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They talk a lot of wind

Posted on April 10, 2014 by

There’s a wonderful opening paragraph in today’s Courier that we’ll quote in full:

“The UK’S Energy Secretary has accused the SNP of employing ‘negative politics of fear and bullying’ as he warned bills could rocket by as much as £189 a year in the event of independence.”

That virtuoso display of Olympic-class irony from Mr Davey was part of the latest fearbomb from the No camp – Nick Clegg’s plea for a “Sunshine Strategy” apparently having been a casualty of Lord Robertson’s “cataclysm” – in the shape of yet another “Scotland Analysis” report from the UK government insisting that every single aspect of Scottish independence would be comprehensively and unequivocally disastrous.

We can’t be alone in thinking that the UK government’s approach would have been a lot more credible if even one of the “Scotland Analysis” reports had mentioned any possible upsides of independence.

“There are positives to independence but they’ll be difficult to achieve” is a much more sellable message than “DOOM! DOOM! EVERYWHERE IS DOOM! THE END IS NIGH!” but far be it from us to interrupt our enemy while he’s making a mistake, etc.

The problem with that tactic is that it only works if you get all your experts in a line, and Professor Peter Strachan, Professor of Energy Policy at Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen was off-message by some distance when interviewed by John Beattie for BBC Radio Scotland yesterday. (From 43m 20s.)

windfarm

NB: The person who transcribed the interview for us has edited it a bit for brevity and clarity – removing repetition and umms and errs etc – but you can check the accuracy of its content against the unedited audio.

—————————————————————————————————–

JOHN BEATTIE: Cast your eye over the argument. Could you explain it to me and the listeners, please, because it’s complicated.

PROF. STRACHAN: The aims of UK energy policy should be to ensure security supply for households as well as businesses and ensure the affordability of the electricity we use. Unfortunately, what we have at the moment is a coalition government that is failing on both fronts.

They are actually doing a very bad job at the moment in managing UK energy policy. If you take for example their flagship initiative, electricity market reform, it has been going on for a number of years now – and what you find is that fundamentally it has seen a reduction in energy investment. That is very, very bad news for England.

What you might well find, with the reduction in electricity reserves, which are now estimated to be between 2% and 5%, is that lights may well go out in London. Scotland, of course, does not have that particular problem, which is because Scotland exports around 25% of the electricity it generates. In Scotland, we produce much more than we actually use by about 25% and export that to England.

BEATTIE: The UK government have put out this report saying today the average Scottish bill would rise by about £38 and £189 per year if the Scots voted Yes. England could go and buy their electricity from somewhere else, and therefore we wouldn’t get the green tariff subsidies that we currently get. What do you make of that?

PROF. STRACHAN: As an independent expert, I produced a report with a number of colleagues from universities across the United Kingdom in December. As a result of the coalition government’s decision to fund new nuclear build, what we found in the various scenarios was that a Scottish government committed to no nuclear build would actually see a reduction in consumer electricity bills, as a result of having no new nuclear build.

It should be quite clear that the subsidies paid across the United Kingdom to the renewables industry was £2 billion or so in 2013. That’s almost the same amount of money as maintaining and running Sellafield, and the costs of decommissioning Sellafield will be in the range of £80 billion.

BEATTIE: I’m guessing you’re saying that this claim is rubbish, because the Scots have enough power of their own. That’s what you said, yes or no?

PROF. STRACHAN: Yes that is absolutely correct – under no scenario can I see in an independent Scotland electricity bills increasing. In an independent Scotland, even with an integrated electricity market, Scotland would be able to sell its electricity at commercial rates.

What would also be very helpful for Scotland’s renewable energy industry as well is that an independent Scotland would also be able to offer discretionary spend, so that you could see a great expansion, for example, of offshore wind.

At the moment, what we are seeing with the coalition government is the offshore renewable industry effectively being strangled at birth.

BEATTIE: That’s Professor Peter Strachan, Professor of Energy Policy at Robert Gordon’s University, our apologies for the quality of the line, but he says that that claim, in his opinion and [that of] other academics, is complete bunkum. That’s what he says: energy bills would not go up.

—————————————————————————————————–

We hope there’s a new scare story soon. These ones aren’t even lasting for hours.

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    1. 10 04 14 22:21

      Not Certain But Likely «

    107 to “They talk a lot of wind”

    1. Desimond says:

      Wow…that fair warms the cockles of ones heart!

      Thats another feel-good story Im looking forward to sharing with as many folk as possible.

      Has John Beattie been sacked yet?

    2. AnonCoward says:

      As someone working in the electricity industry, I agree entirely with Professor Strachan, the UK government is sleepwalking into a situation where the lights will go out south of the border unless policy is significantly changed and investment increased massively. I wonder how much they will be willing to pay for Scottish renewable energy when this starts to happen…

    3. PRJ says:

      Can you picture the scenario. Scotland builds an inter connector to Europe, bypassing rUK. Scotland sells electricity to Europe. Europe then sells same electricity back to rUK. I’m having fun with that thought.

    4. MajorBloodnok says:

      “Complete bunkum” just about sums up the whole Unionist campaign.

