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Wings Over Scotland

More empty threats at your expense

Posted on August 02, 2014 by

The UK government is about to put another taxpayer-funded leaflet through every door in Scotland, laden with dire warnings about the consequences of independence.

Boiled down to just five bullet points – one of which is the meaningless “best of both worlds” – it presents the case for the UK as amounting to keeping the pound (which Scotland can do either way), higher public spending (omitting the fact that Scots pay over the odds for said spending), jobs with UK companies (which would be unaffected because EU law demands freedom of employment) and lower energy bills.


The latter is based on the oft-repeated claim that fuel bills would rise in Scotland because the rUK would no longer pay to import subsidised Scottish renewable energy. But an article in The Ecologist this week, by two respected academics from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, blows that argument out of the water.

We recommend reading all of it, but we’ve pulled out a key passage.

UK’s threats to Scotland defy logic

The UK government has long threatened that in the event of a ‘yes’ vote for Scotland’s independence, it would source its electricity from France, the Netherlands and Ireland instead of Scotland, to the extent it was cheaper.

Not only is it already relying on these European interconnectors for about 5% of its power, the argument goes that it will get more in future through plans to build new links over the next few years.

In reality, expanding this network further is fraught with difficulties. These include cost, planning, technical challenges and complex legal agreements. As Ofgem said last year,

Great Britain is not the only European country expecting de-rated margins to fall in the next six winters. France, Ireland, Germany and Belgium are also facing security of supply challenges.

So security of supply constraints are also becoming very prevalent in the markets that supply power via interconnectors. This will reduce what they can sell over the English Channel.

Buy Scottish power, or the lights will go out

In all likelihood, a rump UK would have no choice but to buy Scotland’s electricity generating surplus of around 25%. The UK government is significantly underplaying the important role that Scotland’s electricity plays in keeping the lights on across the UK.

And while the English may baulk at effectively subsidising Scotland’s green power sector, there is the consolation that purchasing this spare power will actually make very good commercial sense for Westminster.

Compared to both English offshore wind and new nuclear build, Scottish onshore wind is much cheaper. Carrying out the threat in the energy paper would be as clear a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face as one can imagine.”

The UK government is still having some trouble balancing its approach to the referendum between “lovebombing” and demanding compliance with menaces. “Your bills will go up, you’ll lose your jobs and public spending will be slashed” is a funny sort of positive case, no matter how many smiling families prancing through the Highlands you put pictures of on it.

But those who know what they’re talking about, and have no dog in the independence fight, are almost unanimous in their assessments. Whether it’s energy bills or currency or EU membership or oil revenues or just about anything else, they all tell a remarkably consistent story – Westminster is bluffing.

The parties of the Union very much don’t want to lose Scotland, for all sorts of reasons – economic, military and political. But the one thing they can afford even less than losing Scotland is to have a hostile relationship with an independent one.

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    1. 02 08 14 13:41

      More empty threats at your expense | Scottish Independence News

    158 to “More empty threats at your expense”

    1. Croompenstein says:

      When are they sending this pile of crap? I thought we were in the monitored part of the referendum, how much is this costing us? Democracy Uk style tick tock Brittania tick tock

    2. Grouse Beater says:

      In getting bluff and bluster challenged the British government and its conglomerate funders betray why they want to keep Scotland controlled and docile.

    3. AnneDon says:

      The other part of this, of course, is that energy companies are private, and the Westminster government can no more order them to source their energy from elsewhere than it can order them to reduce prices for the benefit of consumers.

    4. Barry Blust says:

      When they become just another customer in the queue, will we give them a wee savings for old times? Maybe… but if they keep up with all this pish, they my find Putin more friendly.

    5. Will the Scottish Government be sending out any leaflets to balance this barrage of “facts”?

    6. Liquid Lenny says:

      I never received the first one, who do I complain too?

    7. Short changed says:

      It’s pathetic, on energy especially. The big six wont invest in new generating capacity and UK Ltd is too skint to build its own power stations so they go to China for funds and strike a deal that will see consumers paying well over the odds for their power.

    8. McV says:

      Stand by for the pedantic accusations that you are misleading readers by using the word “keep” in relation to the pound.
      When they say “keep” they mean “own”. When we say we can keep the pound we are accused of not knowing the difference between a currency union and sterlingization. (did I use the right word?)
      Westminster is the one doing the misleading as always. They’re careful not to say “Scotland cannot use the pound” on tv and in newspapers, but their letters to households saying independence means walking away from the pound is a flat out lie.

    9. handclapping says:

      Not as good as a Cairnstoon but it’ll do. 🙂

      As all they have offered us as reason for staying, they should remember that the reason for the takeover in the first place was the worry about having a possibly hostile neighbour to the North.

    10. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      The funny thing is the Westminster government is behaving like a hostile foreign government anyway. Lying about our wealth, pushing the subsidy myth which damages our health and confidence and even secretly moving sea boundaries to remove major oil fields from Scotland’s accounts to reduce our GDP. That’s on top of the many threats and is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

      North sea boundary move:

      Propaganda against Scotland plus deficit:

    11. Tattie-bogle says:

      yay new YES coasters. scissors at the ready

    12. YESGUY says:

      More of the usual guff.

      It seems to me that the “scare “tactics are all that the unionists have left. Why cant they come out with positives for the union rather than playing on folks fears ?

      To look back over the year and see the abuse and fear hammered out to fellow Scots has sickened me. Our Govt have bullied and smeared us, used state propaganda and MSM to lie and twist every fact.

      Why would anyone want a govt that does that to it’s own?

      Desperation. They have no argument. They have lost the trust of people. They only have bitter threats and they don’t scare us anymore.

      In the run up we will see much more of this and i believe we will hear many more voices crying YES. No one bullies us Scots and gets away with it.

      For one day we will have the power to change everything. And all we have to do is mark a big X in the YES box and the scares and smears will stop forever.

      Keep faith . We are winning

    13. handclapping says:

      As history is all … Doh!

    14. StuY says:

      This always appeared to be wrongthink to me. How can Westminster claim that power from iScotland would be more expensive than the power that will be generated from the new Chinese/French nuclear plant that has a stike price that will make it the most expensive in the world.

      Also will the EU not have something to say about the shortage of renewables in the rUK energy mix? Are there not fines for that sort of thing?

