

  75. Effijy says:

    OBR- Orifice for Biased Rabblerousing.

    If they had the slightest clue about oil, we could have made a fortune tying up lucrative contracts to sell off Scotland’s oil, just before the price collapsed, but we didn’t do this as their blindfold and pin never landed on
    that particular guess.

    How could Scotland have survived this fluctuation if it had been independent? Perhaps we could have adopted similar policies to our Irish neighbours, who have the fastest growing economy in Europe, again, and do not have enough of their own oil to fill up a moped?

    As posted earlier, Better Together assured us that the oil is just about to run out and the price per barrel is next to nothing.
    They really should just hand the North Sea back to Scotland and save themselves all his hassle stealing it.

  76. scottieDog says:

    Interestingly what was the oil price when labour and it’s fellow hawks in the states were invading Iraq?
    About 30USD a barrel. Seems like a lot of trouble to go to over such a poorly valued commodity.

  77. Helena Brown says:

    Capella, my understanding was that Saudi Arabia and those others were happy to reduce the price of oil on a temporary basis for one very good reason, that the US would discontinue fracking. The US were happy because it made things difficult for Russia, and of course the UK being about as stupid an administration thought, well we will make the Jocks look back. Considering what we get from our resources I doubt we even noticed.
    I heard this morning on Radio 4 that it would be cataclysmic for the SNP to hold the balance of power in Westminster. So that is us put firmly back in our place, not. We are so powerful apparently that the value of the pound would drop. Not bad for a country which is completely worthless.
    I did tell my friend in Arizona that she should have a word with her financial advisor who advised that if Scotland left the Union the value of investments would fall, now we just never worried enough about this did we.

  78. muttley79 says:


    I really wish we had never discovered oil.

    Don’t, why do you think we are where we are, having just failed to win an independence referendum? The discovery of the North Sea oil was a tremendous boost to the SNP in the early 1970s, and the independence cause in general. In fact, it has also illustrated for us for decades the Scottish cringe in action, whereby unionists in Scotland have decreed and denigrated what should be a massive benefit to the nation.

  79. Karmanaut says:

    Labour are now starting their full-on assault against FFA for Scotland, which they are now claiming could only be possible with a high oil price.

    Some old, same old.

    If that’s the best they’ve got – an argument that could only convince the truly stupid – then this is good news.

    Of course, the flipside of that argument is that if you believe it, then you must believe that Scotland is indeed “a mendicant nation” as McTernan says.

    “You are beggars and that’s what you’ll always be.”

    Not exactly inspiring stuff.

  80. Helena Brown says:

    scottieDog, Scotland and Oil a curse, yes I agree, been saying that for years. We might have got our independence without it. I also agree about the water, mind that will become a curse if we do not get the hell out of this Union.

  81. Silver19 says:

    @scottieDog according to this site oil hit low of $16.09 a barrel in December 1998.

  82. bookie from hell says:

    Jamie Ross ?twitter

    Apparently Neil Lennon was a Yes voter. #SalmondsBook

  83. osakisushi says:

    G H Graham
    Perhaps you are being willfully stupid, perhaps not. Out of interest, what is your profession as I’m sure you must be incompetent at it as you are quick to judge me without seeking any proof.

    The harsh reality with Brent Crude is simple. If it trades above USD63 it moves into a zone with a target USD77. Importantly though, only once above USD70 can it be regarded as recovering. More likely, if it now starts trading below USD47, it is going to an initial USD40 with ultimate – hopefully – as USD 31

    US Crude – if it starts trading above 57 will also give early warning of coming growth but similar to Brent, it needs better 70 to move out of the drop zone.

  84. Effijy says:

    I recall Alex Salmond using figures from Ian Woods report
    on the oil industry dated February 2014.

    Woods himself suggested, and I did read the report, that there were 24 Billion Barrels of oil still to be recovered from Scottish waters.

    A an Knighted Millionaire and seated in the Elitists must rule camp, he entered the debate to say the figure was nonsense and a Max of 16 Million Barrels remained.

    Major headlines demonising Alex, but NO one reported Alex’s retort that his was using Wood’s own latest figures.

    Thank God for this site to offer some form of reality to our lives!

    I see the media as an enormous torch shined into the eyes
    of the electorate with a reassuring voice that they are standing in paradise.

    Surly we know that if the media is going to print a meaningful story,it must be corrupt and biased or they are missing their raison detre.

  85. Desimond says:

    Seems George Osborne and Fiscal Studies mob cant agree on current Govt savings achieved via recent cuts. This is an actual hard calculated figure yet they are billions apart in their end figures.

    If so called experts cant even work a calculator, what chance is there that finger in the air guesstimates are gonna be in the right area!

  86. Dal Riata says:

    “The impartial Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)”

    That’s ‘impartial’ as in BBC Scotland, the Daily Record, Mail, Guardian, Telegraph, Mirror, Express, Independent, Times and Press & Journal-impartial, then…

    The UK’s MSM is a corrupted British state organ-of-establishment-propaganda, which, under various guises, such as pretending to be ‘left-leaning’ a la Guardian and Mirror, and ‘balanced’ a la Independent, in reality, when push comes to shove ie in the ‘National Emergency’ situation of Scotland becoming independent or even just sending a sizeable number of SNP MPs to Westminster, will transmogrify into one gigantic organism of rightwing plague cast upon everyone’s house.