    5. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      “At the moment, what we are seeing with the coalition government is the offshore renewable industry effectively being strangled at birth.”. I have this nervous feeling that we are living through the 80s all again. The first time was bad enough when the tories strangled renewable funding then.

    6. Papadox says:

      If HMG think we are in such a parlours and desperate state that there is no way we can survive without life support from the desperately ill Westminster establishment then the situation is truly desperate and probably hopeless for both of us.

      Why would they wish to endanger their own chance at survival by weighing themselves down with the deadweight of a failed country populated with deadwood and scroungers that they detest. They are either very stupid or very spiritual, which I doubt since they never miss an opportunity to ridicule Scotland and it’s people.

      So they must be very stupid and who the hell wants somebody that stupid to be responsible for them.

    7. Morag says:

      The person who transcribed the interview for us …

      Thank God, someone is getting some help with the grunt stuff.

    8. Grouse Beater says:

      Good work. More hard evidence bolstering Scotland’s case.

    9. G H Graham says:

      According to Better Nation’s latest voting intention poll, the SNP stretches its lead over Labour compared to 2011 vote.

      http://www.betternation.org/2014/04/exclusive-latest-holyrood-voting-intention/

      Labour must surely wonder what it’s going to have to do since George Robertson’s WW3 prediction was laughed at even more than Osborne’s currency union threat.

    10. JLT says:

      Another scare story annhilated! Well done, Rev. Useful ammunition from Professor Strachan; especially when it comes to the costs of running a nuclear power station, or even decommissioning one! A true revelation indeed!

      My posts never displayed properly yesterday, Rev, but I just want to say, ‘congratulations’ on making that shortlist in your arcticle ‘Keeping Respectable Company’.

      Anyway …I’m away back to work …never ends (weep)

    11. @Morag Great minds thinking alike hon.

      Rev Stu – As we step into the last few months if you need a hand please feel free to shout out. I am sure there are many willing helpers happy to do the grunt work.

    12. Roll_On_2014 says:

      Quick Mr. Davey Duck… there’s an Incoming… to late… Quack Quack.

    13. Neil says:

      Actually, John Beattie was even more clear; He said:
      “…Prof Strachan…says that claim, in his opinion, and that of other academics, and he’s not a member the SNP nor Labour, is complete bunkum..”

      Well done Mr. Beattie in rounding off in that way, making sure that listeners who may have thought this was just another YES v NO spat, could be clear that this was a neutral voice.

    14. msean says:

      Don’t worry,another scare will be along on the scarey-go-round soon enough.By my reckoning, it must be about time for another Europe/nato assertion.

      O/T If we aren’t in Nato,where are they going to host these wargames/pirate hunting practice sessions they do twice a year in the north?

    15. jake says:

      If the Scottish bill WERE to increase by £189 per year…does that mean we’re keeping the £?

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am sure there are many willing helpers happy to do the grunt work.”

      The other day someone sent in an incredibly useful list of info. It was something I’d just started to gather myself, so it was extra-welcome, and I emailed them back thanking them for saving me a lot of donkey work, at which they (quite understandably) bristled at being likened to a donkey. Honestly, I’m my own worst enemy.

    17. jake says:

      It’s not so much cataclysmic as catatonic.

      “Catatonic patients will sometimes hold rigid poses for hours and will ignore any external stimuli. Patients with catatonic excitement can suffer from exhaustion if not treated. Patients may also show stereotyped, repetitive movements.”

    18. Training Day says:

      Beattie dangerously off message there, nay, almost snorting his derision. Can only be days before he’s replaced by one of the BBC’s bright young things imported from the South to ‘enhance’ their referendum coverage.

    19. Desimond says:

      Rev,
      Hee-haw hee-haw he always reacts like that!

    20. Bigdrone says:

      “The UK’S Energy Secretary has accused the SNP of employing ‘negative politics of fear and bullying’ as he warned bills could rocket by as much as £189 a year in the event of independence.”

      I like the negative politics, fear and bullying bit – kettle, black, pot!

      When Mr Davey tells us the above and and his ilk repeat the words ‘could’ or ‘might’ or whatever in their doom loaded scenarios, is there nobody around who could ask the question ‘Why?’….or as we Scots would say ‘Hoow?’

    21. Bobby mckail says:

      Yes the good Professor’s who wrote the report for the UK Government and better together had been trumpeting until recently, changed their minds once the Condems signed up to Nuclear.

      I remember Blair McDougall and co saying the authors had ‘gotten their facts wrong’ when they turned against BT.

    22. Rod Robertson says:

      I now worry for John Beattie ,no doubt Paul Sinclair went ape at Boothman for anyone daring to question London ,or indeed speak up for Scotland ,very non BBC.

    23. Robert Louis says:

      AN APPEAL

      I am getting desperate.

      Over three years ago, unionists such as Alistair Darling and his new bestest friend the Tory ‘Bullingdon boy’ Prime Minister David Cameron, both said they would make clear the POSITIVE case for the union. Indeed both of them, plus other assorted members of the Tory funded unionist cabal, ‘Better Together’, have repeated that ‘they will make the positive case for the union’ on a very regular basis, including just last week, yet we haven’t yet heard it.