    15. Maria says:

      Thanks to your website for all the up to date information. I read wings about 5 times a day but I’ve never posted a comment before (so not sure if I’m doing this right), but I just wanted to say thank you for another great article that proves, what a load of rubbish we are constantly being fed by Westminster. I tell everyone to read this site, I love it

    16. Croompenstein says:

      @David Whannel – some of the BTL links on your article inevitably lay the blame at Alex Salmond and the SNP’s door but in the decision letter a couple of lines immediately jump out..

      The application was lodged on 27 April 2005

      SEPA responded 7 June 2005 and did not object to the application.

      I don’t think Alex or the SNP were in Government in 2005

    17. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      Hey..that is the windfarm just up the road from me near Ardrossan. Lovely pic…

    18. Tattie-bogle says:

      I love the Von Jocks strolling in the country or holidaying in the country as we have no obvious infrastructure.
      High on a hill with a lonely voter yeedalllayyyy eh ayyyy

    19. joe kane says:

      The amount of windfarms and wind turbines that can been seen from various viewpoints in and around Wishaw and Motherwell is something else.

      I think I’ve actually ran out of sarcastic things to say about the Better Together campaign. They refuse point-blank to be embarrassed or ashamed about their serial bare-faced unrelenting naked lies and distortions. They’ve astroturfed me to a standstill.

    20. Desimond says:

      Have you sneaked a peak at Flippers speech for this weeks debate as this covers all the bases bar beloved brave Armed Forces and TeamGB in Rio

    21. jon esquierdo says:

      Laura Vivanco Will the Scottish government be sending out any leaflets to counter the barrage of facts

      Yes I spoke to Nicola Sturgeon two weeks ago about the government sending them out and she said that the Scottish government were also going to send them out

    22. Ken500 says:

      It’s nonsense. Scotland pay more than the rest of the UK for fuel and energy which Scotland produces. Scotland pays 10% more (higher cost pro rata) because it is colder for the energy produced on it’s doorstep. It also pays more (inclusive cost) to transport the energy it produces south. Scotland also loses the corporation tax for the energy it produces with is paid by international UK based Companies through the City of London. Scotland also loses out on (£Billion?) renewable Grants from the EU which Westminster blocks, while Scotland subsidies higher cost for nuclear in the South.

      An Independent Scotland would be able to tax or sell the future energy it produces. £Quids in.

    23. I did say they were all making an arse of it, strange of SNP’s Fergus Ewing shadily overruling a council decision days after East Ayrshire refused 50 in the same area due to the Dark Sky Observatory tourism which these will also affect, and south Ayrshire had just refused a further 9. Perhaps we’ll still be in Europe and can hope something will still stand.

    24. heedtracker says:

      Its interesting watching much almost same BettertogetherBBC propaganda at work in regions like Wales and Scotland. They think they have the power to make people vote how they want but news still varies

    25. Yesitis says:

      Oh I keep all this stuff.

      In a few years I`ll look back on it with friends and say “Remember this?”

      I mean…really, they said that?

    26. Croompenstein says:

      @David – I was only pointing out that the myth of wind farms being all about Alex Salmond is rubbish. I don’t know too much about Dersalloch or how visible it will be from the village but I can only assume that after almost ten years all the pros and cons have been weighed up although as I say I don’t know all the facts.

    27. Cindie says:

      Yet another reason to vote yes. No more ‘better together’ leaflets paid for by us.

    28. Col The Viking says:

      Same old, same old!

      Main challenge is to work hard, talk to people and get the message across, the logic will drop, maybe not immediately but pretty soon.

      It is still too close to call but defo winnable!

      May the force be with us!

    29. HeehawBaws says:

      I don’t think that family are so sure about all this. They look a bit uneasy to me. Their smiles are slightly forced.

    30. Had a right laugh earlier reading about Eck’s ‘happiness guru’ Claire Howell:

      “Howell stresses the need to use positive, optimistic language in political campaigning, and has banned the SNP from using the word “freedom”. She has urged Salmond and SNP MSPs to use words such as “exciting”, “historic” and “transformational”, and coached SNP candidates by fining them for using negative language during training sessions”

      Pahahahahaaaa! There’s more:

      “… Her firm REDco, the Really Effective Development Company, has a 10 point strategy which lists “the magic of change” and “open your mind” … If we know what we want, then we can use the power of our imagination to create detailed mental images of our new reality.”

      Just incredible stuff. I can see it now, Salmond dressed up like a Hare Krishna, using the “power of imagination” to make a currency union, EU membership, etc. a reality.

      Con men.

    31. Defo says:

      “When routine bites hard,
      And ambitions are low,
      And resentment rides high,
      But emotions won’t grow,
      And we’re changing our ways,
      Taking different roads.”

      Love will tear us apart, but we will still be friends. Right ?

    32. galamcennalath says:

      Why do they keep pushing the same guff, including electricity ‘subsidy’? Two possibilities, they believe it works, maybe even have polling evidence it works. Or, since the Union is indefencible, that approach is all they have.

      If there was some truth to it all, then it would be a fair tactic. It’s lies and deceit and designed as such!

      I know, I know, YES must try to remain positive, but it is about time a counter directly challenging every Unionist assertation drops through every door. Several times, if necessary!

    33. Jimbo says:

      They won’t buy Scottish renewables but they are willing to pay £ billions to build a massive wind farm on Eire’s Great Bog of Allen to supply renewables to England?

      Aye, right.

    34. BigRik says:

      Just the usual lies… higher energy bills? Unlike the insanely cheap bills we have been paying since Thatcher sold off OUR assets? The power companies don’t want green energy , you can’t blame massive price hikes on the wholesale cost of wind rising.

    35. Cuilean says:

      The last leaflet I received from BT, I simply marked on it, “Return to Sender” and put in the nearest post box. Every YES voter should do that. I’m sure the [privatised against its will Scotland] Royal Mail would be happy to oblige.

    36. caz-m says:

      The Telegraph reporting that the Scottish Government has a couple of surprise announcements to come out next week.

      What could they be?