  87. G H Graham says:

    Leaving aside the income raised from taxing oil for a moment, the price of oil at any price is almost meaningless, unless the country that produced it never used any of it but instead exported it all.

    That of course never happens, so who benefits when its cheap and who benefits when its not?

    Well, when the wholesale price is low, the margins are also low, so few drillers want to incur huge costs, especially when speculating because the loss risk is higher. But industrial & retail consumers enjoy a lower energy cost, leaving money to spend on something else.

    When its high, the wholesale margin is improved which encourages exploration for otherwise, less productive wells. This keeps drillers busy so they employ lots of people and pay them handsomely.

    But energy users get thumped with huge energy bills making the cost of production & consumption, much higher.

    When the government gets involved, it can actually benefit regardless. When prices are low, it receives less taxes from the oil companies but more from the increase in consumer demand for other things like cars or washing machines.

    If the government is clever, it can balance this equation so no matter what happens, it always receives a nominal income from oil directly or indirectly. That would be one job of the Exchequer.

    To condense the price argument to a simple, “low oil prices are bad”, is an admission of a poor understanding of the economy & how government extracts income from it.

  88. galamcennalath says:

    For Scotland oil is win win.

    As has been pointed out when prices are low this has beneficial effects on the economy by lowing energy costs. Every oil consuming country wins.

    When prices are high, oil producing countries get a bonus with oil income. We win, again.

    I haven’t got a clue about the economic equations, however, when oil prices are high it will suppress the economies of non producers. This will effect world trade. Scotland is an exporter. This makes for a bit of complicated situation.

    So it might not be as simple as … Oil prices high good, prices low bad. To my mind, Scotland needs a firm mixed economic basis regardless of what oil does. I think we have that … or without WM mismanagement, we would definitely have a stable economy.

  89. BOB Mooney says:

    I am sorry to let you all know that you are wasting your time over Brent crude future prices as you should all know that ,according to our better’s down south, the North Sea oil ran out 20 years ago!

  90. Dandy Dons 1903 says:

    Said it all along we are nothing but a colonial cashcow for them nothing more clearer than that. Godspeed the SNP and out of this wicked union asap.

  91. Dorothy Devine says:

    Someone suggested that the Westminster liars are terrified of the SNP getting their hands on real gov figures and some interesting blackmail material of those who have done wrong but are protected by the whips as long as they do what they are told.

    I thought it a little extreme at the time of reading but I am reconsidering that position.

    My interest was ever piqued by George Robertson/Tony Blair slapping a ” D ” notice on Dunblane for 100 years – somewhat excessive I’m thinking.
    Just what were they sweeping under that very large carpet and could a large contingent of SNP MPs unravel the mystery?

    Perhaps it would be possible to ask the great conspiracy theorist Lord Robertson for his reasoning. There again his reasoning was more than a little defective regarding a YES vote.

  92. osakisushi says:

    This link is to an article when Brent was trading at 85. I think it does indeed predict what happened.

  93. ian says:

    Its strange why they are still so desperate to hang onto us when they could’nt get rid of southern Ireland quick enough and are devolving everything they can to northern Ireland.We are in such a mess economicaly why not do the same with us. It must be the undying love they have for us and the need to protect us to small to poor and to stupid scots.

  94. scotspine says:

    I was talking to an OIM yesterday (that’s Offshore Installation Manager – the guy actually in charge of operations on an Oil Rig. Someone who actually knows what he is talking about rather than statisticians sitting in an office somewhere.

    He said that there is a lot of hype about the low oil price at the moment and that this has happened before, with an eventual rise in the price.

    He also said that there will be a lot of investment and exploration / drilling happening soon, as now is the time to do it when things are cheap.

    He also confirmed that there is a strong belief that there is A LOT of oil west of Shetland. It is just technology that needs to catch up in order to extract it economically. Mainly due to weather and sea conditions.

    On a personal level, if the oil in the North Sea dried up tomorrow I wouldn’t care. We can manage without it and as sure as eggs is eggs, we would be papped out of this Union double quick anyway as our usefulness would be over.

  95. Lesley-Anne says:

    Dorothy Devine says:

    My interest was ever piqued by George Robertson/Tony Blair slapping a ” D ” notice on Dunblane for 100 years – somewhat excessive I’m thinking.
    Just what were they sweeping under that very large carpet and could a large contingent of SNP MPs unravel the mystery?

    I find that astonishing Dorothy.

    As you say, WHAT exactly are they trying to cover up with this “D” notice?

    This was a horrendous crime and everything about it should be in the open to ensure nothing approaching this ever happens again. With this “D” notice thingy hanging around then there is a chance it could happen again. No matter how slim the chance that may be it is too fat a chance for me and no doubt especially for everyone in Dunblane.

