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Quoted for truth #32

Posted on October 23, 2013 by

    116 to “Quoted for truth #32”

    1. Craig Stewart says:

      I’ve heard a lot of discussion about grangemouth but not heard the full story. Anyone got any good links that aren’t loaded with FUD? 🙂

    2. Alba4Eva says:

      Mind how you vote Dunfermline both tomorrow and on 18th Sep 2014.
      Failed UK No More!

    3. Bill C says:

      It looks to me as if the union was suckered into a trap. In his blog Eric Joyce described the Unite Union official Pat Rafferty, as being “dim witted”. There are similarities to Scargill falling into Thatcher’s trap in the eighties. Can and will the Scottish Government nationalise the plant? Hope so on both counts.

    4. Desimond says:

      Theres 2 words im trying to stop screaming inside my head : Domino Theory.

      Please god dont let this be the catalyst for plenty more opportunists elsewhere, on either side of the work divide.

    5. tartanfever says:

      Bill – the Scottish government cannot afford to nationalise the plant Where would they get the money ? They can’t borrow any.

    6. Training Day says:

      I’m sure the UK Government wouldn’t be so cynical as to nationalise the plant until 18th September 2014, with an attendant threat about the way folk vote on that day affecting the future of the plant.
       
      This could very quickly develop into a game of extremely high stakes between SG and Westminster.

    7. kendomacaroonbar says:

      On Newsnicht last night, Gordon Brewer asked John Swinney if he had discussions with potential buyers for the site.  Swinney said yes, Then Brewer asked him if there were any Chinese companies involved, and if so, how does he *feel* to be contemplating selling the facility to a potential overseas buyer…

    8. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day

      Would the Tories actually nationalise something?

    9. wee jamie says:

      In answer to mr joyce’s question why has this happened ?
       
      Because arseholes like YOU were too busy looking after your expenses claims , getting pissed and causing drunken mayhem at our expense, instead of doing what you were paid to do … look after the interests of your constituents .

    10. muttley79 says:

      @wee jamie
       
      Because arseholes like YOU were too busy looking after your expenses claims , getting pissed and causing drunken mayhem at our expense, instead of doing what you were paid to do … look after the interests of your constituents .
       
      Not sure I agree with that.  It seems to be a dispute between Unite and the owners.

    11. jake says:

      Bill C said:
      “Can and will the Scottish Government nationalise the plant? Hope so on both counts”

      Personally I think the Workers Cooperative/Community Buyout Model has advantages over outright nationalisation. Financing could be achieved by a mixture of private and public subscription. Loans, grants and guarantees can be provided by the Scottish Government, they were going to have to do that anyway.

    12. Delia says:

      Even if Grangemouth could be nationalised, surely it would become UK property and when Scotland became independent 90% would belong to rUK. Not sure if I’m getting that right.

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Bill – the Scottish government cannot afford to nationalise the plant Where would they get the money ? They can’t borrow any.”

      What money? Ineos bought it for £1 and claim it’s losing millions every month, so how could they justify haggling over a purchase price? They want it off their hands – give them £2, 100% profit, job done.

    14. Stuart Black says:

      Shame Brewer doesn’t take Westminster politicians to task seeing as how just about everything we ever owned has been sold off to overseas buyers.
       
      Always found it strange that people in other countries could see something worth buying when our governments just looked upon them as millstones to be given away. Odd.

    15. scotchwoman says:

      BBC news Scotland webpage has closure of plant as top story followed by second story headlined ‘Chemical sales drive export growth’ which opens with the line ‘Refined petrol and chemicals are among the strongest performers in the latest official manfactured export figures.’ (Can anyone capture that sccreen and post?)
      Is the timing purely coincidental?
      I like the phrase ‘manufactured export figures’….!

    16. muttley79 says:

      @Rev Stu

      Do you think that will happen?

    17. scotchwoman says:

      Rev – Ineos bought it for £1?
      I’d swear I heard someone on Radio Scotland yesterday suggest Ineos paid £6bn and had invested millions sinice then so had no intention whatsoever of closing it, other than as a stunt. 

    18. Gaavster says:

      Credit where credit is due
       
      Eric Joyce has called this succinctly and exactly as it is…
       
      Where now for the unions and how will this play in the run up to Sept next year?
       
      Will it weaken them and make members less likely to follow them if they back the union?

    19. DonDeefLugs says:

      No doubt the union have shot themselves in the foot over the Falkirk shenanigans. This has given Ineos licence to play hardball. The stupidity of the internal Labour party politics gave Ineos the opportunity and, like the immoral ratbags that Ineos are, they jumped at the chance to bully the workforce.
       
      Their bluff should be called and a buyer sought for the ‘loss making’ petrochemical plant. We’ll soon find out if it’s profitable or not when we see the lineup to buy it.
       
      Ratcliffe can f*ck off back to his yacht!

    20. The Man in the Jar says:

      What I said in the previous thread!

    21. Bill C says:

      @Rev and tartanfever – Rev that is my understanding of the situation, also the Scottish Government have control over environmental issues. If the SG revoked the site’s environmental licences the plant would be worthless. Time for the SG to play hardball.