    37. Croompenstein says:

      @Charlie – Touching cloth Charlie? Your old boy Flipper is gonnae need more than a guru to help him, maybe flowers of the union could step in and sing him a wee song 🙂

    38. caz-m says:

      Newsnet Scotland:

      “Radical Independence stepping up efforts in Labour ‘heartlands’ with Mass Canvass”

    39. panda paws says:

      “Best of both worlds” was a Star Trek TNG two parter where we were introduced to the Borg.

      The Borg greeted everyone with “Resistence is futile, you will be assimilated”.

      Just saying.

    40. martincoull says:

      Sorry – O/T but what IS going on in Shetland? Massive unreported Oil find? Clandestine visits from Cameron & Oil exec cronies…

    41. Paula Rose says:

      Is the “threat” to pensions no longer being used?

    42. Katherine hamilton says:

      Nemo me impune lacessit.

    43. heedtracker says:

      You never hear about it here in BBC UK world, but Ireland is desperately worried about nuclear waste pollution in the Irish sea and ofcourse the threat to Ireland itself. BBC/MSM propaganda machine no likee reporting any of it though.

      Ireland’s really worried about continual pollution from Sellafield in particular but the protests are completely ignored by teamGB, who tell them to piss off basically. And the £70+ billion Sellafield decommission costs don’t count when it comes to Westminster energy planning. Green energy spoils views, nuclear is some other suckers problem somewhere down the road.

    44. galamcennalath says:

      @panda paws

      BritNats always struck me as a bit more Klingon, you know … glorification of war, superiority complex, no desent tolerated, democracy is for weaklings, and so on.

    45. Croompensation, aye they’re hardcore against Salmond some of it laughable but it would almost put off yes voters for a good cause.

    46. Derick Tulloch says:

      Energy related so more or less on topic. Er.

      I am sure Douglas Young of Yes Shetland won’t mind me sharing this! Smiley thing


      You may remember the Prime Minister came to visit Shetland under the tightest secrecy ever seen in Shetland and the national press knew nothing about it. Nor the local press.

      Mr Cameron came to Shetland to say absolutely nothing about anything and allowed the local media 6 minutes of questions. Which he did not answer.

      Now you are all wondering why the PM made a very rushed, and hugely expensive trip to Shetland, missing his cabinet meeting, and just making it back to Glasgow for the Games.

      It is certainly nothing to do with the news that a drilling rig, not on contract to BP, and not in any way near the Clair Field did not suddenly de-man and send all the workers home and they are not on full pay.

      Nor has anyone on the Auld Rock overheard the rig manager say “Come back in September and don’t speak to anybody or you’re sacked.”

      The rig did not of course discover “sweet oil”, the most highly-prized stuff for turning into petroleum spirit, nor was it in shallower water than the normal 150m some of the other Clair oil is lurking at.

      Nor did it find it in quantities so large that “biggest” and “world” could be used in the same sentence. Definitely not.

      And we may not guess that Mr Cameron did not request the oil companies keep this massive wealth hidden from the Scottish electorate until after the referendum.

      He would never do that.

      Paul B Loyd Jr. h and t and t and p://
      (lat. 60.629° long. -2.603°)

      Shout it from the rooftops. The West of Shetland Oil makes the North Sea look like a puddle.

    47. Mealer says:

      Westminster is a cesspit of sleaze and corruption.Nobody should believe a word they say.

    48. gerry parker says:

      Water off a ducks back.

      But I still object to me paying for the shower putting this bilge out.

    49. galamcennalath says:

      Paula Rose says:
      Is the “threat” to pensions no longer being used?

      Perhaps that one has too much potential to backfire. Southern tax payers won’t like the idea that Westminster is responsible of the pensions of everyone who has retired and has paid UK NI, no matter where they live. France, Australia … or iScotland. [Unless, post YES, TeamScotland negoitaes to take over that responsibility.]

    50. Timorous Beastie says:

      That appeared on my Facebook newsfeed this morning, probably based on the same source. I’d be wary of setting too much store in it at the moment.

    51. martincoull says:

      Nice one Derek – that’s exactly what I’m on about…

    52. thoughtsofascot says:

      Dig out that freepost address again and snd it right back to them.

    53. martincoull says:

      Timorous Beastie – yes good point but can anyone on here do some digging? If the story is true, then it’s massive!

    54. Marian says:

      Westminster must be really worried if they are bringing out another leaflet so soon after the last one.

      Things cannot be looking so rosy for them after all according to their private polling .

      How come they are allowed to get away with doing this anyway when all the participants in the referendum had to register and have their spending limits approved by the Electoral Commission?

      The cost of the first leaflet was put at £750,000 and now we have this one at unspecified cost paid for by taxpayers, but we can be sure that the combined costs of both will be way above what any other registered participant can spend.

      Its a poor consolation that the precedent has been set for the Scottish Government to do the same because the Westminster one will be shouted about from the rooftops by the BBC and newsprint media whilst we’ll never hear a cheep from them about the Scottish Government one.

    55. Derick Tulloch says:

      A lot of rumour swirling around re West of Shetland.

      We do know that the crew of Paul B Loyd Jr. are stood down on full pay. Not often that happens.

      And we know that Clair Ridge (already proved) has at least 40 years of production ahead

      Whatever Paul B Loyd Jr. has found is additional to that.

    56. BigRik says:

      Yes Wingman , i guess BT must be reading the runes to come away with the mince they predict , or maybe Mr Broon is using a Witch Doctor 🙂

    57. BigRik says:

      Maybe the new leaflet will be Private Fraser telling us we are all DOOMED.

    58. HandandShrimp says:

      If it transpires that yet another oil report was hushed up to prevent Scotland leaving the Union then I think we should have a re-run of the vote. Firstly so that people can vote with the full information to hand and secondly so that people can pass judgement on those that sought to hide such news.

      If such a thing involved BP and others I would also consider holding those people to account too. The bankers are facing fines and jail around the world, no reason why other corrupt business executives should not do likewise.

    59. Drunken Hobo says:

      They keep pushing this “best of both worlds” nonsense, where they’re referring to having both a UK & Scottish Parliament.

      If it is the case where this genuinely is “best of both worlds”, then why did it take them 292 years to actually give us a Scottish Parliament, and why did they block it in the 1970s, ignoring the democratic vote in favour of it?

      All they’re saying is that it took them nearly three centuries to actually give Scotland what they think is the best deal. Why the hell would I want to be governed by people who think that’s a good thing?