  96. orri says:

    The indications are that Devo-Max is what they’re desperately trying to prevent. Some recent headlines even use it. They know exactly what was promised in order to stop the vote being a YES. They deliberately withheld the chance to vote for Devo-Max. for instance. If they are desperately trying to prevent it and turn opinion against it before it’s even been revealed as a part of the SNP manifesto then I guess it’s either out of the goodness of their hearts or they know that an SNP elected with that as part of their manifesto will have every right to force the issue.

  97. G H Graham says:


    I simply asked you for a forecast for 3 types of crude. In response, I received a puerile insult intertwined with commodities gibberish.

    Aside from a guesstimate/guidance, a price rise/fall in any commodity at any moment in time cannot be used to accurately predict a price/fall at anytime in the future.

    This must be true, otherwise everyone could accurately predict a future price for anything. But since every market can only operate when there is a price/value differential, it cannot possibly work.

    Meanwhile, I’ll leave the judgment of my incompetence to my shareholders, not some anonymous schoolboy.

  98. galamcennalath says:

    Dorothy Devine says:
    “My interest was ever piqued by George Robertson/Tony Blair slapping a ” D ” notice on Dunblane for 100 years – somewhat excessive I’m thinking.”

    I didn’t know that.

    WM stinks!

  99. Dandy Dons 1903 says:

    Lord Georgie obviously has some secrets he would like hidden, like did he know Thomas Hamilton personally? And much more regarding the Dunblane killer.

    Westminster is a cesspit…….

  100. YESGUY says:

    I know there are folk out there who will fall for this shit but surely they are a minority. most of us know the score now. This is just a ramped up version of “Project Fear” which we are used to by now.

    Springs in the air. lets get out there and keep talking and correcting the lies. Remember the pensioners who are the real targets for this shite.

    keep everyone up to date and ensure EVERYONE votes.

    Job done.

    No more LIEbour in Scotland independence will come once we lose the shackles. Take heart that we didn’t fold up and go away after the ref.

    The numbers energised by the result are working hard to ensure that we win this one.

    Bus passes and free care. That’s a biggie for the pensioners.

    I hate Labour so much i would rather vote tory than these buggers.

    Tick tock labour.

    And patience Wingers. the polls show we are storming away. If the polls were opposite then yes we should worry. Folk are fed up with the constant negativity. It does the enemy no good but they don’t know how to change.

    May is part month


  101. Bill Steele says:

    It’s just a move in the Project Fear campaign.

  102. scunner says:

    God that Telegraph comments page is a dark dark place.

    Same old faces, personal attacks, Britnat Jingoism, frothing-mouthed anger.
    Same arguments – “we vastly more intelligent No voters saved your bacon”, “Scots hate English”, “English hate Scots”, “subsidy junkies” “Please Leave – we’ll be better off”, “37% Yes”…

    All the same old BS flowing since the 19th Sept…

    And yet, Why can’t I resist scrolling through when all it does is raise the blood pressure?

    O/T anyone concerned about the “Silent Majority” this time around?

  103. Proud Cybernat says:

    From the McCrone Report:

    So far all that Minister have said is that they expect North Sea oil to be yielding 70-100m. tons of oil per annum by 1980 and that on that basis the Government revenue from rent and royalties from the whole of the Continental Shelf including the gas fields in the southern sector may be of the order of £100m. per annum at that time… The SNP countered these figures by claiming that North Sea oil should by 1980 be yielding a Government rev enue of approximately £800m.

    ..The DTI estimates of last summer showed that total Government revenue following adoption of these measures would have been between £800m and £1,200m a year in 1980 depending on the system used and the prices prevailing in 1980; today, following the huge increase in international oil prices of recent months the corresponding figures are in the range of £1,500m to over £3,000m. Thus, all that is wrong now with the SNP estimate is that it is far too low…

    In short–UK Govt. downplayed Scotland’s oil wealth in 1980. The SNP claimed the UK Govt figures were wrong. The SNP was right but even the SNP underestimated Scotland’s oil wealth.

    UK Govt doing the same again today. And the SNP will ne proven right again. Some things never change. Let’s make the UK establishment pay in May.

  104. Luigi says:

    Dandy Dons 1903 says:
    19 March, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Lord Georgie obviously has some secrets he would like hidden, like did he know Thomas Hamilton personally? And much more regarding the Dunblane killer.

    Westminster is a cesspit…….

    The problem for the establishment is that, with social media, it is becoming more and more difficult to hide inconvenient truths. Massive backhanders, threats to police officers and knighthoods and shiny medals for newspaper editors just don;t work they way they used to. The dam is about to burst and many NO voters are going to be absolutely disgusted at what they voted to retain last September. It’s only a matter of time. It’s coming for a’ that – the truth!

    Tick, tick….

  105. MochaChoca says:

    “Scotland has 99% UK GDP without oil”

    As far as I’m aware this stat, give or take a percent or two is correct.

    However, what makes this remarkable is that our GDP per capita can be at this level when the efforts of almost 10% of our workforce (and arguably that is the most productive 10%) are engaged in an industry which is expressly excluded from the figure.

    In other words, to glean an accurate GDP per capita excluding oil, you would also have to exclude the approx 200k oil workers and their dependents from the population figure by which you divide the GDP figure to get the per capita figure.

