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The Countdown Conundrum

Posted on October 23, 2013 by

The Spectator: as subtle as it is classy.

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    170 to “The Countdown Conundrum”

    1. AlexMci says:

      Oh that didn’t take long. you can read this mob like a book. Nothing surprises me about the media anymore. My problem is it just gets me really angry, I am getting that I really hate them, and I’m not usually one who gets caught up in feelings like this. I honestly think, no matter the referendum result that there’s going to be a lot of bad feeling towards anyone who works in the MSM, who has been party to all this lying and trying to take Scotland for fucking idiots.

    2. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Click bait… no other eplanation.

    3. Without having to actual visit the article, how do they figure that it’s the SNP’s fault?

    4. gillie says:

      Euan McColm can’t count up never mind countdown. McColm claims there are 1600 jobs under threat.

    5. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Horace
       
      Nowhere within the article is the FM or the SNP blamed for anything.

    6. blunttrauma says:

      Whenever I come across this kind of thing I just donate some money to YES Scotland. It’s my way of fighting back as I have no power over the MSM.

    7. Calum Craig says:

      JFC…

    8. HandandShrimp says:

      The article takes the claim by the company that it is losing £10m a month rather too much at face value. In other versions it is £50m a year. However that aside the article has a point. The accompanying picture is presumably because the Spectator wasn’t able to find a picture of Grangemouth. Ratcliffe, Deans or Len.

    9. wee jamie says:

      @ kendomacaroonbar
       
      As has been pointed out before, they don’t need to actually BLAME the S.N.P or Alec Salmond in print , just show a very clear picture implying it, and the readers get the message.Earlier today we were discussing how long it would be before the Scottish government were blamed for this ….. now we know, about 9 hours !!

    10. Linda's back says:

      Worth reading Eric Joyce on Unite activities.. and Scottish Labour out of its depth
      http://ericjoyce.co.uk/2013/10/2081
      Quote
      As I wrote in my last blogpost (below) Unite’s convener at Grangemouth, Stephen Deans, put an enormous amount of time and effort into trying to sort the local parliamentary selection – effort which should have been put into planning for the crunch talks which Ineos has been signalling for months.  Trade union organisers all over Scotland can see that.  Pat Rafferty, Unite’s dimwitted Scottish Secretary, stressed that the proposed strike was not about pay, the future, jobs – no, none of that stuff.  It was about Deans himself.  Now Rafferty is trying to argue the wider industrial case but he’s missed the bus.  And, by the way, that bus was probably made during a period when Unite (under Rafferty) for once wasn’t on strike at Falkirk’s other main industrial employer, ADL the ‘Olympic’ bus-maker who puts Falkirk on the world map.
       

    11. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @AlexMci-
       
      Well in there.
       
      Regardless of who’s pulling who’s wires, the result is rage.
       
      I’m raging that I didn’t wise-up twenty, thirty years ago.
       
      The closet Tories in Scotland have been handed another reason to ‘rage’ about Socialism/Unions/ the Great Unwashed they fear so much.
       
      And every other fucker and his dug has been handed a reason to rage against whoever it is he (and his dug) hate the most.
       
      Divide and rule?
       
      Nae need – just do the ‘divide’ bit, and let the helpless, clueless Plebs do the rest…
       
      ‘…Broadsword calling Plebs-in-Dunfermline…Broadsword calling Plebs-in-Dunfermline…come in, Plebs-in-Dunfermline…’

    12. lumilumi says:

      Just had a peek at the BBC website.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24638743
       
      Its “subtle” innuendo implied the Grangemouth fiasco is the fault of Alex Salmond/SNP/Scottish Government because… err… well, they didn’t do something they have no power over. According to the BBC chap in London, this puts into question the whole independence issue. [wee smiley where I bang my head agaist a brick wall]
       
      If anything, Grangemouth highlights the need for Scottish independence.

    13. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @wee Jamie
      I am fully aware of the MSM black arts, I merely answered Horace’s question 🙂

    14. call me dave says:

      Mr Rafferty & Mr Deans will have to eat some humble pie and attempt to get all the staff back to work.  They have little wriggle room and will have to accept some reduction of their terms and conditions.
       
      If their lucky they can regroup at a later date and move on again.  I’ve been on the wrong end of a serious strike once and when your family is involved you don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. The management at the plant are ruthless and unfeeling, but on this occasion, had bigger testicles than the Unite union who always had a weak hand.

      Sometimes you just have to accept it.   The SG will revisit this in the future if the referendum is a YES.  AS will make sure that this situation will not happen again and do the best for Scotland.

    15. Alba4Eva says:

      Eric Joyce was doing so well up until he just had to state that SNP campaigners in Dunfermline “Will be laughing their socks off”.
      He must have wrote the piece, then went for a night cap before returning to add the last line!

    16. Morag says:

      Actually, he said he’d “just walked through Perth”, and while he may be wrong about the reason for it, SNP activists in Perth at the weekend were certainly in a jovial mood.

    17. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Lamont on Scotland tonight now, without a script.

    18. HandandShrimp says:

      Lamont on Scotland tonight now, without a script.
       
      Can’t bear to watch..I am against blood sports on principle.

    19. Doug Daniel says:

      JOHANN LAMONT JUST CALLED FOR A BIG DEBATE! 
       
      She’s become her own parody account.

    20. Jingly Jangly says:

      Yup JoLa went off script and said that the SG should nationalise Grangemouth!!!!
      She said that when we are independent the SG is going to renationalise the “Royal Mail”
      and suggested we could do the same for Grangemouth.
      Does that mean she thinks that Yes is going to win….
      By the Way, AS was Statesman like, Lamont and the the one who replaced moore whatever his name is were numpties..

    21. bunter says:

      Cant believe Lamont sort of behaved herself, and  nice sidestep of Labour and Deans questions. Wont last though!

    22. kendomacaroonbar says:

      She appeared cool, calm and collected..  So what have they done with the *real* Johann..c’mon red coats..Fess Up !!

    23. Alba4Eva says:

      Brewer cut that expert off quickly… despite the bad sound quality, I got the destinct feeling that Brewer wasn’t liking the answers!

    24. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Eric Joyce on now, looks like he’s just snorted something live on air ! lol

    25. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

      Lamont refusing to be drawn on Unite’s calamitous handling of this including the Falkirk debacle involving Stephen Deans. Be careful what you wish for Lamont re: “a big debate”, because you aren’t going to like where this goes next if the new deal on the table doesn’t work.

    26. kendomacaroonbar says – @wee Jamie
      I am fully aware of the MSM black arts, I merely answered Horace’s question
       
      And thank you for doing so. 🙂

    27. call me dave says:

      Did she actually say (when we are independent)?
      “Yup JoLa went off script and said that the SG should nationalise Grangemouth!!!!She said that when we are independent the SG is going to renationalise the “Royal Mail”and suggested we could do the same for Grangemouth.”
       
      Goodness me… are you sure its no a puppet with  Salmond’s hand up its jersey working the mouth….. gottle off geer! gottle of geer!
      I’ll watch it tomorrow. 

    28. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

      The ridiculous Ponsonby spinning for scottish labour and trying to sweep aside questions about Stephen Deans. Even Joyce calling him out for his stupidity.

    29. bunter says:

      Mon the Joycey boy!!!

    30. Morag says:

      She appeared cool, calm and collected..  So what have they done with the *real* Johann..c’mon red coats..Fess Up !!
       
      I’m not watching it, but earlier this year I came to the conclusion that she’d been taking lessons in “cool, calm and collected” which hadn’t totally taken effect.  Maybe she’s had a refresher course.

    31. bunter says:

      Eric Joyce has broken the wee cosy studio concensus and is a joy to behold.