    60. Cag-does-thinking says:

      I’m sure there must be polling evidence that suggests that just threatening like this works or they wouldn’t use it but it surely looks something that Scotland would react badly to. Mind you, an oil producing country that can’t find somebody to give it’s energy to seems a unique problem. After all they just started building an electical interconnector from SW Scotlands to Wales a few weeks back. Don’t they intend to use it? I think this gets filed with the Danny Alexander back to the future vision of calamity. I just object to paying for it to be made and distributed and the hypocrisy of councils that are quite happy to make a political statement by naming streets after Keir Hardie but feel that a wee Yes sticker on a sign is likely to cause revolution in the streets as a “political” act.

    61. galamcennalath says:

      Just been googling and reading around this potential Shetland oil find. Something is going on! I’m not sure what would be a more effective persuader to vote Yes … more oil … or the story that Westminster are involved in a coverup!

      The news, both ways, has to break before the 18th Sept.

    62. panda paws says:

      @Thoughtsofascot says:

      Dig out that freepost address again

      Here it is.

      Better Together
      5 Blythswood Square
      G2 4AD

    63. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Could Cameron and the Viceroy have had secret meeting with the head of the Shetland Council and promised them a copious bounty if they secede and join rUK?

      How far off Shetland is the Claire field?

    64. Molly says:

      Lordy Charlie Murphy, do you think it’s the same outfit who are trying make us imagine Johann Lamont is a stateswoman or even the Labour Party are socialists- con men indeed!

      That’s takes happiness into the realms of delusional

    65. BigRik says:

      No no… don’t use freepost , just send in an envelope to the address ,they will have to pay 🙂

    66. JimnArlene says:

      Lies, damned lies and more damned lies.

    67. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Sill me, just googled it and it is 75KM from Shetland.

      So it would be in Scottish waters if Shetland seceded, because Shetland would be considered as being an enclave just like the Channel Islands and France.

    68. donald anderson says:

      Will this be before they privatise the Post Office?

    69. Les Wilson says:

      I read at some time that the SNP was considering exporting power to Europe via Norway.

      If that is indeed the case and our power enters the European grids, Westminster would still be buying our power and likely paying more for it?

    70. Jim Murphy – Lecture tour to Dunoon.

      Fantastic disinterest in No Thanks message in the town Yesterday. Virtually no leaflets taken by public at all.

      Speech delivered to activits only. Had to move position 3 times to try to find an audience.

      Nae Luck Jimbo.

      It’s yer negative message that stinks bud.

    71. Defo says:

      Re the rumours surrounding a big new oil find.
      The rig in question is reported as active/drilling, and is on hire to BP for $440,000/day. Add in operating costs, and that would be one hell of a lot of moolah BP would be spending to have a rig doing nothing, until after the 18th.

      I don’t believe in an interventionist God, but for those amongst us who do, you know the drill.

    72. muttley79 says:

      Another leading trade unionist in Scotland is supporting a Yes vote next month:

    73. Iain (orri) McCord says:

      Wonder if the coaching Salmond is getting is to help him deal with questions he’s heard for the umpteenth time as if they’re brand new and the questioner is genuinely interested in asking them?

      Have started finding myself getting a wee bit snappy and wonder if that’s been the plan all along. Need to be patient and not condescend. Treat them as reasonable fears and give the answers I have. On questions like the EU if pushed it’s worth mentioning that the as things stand Westminster could settle the issue once and for all but choose not to.

      If Salmond gets the balance right I’m sure Darling is going to make a complete fool of himself.

    74. Liquid Lenny says:

      Les Wilson

      I heard Mr Salmond being interviewed on the Radio the other year, he said that he wanted to build an Interconnector to Norway, when the wind is blowing here, we pump their water up the hill (they have more hydro schemes than us) and when the wind is not blowing we can release the water and provide instant power in Scotland.
      We could also use it as a massive pump storage system for excess Tidal and Wave generated power as well.
      Obviously if the Interconnector is there then we can export electrickery to anywhere that Norway has interconnectors.

    75. dan huil says:

      Rev, please find out more about oil discovery west of Shetland and, if true, give it top billing.

    76. ken says:

      2 respected academics from Robert Gordon University… Is that an oxymoron?

      Also nice to see the writer is an expert on European law. I wonder if he could elaborate on the freedom of movement and the exclusion of those that have moved to England, only to be disenfranchised…

    77. Muscleguy says:

      @Liquid Lenny

      The EU is looking into building a continent spanning HV DC superconducting spine, that can itself store electricity, and one limb is slated to run up the middle of the North Sea. The idea is that when the wind blows and waves get up and the rain fills hydro schemes we can send power south and when the sun shines on solar thermal plants in Spain and the Maghreb they can send power north, almost without loss.

      Scotland will be well placed to plug into that. But of course doing it in the union means we will have to help pay for it but Westminster will reap the benefits, those that don’t go to poorly regulated power companies of course.

      BTW I really hope the Herald on Sunday runs with the Clair oil field story.

      Oh and my No supporting wife reacted with fury to the news that we have a new oil field. All of a sudden she is worried for the planet. Usually she tries not to think about it as she commutes long distance and flies for work. I pointed out that just because the oil is there doesn’t mean we have to exploit it at all and secondly if we do then we don’t have to do so at full tilt. But no dice.

      This is the sort of thing we are up against. Good news for Scotland cannot be good. As for this being hidden from voters before the referendum, no comment from her.

    78. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Westminster isn’t bluffing ,Stu. It’s lying

    79. Defo says:

      Re the ‘mothballed’ oilrig, again.

      It’s contracted to be there until 03/15.

    80. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      ken says at 3.01

      “those that have moved to England, only to be disenfranchised…

      What? In England where they actually live? Surely not.

    81. David Smith says:

      On the subject of renewables; is there not an element of tidal generation incorporated into the Clyde Barrage proposal?

    82. Papadox says:

      This bunch of thugs, thieves, liars, con artists, and scumbags that are the establishment who manipulate GB to their own selfish advantage. They have the rights and privilege to terrify, bully and scare the elderly, poor and frightened into handing over their lives to this scum by outright lying.