  106. CameronB Brodie says:

    Look. It’s the wrong kind of oil, so lets just give it to England and be shot of it. What price Scotland’s right to be valued and to receive ethical treatment, a.k.a. dignity?

  107. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Just bought Alex Salmond’s referendum book on Kindle for about £7.00

  108. Dave says:

    lol. If someone were to say ‘I think my fictional prediction is better than your fictional prediction’, could we tell which side they were on?

  109. Proud Cybernat says:

    The truth looks more like this:

  110. HandandShrimp says:

    It does seem that there are two or three battles being fought at the moment. The GE, Holyrood 2016, and FFA/Smith.

    In particular, Labour seem to confuse these boundaries regularly and one suspects they are hoping to confuse the electorate. We need to keep spelling out the differences and calling them out for the bare faced lies and hypocrisy over their referendum NHS line and their GE NHS line.

  111. carjamtic says:

    When making the decision to vote for someone in an election/referendum,the decision,I will argue is more than a simple economic one,no matter how will some will frame it,,(no one has a crystal ball and as we all are aware financial markets are unpredictable,particularly in the short term.)

    The real decision should be based on people and what they believe in,every voter wants to vote the right way,no one knowingly votes for the wrong person.

    Getting it wrong is not a crime,however all things being equal,we will get the MP we deserve,all we can do is carry out due diligence and cast our vote.

    Warning !! Due diligence is the key,if not carried out correctly you may kick yourself later,do not rely solely on Newspapers and Television check all sources of information,Internet, books,word of mouth etc.,you may find you can afford something better.

    Upgrade yourself – Vote SNP

  112. Alan McHarg says:

    They are just trying to reassure the “NO” voter that they made the right decision and entrenching them in their position of ignorance and selfishness. Those of us that educated ourselves before/during the referendum know it to be pure propaganda and complete bollocks. They are trying to undermine the SNP’s economic argument and stem the flow of wavering “NO’s” to SNP/Green/SSP etc.

    We need to get the message out that oil is just a bonus, however SCOTLAND is the prize!

  113. manandboy says:

    With the rise in their propaganda,
    there is a matching rise in their desperation.

    Westminster is standing in a pool of diahorrea.
    They’ve seen the future without Scotland
    and they’re shitting themselves.

    Right now, Scotland’s greatest need is nerve.

    Tragically, the Referendum showed that nerve and
    large groups of the electorate don’t go together.

    One bribe from a suited up Westminster politician
    and many simply bow in apologetic subservience.

    However, since it takes time to grow a backbone,
    we might just grow enough to see us through this
    and the following two years.

    I don’t see Indy any sooner.

  114. Richard Taylor says:

    What I love about this is that the Office for Budget Responsibility – set up by the current Conservative Government and only existing under that Government – has again been touted as ‘an independent watchdog’.

  115. Stoker says:


    I’m from the Dave M Hill school of thought.

    I think we should be formulating our own proof that we can survive comfortably, as a country, without the oil and selling that idea to the electorate.

    And clearly demonstrating that the oil truly is a bonus and that one day it WILL expire, say in a 100 years or so, or we might end up having no use for it, whatever comes first.

  116. manandboy says:

    Which reminds me.

    The ongoing Independence campaign is like
    two climbers, roped together,
    about to tackle a very big rock face.

    The one with the yes badge on starts up the face.
    He gets about 20 metres up, when he turns round
    to see if his climbing partner is ready,
    only to find him liberally applying Vaseline
    to his hands, to save his skin.

    One does what one can.

  117. Stoker says:

    The Rev writes:
    “Looks like we’ve slept in again”

    Well, just add a new alarm clock to that shopping list Rev.

    I’m sure the spare change will take care of it.

  118. Midgehunter says:

    Why all the fuss about oil prices?

    Darling informed us all during the REF. that there would be no more oil in a couple of years.

    We at least would be working in a country with the same GPD as London, have vast renewable energy, lots of water, food and drink sectors etc.etc. Oil is a bonus, that bit extra for us.

    And we would be working to make Scotland a great place to live in.

    The rUK would be bust.

  119. arthur thomson says:

    WTF I am so disappointed at people trying to put forward rational argument against the garbage put out by MSM. The only issue is whether people will be gullible enough and weak enough to be influenced. We can’t do anything about that except to tell people that they are being lied to and leave it to them. It is a big ask for some people to cope with the onslaught that is being targeted at them. Come the GE we will know how many have had the courage to vote for change. We have to be ready to play the hand we have been dealt whatever the outcome.

  120. carjamtic says:

    OBR-Fit for purpose ?

    Back in 2011 we could explain the government’s spending assumption in our EFO [economic and fiscal outlook] in just 29 words,” he told reporters.

    “It has now become so complicated that it requires 428 words.”

    If you read through it, it is pretty difficult to get your head round, with lots of detail about whether or not it is taking into account the “life-length of roads” and “depreciation for Network Rail”.

    And the problem is that what the government puts in its spending assumption is really important. At the moment, we only have detailed spending plans for the first year of the next parliament. We’re relying on the spending assumption to work out spending in the other four.