    32. Alba4Eva says:

      You could see the ‘Scottish Establishment’ squirming there.
      When is Joyce going to have his Eureka moment and come out the closet as a ‘Yes’?

    33. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Morag, she was untypically chilled out and pretty matter of fact about the whole situation even mentioning the possibility of a future Scottish Government nationalising the site.  Never ever has my flabber been so gasted.
       
      She was wearing shiny lipstick too.   Ah’m feeling queasy now.

    34. Jingly Jangly says:

      Just listened again to jola she said that in the event of independence, not when
      sorry was getting carried away with my self!!!!

    35. IainGraysSubwayLament says:

      The workers at Grangemouth and the area serving it deserve far, far better than incompetent fools like Stephen Deans and Pat Rafferty supposedly looking after their interests.
      Were I a Unite member at Grangemouth I would be calling for heads on the chopping block after this, regardless of whether the new deal on the table is accepted or not. They need sharp and expert representation at the negotiating table when dealing with a ruthless corporation and unforgiving global pressures. Instead they have the type of out of touch idiots who actually believed it was worth putting 800 jobs on the line for an untrustworthy scottish labour appartichik.

    36. Morag says:

      Just listened again to jola she said that in the event of independence, not when
      sorry was getting carried away with my self!!!!

      Even so, it’s a pretty pointless remark considering that Scotland ain’t gonna be independent in time to do diddly-squat about this present fiasco.  All she has done with that one is agree with Alex’s point that if he had the powers of an independent country he’d have a lot more options open to him.

      What was she thinking of, coming out with a line like that?  Just knee-jerk sneer?

    37. Krackerman says:

      kendomacaroonbar – “She was wearing shiny lipstick too.   Ah’m feeling queasy now.”
      Would you?

    38. HandandShrimp says:

      Would you?
       
      Wear shiny lipstick?
       
      Only if I had the right shoes.

    39. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Krackerman.
       
      No brainer, I reckon I’d probably bat for the other side…   (got the heebies now, a dettol bath with wire brush awaits )
       
      More to the point, would you ? if suitabley anesthetised ?

    40. Alba4Eva says:

      Yup Morag. It was a heck of an acknowledgement from JoLa.

    41. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Morag,  The cynic in me tells me that she’s been alerted to the amount of postal votes ‘in the bag’ for tomorrows show. ( allegedly) and that is why she is so chilled out.

    42. GrahamB says:

      Heard Carmichael on Newsdrive this p.m. He was hopeless. Perhaps he comes across as bluff and full of bluster when he is on a prepared script of sorts but faced with a live situation he was as full of waffle as Flipper.
      it does seem odd though that Joyce is being held up as the voice of reason – surely it is too late for him to redeem himself. If he does make a comeback as an independent he could split any Labour vote but I doubt if he’ll get enough suport after all his misdemeanors to be able to get a nomination.

    43. Jim Mitchell says:

      It is an important part of a union rep’s job to give advice to workers especially during a dispute, we all know that, I would like to know what advice the workers were given re the likelihood of the owners implementing their threat, was it along the lines of, they don’t dare comrades or, we cannot be absolutely certain, but we still think to say no to them is morally the right thing to do, but of course the decision is entirely yours?
      Emphasis can make a deal of difference.
      If it was the former then the union reps should consider their position as reps at least, it would mean that they had read the situation wrongly and were no longer fitted to give advice.
      It used to be called doing the honorable thing! 

    44. AlexMci says:

      Eric Joyce might have his problems, might not live up too a lot of folks expectations of someone who works in the public life thing. But do you know what, I will take Eric Joyce any fuckin day of the week before I have anything to do with 90% of the sleazy career polititian types who are rolled out on the TV, the Murphy, Alexander’s or Mundell types. I know who the people I work with or seem to be around would trust. Ok Eric’s been caught up in some shit in his life, who hasn’t. That’s the working class for you. Shit happens. Everyone I know has a story to tell about run ins with the polis, or bumping the taxman, or when they got a good deal of the wee guy in the pub for some knocked off Armani jeans in the pub. Folk can knock Mr Joyce if they wish, but I think that the folk that are the don’t know/ don’t care at the moment voters, who everyone that comments on political blogs is so desperate to reach out to would say , do you know whit , I’m going to listen to him. He seems pretty normal to me compared to that knob in the £1000 suit telling us we are all In This together.

    45. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Hear Hear Alex.

    46. Krackerman says:

      Scottish Secretary  and World’s fuggliest fish   separated at birth?

    47. Murray McCallum says:

      There is something very entertaining about a fish in a suit picture.

    48. Edward says:

      kendomacaroonbar
      Lamont was in full Kabuki* mode
      (*Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by its performers. Kabuki can be interpreted as “avant-garde” or “bizarre” theatre. The expression kabukimono referred originally to those who were bizarrely dressed and swaggered on a street.)
       

    49. The Man in the Jar says:

      Some of the comments the other day were folk discussing union membership. I honestly cant remember who (no names no pack drill). One of our readers was persuaded to give it one last try which they accepted.
       
       At no point in my working life did I ever join a union. My opinion was that they were of little use and the money I saved if I ever needed representation (thankfully I never did) I would just have to bite the bullet and hire a lawyer. I know someone who had occasion to do just that. At his hearing the lawyer didn’t even have to open his briefcase before management caved in.
       
      I reckon that there are way too many union folk (usually at the top) still living in the days of “Beer and Sandwiches at No.10” Well I don’t see that happening for a very long time. Please someone correct me if I am wrong but did I not read somewhere recently that there are now seven millionaires in the Labour shadow cabinet. Beer and sandwiches, Aye right!
       
      If I was a Unite member I would be sending back my membership card enclosed with a tube of Vaseline. 

    50. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Edward,
       
      That could equally apply to Helensburgh on any given Friday night ! lol
       
      Domo arigato !

    51. gordoz says:

      Well, well – wish you could bet on British media headlines. All accurately predicted via WoS 

      Salmond fails people at first hurdle (?) (of reserved matter!)

      Whats that ? news just in live here on BBC – Plant may be saved; as a direct result of Ed Davies phone call to J Radcliff.

      This script is coming together nicely. 

    52. AlexMci says:

      TMIJ, I found out exactly how much good a union does you as an apprentice with Renfrew District Council in the early nineties, they are all self serving wankers. I might get a raw deal at work now sometimes, but after my experience of unions as a boy I would rather stuff raw steak down my trousers in a room full of starving pit bulls, they are less use than an ashtray on a motorbike, and I feel sorry for the people still sucked in by them. I have never known anyone who involved their union in a dispute who could say they were a winner. It just doesn’t happen. It’s just a job creation thing nowadays. Bit like health and safety in my opinion, cost you plenty, but try to get anything out of them, well there’s not a chance.

    53. The Man in the Jar says:

      @AlexMci
       
      Strange coincidence, most of my experience with unions were with Strathclyde Regional Council, devolved to West of Scotland Water and evolved to Scottish Water. From mid eighties till 2007.

    54. Gaavster says:

      Paxman v Russell Brand tonight on Newsnight

      Well worth a watch…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YR4CseY9pk&feature=youtu.be

      He does Westminster down brilliantly and reinforces why we want out…

      Maybe he could be persuaded to do a Billy Bragg and come out in favour of Yes an aw

    55. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @AlexMci-
       
      Mister –
       
      We have met. I consider you a friend. You know that.
       
      But when it comes to Mr Joyce?
       
      Sorry man, but we differ.
       
      ‘Major’ Joyce was a willing mouthpiece in the UK MSM defence of the so-called ‘War’ on Iraq – he became a prominent advocate of that invasion – so prominent that he appeared on a nationally-broadcast televised Ch4 debate.
       