      If the bullying and scares don’t work then they promise to give you a kicking and rub your nose in it to show their love for Scotland and the Scots, then they’ll steal your money by mugging you and piss all over you.

      What a lot of shit they are. Just because they have smart suites ENGLISH accents and the EBC to shove their lies for them we are supposed to feel inferior to a bunch of gangsters and snobs.

      If we want to run our own lives they promise all sorts of nasty retribution and evils will be visited upon Scotland. THESE are the people who profess love for us. IS ANYBODY IN SCOTLAND THAT F****** STUPID. They will heap vengeance upon us for trusting them.

      When you talk of west of Shetland or the Atlantic shelf, they avoid it like the plague. Because they know the story and provided they don’t knowing tell lies then that’s ok, best way round that is to not mention or engage in it till after the referendum and even then the least the better.

      Too wee – no. Too poor – definitely no Too STUPID we’ll see that’s an open question.

    83. bookie from hell says:

      Huge new poll before tues debate

    84. seanair says:

      Liquid Lenny
      I never received one either, which annoyed me because I was going to “return to sender” and cost BT money. Now allegedly another is on the way so I’ll get my wee bit of pleasure.
      Meanwhile, along with hundreds of others, I am delivering copies of the booklet “Your Choice” all round the country, and a Yes newspaper is promised soon. No boys from Derby/Liverpool involved.

    85. cirsium says:

      So, we have

      1. the Investors’ Chronicle reporting that the UK Government is

      deliberately downplaying the potential of the UK Continental Shelf (UKSC) ahead of September’s referendum on Scottish independence

      2. Mr Cameron pays a strictly unofficial visit to Shetland

      3. rumours circulating about a massive oil find

      4. the drilling suspended on the rig which is linked to the rumours

      5. the rig in question is on hire to BP whose CEO (or is it Chairman) Robert Dudley has already spoken out against independence.

      The UK government has already replayed all the scare stories from the 1979 referendum so is this McCrone 2.0?

    86. heedtracker says:

      One incredible way of reducing Scottish CO 2 green house gas pollution is to reforest Scotland’s vast and empty wilderness.

      Well it’s not an empty wilderness. In a couple of weeks time, the glorious 12th of August comes and Scotland’s hills and mountains become an open air abattoir for the upperclass teamGB elite to shoot everything and anything they can. Their men have already shot and poisoned hundreds of birds of prey and everything else living, flora and fauna is burnt off the hills, year after year so the shooting is unimpeded by stuff, like trees etc.

      The highland slaughter makes a few landowners a lot of money but when you consider the potential of an actual healthy ecosystems in terms of tourism alone, once again Scotland gets raped and pillaged by the rich.

      How about a pair of guns for your average blood sports man and woman? if you need to ask, you certainly can’t afford. And it’s long way from whatever your average Scottish worker earns too, try 5x, and double it.

      Salmon fishing used to be incredible in Scotland but same maniacs have fished Scottish wild salmon to extinction and now they blame whales and dolphins, I shit you not.

    87. Defo says:

      You find interesting stuff, in the strangest of places.
      See page 6

      BP are currently laying 22″ oil, and 9″ gas pipelines from the area that the ghost rig is operating, to connect into the mains Clare pipe.

    88. Derick Tulloch says:

      Defo – that pipeline is for the existing proved Clair ridge field. The one referred to above is a new discovery.

      ‘Biggest in the world’ is pushing it, but it’s clearly a significant discovery. So much so that it’s being kept quiet. Bit of fail on that front: it’s not 1979 and the BBC is not the only source of news any more.

      Attracting a fair few ‘No voters’ on here I see. Ho ho!

    89. muttley79 says:


      We are trying to build an inclusive movement here. Is it really necessary to mention ‘English accents,’ when we have the likes of Jim Murphy, Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson, Ian Davidson, Douglas Alexander etc to contend with?

    90. Grendel says:

      My reply to this article:
      So a No vote in September will end this? Dream on! A change of government or a rejection of independence will not be enough to stop developments like this stone dead. An amendment to the 2006 Planning Act Scotland, surprisingly submitted by the Green Party, allowing third party right of appeals against windfarms was rejected by a coalition of Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems. In the long term EVERY main party (and the Lib Dems) are committed to greener, cleaner energy, and damn anything that gets in the way.

      If you think it’s bad just now, then why not Vote No, and sit back and wait for them to start fracking in Scotland. Control over this was devolved, but secretely pinched back by the House of Lords so they could start issuing licences to their chums.

      A cowardly No vote is a green light for Westminster to crack on with emasculating the Scottish Parliament and extending the English and Welsh National Planning Guidelines to this country. If you thought objecting to these developments was hard now, what will it be like after a No vote?

    91. Defo says:

      BTW A 22″ pipe carries 178,000 Barrels/day
      (Page 6)

      Getting the picture yet ? At 50% tax take, on $100/barrel, gives nigh on $9m odd/day to help pay off the banksters debts.
      Not to mention leaving a few £££ for the party, and the old boys.

    92. kininvie says:

      From Defo’s link above, the Paul Loyd is located on block 206/9a – which is part of the Clair field WoS. Although we don’t know exactly what it was drilling, it was probably involved in BP’s work on appraising/developing Phase 3 of Clair. Hence it is unlikely to have found an entirely new oil field, but may have made some additional discovery with the (440 sq km) Clair field.

      There are a couple of things which make me suspicious though:

      If a significant discovery is made, which may affect the share price, a public company, such as BP is duty bound to announce it to the stock market. Of course, there’s a bit of leeway while the company evaluates its data and agrees the timing of any announcement with its partners. The management of BP (a global company) simply would not/could not countenance govt pressure to delay announcing.

      If such a discovery is made, the last thing the company would wish to do is to send its workforce off the rig, because the chances of a leak and a false market in the shares would be increased.

      A more likely reason is that there may have been pressure/temperature issues in the well which challenged the rig’s parameters, and the well may have been suspended while to operator works out what to do.

      As for DC flying to Shetland – he’s not going to learn anything there that he can’t get directly from BP’s HQ.

    93. Defo says:

      Derick Tulloch. As you say, it’s for a new discovery. It’s being laid as we speak, to the area where the ghost rig is operating.