    “It’s unfortunate that this assumption has become so complex and opaque because in an era of fiscally neutral Budget and Autumn Statement scorecards it’s become the main mechanism by which the government achieves the outcomes for the Budget balance that it wants to see across the forecast,” Robert Chote said.

    The OBR report shows that the impact of changes to Budget measures are absolutely dwarfed by the effect of changes to the spending assumption.

    In other words, most of the movements in the forecast come from a complicated set of assumptions for years in which there are no proper spending plans.

    And to have the head of the OBR condemning parts of the process as “opaque” is a real problem for the government, which created the OBR to become more transparent and prevent governments from fiddling the figures.

  121. Alastair Watson says:

    I feel sorry for the people writing these incredibly inaccurate story s
    It cannot be easy to live life and be comfortable and happy in yourself
    When you create such nonsense and lies on a daily basis
    Shame on you

  122. osakisushi says:

    G H Graham

    Perhaps you will do better to return to the Daily Mail comments section as it seems you dislike facts.

    Perhaps an ‘ignore’ feature would be of use in the comments section.

  123. Ken500 says:

    Westminster Unionists are trying to make sure there is no Oil production left, to try and destroy the Scottish economy. What new? They have being doing this since 1707 and lying about it. Their raison d’être.

    Unionists Parties supported by Hedge Funds

    SNP supported by the People.

  124. Iian More says:

    Oil crises! What oil crises? Petrol up again this week I see! Oh I get it lets not let reality get in the way of an SNP are evil story.

  125. Now's the Hour says:

    That means that Murphy would have overestimated it by 13,000%.

  126. Thepnr says:


    Here are the facts:

    The OBR overestimated revenues from North Sea Oil and Gas for 2015/16 by a factor of 18 as recently as March 2011 compared to their latest “revision”.

    The simple truth is that their is no soothsayer who can predict anything, a forecast is no better than a best guess.

    Check page 103 of the latter where in total Oil and Gas revenues are predicted to be £11.1 Billion next year. Oh dear.

  127. BOB Mooney says:

    Scottish Labour are getting desperate _ just got an email looking for donations.

    As a major complainer to both my Labour MP &MSP theory are not reading my emails.

    They asked why I unsubscribed from their email list I said Jim Murphy _ no reply.

  128. Aspen says:

    We have something far more precious than oil, it is ofcourse water. Reading “Private Island” by James Meek he lists the extent of privatisation which has taken place in the UK. Royal Mail, Railways, water supplies, electricity, sale of council houses and creeping NHS take overs, any asset WM can get its hands on to raise some cash, nearly all are now in the hands of other countries. Remember the Welsh Valley they flooded to supply water to Leeds? A National grid for water will be in the future planning under “Caring and Sharing”

  129. velofello says:


    Scotland’s GDP ( arguably a flawed assessment equation) is comparable to the UK’s. North Sea oil and gas is excluded from Scotland’s GDP -but included in the UK’s?

    N Sea oil and gas would add circa 16% to Scotland’s earnings, and boost the GDP.

    An independent Scotland could locate the oil and gas design and finance industry, currently languishing in London (why?) to any of Scotland’s cities and create high earnings employment.

    Believe me, I’ve been there, I’ve had to endure the tossers with no real related experience in the oil and gas industry. Inflated salaries due to post code agency employment practises. Higher the candidate’s salary…

    Hey you benefit partakers what austerity sauce would you like your on your chips? Tory Blue or Labour Red?

    I say Sir and Madam, the London finance casino roulette is about to spin again, on the red or Blue? Everyone a winner!

    Nicola nailed it today, for austerity, vote Labour or Tory.

  130. Caroline Corfield says:

    Aspen, the valley supplied Liverpool. Yorkshire was in fact notorious for having too port water by tanker during a drought.

    There has been talk of running water pipelines along railway lines, can you imagine the overspend they could generate?

  131. Ronbon says:

    Robert Chote, Head of the OBR is married to Sharon White, Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury. Says it all really!

  132. Fireproofjim says:

    We could sell our surplus water if we were independent.
    There was a scheme some years ago to utilise the canal system of England to transport water from Scotland to the dry South East, but it would need a big and long connecting pipeline to the nearest English canal which is probably about Lancashire.

  133. Harry McAye says:

    You Tube – Dunblane Conspiracy.

    Plenty of allegations there re George Robertson.

  134. gus1940 says:

    Aspen mentions the sale of council houses.

    Is it or is it not the case that all of the proceeds from the sale of council houses went straight to The Treasury at WM?

    If it is the case surely, given the high % of council housing in Scotland, this must be one of the greatest examples of Scotland being asset stripped.

    Does anybody have the numbers and amount involved?

    I see that our pals at PQ have decide that the most important thing that has happened today is Nicola suspending the SNP membership of the nutter who made a homophobic twitter attack on Ruth Davidson.

    With going on for 100k members surely it is inevitable that the SNP will include a few nutters in that number – but of course none of the other parties have members or supporters who pour similar abuse on Nicola and other SNP members.

    I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s Record and the inevitable hysterical coverage of this matter.