      He regularly cropped-up on Lesley Riddoch’s Radio Scotland show – appeared so often that Riddoch herself had to field complaints (on-air) that her show had no alternative voices.
       
      He has never (so far as I’m aware) been asked why he enjoyed a virtual monopoly in pressing the case for ‘war’ on Iraq.
       
      Whenever he did appear, his accomplices were either George Foulkes (aye, him) or a ‘Terrorism Expert’ from Aberdeen University called Jim Wylie.
       
      Alex, mister, seriously – if I ever fall out with you about anything, let’s please, please  not let it be about Eric Joyce?

    56. AlexMci says:

      TMIJ, well you understand my experience of unions, and why I could never bring myself to trust them. In my apprentice days, the union man was always, to be blunt, a fucking idiot. To be a union man you needed to be half a rain behind someone with half a brain. They were, for good reason, a figure of ridicule. Ever since then, as a seventeen year old getting disciplined, I have never trusted them. I can always remember walking out of that meeting, totally raging at him. Saying wullie your a prick, you just sat back and let me get slaughtered there. And him turning round and saying, aye yer saying that just now Alex, but we have the right tae appeal, we will get them then. 
       
      When i I look back on it now it’s frightening, there was me as a raw laddie, not in any way innocent. But putting my faith in that type of arsehole. So that as I say is my reason for taking nothing and having zero sympathy for unions.

    57. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      INEOS = BASF
       
      Could someone double check this for me?
      As in BASF to close Paisley chemical site with 141 job losses
       
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/28/basf-styrolution-idUKL6N0GS3BY20130828

    58. AlexMci says:

      @ Ian brotherhood , what I’m saying is, give the working man, without many political views a choice. Eric Joyce (nutted a tory), or Jim Murphy, or Dougie Alexander, or Tony Blair, or Michael Moore, or Danny Alexander, or David Mundell, or even Johann, Wendy, magrit, you see where I’m going Ian. The fact he is what he is goes in his favour. No one I know now really gives a fuck about the Iraq war, yesterday’s news. In fact no one I know gi es a fuck about Syria now. It’s all about stereotypes, Joyce is the dude wae a swally problem, that rapped the nut oan a Tory and done a weekender. Simple. 
       
      And me and you are not going to fall out about this, we can have an argument, then I will buy you a pint mate.

    59. cjmasta says:

      The whole “Union`s” thing came up in conversation with my mum tonight. She was telling me she cancelled her membership after her dealings with them recently.
      Her employer wanted to buy her out of her contract and give her a new one, no overtime etc.
      She said the union reps openly lied to them and fealt they were there just to remind them why they should be paying them money constantly reminding them how much better off they were as part of the union.
      The thing is they told one of the union guys to get tae, which he did and after that they were all better off by thousands of pounds no thanks to the union.
      When she phoned up to cancel her membership she was badgered for a reason but kept her reasons to herself.
      Agenda`s n all that I suppose.

    60. TJenny says:

      Gaavster – really lked the Russell Brand v Paxman vid. Russell won the argument by a country mile, in my view. And that’s the kind of fire we need to have leading us into indy.
       
      Even if we could get Russell to speak at an indy event, and why wouldn’t he as we are having our own quiet wee revolution here,  I think he might be a bit too strong and frighten the horses, well the Morningsiders anyway but appeal to the young?
       
      It would be good to have Duncan Hamilton speaking at public indy events a lot more in the lead up to the referendum, as he’s forceful and funny too.  Link to a wee vid of him below.
      http://t.co/fSnxNtzZen

    61. Edward says:

      Daughter of Evil Reindeer
      BASF is a large German Chemicals to Plastics to Industrial coatings company, with a global presence.
      It owned a 50% share of another German company called Styrolution, makers of plastics, mainly for the drinks industry. The other 50% was owned by Ineos. Unusually for a German company , its selling its share to a non German company . Its not as if BASF were short of cash as it posted sales for 2012 of € 72.1 Billion
      BASF have had to close the Paisley pigment plant as it was only producing Azo Pigments, which the market is shrinking and BASF . A large part of Paisley’s products are used for printing publications and the once high-volume printing industry is shrinking as new technologies reduce demand for pigments. Logically BASF should have introduced a completely new product, but obviously decided to cut their losses and close. BASF employ only 2000 in the UK as a whole

    62. Keef says:

      Tjenny I loved the vid of Duncan Hamilton. Where is he now we need to hear more of his factual humour and confidence.
       

    63. Oneironaut says:

      @TJenny
      “Even if we could get Russell to speak at an indy event, and why wouldn’t he as we are having our own quiet wee revolution here,  I think he might be a bit too strong and frighten the horses, well the Morningsiders anyway but appeal to the young?”
       
      Might be a good idea that actually.  Isn’t it mostly the majority of the younger voters who are either apathetic about it or planning on voting No for reasons which escape me?
      And the MSM might have trouble completely ignoring him since he’s pretty much a regular on their gossip columns already (which is the only part they actually put some serious effort into I’m sure!)
       
      Now I’m wondering how a debate between him and BT would play out.  They wouldn’t know what hit them, hehe. 😉

    64. Adrian B says:

      Keef,
       
      I loved the vid of Duncan Hamilton. Where is he now we need to hear more of his factual humour and confidence.
       
      He left politics to pursue his desire of a career in law:
      http://www.chambersandpartners.com/person/645987/14

    65. Patrick Roden says:

      O/T
      “How to deny Scotland independence” – Advice for the Civil Service !!!
       
      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-civil-services-potted-guide-on-how.html?spref=bl

    66. Macart says:

      Mr McColm, about as subtle as a case of athlete’s foot. He and the rest of today’s literati can go take a flyin’… to themselves. My trust and patience where the media is concerned is fully used up. Don’t know if he personally chose the image to go with the story, or some semi conscious sub, but I wouldn’t put it past him on current form.
       
      Missed the news articles last night with Johann et al so I’ll need to catch up, but it sounds as though somebody’s had a quiet word that she may be out of her depth on this one so play nice. I’m not actually surprised that Eric Joyce came out hard on this issue though, it literally hits him where he lives. He’ll know plenty of folks connected with Grangemouth and its very much a local issue regardless of ward or direct constituency. God this issue is going to have ripples across the country. Every MP and MSP regardless of rosette should be concerned. Ineos are going to do what they’re going to do regardless of any governmental action. They’ve already made their mind up.
       
      The job in hand is to ensure the continuance of the site. Ineos can make this a brutal departure or with the right arbitration as smooth a departure/turnover as possible. If the collective parties of the Scottish parliament can actually for two fucking seconds put their differences aside and put people before politics. If they can actually all get behind the FM on this, then maybe, just maybe a huge chunk of Scotland’s infrastructure and God knows how many jobs and families throughout Scotland can avoid disaster.

    67. Tattie-Boggle says:

      A few years back when lorry drivers went on strike did they not report they were losing 50m a day because of the strike? I vaguely remember a report when I used to watch TV maybe someone can remember

    68. john king says:

      blunttrauma says
      “Whenever I come across this kind of thing I just donate some money to YES Scotland. It’s my way of fighting back as I have no power over the MSM.”
      ah’ll no be askin you fur a len o a fiver then
      yir bound tae be skint
        

    69. john king says:

      ian brotherhood says
      ‘…Broadsword calling Plebs-in-Dunfermline…Broadsword calling Plebs-in-Dunfermline…come in, Plebs-in-Dunfermline…’”
      I love it when he puts on the Richard Burton Voice,
      you just feel you want to jump onto the ice covered roof of a passing cable car  🙂
        

    70. john king says:

      kendomacaroon bar says
      “She was wearing shiny lipstick too.   Ah’m feeling queasy now.”