    22. tartanfever says:

      Rev Stu says:

      What money? Ineos bought it for £1 and claim it’s losing millions every month, so how could they justify haggling over a purchase price? They want it off their hands – give them £2, 100% profit, job done.
       
      Half the refinery is owned by PetroChina, they paid $1bn dollars for it two years ago, I’m sure they’ll be chapping on your door any minute desperate to take that £2 off your hands, Rev ! 🙂

    23. Murray McCallum says:

      Until the future of the Grangemouth site is fully explored by everyone who can make a difference (the Scottish government seem to be weeks ahead of the token Westminster response thus far) I hope every avenue is being used to ensure Ineos honour every single contract they are a party to.

      I understand this includes contracts to ensure petrol supply in the event they are unable to refine from the site.

    24. John grant says:

      Ineos grasped an opportunity presented to them by the Labour Party shenanigans at Falkirk for me they must take a lot of the blame, and where the hell has Westminster been silence is deafening better together my arse 

    25. tartanfever says:

      Ineos closed a plant in Hull a few weeks ago, it was one of Grangemouth’s petro-chemical plant’s biggest customers. All over the world Ineos are restructuring their petro-chemical industry.

      From the BBC:

      ‘And that global outlook is what should cause most concern about the future of Grangemouth. From Jim Ratcliffe’s point of view, there are much better returns to be made investing in North America, where the ‘feedstock’, or input to chemical processes, is around quarter of the price in Europe due to the shale boom. It’s yet another way that energy markets have been turned on their heads by that technology.
      He’s said that his European assets will have to shift to that cost structure, which is why he’s adapting his Norwegian petro-chemical plant for imports from the US, and why he plans (subject to government support and big concessions in workforce costs) to invest £300m doing the same at Grangemouth.’

       What on earth were the Union up to ? It’s as clear as day what was going to happen to the plant if they didn’t agree to the proposals.

    26. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Eric Joyce:
      Ineos has been flagging likely cuts for months
       
      Aye, okay Eric.
       
      So that’s why your Glorious Leader Lamont has used each and every FMQs ‘for months’ alerting the SG and broader public to the imminent crisis, and having a quiet word in Unite’s shell-likes to get them ready for a showdown?

    27. mealer says:

      If it is nationalised,how will we feel about government employees there getting twice the pay of a government employee elsewhere?

    28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “your Glorious Leader Lamont “

      To be absolutely fair to Eric, she’s not his leader. Not even in so much as she’s notionally anyone’s leader.

    29. scotchwoman says:

      Rev – update on earlier comment….
      Prof Gregor Gall said on BBC Scotland Newsdrive (4pm) yesterday that Ineos paid £6bn in 2006. It is on BBC iPlayer at 10.15 mins in.

    30. wee jamie says:

      @ Muttley 79
       
      The whole unite / Labour party candidates/ed Milliband/ strike / closure fiasco just goes to show how the politicians who are supposed to be looking after the interests of their constituents are completely out of touch with what is going on.Maybe I was a bit harsh on  Mr Joyce, as he no longer represents Falkirk, but he is typical of the short sighted ,out for themselves career -minded politicos we have an abundance of in Scotland, who are so blinded by the lights of London , they forget why they were sent there , and indeed , who sent them. Now it is only a matter of time before this becomes the fault of the Scottish government.

    31. Bill C says:

      @tartanfever -That was my point about saying the union had been “suckered”. You are right, the writing was on the wall when Ratcliffe  received his ‘award’. His comments about the UK not being a good place to invest in, should have sent warning signals to the union. Instead it looks as if they were too wrapped up in saving Stephen Deans to see the bigger picture of looming closure.

    32. Morag says:

      I’ve been quite impressed by the quality of Eric Joyce’s writing when he’s sober.  (Now I can see how ridiculous were the accusations that Grahamski was Joyce – chalk and cheese.)  The sort of debate one can respect and engage with, even if he is on the wrong side.
       
      What a criminal waste of a brain.

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Do you think that will happen?”

      I don’t have the foggiest idea.

    34. muttley79 says:

      @wee jamie
       
       
      The whole unite / Labour party candidates/ed Milliband/ strike / closure fiasco just goes to show how the politicians who are supposed to be looking after the interests of their constituents are completely out of touch with what is going on.Maybe I was a bit harsh on  Mr Joyce, as he no longer represents Falkirk, but he is typical of the short sighted ,out for themselves career -minded politicos we have an abundance of in Scotland, who are so blinded by the lights of London , they forget why they were sent there , and indeed , who sent them. Now it is only a matter of time before this becomes the fault of the Scottish government.
       
      As far as I am aware Joyce is still representing Falkirk, but is not a member of the Labour party anymore.  Is this right anyone?
       
      @Morag
       
      I’ve been quite impressed by the quality of Eric Joyce’s writing when he’s sober.  Wolf!…
       
      (Now I can see how ridiculous were the accusations that Grahamski was Joyce – chalk and cheese.)  The sort of debate one can respect and engage with, even if he is on the wrong side.
       
      What a criminal waste of a brain.
       