  135. nycgype says:

    I’m going to be generous to @osakisushi. Of course there are oil analyst’s who apply a variety of different models to try to determine future oil prices. They are vital to oil companies so that the can hedge risk but are also used by hedge funds and commodities traders to try and profit from price movements.

    By successfully applying these models you will most likely have a better chance of more accurately predicting price movements than others, often, but not all of the time. The longer the time frame the much less accurate they become. If decent at your job you will also be able to identify key price levels at which trading models and market psychology kicks in.

    All that said, the biggest enemy of any market analyst is hubris (which you appear to have an abundance of). While your models may indeed give you a better shot at estimating more likely future prices that is all it can do. If you could indeed accurately predict the price of oil on a continual basis you would be a very wealthy man (or Bernie Madoff). When you bake in the geo political variances that have nothing to do with supply and demand your modeling can’t account for unknown events.

    I don’t mind you making an estimation based on your own experience and skill. You may be right. Equally you may be wrong. Analysts and professional investors are quite often wrong in their predictions and you should qualify your statement as a prediction rather present them as facts. Professionally your barely disguised self indulgence will come back to bite you severely one day when the market moves against your prediction.

  136. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Dandy Dons 1903, Lesley-Anne, Dorothy Devine.

    Your comments are interesting. I was doing some lazy Googling recently following another comment on this site about the BBC and paedophilia and it seems it was George Robertson who granted Thomas Hamilton, the Dunblane murderer, his gun licence, after the local police refused it owing to concerns about his behaviour with boys.

    Rumours about Hamilton’s involvement at the Queen Victoria School and a paedophile ring involving the Edinburgh (mainly legal) establishment have circulated for a long time and you can follow a maze of accusations involving many famous names in Scottish society and beyond on-line.The big question is why a 100 year investigative ban was slapped on this dreadful incident. I am sure the last people in the thoughts of the government were the families of the murdered children and staff.

    Self-preservation as usual for The Establishment: their hysterical reaction to the possible appearance of a cadre of SNP MPs may indeed be prompted by fears of what principled and decent people might do were they to see WM secrets.

  137. Thepnr says:


    Well said, believing in your own ability to predict the future often means you fail to see your own downfall.

    I’m sure that osakisushi is confident in his own abilities and believes he is better than most at guessing what will happen next. However his coat is on a shoggly peg when it comes to predicting Scotlands future.

  138. Rob James says:

    They certainly seemed to go to extraordinary lengths to keep us during the referendum, followed by extraordinary lengths to shit all over us. Now they appear to have changed tack again, So despite the oil being at such a low price and their claims that there is not too much left, why don’t they just dump us?

    I read an article a while back which I cannot seem to trace, regarding reports by the British Geological Survey drilling exploration in the Hebridean Shelf and the Hatton/Rockall Basin. They suggested that the latter contained the largest oil reserve on the planet.(larger than Saudi reserves)

    Now that could be a small indicator to their desire to hold on to us. I will keep searching for info, but if anyone in the oil industry could shed some light, it might prove helpful.

  139. nycgype says:

    For what it’s worth, here are my predictions…

    If the price of oil declines further the OBR along with everyone else will revise their estimates lower.

    If the price of oil rises the OBR along with everyone else will revise their estimates higher.

    I’ve just saved everyone, particularly the overworked, independent and respected OBR a whole lot of time.

  140. Rab.c says:

    Why should £600,000,000/year oil revenue in an independent Scotland be a problem. How much do you think we get as part of the UK. That’s right, about £600,000,000, after London has taken it’s
    11/12th share. THEIR PROBLEM NOT OURS

  141. Fireproofjim says:

    Rob James
    You are correct re the “Rockall Basin”.
    The survey which you mention said that the basin could contain massive reserves of oil, but until some exploration drilling takes place we won’t know. The government have not licenced any drilling. Perhaps they want to keep it quiet.
    Similarly, BP a carried out seismic exploration in the Firth of Clyde and wanted to drill on promising prospects, but the Government stopped them as it would interfere with Trident submarines operations.

  142. I’ve just phoned the SNP and asked them what will happen in the St Johnstone vs St Mirren game on Saturday.

    Not only were they unable to tell me who would score the goals and when, they confessed to not even knowing what the final score would be.

    How can they be riding so high in the polls, whilst displaying such a blatant inability to tell the future?

  143. r esquierdo says:

    Batten down the hatches a massive storm is brewing

  144. Big Jock says:

    I thought Swinney was quite weak in defending himself on GMS this morning. His answer should have been simple. We didn’t vote for independence so stop trying to rerun the Referendum Gary. Secondly had we voted for independence it would not have happened till 2017. So the oil price right now is not relevant. Are you telling me it will be this price in two years Gary. The price is rising as we speak.

  145. Fred says:

    @Aspen, James Meek’s “The Leopard”, also worth a read.

  146. Wuffing Dug says:

    More pish. Stroll on. Reading this and seeing what’s going on in the industry reminds me of a quote from apocalypse now;

    ‘the bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam, you needed wings to stay above it’

    The bullshit piles up so fast in the oil industry and the msm you need wos to stay above it.


  147. Wuffing Dug says:

    I’m another one that didn’t know about the Dunblane D notice.