      Mibbe’s she’d jist been oot fur a swally and was verrrrry relaxed

    71. Craig P says:

      My dad was unfairly sacked and the union got him his job back. They have their uses. 
       
      Mind you the union at my work arranged for me to get a pay cut. Better than getting the sack I suppose. 

    72. wee jamie says:

      I know my comments are a bit ill -informed at times , but I see L.F.I are backing a call to nationalise, although it has been said the Scottish gov don’t have the power to do this.Someone suggested in a post that the workers occupy the plant, and keep it running in a similar way to Jimmy Reid did with the U.C.S . I think this would be a good idea, especially if the S.G backed them up. The rev , and most of the contributors to this site are pretty clued up on what’s what, so can you tell me what you think on this ? I  like reading your opinions and comments, as they teach me so much.

    73. Dorothy Devine says:

      Gaavster, thanks for Russell Brand – I have in the past dismissed him as unfunny and irritating but I just loved that passion and directness.
      Well done indeed to that young fella ,and  wouldn’t it be” luverly” if he could address an independent rally!

    74. Mchaggis says:

      Unions should have a place in every working person’s life.
      That place is ensuring basic and fair rights on working hours, health and safety, pay and other general conditions.
      That place is certainly NOT getting mixed up in petty political power struggles over the quality of the toilet roll in the workers’ loos or defending the indefencible actions of individuals.
      I have to say I’m not completely sure which of these (or both) the unions actions at Grangemouth fall into.
      In my experience of unions, they in some cases have lost their way.

    75. Brian Powell says:

      Another v ery interesting article over on Newsnet Scotland with Michael Moore, talking to Catalan news, about Scotland and Catalonia in the EU.
      Might cheer us up a bit.

    76. john king says:

      Dorothy Devine says
      “Well done indeed to that young fella ,and  wouldn’t it be” luverly” if he could address an independent rally!”
      I think yes and no,
      his passion is unarguable but his stance (not voting) while I get his reasoning still think the arguments are better made from the inside not the outside
      in his current form he is nuclear fusion, now if he could be coached into the opposite (nuclear fission) then you’ve got yourself one hell of a weapon
        
       

    77. Footsoldier says:

      O/T Michael Connarty, local Labour MP is on air with Call Kaye for the show in the BBC mobile van at Grangemouth. Is this BBC bias on the day of Dunfermline by-election?

    78. Another London Dividend says:

      Michael Kelly putting the boot into Unite Union in Hootsman
      http://archive.is/QKc7s
      Why has Call Kaye got Michael Connerty on as Eric Joyce is the MP for Grangemouth?
      After his performance on STV last night the BBC won’t risk having Eric Joyce on to express his views.
       

    79. Another London Dividend says:

      Hootsman letters column again weighted against the SNP as Bitter Together fanatics trying to blame Alex Salmond for Grangemouth’s demise.
      http://archive.is/tkGw7
       

    80. Jim Mitchell says:

      Another London Dividend, your right of course London Dividend, which is why I have now officially stopped reading the posts that they publish, I suppose that it is only natural that when you conduct yourself in the way the Scotsman has done for some time now that these are the kind of folk you are going to attract!
      I can’t think of any paper that has fallen as far as this one has, sad really.

    81. call me dave says:

      Grangemouth : Newsnight Things have moved on but worth a look.bbc.co.uk/…/…

      STV programme: Lamont speaks!! etal.debate starts about 25mins in.news.stv.tv/…/…

      EDIT:
      Talks over this morning and it’s back to the shareholder(s) to get an answer. Tomorrow maybe!

    82. Brian Powell says:

      The S TV News discussion is  not availble, have they pulled it?

    83. The Man in the Jar says:

      Im surprised that no one has posted this little gem. apologies if some one has and I have missed it.
       
      Strawbs “You wont get me I’m part of the union” from 1973
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtiaReNsHOo

    84. Marian says:

      BP got rid of Grangemouth to INEOS because they were unable to make it profitable due to the high cost of North Sea oil and gas compared with supplies coming from elsewhere in the world. There is also a glut of fuel and petrochemicals in Europe which are leading to closures if plants there. 
       
      INEOS faced the same problem and were making losses of £millions each month on the plant, but to their credit came up with a plan to save the plant which involved importing shale gas from North America at much lower price than North sea gas. They also planned to upgrade the petrochemical plant and build additional bulk storage to facilitate the storage of the shale gas with an investment of £300m which was helped by a grant of £9.5m from the Scots government and underwritten to the tune of £125m by the UK government. However the costs of importing the gas by sea to Grangemouth were so high that further savings gad to be found to make the project viable. Hence why INEOS went to the trade unions with their rescue plan including savings to come from changing their terms and conditions of employment.
       
      You would have thought that the trade unions would have done their research first and ascertained these facts before they advised the workforce to reject the INEOS rescue plan.
       

    85. desimond says:

      One result of all this, there is NO way the No Campaign will ever put Alastair Carmichael up against Alex Salmond. I almost fell asleep when Carmichael was being interveiewed from Westminster last night. He was all over the place with more “umms” “errrs” and “ahhhs” than actual words. 

      If that guy was a lawyer, he must have bored the other side into submission to win a case. The attempts to appear as if he knew what he was talking about was dire and talking up Vince fecking Cable and his department…heaven help us.

      As for JoLA and her mental mad makeover…you can put 3 tonne of makeup and lipstick on a vacant sell out ruled by london loving sycophant but its still a vacant sell out ruled by london loving sycophant. JoLa played the “Labour v Big Business” card and not a peep against Unions..lets see how long that lasts. One way or another, heads will roll.

    86. faolie says:

      Who cares about the f***ing Spectator? With someone like Nelson at the helm and columnists like Rod Liddle and McColm, they’re always going to be on the side of the Union with their snide unfunny pieces about Scotchland. Influence over the vote: 0.

    87. Gillie says:

      ‘Just Say Naw’ An Evening with George Galloway 
      George Galloway will be passionately putting his case forward for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom. Saturday 9th November 2013, 7.30pm @ Whitehall Theatre, Dundee, tickets £12. £10. 
       
      Should be a belter from Mr, Leotard himself.

    88. faolie says:

      Just had to listen to JoLa on Scotland Tonight. She was actually asked:
       
      “Do you agree with fellow msp Elaine Smith that the plant should be nationalised?”
      “The Scottish government has already nationalised Prestwick and they have said that in the event of independence they would consider re-nationalising Royal Mail, so it may be an option…”
       
      Well, well. All said with a straight face and. like, normally, as if she thought that independence was a reasonable prospect.
       
      Flash!!! SLAB Leader relaxed about independence!

    89. The Man in the Jar says:

      A tenner to listen to Galloway spouting pish in his ever encroaching middle eastern accent? Haud me back!

    90. Gillie says:

       
      desimond says: “As for JoLA and her mental mad makeover…”
       
      I didn’t know Blue Circle cement produced make-up as well. 

    91. desimond says:

      @faolie

      Imagine how surprised you would have felt if she had actually managed to answer the direct questions covering Unite and the Labour Party?

      Sadly she went straight into “Paint a sad wee picture of a nice wee grandad with 3 years to retire being told jings crivvens he might need to work on and its just no fair no it is, what this nasty business man is daein” mode.

      As @DougDaniel noted, as soon as she cried DEBATE! it was clear nothing had really changed.

      Im still smiling at the Tory candidate for Dunfermline saying “I think its clear the people of Scotland are sick of this left of centre attitude in Holyrood!”.

      He and his party couldnt be more wrong.