      Joyce is a funny one.  The press had always described him as a Blair loyalist.  I think they also said he was known as the ‘mad major’ as he served in the army.  Since he assaulted the Tory he has begun to talk sense, and appears to have an astute political brain.  Not that I am condoning violence against Tories, or the misuse of alcohol you understand…It is a strange one.  Maybe he had some longstanding problems, and now feels unburdened, and more at ease with himself.

    35. Morag says:

      As far as I know he’s still the MP for Falkirk, but sitting as an independent.
       
      Ironic that all this seems to have stemmed from a union official misusing company time to interfere in the internal Labour selection process for their candidate to replace Mr. Joyce in 2015.

    36. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Rev-
      ‘To be absolutely fair to Eric, she’s not his leader.’
       
      Wasn’t it pointed out, in another thread, just a few days ago, that Lamont is responsible of all Scottish MPs and MSPs?
       
      In any event, the point I’m making is pretty simple – if Eric Joyce could see the writing on the wall, why wasn’t this brought to the attention of the SG ‘months ago’?
       
       
       
       

    37. Frances says:

      Radio Scotland at 2pm yesterday had a great interview with Gregor Gault re Grangemouth.  Unfortunately it’s not yet available on the i-player and suspect it never will be – he had full praise for the Scottish Government but was less than enthusiastic about Westminster.

    38. Allan28 says:

      Scotchwoman
      I believe the £6 Billion (or, more accurately $US9 Billion) was for the purchase of the entirety of Innovene (of which Grangemouth was only part) from BP. Innovene owned production facilities in 7 countries and a 50% share in a substantial joint venture.

    39. muttley79 says:

      @Frances
       
       
      Incidentally, what was he praising them for (my mind explodes when industrial relations and maths are involved)?

    40. Moujick says:

      As far as Grangemouth and Nationalisation (permenent or temporary) is concerned, I think that the central issue will be what real losses are. If the £10m a month figure is true then the SG would have to work on the assumption that they would have to cover this whichever way the Referendum went next year – I don’t  see that losses of that scale (within the current devolved settlement) could be covered without cuts in services elsewhere or a rise in Tax – considering the salaries that staff at the complex are on (I heard an average basic of £42k plus bonuses?) then I actually think that for many people in Scotland this would be politically unacceptable i.e. the public subsidy of workers who are effectively in the top 10% of earners in the country. This couldn’t go on indefinetely and the plant would have to move to profitability fairly quicky which may mean that the union, Unite (described by Eric Joyce as militant and politiscised) would need to get a grip re expectations.
      I would also guess that the SG would be severely limited by EU State Aid rules from embarking down the path of fully Nationalising a plant making those types of losses.
      If the plant isn’t making losses of that scale and the workers are confident of it’s profitability then I would think that a management buy out with State involvement (e.g. a percentage stake plus loans)is more likely to be the most likely legal and affordable route to save the plant from closure (assuming the absence of a private sector buyer) – not only would it give the SG a chance to work within State Aid parameters but the workforce would have both a stake in the enterprise and a responsibility to expect wages and  terms & conditions  within the parameters of profitability.

    41. Morag says:

      Ian, even in her wildest dreams, Lamont isn’t “responsible” for MPs that are not part of the Labour party.  She’s no more responsible for Joyce than she is for Pete Wishart.

    42. david says:

      half an hour into pmqs and not a mention of industrial shock and awe in grangemouth

    43. david says:

      oh here we go

    44. Eco_Exile says:

      Frankly, I am astounded that NOTHING was said about Grangemouth during Prime Ministers Questions. Do they care?

    45. bunter says:

      Andrew Neil says its amazing Grangemouth was not mentioned by any parties during PMQs, especially as energy is reserved. He was really puzzled.

    46. kininvie says:

       
      (Sorry Rev, posted this previously on the wrong thread.)
       
      I don’t especially blame Unite for the Grangemouth fiasco. It was just the final straw. I suspect the plant has long been on Ineos ‘get-rid’ list, and they’ve only been hanging around to find out how much ‘investment’ they could wring out of various governments. A debt-fuelled private multinational company, living on the narrow line between profit and tits-up (they’ve already had to reschedule their debt once) is going to be ruthless when it comes to disposing of marginal assets.

       
      If anyone’s to blame, it’s ultimately BP, and the government (Thatcher I presume) which sold off the last of its stake in that company. Thereafter, BP could behave like any big multinational, selling off ‘non-core’ assets to anyone and everyone, without giving a toss about wider responsibilities…

       
      I remain mystified about Petrochina. The joint venture deal with Ineos which was supposed to guarantee the future of Grangemouth, doesn’t look as though it’s working out for them. So what are they saying/doing? Very little in public, but you can bet they will be pursuing their own interests, which are unlikely to be Scotland’s. Interesting that at the time of the JV, Michael Connarty (local MP) speculated that the Chinese really just wanted the technology – to take back home and do it for themselves…

       
      Ultimately, though, it’s my uninformed guess that the Grangemouth petrochemical plant is stuffed – no matter who owns it. And that should be  warning to anyone hoping for the nationalising route.  US gas is now one third the price of the North Sea gas (which is declining anyway). Maybe the only thing that could save it in the long run is fracking in the central belt – but that (even if it is allowed) is only just at the exploratory stage…..