      Am I wasting my time, sitting waiting patiently to hear of this much fabled ‘positive case for the union’? With only a few months to go to the referendum, will ANY unionist come clean and tell me just why Scotland benefits by giving all its wealth (including our oil) and our sovereignty to an undemocratic, corrupt, English dominated and run parliament in another country, and then getting a fraction of said wealth back in return (Barnett) wrapped in a myriad of anti-Scotland insults?

      Unionists everywhere, help me, I really, really want to hear this great ‘positive’ case for the union. Come on, you’ve had over three hundred years to refine it, so let’s hear it in all it’s glory. Tell me why the unwanted and undemocratic ‘union’ with England is so freaking great. Or should I just expect more scarey stories like the above??

      p.s No negatives allowed (otherwise it isn’t a positive case, is it).

    24. Morag says:

      There’s a lot of relatively tedious work that could be delegated, like the transcription, but that’s not all of it. I mean, I’m desperate for my perk Wings badge, but baulk at the idea of Stu having to sit down and wrap up and address and send over 100 wee parcels.

      He needs a PA. (He probably needs a cleaner and someone to go the messages too.)

    25. goldenayr says:

      It’s alright folks.The beeb got back on message,after a deluge of irate phone calls from London,and dropped Prof Strachan for a much more amenable mouthpiece from Schnieder on the 4o’clock Newsdrive.He also appeared alongside Brewer on Newsnight,who either ignored or didn’t read the memo,and invited a rather friendly chap from London who rubbished him and sided with Strachan.
      Beattie and Brewer will be going the way of Bateman soon.
      Wonder if it’s got anything to do with them all being ‘B’s?
      I would certainly believe Westminster think they are.

    26. heedtracker says:

      Here in Aberdeen, I’m sorry you’re probably all sick of hearing about our very own local PressandJournal vote no twerps but anyway, the P&J vote no stuff today is Ed Davie warns business energy costs will rise to between £110k and £680k per year if we dare vote yes. P&J breathless UKOK reportage also includes Aberdeen council have banned another 5 Scots.gov ministers from Aberdeen council property and they have a very weird report that tries to cover the arese of same Aberdeen council that’s made a spectacular mess of the wind offshore Aberdeen that Trump tried to stop. Aberdeen council have taken it over completely so that’s another Labour disaster grinding along as per.

    27. Les Wilson says:

      A spat developing now between Westminster and The SG over barring Scottish representatives in the Eu Energy debate.
      It seems they may have went against EU law in subsidies for the Hinckley Point Nuclear Stations.

      More details on Newsnetscotland. Interesting stuff and some outspoken language being used to prevent us from being there, the definately have something to hide. Otherwise why would they do this at all?

    28. Dan777A says:

      O/T

      Gamechanger?

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26974826

      UK would be damaged financially if Scotland left.

    29. call me dave says:

      Robert Louis

      What no phone call yet from down South! My cousin in Sheffield called a month back, told me, Scotland should go f.., for it,… He has a stammer.

    30. Grouse Beater says:

      What no phone call yet from down South?!

      Calls too expensive, electricity grid only goes as far as Birmingham, and anyhow, Scotland is a foreign country.

    31. call me dave says:

      Dan777A

      Thanks for link. Last para a stotter!

      The agency added that some financial institutions could move their headquarters to London in the event of independence, which would “expand the size of the UK banking sector from an already high level of 492% of GDP; it would also increase cross-border and potentially cross-currency exposure”.

      In a previous assessment in 2012 the agency had concluded that Scottish independence would be likely to be neutral for the UK’s credit rating, but said it had revised its view as it could no longer assume there would be “no impact on gross public debt”.

      The new report cautioned that Fitch would expect that a compromise could be reached between Scotland and the rest of the UK in any transitional negotiations.

      “It would be in the best economic interests of the UK to ensure that an independent Scotland was, in the broadest terms, ‘a success'”, it said.

    32. Murray McCallum says:

      Excellent source material for the Westminster energy bunkum.

      I would hope that most sensible people would wonder why a country that produces more electricity than it needs (25% Scots electricity production exported to England) has already not got cheaper energy prices. Isn’t the market supposed to work on supply and demand?

      This is a classic double whammy con by Westminster – we already pay too much and they are pedaling the lie that this too will increase in the event of independence.

    33. David McCann says:

      So whats left on the scary front? We must be getting close to plagues of locusts, rats, termites, midges,tsunamis etc?

      There’s always the gnats too!

      BTW.Something wrong with the site again? The Wings site keeps loading the script continuously, although without the usual warning.

    34. packhorse pete says:

      O/T

      Scottish independence: Yes vote could mean UK credit rating review, says Fitch.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26974826

      Check out the final paragraph of the report.

    35. heedtracker says:

      Bit of an oops on the P&J there. Ed Davie threatened Scotland that business energy costs will rise by and between £110k and £680k per year, so vote no. Nice to be accurate.

      Also but not only, the five Scots.gov SNP ministers banned by Aberdeen City Council only found out they were banned from Labour owned Aberdeen council property via a Freedom of Information. Said Labour council had publicly banned Scots.gov ministers such as Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill but the FoI request showed there are five other Holyrood cabinet ministers but that Aberdeen council refused to say so out loud/publicly.