    92. Iain says:

      @ desimond
      ‘One result of all this, there is NO way the No Campaign will ever put Alastair Carmichael up against Alex Salmond.’

      Agree, he was all empty bluster on R4’s PM yesterday. I’m guessing Carmichael has very quickly realised his and his party’s previous view that SoS for Scotland was a meaningless post with very little power or influence is precisely based on fact. They also had another LD belter on, Ed Davey (SoS or Energy and Climate Change), saying that in the event of closure and redundancies, the UK government’s main contribution would be Jobcentre Plus; cheers Ed!

      On Grangemouth nationalisation etc, is there no possibility of taking the Statoil route? The company is private but the Norwegian government own 70% of shares. As well as oil & gas extraction, Statoil also run refineries.

    93. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Atypical_Scot
       
      Re the article in the Falkirk Herald.
       
      First thing that struck me was that this is a tax levied by the EU and it might result in Ineos moving operations to France. Strange I always assumed that France is part of the EU! I must be mistaken! 

      Also £61m. over 10 years is chicken-feed.

    94. Murray McCallum says:

      The likely explanation would be that the plant in France is newer and have lower carbon emissions.
       
      Strange that in an unregulated global economy many industries end up in the Indian subcontinent and Bangladesh in particular. They are so lucky there.

    95. sneddon says:

      Marian- you are kind of half right and half wrong.  Ineos long term strategy is to consolidate its plants in Europe.  Likely they wanted to close GM anyway.  Usual tatic to offer contentious offer to workforce, no agreement then closure.  In addition North Sea oil is expensive to make a profit from.  Therefore regardless of it strategic imortance to the country Ineos exists to make profit.  The only real solution would be to either nationalise the plant and/or reduce the price of the oil or make the production of by products more profitable.
      The fact is there is always a risk in private ownership of strategic resources.  As can be seen the implications of this is beginning to percolate the UK thinking public.   Oil, gas, heating, lighting, water, railways, healthcare, postal services.  There was a reason they were all nationalised in the first place and now we are starting to reap the harvest of privatising them.  This whole dispute is part of the wider struggle of between nations and international capital.  Sorry for the rant.

    96. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Murray McCallum @ 10:55 am
      re Steel

      Another steel company makes a business out buying out steel/iron plants in Europe and N America and selling the carbon credits on the open market which in the case of several  steel plants in the UK, France, and even Ukraine. They seem to have a knack of taking the old outdated plant, shipping it to India and other low wage countries and ask for a EU subsidiary to set up the old plant as a low carbon replacement for old carbon dirty ones.
       
      I wonder if Ineos is up to the same trick?
       

    97. Illy says:

      @Bugger (the panda)
      Wasn’t that the whole point of setting up “carbon credit” trading?  To enable things like that.

    98. John Gibson says:

      @ The Man in a Jar
      “Strange coincidence, most of my experience with unions were with Strathclyde Regional Council, devolved to West of Scotland Water and evolved to Scottish Water. From mid eighties till 2007.”
      Snap – if you substitute Central Regional Council and East of Scotland Water. I started early eighties and lasted a year longer though. Like many posters, I found the Unions thoroughly useless when not actually corrupt and increasingly came to think that, like the Labour Party itself, it would be better to sack (or jail) them all and start afresh.

    99. desimond says:

      For my sins I went over to Scotsman ( what a misnomer!) website and looked at various postings regards Grangemouth and Scottish Government. 

      I have to say I was truly shocked at how abusive towards the Scottish Government and the SNP the readers of that paper appear to be. I say appear as it is so farcical it has all the makings of a few hired folk making up names and posting rants,

      This comment summed it up for me.

      The SNP is the insult to the Scottish electorate!

      This actually re-inforces my belief that YES will win and we can all move onwards and upwards and away from such pathetic mindsets. Someone mentioned yesterday darkest before the dawn. True dat.

    100. kininvie says:

      Anyone remember the ‘Golden share’ – a nominal share held by the government, capable of outvoting all the others – and used in the early days of privatisation to protect strategic assets?
       
      There’s a clear summary here (warning: Adam Smith Inst. is a right-wing think tank)
      http://www.adamsmith.org/80ideas/idea/62.htm
       
      It has fallen out of use lately – it does not sit too well with EU laws of free movement of capital. But as Sneddon points out above, if your vital infrastructure is all owned by foreign companies, which can then flog it off to whoever they like, there’s a real danger. So maybe it’s time to revive the idea, or something like it – to avoid the heavy cost of re-nationalising, while retaining some degree of control over who owns your strategic assets?

    101. muttley79 says:

      On George Galloway’s show for £12: what can you do or buy for £12 or less which is of more use or value than paying this amount to go and see this esteemed political god?
       

    102. MajorBloodnok says:

      @ muttley79
       
      £12 will get you a nice set of colostomy bag covers on ebay.  Look, there’s even a Union Jack one.

    103. The Rough Bounds says:

      I used to work for Burrough’s Computers in Cumbernauld. The union had us out on strike for three months over an ‘equivalence pay’ demand. It was just at the time I was getting married and my wife and I ended up starting married life absolutely skint. The rise we got after those three months was fifty pence (aye, 50p) a week. I never, ever made up that loss in wages.
      Very shortly after that the two union guys who had engineered the strike left the Company. One got a job as a full time union official in Edinburgh and the other got a line management position with another company in Cumbernauld.
      I only saw the full time official once after that, and he had become disgustingly fat and smug. The one that got a managerial position with another company was such an arsehole and bully that the workers there went out on strike because of him.
       
      Unions have there place: no doubt about that. But they only work if there is intelligence at the top.
      When I was a young bloke I was moaning to my dad about my manager. My dad said something along the lines of, ”No matter how much you detest him, loath him or hate him of or even wish he were dead, the fact is he is still your boss.
       
      The trade union ‘Unite’ at Ineos obviously never considered that they weren’t the bosses, and stupidly thought they were calling the shots.
      And now, because of that stupidity, the whole of Scotland is going to be well and truly stuffed.
      Thanks for nothing Unite.

    104. Jeannie says:

      @Major Bloodnok
       
      £12 will get you a nice set of colostomy bag covers on ebay.  Look, there’s even a Union Jack one.
       
      You’re a genius – I can’t think of a more appropriate container for George Galloway’s speeches.
       
       

    105. Scaraben says:

      @sneddon
      “The fact is there is always a risk in private ownership of strategic resources.”
       
      True, especially as the private owners are likely to be ruthless, greedy and amoral people with many of the characteristics of sociopaths, as nice people will not want to get involved in the dodgy, unethical and even sometimes illegal deals that are usually the way to great personal wealth.
       
      I am no economist, but I suspect that there are some industrial plants which are necessary to allow other industries to operate, to the point where it would make good economic sense for the state to run them, even at a loss, for the benefit of the economy as a whole, with the operating losses being outweighed by the additional revenue generated by other businesses and increased employment. For example, I believe there that while a country (under EU rules?) would not normally be allowed to subsidise uneconomic steelworks, there is an exception if the steelworks is the only one in that country. I think the Grangemouth refinery could well be an example of this.
       
      As others have said already, this shows why we need a Parliament with the authority to do whatever is necessary to protect our economy, something we will never have without independence.

    106. Jeannie says:

      @Scaraben
       
      As others have said already, this shows why we need a Parliament with the authority to do whatever is necessary to protect our economy, something we will never have without independence.
       
      Couldn’t agree more.  If you look at it at the level of one petrochemical plant and whether or not it is profitable, that’s one thing.  But if you then look at it within the context of where that plant sits within the overall system of Scotland’s economy, it starts to look quite different.  The first way of looking at it is short-term.  It’s unprofitable, close it.  But will this prove to be the right decision over the longer-term?
       