       
      There’s a lot of stuff on the web in various oil industry publications to suggest that Grangemouth’s difficulties are long term and strategic (place,price,product) rather than anything to do with a workforce/management spat.
       
      Sorry to be gloomy, but has anyone got a different view?

    47. wee jamie says:

      @ Muttley79
       
      You are right , he DOES still represent Falkirk , but was suspended and resigned from the party in 2012. The selection of another candidate led to the whole falkirk candidate row, a matter still under investigation by the scottish police as far as I’m aware, and adding his most recent arrest at Edinburgh airport to a long line of similar drunken escapades , including D.U.I, dating back for over a decade, I don’t see the attraction . If this is the best caliber of elected representative we can muster, I fear for the future. None of us is perfect ,but common decency and civilised behavior used to be a prerequisite for a career in public life , maybe i’m just naive and old fashioned.

    48. muttley79 says:

      @Moujick
       
      If the £10m a month figure is true then the SG would have to work on the assumption that they would have to cover this whichever way the Referendum went next year – I don’t  see that losses of that scale (within the current devolved settlement) could be covered without cuts in services elsewhere or a rise in Tax – considering the salaries that staff at the complex are on (I heard an average basic of £42k plus bonuses?) then I actually think that for many people in Scotland this would be politically unacceptable i.e. the public subsidy of workers who are effectively in the top 10% of earners in the country.
       
      James Cook of BBC Scotland tweeted that:  “Ineos boss tells the BBC that the petrochemicals plant is losing £50m a year.”  This means that they have been giving different figures to people.  If they were losing £10 million a month then that would obviously be a loss of £120 million a year.  I think the company is at it.

    49. Macart says:

      Thirty odd years an instrument artificer with the BP at Grangemouth my dad. Worked in the clerks office myself for a while in PID. I am just staggered at what has been allowed to happen. Never thought I’d see the day when gates would be shut there. I’m almost glad the old fella won’t be aware of what’s happening.

    50. Moujick says:

      @muttley79 – I spotted that figure after I posted  – I think you may be right that they are at it – or – the £10m a month figure might relate to the whole plant including the Refinery. If that is the case then you have to fear for the Refinery as well given how ruthless Ineos have shown themselves to be with the petrochemical plant.

    51. bunter says:

      INEOS boss says employees may not even get redundancy as that will be up to the liquidators and that the petrochemical Co is a standalone company. They had it all sewed up and Unite have really been suckered with the poor employees being led up the garden path and probably have no job and no redundancy now.

    52. MochaChoca says:

      @muttley79
      Yes there do seem to be some discrepancies in the figures INEOS have bandied about; £100m per year, £10m per month, £150m per year? anyway, if the Petrochem part is lossing £50m per year that suggests the refinery is (at best) also lossing £50m per year, so is really as much at risk, no?
       
      The other possibility is that the plant does actually clear it’s feet, but it’s the cash being extracted by the shareholder that results in a loss.
       
      Afterall, also in todays news:
       
      “Refined petrol and chemicals are among the strongest performers in the latest official manufactured export figures”
       

    53. tartanfever says:

      Hold on people, lots of conflicting figures going about. Remember there are two parts to this plant, petro-chemicals and the refinery. 
      The petro-chemicals plant could be losing £50m a year and the whole plant losing £10m a month because refinery figures aren’t included – don’t start calling people liars because you misunderstand whats being said.
      Unless we see full accounts that are inspected by independent experts, we’ll never know the full story. 
       
      kininvie says:
       
      ‘I don’t especially blame Unite for the Grangemouth fiasco. It was just the final straw. I suspect the plant has long been on Ineos ‘get-rid’ list, and they’ve only been hanging around to find out how much ‘investment’ they could wring out of various governments.’
       
      Ok, so the Union call an overtime ban and threaten a full strike over Stephen Deans, nothing to do with pay/pensions etc etc.
       
      The company have been saying for months that restructuring is required, which is what they are doing in virtually all their other European plants – the Norwegian petro chemicals plant is now importing gas from the US for the plant because it’s cheaper and this is what the management proposed for Grangemouth, the £300m investment would be to gear the plant up for such imports and update infrastructure. How exactly is this putting Grangemouth on the ‘get-rid’ list ?
      The shale gas boom in the US and Canada is vastly undercutting our gas prices and this is where Ineos want to get their gas from. 
      Their new worker agreements are in line with practice they have introduced in their plants all over the world and have been agreed. Final salary pension plans are being scrapped all over the place, and have been replaced in nearly every single area of business around the world.
      I agree with you, Ineos have been in financial strife and do cut a fine line between profit and loss. Just three weeks ago they closed a plant in Hull.
      However, wouldn’t common sense tell you then to accept their deal and see them invest £300m as promised ? Wouldn’t you ‘call their bluff’ rather than just seeing the whole place closed down ?

    54. jake says:

      @Eco-Exile

      There’s a convention in the HOC that you don’t ask questions when the spooks are involved.