    Yes, the dam will burst soon. Too many people chipping away at it. 100 year non disclosure? WTF

  148. Effijy says:

    Lesley-Anne says:
    19 March, 2015 at 1:01 pm
    Dorothy Devine says:

    My interest was ever piqued by George Robertson/Tony Blair slapping a ” D ” notice on Dunblane for 100 years – somewhat excessive I’m thinking.
    Just what were they sweeping under that very large carpet and could a large contingent of SNP MPs unravel the mystery?

    I find that astonishing Dorothy.

    As you say, WHAT exactly are they trying to cover up with this “D” notice?

    Look at Guido Fawkes web site. they claim that Robertson forced police to give them murderer a fire arms certificate.
    Hamilton also seems to have managed to buy a yacht worth a fortune, although he had no money and the yacht should have been sold at a public proceeds of crime auction, but it wasn’t???

    Why would you force a gun license on a known creep?
    Where did he get thousands of pounds he didn’t earn?
    Who took the yacht illegally out of the auction and sold it cheap
    Why should the truth be buried by Blair for 100 years?
    Why do we need to stand for another cover up by the lowest low scum of the earth?

  149. Effijy says:

    Blue Tory budget by Osborne-

    We are standing on the decks of the Titanic discussing the surprise delivery of free ice, while the ship is fatally
    holed below the water-line?

    How can Osborne be giving us anything when the bottom line is that we, the general public, have to lose another £30 Billion after 7 years of sever Austerity cuts????????

    Red and Blue Tories first to the only lifeboats we have!!!!!!!!

  150. G4jeepers says:

    Och well, at least it’s the end of the world tomorrow…

  151. Big Jock says:

    Why has Ruth Davidson chosen to highlight one bigot in the SNP. She said she gets several abusive tweets a day. Like most MSP’s she gets abuse. Like most of us on here we have all been abused.

    I am quite sure that she gets abuse from other people and other party members. Remember Sturgeon and Salmond get death threats! The media are all over this story. Of course we condemn it . But let’s not pretend the media are highlighting this abuse out of the good of their hearts. It comes in light of an MEP being exposed as a racist.

    Sturgeon puts up with abuse from the national press never mind eejits with a keyboard. The SNP is an inclusive party. I seem to remember the same stories appearing during the referendum. I smell a rat.

  152. stewartb says:

    So much nonsense on oil & gas in the MSM sources above!

    In 2014 the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change published a report entitled ‘DECC Fossil Fuel Price Projections’. It projection of the oil price one year ahead (i.e. for 2015) lay between 89.2 and 122.7 US Dollars. Its ‘central projection’ shows a progressive rise to 2035 when the price reaches c.135 US Dollars.

    The following are extracts from a Bloomberg View article dated 7.11.14 entitled: “Why oil prices may shoot back up.”

    1. ’Price forecasts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have never been particularly reliable, so it’s easy to dismiss the latest one — a “constant nominal price of $110 per barrel of crude oil until the end of this decade, and $177 by 2040.”

    2. ‘It is, however, worth listening to OPEC secretary general Abdalla El-Badri when he says speculators played a major role in oil’s recent spectacular slump, and prices may rise again next year.’

    3. ‘OPEC has been publishing its World Oil Outlook since 2007. That first report assumed $50-$60 per barrel of OPEC oil until 2030. Then prices rocketed to $141 and dropped to $33 in 2008, as the global financial crisis developed. In 2010, OPEC predicted a price level of $70-$80 until 2020, but that forecast has been blown out of the water. In the last four years, the average price has been above $100.’

    4. ‘As Vagit Alekperov, the founder of the Russian oil giant Lukoil, once remarked, “The price is from God.” Too many factors affect supply and demand for the most ambitious analyst to build a reliable model.’

    In the forward to BP’s World Energy Report published in February of this year, Bob Dudley, CEO states:

    “At a time when our industry is focused on the rapid response to a dramatic fall in oil prices, it is instructive to look at events from a longer term perspective.

    Today’s turbulence is a return to business-as-usual. Continuous change is the norm in our industry. The energy mix changes. The balance of demand shifts. New sources of energy emerge, such as shale gas, tight oil, ultra-deepwater oil or renewables. Economies expand and contract. Energy production and consumption are affected by disruptions, from wars to extreme weather. New policies are created to address climate change or bolster energy security.”

    Whilst Scotland’s economic future is not reliant on oil & gas – it is a bonus (and independence is of course for ‘ever’, not the short term) – all of the above just demonstrates that Norway’s politicians have been much smarter economically than those Scotland has had to rely on at Westminster.

  153. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Effijy, Lesley-Anne, Wuffing Dug –

    Today’s John Beattie Show Media Review, with Stuart Cosgrove and Eamonn O’Neill, discussing cover-ups of systemic child abuse. Starts at 1hr 12m 12secs –

    ‘The dam’s going to break on this one soon.’ Eamonn O’Neill @ 1.19.30

    Nicholas Fairbairn is then mentioned, as is Kincora Boys Home (N.I.)

  154. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Lesley-Anne et al –

    This is the website Eamonn O’Neill referred to on the Beattie Show today.