      Focusing on the bigger picture necessitates asking the question of what creates the best outcome for the most people over the long-term.  I think this is what needs to be done.  It might well result in subsidising an unprofitable plant at this point in time, but over a long period of time, might create better results for the national economy overall, to the benefit of a greater number of people.
       

    107. desimond says:

      @The Rough Bonds

      Similar tales here – 

      Worked for Glasgow Council who drew up new values for every manual task..big Union meeting…heated argument as radical changes on proposal…2 Union guys said “We would suggest you Vote Yes!”. The motion passed. Sure enough the workers soon found themselves shafted and within 1 month the 2 union guys had new full time positions within Glasgow City Council! That was enough for me, Union wise.

      Now working in Finance and whilst in London heard a mate and his 2 colleagues berating their boss whilst in pub. Theyre going on and on slagging the guy and his short-comings and I said nothing. When they finished, feeling all smug, I said “Funny that, hes such a loser YET hes YOUR boss eh?”. 

      I heard an argument that would be best if everyone was just deemed self employed…the older i get, the more sense it seems to make.

    108. southernscot says:

      I lost a job I loved in the eighties through union intransigence, and never joined a union since.
      It seems to me as just another gravy train for labour types, people promoted beyond their capabilities.

    109. Edward says:

      I see Labour’s fixation with grandiose Trams projects has reared its ugly head again, this time in Aberdeen, where the labour lead council are proposing to have trams
      What is it with Labour and projects that they havn’t a clue about?

    110. The Rough Bounds says:

      @desimond.
       
      Good one Desimond. I got a nice wee chuckle out of that.
      ”If he is so shite how come he’s the boss and you two are the grunts?”

    111. The Rough Bounds says:

      Labour Councils and Trams.
      I’m not sure whether it’s because they like being stuck in ruts or are constantly going off the rails.

    112. Cath says:

      “They seem to have a knack of taking the old outdated plant, shipping it to India and other low wage countries and ask for a EU subsidiary to set up the old plant as a low carbon replacement for old carbon dirty ones.  I wonder if Ineos is up to the same trick?”
       
      Interesting. A google search for Ineos and Vitol comes up with this company
       
      http://www.icecapltd.com/icecap-carbon/
       
      In March 2004, ICECAP launched one of the world’s first private sector aggregators, the ICECAP Carbon Portfolio, which raised commitments to source and manage a portfolio of 15m tonnes of carbon credits
       
      ICECAP counterparties include: Investec, Enel, PPC, Marubeni, JFE Steel, KEPCO, Ineos, Vitol, Nuon, Noble, HVB Bank, JP Morgan, Fortis, Barcap, Shell and Dresdner.

    113. Alba4Eva says:

      Just received an E-mail from the Common Weal.  A wee excerpt here:
      “Dear all,

      I can’t tell you how delighted we all are with the wonderful level of support. Of course making the fundraising target is brilliant but I honestly wouldn’t swap the money for the enthusiasm, the support and all the lovely messages we’ve been getting. Don’t tell our Convener I said that though.

      It’s an honour to be able to do this. Its a pleasure to have been able to talk to or have email conversations with so many of you. I don’t know whether it’s more exciting or more nerve-wracking that, if we can get this right, if we can work hard enough, we could change things. For real this time.”

      🙂

    114. desimond says:

      From BBC

      Labour leader Ed Miliband says he has discussed the crisis with Unite and believes the union “fully understands the gravity of the situation”.
      He adds: “
      They want to represent their members, and rightly so, and they’re concerned about their members’ jobs and livelihoods. I have a concern about that but also making sure that we have proper energy supplies for this country. That’s why it’s a national asset.
      —–

      A National Asset…hmmmmmmmmmmmm..theres a phrase…

    115. The Man in the Jar says:

      I was horrified yesterday at the news regarding Grangemouth I thought that it would cause very serious damage to the independence movement. Today I am a lot more optimistic. I feel that the consensus is that it is the fault of the unions and Labour up to their old shenanigans again. This will damage the Labour vote and hopefully by association Better Together. 
       
      I hope that the voters in the Dunfermline by-election think the same way and send Labour a message. Like what Yoda would say if he was a Weegie. TFGY
       
      @ Major Bloodnok. Best laugh for a while. I thought you were joking till I clicked the link. Union Jack colostomy bag covers three for twelve quid. Still laughing!

    116. Morag says:

      The cynic in me tells me that she’s been alerted to the amount of postal votes ‘in the bag’ for tomorrows show. ( allegedly) and that is why she is so chilled out.
       
      Come on.  We all know it would have taken a miracle of biblical proportions for the SNP to win this by-election under practically any circumstances.  Labour is going to win because they were only narrowly defeated last time in a general election which produced a jaw-dropping landslide for the SNP.
       
      The SNP is going to lose because this is a mid-term by-election and they are the governing party, and besides the guy they selected as a candidate last time round turned out to be pond scum.  Labour don’t need to be fiddling postal votes, and the SNP aren’t going to be taken seriously if people try to claim that they were unfairly robbed.

    117. desimond says:

      @Morag
      Scottish Labour will have no chance tomorrow to sing and smile about any win.

      Any other time and they would be all over the media shouting out but under circumstances, they will be reduced to a quick 30 second 2nd item (if lucky) piece on the 6pm news and a side-bar on BBC website.

      This By-Election couldnt have come at a worse time for them, strangely enough.

    118. Hewitt83 says:

      The Labour Administration up here (Aberdeen) are a sick joke. More interested in attacking the SNP at any given opportunity as opposed to actually doing what they are supposed to.
       
      The Tram project is just unwelcome hot air.
       
      Shambles of an outfit.

    119. Oneironaut says:

      That’s why it’s a national asset.”
      Just couldn’t resist getting that little dig in there could he?
      Then again with Labour’s recent attempts to try to scrape back some popularity (promises to cut the Bedroom Tax as if they’d been in favour of that all along, etc.), they probably at least have some motivation to sort this out for the workforce.
       
      Incidentally, while I’m on the subject of Labour’s promise to oppose the Bedroom Tax if they’re elected after the referendum.  I’d just like to leave this here for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet:
      http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/ed-miliband-leader-of-uk-labour-party-present-emergency-motion-in-parliament-to-abolish-the-bedroom-tax-now-not-after-2015?share_id=XUDspNdZLH&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
      (Sorry about the long link)
       
      While I’d like to see Labour throw a little extra political clout in up against INEOS on this one, I really wouldn’t trust Miliband to be any more than a temporary ally.
      Depends on which way the wind is blowing really…

    120. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Hewitt83 – I hear there are only 2 stops – The ATOS/Better Together office [same building] and the other stop at the Citizens Advice Bureau bottom of the hill. Not much inbetween apart from beggars and empty shops.

    121. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @ Morag
       
      Oh well, if it’s that inevitable then why bother to go out and vote ?

    122. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Oneironaut – If you run your long URL links through ‘TinyUrl.com’ you will be quite surprised.
      Here is your one from your post
      http://tinyurl.com/nb2ao8m
      Hope that helps and you can save the TinyUrl link on your top toolbar for ease of access.

    123. braco says:

      Archie[not Echie],
      thanks for that tinyUrl link, good to know, and for all your other wee bits of help and advice you post here now and again as well. I find them very helpful, so cheers min!

    124. Ian Brotherhood says:

      So, we wait for Mr Ratcliffe to make his mind-up, and hope against hope that he didn’t emerge from the wrong side of the bed this morning? Astonishing.
       