    55. Jimbo says:

      “Ineos chairman and founder Jim Ratcliffe had said at the weekend that if the petrochemical plant closed it was likely the refinery would go as well.”
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24631342
       
      A plant that puts £Billions into Scotland’s economy is hanging by a thread – Meanwhile the UK Chancellor, Osborne, goes on a junket to China to promote tourism to London.
       
      Promoting London and the South East is more important to Westminster than our Industry in Scotland is. This latest closure at Grangemouth proves that Scotland really needs to be totally in charge of her own affairs.

    56. Embradon says:

      Is it not the case that there are two distinct plants on the complex – one refining oil and the other using gas feedstock to peoduce chemicals for the plastics industries?
      Ineos has a track record of buying plants using high yield debt which then has to be financed adding to production costs. It appears to be the chemicals plant which is being liquidated rather than the refinery – so far.
       

    57. bunter says:

      Given that Ineos said that the petrochemical plant could survive with investment and imported cheap shale gas from USA, does anyone think this is a ploy by the UK gov to open up Scotland to cheap shale gas exploration. There are lots of Tory donors who would love to get their hands on Scottish shale gas deposits, but with the Scot Gov not keen, well could this be a strategy?

    58. Eco_Exile says:

      Just a thought, Osborne is in China.
      Petro-China owns half of Grangemouth. 
      China just signed a contract to build at Hinkeley C. 
       
      I smell a rat.

    59. Mad Jock McMad says:

      Last week Ineos stated with new investment Grangemouth could be returned to profitability quickly…..

      Ratcliffe is internationally known as an asset stripper, hollowing our companies and filling them with debt from other parts of his organisation to maximise tax breaks.
      The question now becomes, just how important is Grangemouth to the UK energy supply along with the BP refinery.

      What is the impact if Ineos shuts down the chemical plant on the BP refinery side’s local supply of energy such as steam generation on which it is reliant on Ineos?

      The union or the Union is not the issue the potential loss of in excess of £120 million a day gas and crude landing fees lost to a UK Treasury deep in debt is.

      I suggest Ineos business plan is predicated on cheap gas from fracking the Central Belt of Scotland, in the face of the problems Dart Energy and other fracking companies face across the UK this is not happening any time soon. Ineos are looking for an excuse to bale out before they actually start losing money.

    60. Morag says:

      Timing’s wrong I think.  They want cheap gas now, but even if everything went full steam ahead there won’t be any cheap gas emerging from Scotland’s rocks for quite a while.

    61. Marian says:

      I was watching the TV news on the Grangemouth dispute recently when I spied one Trade Union official I happen to know who once threatened me personally after I had dismissed a shop steward for breach of trust who was caught red-handed falsifying his worksheets in order to increase his wages. His dismissal was consistent with the organisations policy and practice.
      In all my very many years of dealing with industrial trade unions I have never met another Trade Union official who thought that threatening an employer personally who was merely carrying out their duty to the letter, was an acceptable way of resolving disputes.
      I don’t know if this is the kind of industrial relations that has been going on at Grangemouth, but I do find it extremely concerning that a person like the one I have described is involved in the dispute.

    62. Jimbo says:

      @ BillC
      “Can and will the Scottish Government nationalise the plant?”
       
      The Scottish government don’t have the power to nationalise it. That power is reserved to Westminster. Only a YES vote next year can change that.
       
       
       

    63. MochaChoca says:

      from prev thread:
       
      “Petroineos will now decide on whether to restart the refinery. This will be primarily dependent on the removal of the threat of further industrial action.”
       

      Best leave that up to Unite to decide then……

    64. Jimbo says:

      @Kendomacaroonbar
       
      “Then Brewer asked him if there were any Chinese companies involved, and if so, how does he *feel* to be contemplating selling the facility to a potential overseas buyer…”
       
      Ineos is already 50% owned by Petrochina.
       
       

    65. Footsoldier says:

      People of Dunfermline vote SNP tomorrow and take control of your own destiny and what happens in Scotland.
      Soon there will be nothing left in Scotland, so Labour voters, time for new thinking.

    66. Edward says:

      Like Ravencraig before it, I would expect Ineos to waste no time in dismantling the plant at Grangemouth and shipping it off somewhere, perhaps America, perhaps China.
      For those that were not aware, the Ravenscraig  Steel Mill plant and machinery, including the strip mill were dismantled and shipped to the US, Alabama I recall (I know as I was asked to quote for the shipping)

    67. MochaChoca says:

      I’m not so sure that they don’t have the power to nationalise.
      I know energy is a reserved matter, but isn’t aviation as well, and there seems to be no hinderance (so far) to PIK being into public hands.

    68. david says:

      not a peep at prime ministers questions regarding grangemouth. a half hour given to the situation at the end of pmqs after 9/10s of mps has left for lunch. not 1 scottish mp asked about grangemouth during pmqs, not 1.  Biggest question  asked on news channels after pmqs was who won, cameron or milliband ?

    69. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @jimbo
       
      Understood, however my point was that Brewer implied that Chinese ownership should be an area of concern.