      Very weird Willie Young said something like Aberdeen council “was not there to provide a platform for Scottish ministers” Whatever is going in Aberdeen city council its looks like there is a lot of stuff being hidden/shredded or Labour in Scotland has gone mad.

    36. Robert Louis says:

      packhorse pete,

      Regarding the Fitch report. That last paragraph of the item:

      “The new report cautioned that Fitch would expect that a compromise could be reached between Scotland and the rest of the UK in any transitional negotiations.

      “It would be in the best economic interests of the UK to ensure that an independent Scotland was, in the broadest terms, ‘a success'”, it said.”

      I do hope Alistair Darling is sitting down when he reads it. 🙂

    37. Richard G says:

      Hello folks, been reading for a while but this is my first comment. I work in the very successful Scottish wind industry, and I did wonder if the issue of renewables support would come up.

      The UK Government is quite nervous about where the electricity to power England is coming from, with Scotland now a net exporter, and I see that Mr Davey is highlighting the difficulty of exporting our wind energy once Scotland is independent. He has of course ‘forgotten’ that he is already looking into using the UK renewables support mechanism to help construct onshore wind farms in the Republic of Ireland:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/oct/08/wind-farms-ireland-uk-electricity.

      My suspicions are that the UK Government is simply using the Irish project as a way of investigating what would happen to the electricity market once Scotland is no longer part of the UK, and given that that the actual wind resource in Scotland is far greater that that of Ireland, it would make much more economic sense to buy Scottish wind energy, after all the wires are already in place!

    38. Robert Louis says:

      Heedtracker,

      I can confirm, Labour in Scotland has indeed gone quite mad.

    39. alex says:

      Packhorse

      I have been looking all day for that story on the BBC website.It must be hidden away quite well

    40. heedtracker says:

      @ Robert Louis, well you don’t have to Sherlock Holmes to get the impression that big dogs like Councilor Wullie are way way over reacting, or sweating like crooks. But imagine only finding out you are banned by Labour owned Aberdeen City council after paying for a FoI to make said council tell you who they have actually banned.

    41. Robert Louis says:

      heedtracker,

      I agree. Nothing however now surprises me about Labour run Aberdeen council. As for them banning Government ministers, then keeping the fact secret, I cannot think of anything more infantile for a council to propose, let alone actually do. I mean not even Glasgow council has done that……yet!

    42. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Davis McCann, aye the midgies will be along presently, and without any help from Bitter Together. Perhaps export them?

      Yes have also noticed that site never finishes loading. More DDOS/Security issues prob

    43. faolie says:

      Yet outside the newsagents, the ad poster for the Scotsman screams “Electricity bills to rise by £200 in independent Scotland”. It’s just laughable now the way these ‘journalists’ (ha) just take the anti-independence line and construct a story and a headline around it.

      What about “Electricity bills to drop in an independent Scotland”? After listening to Prof Strachan (and Chris Goodall on Newsnicht last night) it’s a perfectly reasonable headline.

      btw, worth catching Chris Goodall on Newsnicht on the iPlayer. Sample: “..it’s [Davey’s Scotland Analysis] incomprehensible, stuffed full of numbers, insufferably pompous. UK will need Scottish electricity, and there’s not a single reason why Scottish electricity bills will go up because the UK needs Scottish electricity..”

    44. Porty Tam says:

      alex says:
      10 April, 2014 at 3:23 pm
      Packhorse

      I have been looking all day for that story on the BBC website.It must be hidden away quite well

      Click on News, then Scotland tab and it is the second top story.

    45. Kev says:

      @ Robert Louis

      “Fitch would expect that a compromise could be reached between Scotland and the rest of the UK in any transitional negotiations.”

      Surely that can’t possibly be right, now that Nostradamus Robertson predicts we will be “embroiled for several years in a torrid, complex, difficult and debilitating divorce”… 🙂

    46. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      O/T

      We had a favourable article in the Japanese Times (in English) and now out comes one from a US political newsletter called CounterPunch. The article was written by an Scots academic exile.

      Boy does it pull no punches. The World is getting out, throughout the World.

      Well worth the read.

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/can-scotland-speak/

    47. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Bloody predictive texting; first World should read word.

    48. @Desimond says:

      @heedtracker

      ‘Labour owned Aberdeen council property’

      Labour own Council property? Surely some mistake?

      This is the sort of story that is crying for a Scottish version of Mark Thomas. Someone to enact some centuries old by-law to totally destroy the barriers put up by cowardly blawhards hiding behind Council or Corporate walls.

    49. Peter Macbeastie says:

      This, as soon as I am at home and allowed on Facebook, Twitter etc (work frowns on these little sites, understandable enough) this is getting sent to a few select friends… who like Better Together and not in the way many people do (just to keep an eye on their crap) and in the sense that they use it as many use this site… as a source of information.

      I have tried pointing out that they’re mental, in slightly more polite terms than that suggests, but they’re typical unionists in one regard. They are happy in their cozy belief that we are better as we are and questioning that situation is just not something they’re going to do.

      You can read a person to knowledge but you cannot make them think.