      Try to see it from a wee alien’s PoV – here’s a country brimming with natural resources, within touching distance of asserting its independence, and the machinery we need to exploit one of our most vital assets belongs to ONE guy who can do with it as he pleases.
       
      It is utterly insane.

    125. Jeannie says:

      O/T but on the subject of polls.  I was at a fantastic event last night in Glasgow.  It was an “indy-ref” type event run by Bright Club Glasgow in a Glasgow pub.  Essentially, it was a stand-up comedy night but all the comedians were academics and they had to link their particular area of expertise to the independence referendum, but do so using comedy. 
       
      I have to say, it was absolutely brilliant.  Whoda thunk academics could be that funny?  They were also ingenius in the way they made their subjects link up – the geologist was a scream.  I don’t know if they’ll be doing this again at some point or in other parts of Scotland, but if you see it advertised, definitely go and give them a bit of encouragement.  Enough of being po-faced – it’s humour that’ll win us the vote!
       
      Oh, and they asked us at the start re voting intentions, via cheering for the yes/no/undecided options and there were some of each.  Polled again at the end of the night, the result was Yes 77, No 39 and three spoiled ballot papers.  Think we must have picked up the undecideds.  However, as it was totally unscientific and just a bit of a laugh, really, can’t read anything into it.  But a great night out, just the same.

    126. john king says:

      Major Bloodnock says
      £12 will get you a nice set of colostomy bag covers on ebay.  Look, there’s even a Union Jack one.”
      And under the picture it says “have one to sell? sell it yourself”
      Noooooo that is so wrong on so many levels 
       

    127. Erchie says:

      @ Oneironaut , braco & Archie
       
      If you are REALLY stuck for space on using a URI, eg on Twitter or keying it in via some horrendous method on a console etc, Google’s URI shortener can be found at http://www.goo.gl and it provides ever shorter URIs

    128. Jeannie says:

      oh, forgot – link for Bright Club on Facebook.
      https://www.facebook.com/brightclubglasgow

    129. braco says:

      Ianbrotherhood,
      yeah!?*

      I was listening to some ‘expert’ interview last night asking who it was that bought all the [insert long list of European refineries/petro chemical plants] that have closed down in the last twenty years……..? His answer to his own question …. NONE! Silence from the interviewer.

      Job done.

      I [and probably every other interested listener] shouting at the computer, ‘but how many of those had/have a direct pipeline from Europe’s biggest oil fields FFS?’

    130. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Braco – Cheers min, but I am doing workshare penance for not doublespacing a post some time ago. My sentence was to reduce Rev’s BP by suggestive? I mean suggestion and whatever. Only another 329 days to go. 🙂

    131. Marcia says:

      Re Dunfermline. I am with Morag’s thinking that due to the Walker affair and the narrowness of the vote the last time I will be surprised if we held the seat. I suppose it depends of the LD vote. This seat is one of a handfull that has been won by a different party at each election 2003, 2007 and 2011. If the the LD vote decreases, where does it go? I was surprised that Jim Tolson didn’t stand again but I expect he felt he had not much chance.

      Shirley-Anne is one of the rare good by-election candidate and maybe we could get a surprise.

    132. Seasick Dave says:

      Its all about the UK Government over on the BBC.
       
      Barely a mention of the Scottish Government.
       
      It all smells.

    133. braco says:

      Archie[notErchie]
      well get that high visibility vest on that Avatar then! How else are folk going to know to shun you? People like you should be on a sidebar of shame, so respectable folk like myself don’t accidentally praise them, and end up shunned by association!
       
      You’re lucky I don’t report you!

    134. Hewitt83 says:

      O/T but there isn’t much going on here today.
       
      Michael Moore has changed his tune!
       
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/8229-michael-moore-says-no-objections-to-scottish-eu-membership

    135. Andy-B says:

      Well, well well.
       
      It didnt take long for someone to point the finger at, Alex Salmond and the SNP.
       
      Im just surprised it took so long, no doubt Alex and SNP will also be blamed for the raging fires in Australia, or the phone hacking of Angela Merkel.

    136. Cath says:

      Darn, I meant to go to that Bright Club event last night Jeannie – totally forgot.
       
      So who’s blaming Salmond? Don’t tell me, the BBC?

    137. Oneironaut says:

      @Archie[not Erchie]
      Thanks for that 😀
       
      That was the link Change mailed me back to spread around after I’d signed it.
      Not too sure why it’s so long.  Some relation to all the ridiculously over-complicated scripting they insist on using on websites these days I expect…
      I’ll keep that in mind though.  Thanks for the suggestion 🙂
       
      @Ian Brotherhood
      I suppose this could have been worse if it happened after the referendum and we suddenly found ourselves losing something like 85%(?) of our supply just as we had set out to “go it alone”.
      This does have the feel of putting all our eggs into one basket.  Something for the SG to keep in mind there.

    138. Andy-B says:

      O/T I do apologise.
       
      Seventy two hours after receiving an £8 million pound fine for mis-selling, Scottish Power have put there prices up (No surprise their then).
       
      The price rise varies 8.5% for dual fuel and 9% for just electricity.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24650695

    139. john king says:

      Braco says
      “You’re lucky I don’t report you!”
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha 
        

    140. Cath says:

      “I suppose this could have been worse if it happened after the referendum and we suddenly found ourselves losing something like 85%(?) of our supply just as we had set out to “go it alone”.
       
      But that’s just the thing. Had we been independent already, the Scottish government would have had far more tools at its disposal to make sure that didn’t happen. As it is, their hands are tied by Westminster control, reserved powers and having no control over what happens to our tax money or borrowing powers.
       
      But what you write there is precisely what we’re supposed to think, which is why it’s happened now. And why there will almost certainly be worse to come before next September.

    141. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ John King – Do not encourage him [Braco], he has designs on my cellar of single malts and windae hingin.
      @ Braco –  🙂

    142. Cath says:

      Also, is anyone else starting to think the UK gov just might move in and nationalise it? If that happens, what effect does that have on the debate? Could the UK government owning our only refinery be something they can use to undermine us, or for the No case?

    143. Cath says:

      After all, in this global economy, if the UK gov own our oil refinery, the Scottish gov can’t nationalise if for the benefit of Scotland at a later date, and the UK gov would presumably own it in the same way the Chinese state company now does. So would we have any leverage, or would that simply then be a Scottish asset basically stolen prior to independence? Or would it just go into the general assets of the UK then fall to Scotland as a geographical share?
       
      I suspect there is a hell of a lot more nasty politics to play out behind this.

    144. The Penman says:

      @ Cath: surely thT would just be another UK asset to be divied up? And it would make sense Scotland runs it since, y’know, it’s situated here. 

    145. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      If Westminster nationalised it and the played silly buggers, could the new Scottish Gov not remove, temporarily, its site licence?

    146. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Cath
       
      If the UK government nationalise Grangemouth then surely we will have a 8.6% stake in it, and it will therefore be one of the fixed assets in Scottish territory that will be transferred to Scottish control on indenpendence.  So if the UK Govt does nationalise it now then they could be doing us a favour!

      edit – Penman got in first!

    147. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Cath – Thats a good couple of questions and ones I have mulled over. It seems to me that poker players would be needed in all of this. No wonder that Rev Stu enjoys his games night.
       
      It seems that Westminster holds the best hand as energy is not devolved, therefore the SG has to pass. However current policies show that nationalisation is not flavour of the month for Westminster and I am sure in the middle of an Independence debate it would be a big NO NO.
       
      As an aside, I was somewhat encouraged that Mr McLuskey is meeting with AS today and I would love to be a fly on the wall. I would hope that AS would be giving encouragement with carrots for a total Unite support pre Independence. No doubt the CWU will be looking on with interest as they carry on with their proposed workforce meetings.