    70. muttley79 says:

      @david
       
       
      not a peep at prime ministers questions regarding grangemouth. a half hour given to the situation at the end of pmqs after 9/10s of mps has left for lunch.
       
      What is that all about?

    71. Oneironaut says:

      What I heard about it is that Unite were prepared to back down over the threat of strike action and that INEOS simply took the opportunity to shut the plant down and keep it off unless their demands were met.
       
      I don’t think this was Unite’s fault.  They were suckered into it.
      INEOS was just looking for an excuse.
       
      They should just have been told: “Ok.  You say the plant is worthless?  Fine.  Well if you don’t want it, give us the keys and f*** off!”

    72. david says:

      its about an important issue in scotland not being raised at westminister during pmq

    73. Cath says:

      “Andrew Neil says its amazing Grangemouth was not mentioned by any parties during PMQs, especially as energy is reserved. He was really puzzled.”
       
      I wonder if this will be an eye-opener for anyone else currently on the pro-Westminster No side?
       

    74. Jimbo says:

      @ Wee Jamie
       
      “Maybe I was a bit harsh on  Mr Joyce, as he no longer represents Falkirk,”
       
      Joyce is the MP for Falkirk West. Ineos is in Michael Connarty’s constituency – Falkirk East

    75. muttley79 says:

      @david
       
       
      No, I meant why was there no questions asked on it during PMQs?

    76. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      I read a couple of Joyce’s blog posts last week, and he was bang on. Same with comment quoted here.
      Ineos may have been looking for an excuse. Unite gave it to them on a platter. 
      Form memory, Ineos wanted a no strike guarantee into 2014 & Unite wouldn’t give it. 

    77. david says:

      No, I meant why was there no questions asked on it during PMQs?
      a respect thing i think

    78. Craig M says:

      If Scotland is going to be asset stripped, then declare UDI.

    79. Jamie Arriere says:

      Can I chuck this grenade into this flammable moment (Bunter beat me to it) – does this weaken everybody’s objections to fracking in Scotland (which I have) if that could theoretically secure the future of the plant? I believe the ethane they were proposing importing from America was low-cost shale gas from fracking there.
       
      Is this in anyone’s thinking?

    80. Alba4Eva says:

      Got this from a Hootsmon comment of all places…
      “What is the place doing to run a £10m a month loss?  If that makes £120m a year, divided by 1,300 staff, that’s £90,000 per employee! 
      Well paid they may be, but they don’t pull in that kind of cash.”
      …It actually works out at about £92,000.   Something tells me that Ineos are completely lying about this and are actually just Asset Stripping under any BS they can get away with.

    81. tartanfever says:

      The Ineos plan was to import Shale Gas from the USA and Canada as it’s cheaper. This is what their £300m investment in the plant was going to cater for.
      This is exactly what they’ve done with their petro-chemical site in Norway – which happens to be open and operating with not a single job loss – maybe their workers are more reliably informed or the have a decent union.
      If the plan was to gear the plant for cheap gas imports from North America, it kind makes the fracking issue here irrelevant.

    82. Jimbo says:

      @ Mochachoca
       
      “Yes there do seem to be some discrepancies in the figures INEOS have bandied about; £100m per year, £10m per month, £150m per year? anyway, if the Petrochem part is lossing £50m per year that suggests the refinery is (at best) also lossing £50m per year, so is really as much at risk, no?”
       
      The refinery and the petrochemical plants are run as separate entities. The petrochemical side runs at a loss.
       
      I’m told by a member of Unite that much of Ineos’ petrochemical business is diverted away from Grangemouth the their petrochemical plant in Norway as the costs here were too high. Also; Ineos transferred their HQ to Switzerland to avoid paying UK tax.
       
      According to the union guy, the refinery returns a 50% profit margin.

    83. HandandShrimp says:

      However, Downing Street has indicated there will be no bailout for Grangemouth, and that it was up to the company and the trade unions to resolve the dispute.
       
      From the BBC story, Westminster demonstrating why we are Better Together. The fact that it didn’t even make a whisper at PMQT shows Labour in stark light too.

    84. MochaChoca says:

      I wonder what the workforce costs are like in their Norwegian plant?

    85. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I wonder what the workforce costs are like in their Norwegian plant?”

      Ooh, I knew there was something else I meant to mention. Editing.

    86. Alba4Eva says:

      Tory Britain… Its Like Thatcher / Ravenscraig all over again.

    87. GrahamB says:

      Surely Grangemouth is a perfect opportunity for the UK Government to step in and prove that we are actually ‘better together’. Don’t anyone go holding their breath though.

    88. Cath says:

      If Scotland is going to be asset stripped, then declare UDI.
       
      I was actually thinking that this morning. They won’t though; they can’t. Right now with polls as they are (and however much you think polls are manipulated not enough people are yet convinced). And besides, we don’t have the institutions necessary. How would you suddenly start collecting all taxes in Scotland for one obvious example?
       
      But already people on the Better Together pages are crowing about this, blaming the Scottish government and using it to prove “see a separate Scotland couldn’t possibly survive.”
       