    94. Papadox says:

      Muttley79 3:43

      Sorry to upset you. I was referring to the Westminster establishment and the EBC English accents which are very prevalent at the GLASGOW commonwealth games.

    95. JWil says:

      Anas Sarwar was in in a shopping car park in East Kilbride today with his campaign bus and his bunch of merry men. I managed to get a word to him, that they were causing an obstruction.

    96. Defo says:

      kininvie, glad to see we have industry expertise here.
      Over to you guys (and the Dear Leader, if there’s substance to it all obvs), my amateurish work is done.

    97. wingman 2020 says:

      Watch the helicopters in and around the NE… a few days ago there was one going around in wide circles for hours, about 50 – 80 miles off of Wick

      Nothing but scheduled flights at the moment.

    98. wingman 2020 says:


      What are the coordinates for this ‘ghost rig’?

    99. heedtracker says:

      The management of BP (a global company) simply would not/could not countenance govt pressure to delay announcing.

      And yet they all,, BP, Shell, withheld the McCrone report from Scotland as easy as pie.

    100. Croompenstein says:

      @kininvie – As for DC flying to Shetland – he’s not going to learn anything there that he can’t get directly from BP’s HQ

      I dunno kininvie something stinks, why was he there then? The PM of GB does not drop everything to go to Shetland for a jolly

    101. Peter A Bell says:

      The key phrase in the UK Government’s threat to stop buying electricity from Scotland and obtain it from France instead is “to the extent it was cheaper”. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that it couldn’t possibly be cheaper as increased demand would inevitable increase the price of an already strained supply.

      Like every “argument” that the British nationalists come up with this one doesn’t stand up to so much as a moment’s casual scrutiny.

    102. Andy-B says:

      Read this pathetic attempt at scaremongering in the Evening Times, no doubt its more taxpayers money wasted on those lying leaflets.

    103. David S Briggs says:

      bookie from hell says:

      ‘Huge new poll before tues debate’

      Might be nothing to do with the debate. Surely it would be a Poll of the audience prior to and after the debate.
      Putting forward a survey that includes tricksy questions designed to ellicit a looked for response that favours either side would be a step to far for STV, but in all likelihood not for the BBC.

      Would STV play dirty with the SNP who are after all involved in the discussions over what form the programme will take? Personally I think it’s more than their reputation is worth.

    104. Ken500 says:

      Cameron and Osbourne wandering about the UK handing out public money to private companies (bribe) for political gain. It’s illegal.

    105. Inbhir Anainn says:

      The new leaflet coming through your letter boxes will contain the following (guff from the HM Government):

      Here are five ways we’ll benefit by staying in the United Kingdom.

      Keep the pound.
      The pound is one of the most strongest and stable currencies in the world. Staying in the UK is the only way Scotland can keep the strength of the Bank of England and the pound as we have now. Setting up a new currency for an Independent Scotland would be costly and risky.

      More support for public services.
      Currently, Scotland benefits from public spending per person that is around 10% higher than the UK average. Taxpayers across the UK help fund the vital public services we need such as health and education. The long-term financial benefit of staying in the UK is worth up to £1,400 a year* to each person in Scotland.

      One economy, more jobs.
      Scotland trades more with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world combined. Hundreds of thousands of Scottish jobs are connected to trade with the UK. A new international border and a different currency system would make trade harder and cost jobs at a time when the UK economy is recovering.

      Cheaper bills
      The UK’s financial standing keeps interest rates low. That means cheaper mortgages and loans. Plus our greater size makes household bills cheaper. Staying in the UK would keep future energy bills for Scottish households up to £189 a year lower.**

      Best of both worlds
      The Scottish Parliament already decides important matters like health and education, and more powers for Scotland are guaranteed. And, as part of the UK family, we benefit by sharing resources and pooling risks. By staying together, we can have more decisions taken here in Scotland backed by the strength, stability and security of the UK.

      * Bource: Scotland analysis: Fiscal policy and sustainability, HM Government, May 2014.

      ** Source: Scotland analysis: Energy, HM Government, April 2014.

    106. Ken500 says:

      The Scottish Gov was voted by a majority of voters on a manifesto to hold a Referendum funded by taxpayers money.

      No one in Scotland or the UK voted to allow BT to use taxpayers money to canvass against a YES result in the Scottish Referedum. BT was not elected.

      In fact politicians in Westminster who oppose a YES vote in the Referedum, stated that it was a matter for the Scottish people not them.

      A Westminster politician who fronts BT, Alistair Darling lives in London, and will not have a vote. Yet is having a major negative say about the Referendum.

    107. The Last outpost of FibDems on Shetland get a Tory PM and presumably the Security Services holding Shetland in LOCK-DOWN until after Sept18th ?

      The Sec of State for Scotland – Gagged?

      Diddy-Danny Alexander, Treasury Minister – gagged

      Mundell, his humiliation relieved by ennoblement – KNOWS his place – junior to fibdem Carmichael.

      Charles Kennedy – SILENCED. (WITH A WEE HAUF )?

      We Scots must rid ourselves of all these LIARS who serve no-one but themselves.

      If these revelations about a new find of Massive Oil Reserves are true – the people, the electorate must be told.

      I suggest we keep a close eye on RT, Al JAZEERA or the American tv and Media – for info that applies to Scots ?

      Another despicable betrayal by BT

    108. Croompenstein says:

      @Wanton – Charles Kennedy – SILENCED. (WITH A WEE HAUF )?

      Not quite, here he is selling his country down the river for his Tory masters, probably got a wee doch and doris for this..from 9:30 in the PMQ’s

    109. Defo says:

      I can’t find exact coordinates, only the block no.
      I need to do real life stuff right now, but i’ll have another swatch later.

    110. Robert Peffers says:

      @Les Wilson says:2 August, 2014 at 2:29 pm:” If that is indeed the case and our power enters the European grids, Westminster would still be buying our power and likely paying more for it?”

      Err! Les, I don’t think you quite understand how electricity grids work. It goes like this – imagine, if you will, that the grid is a great big Water Tank. It has some big pipes at the top filling the tank up and each filling pipe comes from a different stream. At the bottom are lots of wee pipes going out to different places to smaller tanks. So the water going in is measured and paid for by the big tank’s owners. The water going out is measured and the water going out is paid for by the users to the tank’s owners. So, by being connected to the existing grid, that extends already to the continent, Scotland is already able to export energy to continental countries. If English consumers don’t buy it doesn’t matter as the grid has already paid for it and gets its profit from whoever does buy it.