    148. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ Edward
      Many thanks for checking out my INEOS BASF comment.
      They are two separate companies but are joint owners of a separate company Styrolution.
       
      Both are restructuring / rationalizing and pulling sites in the UK. This would seem to me to indicate a lack of confidence in the UK as a place to invest. Perhaps this is to do with tax changes?
       
      I think that INEOS must have decided that Grangemouth petrochemical would go at the same time as they made the decision about Hull. Then the  hiring of Media Zoo PR what are they doing for their money just now? This is being mostly spun as a Scottish issue but it is in fact a UK one.
       
      @ Cath Your comment on a Vitol INEOS connection, there was a lot of media attention earlier in the year regarding INEOS and fracking and the company Cuadrillla, and this seems to have been about feedstock. I would imagine that INEOS would be just as happy as Vitol to see large scale fracking going ahead in Scotland?  It will be interesting to see how this relationship with the fracking businesses develops now.

    149. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

      O/T. Seems that Fife Council’s IT system for checking return for postal votes has crashed.
      Is this another rigged by- election in Fife.

    150. Cath says:

      “So if the UK Govt does nationalise it now then they could be doing us a favour!”
       
      That makes me feel better. Have to admit at the moment I’m feeling deeply lacking in trust, almost to the point of paranoia and I don’t like it. What with all the big business connections to fracking and the rest I’m very glad I’m not more heavily involved in politics! I’m looking forward to post 2014 when I can go and sit on a remote island somewhere and stop caring!

    151. tartanfever says:

      daughterofevilreindeer
       
      ‘I would imagine that INEOS would be just as happy as Vitol to see large scale fracking going ahead in Scotland? ‘
       
      Well this is the peculiar thing. The problem with Grangemouth Petro Chemical plant is the lack of gas coming in from the North Sea. This £300m investment is to build a gas storage tank so that cheaper imports can be brought in. 
       
      It is precisely because of the lack of local gas that this facility is having to be built. If there was fracking in Central Scotland, this could provide Grangemouth.
       
      In which case it could be argued that Ineos’s investment could actually be helping to keep fracking away from Central Scotland.

    152. A couple of links taken from twitter.
      Some history.
      http://ssa.nls.uk/film/3887
      Someone thinking.
      http://www.demos.co.uk/blog/arewethebaddies

    153. Jingly Jangly says:

      Daughterofevilreindeer
       
      More likely that Intl investors are pulling out of UK as they know economy is going to go tits up. The best the UK govt can hope for is that they manage to steady the ship past Sept 18th next year, then we will all be in it together.

    154. Desimond says:

      Hmmm….this fracking talk….now, if INEOS asked for fracking in Scotland to be placed on the table for consideration well  the Scottish Goverment could literally find themselves between a rock and a very hard place. The Greens would not be pleased and with Dunfermline looking Labour bound, the SNP majority could be nearing borderline terrority.

      Just a “what if” of course but in the mighty Political game of Poker, we pray that Eck isnae left holding Mrs Bun the Bakers wife (copyright Scotch & Wry 1984)

    155. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Cath – Funny you should say that. Is it the island of Gigha THE place to be? Seaweed muching sheep and high speed broadband with views of Ireland and Newfoundland on a good day. Bliss.

      My main gripe is that one very rich and influential man is holding Scotland to ransom while his management teams are toothless in decision making. As the INEOS head of the onsite management stated earlier [paraphrase] ‘I will have to run this past the decision maker’.

      Don’t get me started on ‘decision maker’ taking R & R on a yacht while working on a mulitple spreadsheet with the ‘what if I do this’ button. I am packing my backpack for Munroes aplenty.

    156. Edward says:

      On the subject of the UK Government nationalising the Grangemouth refinery. Just remember that ANY and ALL nationalised companies, property etc is deemed an asset and as such would be part of the assets negotiated over if Scotland was to end the union.

      We seem to fall in to the trap that if the UK government take on anything then its theirs to keep regardless. Well regardless anything upto the point of ending the union that is an asset is up for grabs, so to speak.

      One asset that I am intrigued about is the BBC. Its not, as far as I know a private company, its a stated owned asset. Therefore as such will also be subject to providing an equitable share to Scotland and remember not all of the BBC’s assets are in the UK!

    157. Papadocx says:

      “Fracking”-BT support – VITOL – INEOS ??? Tories yes to Fracking. MMMM!

    158. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I can’t tell you how delighted we all are with the wonderful level of support. Of course making the fundraising target is brilliant but I honestly wouldn’t swap the money for the enthusiasm, the support and all the lovely messages we’ve been getting. Don’t tell our Convener I said that though.”

      Um, presumably he means “would”…

    159. Papadocx says:

      I smell something very nasty here! FRACKING  hell. TRAP SPRUNG?

    160. weedeochandorris says:

      More interesting reading on Grangemouth and how it’s falling victim to US shale.
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-britain-refinery-idUSBRE99N0OA20131024

    161. Adrian B says:

      140 jobs lost as Paisley factory is axed
       
      “Workers were given the grim news at a meeting at the BASF chemical factory in Hawkhead Road.

      The announcement was confirmed as Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney said the Scottish Government will be meeting with the firm as “a matter of urgency.”

      The confirmation came within hours of the announcement of more than 800 jobs being axed by chemical firm Ineos at Grangemouth.”
       
      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/140-jobs-lost-as-paisley-factory-is-axed-140371n.22505303

    162. braco says:

      Archie[notErchie] cc JohnKing

      @ John King – Do not encourage him [Braco], he did have designs on my windae hingin earlier but now he knows about my cellar of single malts, he’s probably going to get really creepy and stalker like.

      All fixed!

    163. Alba4Eva says:

      Gaavster, just watched the Paxman v Brand interview.  Absolute class from Russell Brand.  🙂

    164. braco says:

      Caesar!4Eva and Gaavster,

      Great watch that! Have you seen Paxman returned to his younger pimple faced prep school self, blustering away but who obviously still does not have his homework? If not, it’s well worth the five or so minutes (snigger).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gy7f8vP2QY

    165. Training Day says:

      Just had the misfortune to glance at a copy of today’s Daily Mail. The level of spiteful glee directed at Salmond and the Scottish nation in the context of people losing their jobs and livelihoods is utterly despicable. It is no exaggeration to say that the likes of Alan Roden are positively cock-a-hoop over the Grangemouth closure.

      These are the people we are fighting, and evidence of why we simply have to win.

    166. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day
       
      Just had the misfortune to glance at a copy of today’s Daily Mail. The level of spiteful glee directed at Salmond and the Scottish nation in the context of people losing their jobs and livelihoods is utterly despicable. It is no exaggeration to say that the likes of Alan Roden are positively cock-a-hoop over the Grangemouth closure.
       
      Was that the “Salmond in crisis” headline?  I noticed there was one either today or yesterday when I was in a supermarket.

       
      These are the people we are fighting, and evidence of why we simply have to win.
       
      Too right…

    167. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ tartanfever
      Yes interesting paradox, just from memory, fracked gas extracted here would be worth the European Asian price as per the market which means fracked gas from UK would be no cheaper than currently. US gas might well be cheaper?
       
      @ weedochandoris
      Thanks for the article link really interesting.
       
      @ Jingly Jangly
      I have been thinking about this too, it is certainly something I would be taking into consideration if I was making any investment in the UK as it stands now.

    168. john king says:

      Muttley79 says
      @training day
      “Was that the “Salmond in crisis” headline?  ”
      I saw that headline in Tesco’s (sic) the other day and involuntarily swore out loud,
      and a passing woman looked at it and said “no wonder your swearing”.



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