      It would be bloody lovely if the Scottish government could stand up and say, “The economy, industry, infrastructure, and taxes are currently reserved to Westminster. In order to save this vital plant and nationalise it we need independence and this can no longer wait until 2014. So we’re declaring UDI now in order to deal with this problem in Scotland. The referendum will, of course, still go ahead in 2014 to ask people if they’re happy with that decision or would prefer we return control to Westminster”. Nice to dream…

    89. Wee_monsieur says:

      David Cameron must be loving this. In one fell swoop he sits back to watch the shafting of a major Union, the Labour Party, the Scottish economy and (partly) the Independence argument.
       
      He’ll not lift a finger. Mark my words.

    90. MochaChoca says:

      Yes, I’m aware the refinery and the petrochem plants operate separately. But the there is clearly a symbiotic relationship between the two. Ratcliffe has already said that the refinery will most likely also close if the petrochem plant does.

    91. bunter says:

      Nice upbeat message from the BBC D Fraser at lunchtime news NOT. He mentioned at the end that it remains to be seen how this will play out regards the referendum. Quite!

    92. bunter says:

      BASF chemical plant in Paisley also closing BBC announced. Another 120 jobs to go. NOT A GOOD DAY!

    93. Jimbo says:

      @ Kendomacaroonbar
       
      “Understood, however my point was that Brewer implied that Chinese ownership should be an area of concern.”
       
      Sorry, Ken. I should have qualified that reply. What I meant was, that Brewer is an arse for not knowing that Petrochina are already part owners. Or, perhaps he did know but wanted a bit of sensationalism for public absorption.

    94. HandandShrimp says:

      It would be very foolish for Better Together to crow about this. It would be like they don’t care about the ordinary workers losing their jobs or damage being inflicted to the Scottish economy….making capital out of the misery of others. In fact it might very well look like they are delighted this has happened…which is what the nastier Tories did during all the closures during the 80s.   

    95. kininvie says:

      @tartanfever
      You are right in that Unite quite clearly didn’t believe the threats that Ineos were making, and did all the wrong things at the wrong time, possibly because they were under the illusion that Grangemouth management had some kind of influence on Ineos’ wider strategy….
       
      But the bigger questions remain: in particular over the ‘cheap gas from the US’. First exports are not before 2015, and the CEO of Shell is on record as saying that after the costs of liquification, transport and re-gasification, the price may be on a par with European prices.
      As recently as July, Ineos were seeking £150m  from the SG to underwrite storage facilities & dockside modifications. Cynic as I am, I suspect this would have been just one in a series of ‘if you want to keep Grangemouth going, then you’ll need to stump up..’ (which would only have got worse with independence).
       
      As you can tell, I don’t like what I read about this company, and I don’t think it’s a suitable owner for a strategic asset. But at the same time I think a Scottish govt would need to be very sure of what it was getting into before it put any money into a buyout or joint venture.

    96. MochaChoca says:

      Unless Cameron is leaving the door open to the Scottish Govt to come to the rescue (S_S theory)?

      Take the whole site into public ownership as an emergency measure for a year?

      A YES vote means we could then make this a permanent solution, a NO vote means we probably hand it over to Lamont’s cuts commission.

    97. Tony Little says:

      Discussions on the Herald.  One post by a Dr Douglas McKenzie is interesting regarding the apparent losses being made.
       
      “The bit about losing £10M a month is propaganda – this is apparently only achieved by writing off capital investments so they appear as losses. Other sources suggest that the plant is in fact profitable – certainly showing a gross profit and probably at the EBITDA level as well.”

    98. Cath says:

      “It would be very foolish for Better Together to crow about this.”
       
      The folk on the various NO facebook pages already are. I assume they’re a mix of Labour and Tory activists.
       
      There are plenty of decent people in Labour in Scotland (and a few decent Tories), as well as in the unions. So we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, and what they’re actually willing to do. It’s a very good chance for people in Scotland to come together and work together for Scotland’s interests. Will they do that, or will just crow like those on their fan pages are?

    99. TJenny says:

      Oh Gawd – Mags Curran on BBC News – gibbering on, but saying nothing – Oh, I take that back – she’s just said she appreciates the efforts of both WM + Scot Govt

      And now Oor Eck, sounding calm and statesmanlike:-) And denigrating doomsday scenario being touted!

    100. MochaChoca says:

      These people (“I’m a proud Scot, but…”) have actually adopted the mindset that bad news for Scotland is a victory for them. How will they shake that off when we vote YES?

    101. The Rough Bounds says:

      Ineos – the Ugly Bloated Spider.
      Grangemouth – the Web.
      Trade Union – the Stupid Fly.
       
      ‘Buzz all you like Fly, you’re going to be eaten.’

    102. Edward says:

      Disgraceful assessment by BBC’s Norman Smith. Just watching a clip, where he claims its a ‘slap on the face to Alex Salmond’ Smith blames everyone, except for the union and Ineos
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24638743

    103. gordoz says:

      Wait for it MSM headlines ‘Scots Gov leak’ coming soon –
      ‘ALEX SALMOND CLOSED GRANGEMOUTH’

    104. HandandShrimp says:

      Mocha
       
      The won’t shake it off if they succeed and secure a No vote either. Every word is logged for posterity.