    111. Auld Sandy says:

      Regarding the leaflet and ‘UK’ jobs, here’s my job history – worked for UK company now Swiss owned, worked for UK company now German owned, worked for UK company now Belgian owned, worked for UK company now US owned. There’s more but you’re probably bored and have the picture already.

      The loss of UK ownership of these companies was a direct result of Maggie Thatcher’s policies and this was then followed by job losses from all of these overseas-owned companies in the UK during Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s periods in charge.

      Job security by staying in the UK? No chance – Vote YES

    112. Ken500 says:

      C Kennedy’s love in with Gove on QT. Puke

    113. ken says:

      Oh my goodness, nobody here does their research. Also, the word ‘allegedly’ crops up far too much. Wild salmon is not extinct. Stop talking about renewables, its not going to happen in the next 30 years. There are lots of oil fields that have been found and are been drilled to assess probable oil, its not a secret! Do some reasearch on the stock exchange and you will find the companies doing it…allegedly

    114. Robert Peffers says:

      @Andy-B says:2 August, 2014 at 4:26 pm:

      “Read this pathetic attempt at scaremongering in the Evening Times, no doubt its more taxpayers money wasted on those lying leaflets.

      Whit! You guys have been cheatet – We Fifers got a BT leaflet with 10 lies Err! Err! Ahem! Promises on it.

    115. Croompenstein says:

      @ken – please provide some links for your ‘alleged’ assertions

    116. ken says:

      Auld sandy… Clearly you have had so many jobs because you have been fired for stupidity…allegedly. You plan to vote yes so you don’t have to live in a capitalist society… Has someone told you that an independent Scotland will be a socialist eutopia where no company is owned by a foreigner? Maybe you should just stop applying to companies owned by foreign companies? PS, not quite sure I follow your Thatcher argument….. Seems flawed

    117. Defo says:

      Don’t bite ffs. It’ll go away hungry.

    118. Paula Rose says:

      Auld Sandy – are there any major manufacturing companies in the UK still owned here, and some later commenter said you wanted to live in a eutopia, but I don’t know what that is.

    119. ken says:

      As for renewables… We can’t even store the energy created from wind turbines… It does really make it easy to plan future energy resources now, does it?

    120. Black Douglas says:

      oh goodie we have a new 👿 to play with or an old one with a new name? 😀

    121. ken says:

      Paula… Eutopia E U topia. Presumably the irony is lost on you

    122. Davy says:

      And todays Gold Medal for being a Troll-Twat, goe’s to “ken”, of course he has proberly won this award under various other names in the past (Dugie, Hothersall, Smart, Alexander) etc.

    123. Paula Rose says:

      This whole energy thing is very important – it is controlled by the Scottish government isn’t it?

    124. Paula Rose says:

      Oh – and Auld Sandy is the US in the EU?

    125. ken says:

      No, but Germany is, and Belgium, allegedly

    126. ken says:

      Eww, please don’t play with me

    127. Paula Rose says:

      Anyone ken what is going on? There are some weird comments appearing.

    128. Oui Things says:

      I was going to scan one and e-mail the pics Rev, looks like you’re on it.

    129. D'jeelius Chinokiooo says:

      Whether the US was in the EU, it would not validate his argument, the western world is capitalist. Nobody tell him that only one of the super-majors operating in Scotland is British

    130. Croompenstein says:

      @Auld Sandy – My dad used to drive lorries he started out in an old Albion then a Commer, Scammel, AEC, ERF, GUY and a Leyland Marathon. What happened to all these British manufacturers? Cars used to be made by British companies too

    131. Phil Robertson says:

      There is a paradox at the heart of the SG aspirations for electricity.

      The healthy state at present both in terms of output and cost is very dependent on nuclear and fossil fuels. From the latest figures 70pc still comes from these sources and they remain the cheapest as well.

    132. Papadox says:

      Has anyone asked David Cameron, BP, or any other relevant government department what is known about exploration and results of any exploration/evaluation or indications of oil/gas/condensates in the Atlantic margin especially west of shetland.

      Are there any other positive indicators in any other part of UK waters? Does HMG or any of its departments have any of this information available to it?

      Is HMG or any of its departments secreting any such information?

      HMG AVOIDS any mention of any resources outside the “North Sea” which seems to be in some strange places. I AM A SYNIC about anything these thugs have a hand in.

    133. Croompenstein says:

      @Phil – have you actually read the links Stu provided?

    134. Paula Rose says:

      Croompenstein dear – he can hardly spell, I doubt multi-tasking is within his skill set.

    135. donald anderson says:


      I once sailed from Sheildhall, Glasgow and the cargo was; Leyland buses, made in Scotstoun, Sewing machines-Clydebank, Scotch whisky and ammunition from goodness knows where in Scotland. You can tell how long a go that was. If the Bitters could make “Scotch” elsewhere they would.

    136. thedogphilosopher says:

      A Ken Troll?

    137. Croompenstein says:

      @donald – All that was before the union died, all we have to do is drive the stake through it’s heart 🙂

    138. callum says:

      I sailed past the Netherlands wind farms in the North Sea a few weeks ago, stopped counting when I reached 200 of these enormous double-the-size windmills. An awesome sight.

    139. Croompenstein says:

      @callum – better not tell the folk from Straiton that

    140. Phil Robertson says:

      Don’t see anything in the links to gainsay the two facts that I mentioned. Most of Scottish electricity still comes from nuclear and fossil fuel generation and those are still markedly cheaper than electricity from the renewable technologies.

      Paula rose
      I’d be interested to know what you think is wrong with the spelling in my post.

    141. Paula Rose says:


    142. Paula Rose says:

      Just between you and me Phil – do you actually have a good reason why we should keep the UK?

    143. Paula Rose says:

      Ok Phil – in public – do you actually have a good reason why we should continue as the UK?

    144. macart763m says:

      So right on the coat tails of the Investors Chronicle’s claim that HMG was lying its ass off on the profitability of the oil industry, we have this?