      The Fitch statement is also a bloody classic boot right into the nuts of the No campaign, just as your transcript of that interview is. How much would it be a chuckle if Scotland had a AAA rating while our neighbours still under Westminter rule could only attract AA?

    50. @Desimond says:

      Quote of the Week?

      “It would be in the best economic interests of the UK to ensure that an independent Scotland was, in the broadest terms, ‘a success'”, said ratings agency, Fitch.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26974826

    51. Craig Evans says:

      Latest from the scary story front:

      According that great sage (my wife) m&S will up sticks and close all their Scottish stores so we will be “all fur coats and nae knickers!”

    52. Jim McIntosh says:

      I can just picture Cooncilir Wullie as Dean Wormer (animal house) putting the Scottish Government on double secret probation :).

    53. Morag says:

      O/T Anyone going to the Yes Midlothian meeting at Bonnyrigg this evening?

    54. Tam Jardine says:

      Bugger (the panda)

      Dr Paul Carnegie’s piece is so compelling – it deserves wider exposure. Rev Stu – any chance you could chuck it up as a main post? I can see this being spread far and wide and is worth pushing

      Thanks for highlighting it. Someone else put I link in for same article on a different thread but who has time to read them all.

    55. Les Wilson says:

      You wonder how “Bitter Together” is going to handle all these negatives for their “case”, not that they ever really had one.
      I guess we could call them DaBT, Desperate, and, Bitter Together!

    56. Jimsie says:

      David McCann and Alan Mackintosh.

      I find if I use google the wings site loads continuously i.e, the wee google wheel birling like mad. No probs when I use Internet Explorer.

      Maybe Stuart will have the answer to this.

    57. Doug Daniel says:

      Did someone mention “Aberdeen” and “Labour”?

      Please can you forward this message on to your members. We want to try and get a good local turnout across the weekend!

      NOTE: The St Machar campaigning event at 2pm on Saturday mentioned in a previous campaign email has been cancelled to allow for this new focus.

      Hello,
      This weekend the SNP are holding their final conference before the Referendum here in Aberdeen. Better Together is pulling out the stops to organise several door-knocking sessions on Friday and Saturday. Staff members and volunteers are coming from all over Scotland, so it is really important that we get a fantastic local turn-out too!

      Meeting points and times are detailed below:
      Friday 10am – Broomhill Primary School, Broomhill Road, AB10 7LP
      Friday 2pm – Corner of Hardgate/Bloomfield Road, AB10 6AB
      Friday 5.30pm – Corner of Bonnymuir Place/Midstocket Road, AB15 5NL
      Saturday 10am – Middleton Park Primary School, Jesmond Drive, Bridge of Don, AB22 8UR
      Saturday 2pm – Balgownie Community Centre, Scotstown Gardens, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8HX

      Best wishes,
      Sophie

      Sophie Macdonald
      Local Campaign Organiser (North East Scotland)
      Better Together

      Sophie Macdonald is one of Lewis Macdonald MSP’s daughters, I believe. Grassroots campaign, eh?

      As a former pupil of Broomhill Primary, I take the Friday morning meeting point as a personal insult. It’s like burglars deciding to break into your house when they know you’ll be on holiday.

    58. Iain McCord says:

      A cynic might conclude that some of the policies being implemented by Westminster are designed to cripple the economic forecast for Scotland for the near future. Can’t imagine why they would do that. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10410291/Lord-Stephen-attacked-over-wind-farm-law-change.html shows that Holyrood aren’t fully in control of windfarms in Scotland and I seem to recall a recent intervention into the area more designed to suit rUK rather than Scotland on fairly dubious grounds in what is meant to be a devolved area. If I was being paranoid I’d say that steps are being taken to somehow paint Holyrood’s ambitions as far as green energy goes as being unobtainable for political reason rather than anything else.

    59. Helena Brown says:

      @Craig Evans, well if Marks & Spencers up sticks from here I think they will find their profits shrink even faster, and there are better places for knickers than there believe me. Haven’t worn a pair of theirs in decades. Nae Fur Coat though, they are better on the animal.

    60. CameronB says:

      Re. Fitch now appearing to paint a positive picture of Scotland’s economy and a £ currency union. I might be wrong, but there is bound to be another privately owned company along soon, to paint an opposing view.

      Even the International Monetary Fund recognises that the scope and scale of influence these privately owned ratings agencies have on thee global economy, is evidence of governmental failure and possibly even a threat to democracy. Perhaps even cataclysmic to world peace. Astonishing. Of course, the IMF had better manners than to use such intemperate language in public.

      Ratings Game

      Second, it led to the entrenchment of private entities in regulation—a domain normally reserved for the public sector. Most discussion of rating agencies has focused on conflict of interest and other problems as they relate to assessment quality. Far less has been said about the potential for a serious conflict of interest between the objectives of privately owned credit rating agencies seeking to maximize shareholder value and the objectives of the regulatory role they play, even if they did not seek that role.

      As authorities reexamine the regulatory and supervisory failures during the run-up to the global crisis, they must look at the reliance on credit rating agencies. Although any assessment must take into account the costs of making changes, there are a variety of potential paths—including reforming the rating agencies, bringing them under public control, or finding alternatives to them.

      http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2012/03/gavras.htm

      P.S. The Fall do a good track called “A Lot of Wind”. 🙂

    61. CameronB says:

      test

    62. Capella says:

      @ Doug Daniel 4.42
      Broomhill Primary is Council property. Is the Council letting out its primary schools to Better Together while banning SNP MPs from same?