  155. Grouse Beater says:

    Put on television as background voices while I work only to see nameless dreadful brunette with an ugly mouth pompously explaining why she doesn’t need to or want to ‘pick up’ Salmon’s book.

    “It’s not Alan Clarke’ is it?” she says without having read it. (She thinks that passes as spontaneous satire.)

    Aye, she prefers a serial womaniser to the man who tried to give Scotland confidence in itself, and did.

    Where does the BBC find these idiots?

    I can answer – it’s junior researchers on short-term contracts – all hoping they will be come a producer one day – given the brief to ‘find new punditry personalities.’

    Ad that, dear friends, is the extent of the standard ever after for Scottish political programmes so long as BBC London run BBC Scotland.


  156. Kennedy says:

    RE Dunblane

    I read on the Internet, forgot where, that Thomas Hamilton supplied kids for a Westminster paedophille ring. Sorry no link.

    Allegedly several New Labour MPs were convicted of abuse of minors and were actually sentenced. However they only served minimal sentences. Leading to the D notice by then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    Actually I’m sure the link was on Wings maybe six months ago. Perhaps the link lead to another link.

  157. robert graham says:

    christ this comment section is bigger than the daily Record took 5 min to scroll down the page ha ha!! I really wish this curse of Oil would run out soon but these idiots in the Oil industry keep drilling and finding more of the useless stuff anyone know of a way to stop these nutters trashing our economy ??

  158. North chiel says:

    “Oil prices smoke &mirrors? Perhaps instead of attempting to
    “forecast” future oil prices, we should “look at” historical prices.
    In particular what the “average price for Brent crude “was over the
    Past circa 40 years and how much Cummulative revenue has flowed
    To the London treasury over the period.
    Notwithstanding, I assume that the Oil company’s have made a decent
    Profit and their shareholders have been reasonably happy with the
    Dividends ?Would my estimate of 25-30 USD per barrel be wide of
    The mark as regards a forty year average ?

  159. Kevin Evans says:

    Just to add my 2 cents to this. Isn’t the current global oil price been twisted by the opec country’s to try and destabilise Russia. They’ve all got together to over produce and that has a knock on effect to the current price. As soon as they want to increase the price they slow down production and hey like magic the price goes up.

    The current oil price has got nothing to do with the viability of the north sea (west coast also if predictions are true). The current oil price has more to do with global politics rather than availability.

    We all know the long term oil prediction. UP UP UP. Give it 2 years the price will be upwards of $100 again.

  160. George Winkle says:

    They won the battle of Culloden and then found it necessary to ban kilts and bagpipes. This is the ever predictable establishment at work. First knock them down and then make sure they stay down.

    We have news for you boys, the spirit of Bruce and Wallace lives on. and in the words of the song “and we can still rise now…

  161. Hobbit says:

    With oil, it’s not just about the price of the product, but the cost of getting it out of the ground – this is where the North Sea is potentially quite vulnerable.

  162. Fiona says:

    @ Kevin Evans

    I don’t really think that is the main factor. I am more inclined to agree with North Chiel. Oil is historically far cheaper than it has been in the last few years, and was down around £35 dollars a barrel in 2008/9 – when I do not remember all this fuss

    Arguably what we have seen is a bubble, of the same kind we have experienced in house prices in much of europe including the UK. Since oil is finite it is likely the trend will be upward in the long term: but that is not likely to be so sudden or so dramatic as what we have seen, cos sustainable supply/demand price changes don’t tend to work like that.

    A fall in the price of an asset which has been inflated in a bubble is not a surprise – except to those “experts” paid to predict those same prices. Fortunately the Scottish economy is not dependent on oil and so whatever it produces in terms of revenue can be seen as a bonus. The bursting of bubbles causes some pain to some people, inevitably – but not all of the negative consequences are inevitable. In this case the loss of jobs is real and it is painful; but I do not see it as inevitable because the oil companies were doing fine when last the price was at this level and because they are investing, which they would not be doing if the dire narrative were true. More likely that they are using this to secure tax breaks, as one might expect.

  163. denver maxwell says:

    So SNP should demand all oil/gas revenues be returned to Scotland with £600m taken out of the block grant, then we can run the risk and not be beggers to England.

  164. Graham Hughes says:

    So, essentially what the OBR are saying is that twelve months ago they could not accurately predict the price of oil a year ahead but now they can reliably predict it a quarter of a century in advance.

  165. Graham Hughes says:

    This diagram taken from the Canadian Government’s Natural Resources Canada webpage forecasting oil prices until 2030 ilustrates how the further into the future you go the more meaningless a forecast price for oil becomes. For the period of the OBR forecast you could pick any number you can think of and it would be no more or less likely to be right than any other.

  166. CUTommy says:

    It’s time to stop obsessing with meaningless forecasts of the value of future oil revenues. Scotland has all the resources it needs to be a prosperous independent nation with or without oil revenues. Our abundance of non-carbon natural resources such as fresh water, wind, wave and tidal potential energy, seabed minerals, not to discount a well-educated population and stunning scenery make Scotland the envy of many far larger nations.

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