      Oh Jeez. 😀

      I still don’t get it. Why on earth would anyone vote to retain a governmental system that serially abuses the trust of its own electorate? We’re better than that and we can do better ourselves.

    145. Auld Rock says:

      Once again just pop it in any old envelope, make sure your name is not on it, and address to:-

      Better Together
      5 Blythswood Sq

      Remember that every letter returned has to be paid for and accounted for in their expenses. This address is also useful to send back all rubbish e.g. ‘two faced flags’ etc, oh take off stick first, uneless you fancy sticking it somewhere that the sun doesn’t shine, LOL.

      Auld Rock

    146. Auld Sandy says:

      To those confused by my earlier post, I should maybe have pointed out that almost all of the UK companies I worked for were based in England (only 1 in Scotland and 1 in Wales) and my point was that there is NO increased guarantee of job security by sticking with the current UK arrangement, as claimed by the UK Government in their leaflet, as the decisions are made by company owners who do not necessarily have any great commitment to the UK, except, in some cases, as a route to the European market
      For ken’s benefit, I was never fired from any job, but occasionally moved to better jobs, until the industry I worked in had largely disappeared from the UK and what was left was mainly foreign owned. During Thatcher’s reign she encouraged profiteering in the Stock market leading to companies driving for higher share prices in the short term, at the expense of longer term re-investment in their own organisation. Eventually you can only maximise your return on this by selling your shares – and in many cases in the UK the most likely buyers were from overseas. Only the recent attempted takeover of the Anglo-Swedish Astra Zeneca seems to have made the UK government aware of the dangers of this approach.
      Further clarification for ken – I won’t vote Yes because I still live in England and don’t have a vote, I have no problems with old fashioned capitalism, being a shareholder and having savings in stocks and shares ISA’s etc. I expect to be personally worse off if Scotland votes Yes, but, Proud Scot that I am, am convinced it is the right thing for Scotland and its present and future residents – and I’ll maybe one day move home and allow my rUK pension to be taxed in Scotland to help pay for a better fairer society, even if it’s not quite Utopia!

    147. Caroline Corfield says:

      Hehe. Goan yersel Auld Sandy, heaven forfend that we refuse to wear the stereotypes they have made for us!

    148. Caroline Corfield says:

      Found this earlier too;

      Report from 2013.

      “Investment in offshore oil and gas projects is forecast to rise to a record level of at least £13 billion (US $19.6 billion) this year, up from £11.4 billion (US $17.3 billion) last year. “As a result, thousands of jobs are now being created across Britain, and the production of UK oil and gas and resulting tax revenues can now confidently be expected to rise over the coming years,” the survey stated. The recent surge in investments is also expected to lead to a significant upturn in production over the next three to four years, rising to approximately 2 million bbls of oil equivalent/day by 2017.”

      “In contrast, exploration and appraisal for gas is “almost dead at this moment in time. The truth of the matter is that the UK gas space in exploration and appraisal drilling has been appalling recently.” So far this year, there has been no exploration and appraisal drilling in the historically strong southern gas sector. “The trend of recent years has been pretty poor. In 2008, there were 18 exploration and appraisal wells, which dropped to six in 2009. There were 14 overall in 2010, seven in 2011, two in 2012 and so far none this year. We generally look at it as not a healthy trend. It’s still a major gas production area and probably about half a dozen or so fields still under development by a number of operators, but E&A has much diminished.””

    149. Derick Tulloch says:

      The Laggan and Tormore gas condensate fields are located approximately 125km north-west of the Shetland Islands, on the edge of the continental shelf. {Owners : TOTAL E&P UK Ltd & DONG E&P (UK) Ltd}

      DECC estimates that approximately 17% of the remaining UK Oil and Gas Reserves are located in the WoS region.

      Edradour, Total’s latest UK development to receive sanction will tie in to our infrastructure.

      The produced hydrocarbons will be transported to Shetland via 2 x 143 km 18” import flowlines at a peak gas rate of 500 MMscfd.

      Processed gas will be exported via the SIRGE System (234km 30” pipeline) to the existing FUKA pipeline. Peak capacity = 665 MMscfd.

      Capacity in SIRGE earmarked for Laggan-Tormore and future developments of Rosebank and Clair Ridge.

      During peak construction there are likely to be over 2000 people employed on site. The total development cost of the project will be in the order of £3.3 billion.

      The Laggan-Tormore project represents a strategic investment, opening up the West of Shetland for future development

    150. Derick Tulloch says:

      Solan oil field lies in block 205/26a of production license P164 located in the UK North Sea. It is located west of the Shetland Islands in 135m deep waters. Premier Oil is the operator of the field with 60% interest. Chrysaor owns the remaining 40% interest.

      The Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Solan field was approved by the UK Government in April 2012. First production from the field is expected towards the end of 2014. Initial production rate is expected at 24,000 barrels of oil each day.

      The field has an estimated life of 20 years.

    151. Derick Tulloch says:

      And this (8 storey high) baby intended for Solan was off-loaded aff Lerwick last week.

      There is a shit load of oil West of Shetland which even with those fields that have been publicly announced – will last until at least the 2050s. This is why Sullom Voe Terminal is currently undergoing an £800,000,000 upgrade.

    152. Derick Tulloch says:

      Incidentally. Follow the ‘Marine Traffic AIS’ link on the Shetland Times website, zoom out and just Northwest of Foula is the Paul B Lloyd Jr – hover over the blue icon and the name and speed of the vessel is shown.

    153. Andy says:

      20% of an independent Scotland’s GDP would be made up of hydrocarbon exports. Scotland would be a net exporter of hydrocarbons and rUK would be an importer.

      Under these conditions, what is the sense in using Sterling, a currency that would respond to exogenous shocks in a way completely inappropriate for an independent Scotland?

      Suppose the world oil prices rose sharply due to geopolitical events in the Middle-East: this would be economically beneficial for Scotland, supporting its balance of payments, easing its fiscal constraint, leading to more investment in oil extraction and creating more demand in the largest industrial sector. But at the same time, this would worsen the balance of payments in the UK and lower domestic demand. Under most governance arrangements for the Bank of England, this scenario would be more likely to lead to lower rather than higher interest rates. This would be the opposite response to what would be needed in Scotland. Having lower interest rates at a time that the economy is growing strongly would add to the real exchange rate appreciation.

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