    63. CameronB says:

      I was trying to post some International Monetary Fund analysis of these privately owned ratings agencies, but……

    64. Jim T says:

      Anyone here know how the newspaper distribution thing works? In particular, to newsagents.

      Who loads the “headline” boards? is it the shopkeeper, or is it the distributor?

      How complicated/expensive would it be to have a “YES” one alongside the normal dailies carrying a more positive weekly message? No newspapers needed, just the message, a QR code and a URL.

      If the distributor managed the whole thing in terms of delivering the poster and loading the board, all that would be needed would be a printer to produce the insert as required and arrange collection by the distributor.

      Just a thought. I’ll go and lie down now …

    65. Jim T says:

      @CameroonB 4:48

      was it this one from March 2012?

      http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2012/03/pdf/gavras.pdf

    66. Jim T says:

      Arrgghh

      Sorry @CameronB – made you look like a second rate African football team there LOL

    67. call me dave says:

      Got one ear tuned into Newsdrive for any hint of a report on Fitch currency union statement. Nothing on the first part of the programme and nothing in the headlines at 5pm.

      Maybe Douglas is warbling his tonsils with BBC mouthwash as I write this though. We will see.. 🙂

    68. Andy-B says:

      The press have, kept Professor Strachans, logical approach under wraps and as per usual pushed Ed Davey’s approach, we’re all doomed Captain Mannering.

      O/T Rev, I do apologise.

      Well well,well who’d have thought it, the London owned Daily Record has published its latest Survation poll,and the headline,”YES vote flatlines. The unionist rag intends to conduct a poll every month from now until September 18th.

      The Daily Record claims it surveyed over 1000 people in their latest poll, with, YES down to 37% from 39%, and 47% were planning to vote no. overall according to the Record,the figures were 56% no, and 44% YES.

      I’m rather uneasy with the fact that the Daily Record a die-hard unionist newspaper, is planning to carry out a monthly poll, right up until the 18th of September, as undoubtedly its results will lean heavily in favour of the unionist no camp.

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/independence-blow-alex-salmond-record-3394387

    69. Bill McLean says:

      GH Graham – when I click on your link at 1.38 PM the page appears then almost immediately disappears. What’s going wrong?

    70. Bill McLean says:

      GH Graham – found the site on Google Thanks!

    71. RogueCoder says:

      FINALLY a scare story (mostly) in Scotland’s favour!! The BBC have ties hard to spin it though.

      http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26974826

    72. Andrew Morton says:

      @Morag

      Yes, I’ll be there. I’ll be wearing a green windbreaker with a yellow Yes badge!

    73. Wp says:

      Andy-B. I wouldn’t worry too much,if they think they are ahead they will get complacent,whilst in the background we are getting in front towards the finishing line.

    74. Morag says:

      Andrew, I’ve got a dark blue anorak on over a dark blue fleece with a Yes badge on one lapel and my silver Wings badge on the other. Maroon cords. See you.

    75. Desimond says:

      @Andrew Morton

      “wearing a yellow YES badge’….yeah cause Pink Carnations are so 2013!

    76. Croompenstein says:

      Those Labour nonetities in Aberdeen are dragging the good name of the city through the dirt. There will be a day of reckoning for them they are making a very uncomfortable bed for themselves

    77. fairiefromtheearth says:

      I am looking forward to an Independant Scotland that is willing to take a hit in the short tearm, renationilising the electric grid, trains, central bank and the rest to give the PEOPLE the gain over the long term. look on in envy Englanders.

    78. Thepnr says:

      Does maroon really go with blue? What colour are your shoes? 🙂

    79. Appleby says:

      The scare story doesn’t last for us, but all they need to do is fire it out in the mainstream media and it’ll do their work for them on those who rely on TV and the newspapers for their information.

      Even if forced to print a retraction or a story contractiding it comes to light it’ll never get the same prominence.

    80. jingly jangly says:

      Robert Louis

      The Secretary of State for Portsmouth said the other week, that they are giving a positive case for the Union but the SNP put a negative spin on it.

    81. James D says:

      It was announced today that all Scottish wind and wave energy off our coasts and in our hills is making contingency plans to relocate to England in the event of a “ yes” vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

      A spokesperson stated : “the future of these natural elements in an independent Scotland would be fraught with problems and could see the creation of an energy independent country, a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, the creation of far too many jobs and the lowering of consumer energy bills.”

      I thought I would pre-empt the Better Together Bunch and save them the trouble by alerting all you nasty cybernats about the environmental catastrophe that was looming on the independence horizon.

      They have warned us about everything else and they must be running out of inspiration so it was only a matter of time before they got round to warning us that large areas of our natural environment were about to head south, along with banks, businesses and anything else you could dream up if you were a slaverin’ incoherent, political mutation with a truly fine disregard for logic, commonsense or fact.

      I apologise to readers of this fine blog ,but I am having a bad day: I just got a “United with Labour” leaflet through my letter box called “Keep The UK Keep The Pound” and it surpasses, by a long way, the amount of pish contained within my wee rant.