    105. msean says:

      It shows how much power the scottish parliament needs to have in order to deal with  situations like this.The will is there to help,not the required powers though.
      YES.

    106. AnneDon says:

      As the local MP, even if he isn’t in the Labour Party, surely Eric Joyce should have been looking into this for the benefit of his constituents?
       
      While I’ve no idea if his analysis is completely correct, we can all be wise after the event.

    107. Craig P says:

      Kininvie. You want to know about Petrochina’s involvement? Apparently the investment in Grangemouth was so they could learn how to run their own new plant in China. According to the BBC anyway…
       
      Eco_Exile – I think you’ve just joined the dots that needed joined re: Chinese investment and the UK government’s interest in Grangemouth  🙁

    108. Shinty says:

      Sorry O/T
      Yes Edinburgh West are promoting postal voting in the referendum. Why FFS?
       
      I know postal voting has been covered a lot on Wings and the general feeling is that postal voting should be kept to a minimum.  Anyone care to comment as to why they would be promoting it?

    109. McHaggis says:

      Posted 4 SNP votes away today in Dunfermline B/E.
       

    110. McHaggis says:

      The business rates liability alone on the refinery site are around £4.25million per annum

    111. AnneDon says:

      @Shinty – I’m in Yes Edinburgh West. One of our activists views it as a good way to get our the Yes Vote on the day among people who don’t usually vote.
       
      Naturally, we’re careful who we suggest it to. 🙂
       
      Just saw Eric Joyce on Channel 4 News, blaming the union for the crisis at Grangemouth. Maybe it’s just as well he didn’t get involved to help his constituents. He’s just a New Labour apparatchik.
       
      Read Robin McAlpine’s piece on Open Democracy today, which details Ineos’ history of government exploitation.

    112. Ken500 says:

      Is only half the Plant closing?. The petro chemical markets would declined since 2008, because of the prolonged recession. Isn’t the refinery plant still making profits and being kept open?. The Refinery must still be refining Oil from the Forties field (BP) etc, which is still producing Oil. There is less Gas, INEOS were investigating taking Shale Gas (cheap) from the US to keep on delivering Gas.

      The workers should have taken the offer for no, or negotiated an alternative. Keeping holiday entitlement for less pay out. Final salary pension schemes have closed all over the UK. If the economy picks up, the Pension provision would still be reasonable. Low interest rates mean pension funds have fallen. Less return to the investments.

      Labour Unionists too busy engaged in politics than representing their members. If the Unions are so concerned about the workers, why do they fund a right-wing Political Party. Illegal wars, redundant weaponry, Trident and fraudulent Bankers.

      The SNP Scottish Gov announced two months ago, a five year plan to invest £Millions in the area to create jobs and support industry. What now?

      Companies all over the UK have lost revenues because markets have declined because of the Recession. Banks borrowing at -1% and lending businesses at 10/12% or not lending at all.
      Small businesses ave been badly affected and large retailers have lost customers and profits. Tesco’s profits are down 25%. Marks & Soencer down, without food sales. Arcadia Group Philip Green etc.

    113. Ken500 says:

      Collecting Taxes in Scotland – Centre One? Less Taxes going direct to UK Treasury. Just change direction, on instructions. Post Office Counters still remain. Re-national or restructure mail service.
      Pay TV licence to Centre One, East Kilbride or Scottish Post Office. A broadcasting service can buy programmes or produce them. BBC sells programmes all over the world.

      Commercial TV companies buy programmes or commissions them under license from production companies.

    114. Ken500 says:

      Postal votes should be subjected to scrutiny. Not disappeared in black bags. If they can’t be produced, the election should be declared null and void and a new election called. The practice of going round the doors collecting postal votes, should be tightened up.

    115. Ken500 says:

      Eric Joyce is an addict, inherited in the Genes. It run in families and can be helped with counselling and total abstinence. Ie restraint from consuming alcohol/drugs. Unfortunately some people have to hit rock bottom before they seek the help available. A vicious circle.

    116. Kevin Lynch says:

      Bill C “Can and will the Scottish Government nationalise the plant?”
       
      It comes down to being able to raise the funding. They’re already taking Glasgow Prestwick into public ownership in a bid to save that. I doubt they’ll be able to raise the sort of money they’d need to buy out Grangemouth. It’s likely several orders of magnitude greater than what Prestwick is costing.
       
      We shouldn’t get over excited though. If the Scottish Government can’t find a buyer. The UK government will be forced to step in. Grange mouth supplies most of Scotland and the North East of England with fuel. It’s a strategic asset for both the UK and Scotland.
       
      What we do need to think about is how will the new owner make the plant profitable. Which will be a requirement for any privet sector owner. Which means the deal the employees rejected will likely go through in the end. Which will mean Unite will have endangered hundreds, if not thousands of jobs in the area out of pure spite.
       
      Union bosses today get paid all the same fat cat salaries, bonuses and perks their corporate counter parts get. For that kind of money I think it’s time we started demanding a more grown up and civilised approach to resolving industrial disputes.



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