    82. CameronB says:

      Jim T
      The same source and title, but a different formatting. Cheers. 🙂

      Just had a quick chat with the Rev., who assures me he is not blocking me and I am not falling foul of the spam filters.

      Any tech experts want to furnish a guess as to why my posts keep disappearing?

    83. john king says:

      I think the Scottish government needs to play hardball with this after being threatened by Westminster about a “hostile act” it should be made clear to Ed the I speak you weight machine, that every time he threatens us
      THE PRICE GOES UP!

    84. caz-m says:

      Brilliant piece REV.

      Absolutely trashed Ed Davey’s Energy scare.

      Welcome aboard Professor Strachan.

    85. dramfineday says:

      Stuart could I suggest that the only thing lacking from the title of this excellent piece is “and wee wee”?

    86. David McCann says:

      @Jimsie

      I have Wings bookmarked on Firefox, and this is the only tab that has a problem loading.

      Something odd happening. Ill get to the bottom of it yet.

      Off in the morning to SNP conference. Will be making sure I get best value from Aberdeen City Council at Civic reception!!

    87. Doogi Bee says:

      My late father would’ve said..” Foo o wun n pish”..sums them up really…xxx

    88. gordoz says:

      Rev –

      Newsnight last night with Brewer;

      Honest academic from England did exactly the same; rubbished claims said it was UK govt scaremongering and confirmed because of nuclear stance taken and only having 2-5% over capacity, rUK must continue to buy energy from Scotland (25%over capacity now).

      This is the case at least until 2020 (if they start to sort now), or it would cost them too much money regardless of any Irish, French or Norwegian threats/offers.

      Its the only wat to reach green targets. Any probs or refusal from Scotland to sell then every likelyhood lights would go out as rUK have no back up, despite being warned.

      He said it several time to counter ‘UK suck up’ from Sneider Energy rep.

      He stated UK gov know it and threat about costs is all complete rubbish. Shared energy market till 2020 at least (its in everyones interests).

      Pointed out about Hinkley Point £30 Billion (inc Scot subs) & Sellafield clean uo £80 Billion (inc Scot subs)

      Now I can’t think who else has been saying this, was it the Scot Gov ?

      Better Together Eh ?

    89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “P.S. The Fall do a good track called “A Lot of Wind”.”

      Where did you THINK the title came from?

    90. EphemeralDeception says:

      Despite the politics people should read the actual report from the various Universities.

      In the Managemen,t ssummary it states the important conslusion. However it s relative. Scotlands Energy costs are going to climb, just as everyone elses are. But rUK are goinf to climb higher. ain Geopolitical elverage Scotland will also be a net exporter, which as Ruissia knows gives a large and certain advantage over importers.

      From the Management Summary:
      “In short, we now suggest that with a UK nuclear new build programme going ahead, an independent Scottish electricity system could deliver the Scottish
      renewable electricity target at lower electricity prices for the consumer than if this was achieved as part of the continued union of the electricity system between Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

      Thats all you need to know but I recommend reading the full report.

    91. steviecosmic says:

      For those experiencing problems, it may be a caching issue. I had the same problem with wings the other day. Entire posts were disappearing seemingly at random between visits

      Flush your cache by pressing ctrl + F5.

    92. CameronB says:

      P.S. The Fall do a good track called “A Lot of Wind”.”

      Where did you THINK the title came from?

      🙂

    93. CameronB says:

      steviecosmic
      😉

    94. Macsenex says:

      Attended the Law Society Seminar on the Constitution. A Carmichael admitted that the gap is closing.

      He said that if the EU rejected Scottish Membership Scotland’s relationship with the EU would be the subject of a bilateral agreement between the rUK and Scotland.

      I couldn’t believe my ears but checked it with a journalist taking notes.

      If this is UK and EU policy it opens up all sorts of issues including Scotland being a de facto member of the EU by dint of an agreement between the rUK and Scotland to split the current UKs rights and responsibilities.

      A challenge for you Rev. to highlight the permutations.

      The funny part of the event was. Fred Macintosh of BT berating nasty cybernats and saying he would not share a platform with anyone like that. His fellow BT panelist was a certain Ian Smart!

    95. No No No...Yes says:

      Doing some research and found this on the Resource tab of the Better Together website:

      “Scotland Analysis – In depth reports on a broad range of topics from the UK Government”

      Energy – Summary – Blog
      Borders and citizenship – Summary
      Currency union – Summary – Blog
      EU and international issues – Summary – Blog
      Science and research – Summary – Blog
      Security – Summary – Blog
      Defence – Summary – Blog
      Macroeconomic and fiscal performance – Summary
      Business and microeconomic framework – Summary
      Financial services and banking – Summary
      Currency and monetary policy – Summary – Blog
      Devolution and the implications of Scottish independence – Summary

      All of these are official UK government reports- compiled by civil servants etc, paid for by the tax payer.

      I can hardly wait for the BBC Morning call phone in with the impartial Louise White to discuss the ramifications, just like they did with the cost of the Scottish Govt white Paper…Hmm.

    96. Ian Brotherhood says:

      It’s all Greek to BT:

      ‘Lest one allow one’s mind to come to a standstill, it encourages one to identify the ‘wind eggs’ in one’s thoughts that may generate a false sense of certainty.’

      http://bedelebes.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/wind-eggs-in-theaetetus.html

    97. Jim says:

      But then, John Beattie thinks its too cold in winter in Scotland snd that the Scottish government should be doing something about it. And he didn’t used too!

    98. Tam Jardine says:

      From the recent interventions of prof Strachan and Chris Goodall, as well as Ed davey’s ill judged and false claims it seems to me that we have found a potentially very rich seam. I have always wanted the debate to focus on long term strategy and our potential.

      If we can get the message across that Scotland is in good shape in terms of energy security, in concert with oil, gas and water resources (all of which plainly and clearly juxtaposes with the position for ruk) we have one of our key strengths. And for the electorate these are tangible strengths rather than dry and often theoretical and confusing financial arguments.

      After the threats in recent weeks over Russia turning off the tap for European oil and gas importers, I found Mr Davey drawing attention to England’s electricity choices/predicaments baffling and hugely encouraging. I also find posturing over renewable energy, perhaps seen as unpopular with the electorate ill advised when so many are pro-renewables and many more are oblivious to the long term costs of nuclear energy (and therefore ripe to be informed).

      This is their achilles heel. Time to go on the attack.

    99. Croompenstein says:

      @NoNoNo – brave man going on to the BT site but maybe food for thought here. There was a discussion on wings about this sort of thing where the subjects are categorised. Looks like a good idea not just for wings but all pro indy sites..

    100. Brian Nicholson says:

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/10/scotland-likely-choose-independence-foreign-diplomats

      The tide is turned, and according to diplomats, the NO campaign is on a “hiding to nothing”!

    101. Meindevon says:

      Jim T at 5.10. That made me laugh! Ah, the Scottish sense of humour. Wish coming home was an option.

    102. JTBroadhurst says:

      The cost of generating onshore wind power is approximately £100/kWh and the commercial price is half that so who in Scotland does Strachan think will be paying the difference?

    103. gordoz says:

      JTBroadhurst

      Oh do read the thread and keep up !!

      rUK have absolutely no option ( none ), but to buy energy from Scotland because of lack of capacity (lights go out) and their option for nuclear energy leading to shrinking of green energy funding.

      They will breach carbon credit commitments otherwise.

      It is a complete Bluff !

    104. peter strachan says:

      Scottish Independence and Electricity Prices: Why England Needs Scotland to Keep the Lights On

      The goal of UK energy policy should be to ensure security of supply for households as well as businesses and to ensure the affordability of the electricity we use. Unfortunately, the current UK Coalition Government has taken its eye off the ball and is scoring an own goal by failing on both fronts.

      In particular their flagship initiative – Electricity Market Reform – has led to a hiatus in energy investment. This failing is very bad news for England. In effect we are now seeing a critical reduction in our energy capacity reserves, which will eventually see electricity costs spiral out of control. For London this might well mean the lights going out post 2015.

      As Scotland exports approximately 25% of the electricity it generates, this is not such a problem for Edinburgh. In Scotland, we produce much more than we use. In recent years this has been bolstered by a truly world class renewables industry. Scotland now produces nearly the equivalent of 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources such as onshore wind and hydro. This will increase to around 70% by 2017.

      I strongly reject Ed Davey’s announcements last week that if Scotland votes ‘Yes’ then Scottish electricity bills would increase. This claim is evidenced by a comprehensive report that I published with colleagues from a number of Universities from across the United Kingdom in December.

      To summarise some very complex arguments, as a result of the Coalition Government’s decision to fund new nuclear build, what we found in this report was that a Scottish Government committed to no nuclear build would actually see reductions in consumer electricity bills compared to the rest of the United Kingdom. Scottish consumers would not be subsidising the hundreds of billions of pounds of investment that new English nuclear power stations require.

      Already the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) spends £2.5 billion or 42% of its annual budget on existing nuclear legacy. Of that £1.6 billion is spent on managing the waste at Sellafield alone. In their misguided aspirations for new nuclear build the Coalition Government is now writing a ‘blank’ cheque. At a time of unprecedented financial austerity this is somewhat astonishing.

      Under no scenario can I see in an independent Scotland electricity bills increasing along the lines outlined by Ed Davey. In an independent Scotland, even with an integrated electricity market, Scotland would be able to sell its electricity to England at commercial rates. England currently has to resource its electricity requirements from Scotland; there is no alternative source. It is pure fantasy on the part of Ed Davey to suggest otherwise.

      Scotland offers an excellent model of how to deliver a world-class energy policy. The Coalition Government could learn much from us.

      Professor Peter Strachan
      Group Lead Strategy and Policy
      Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
      Email address: p [dot] a [dot] strachan [at] rgu [dot] ac [dot] uk

    105. Tom Platt says:

      Another example of the truth of Prof. Peter Strachan’s comment:

      Scotland offers an excellent model of how to deliver a world-class energy policy. The Coalition Government could learn much from us.
      is borne out by this news today:-

      http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/World-first-for-community-tidal-scheme-cac.aspx

      Tom



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