Scottish Politics Thread

and from the Courier (which I always thought was behind the Nazi party):-

You have to take the government to court if you want the truth.

Day one of the legal case against the Scottish Government’s ban on fracking heard that there is no ban on fracking. This admission was not part of smart cross examination but the central plank of the defence.

Advocate James Mure, QC, for the government said: “The concept of an effective ban is a gloss. It is the language of a press statement.”

Which comes as surprise given the First Minister told parliament: “Fracking is banned in Scotland – end of story.”

We have to worry when a government lawyer declares an important policy to be “a press statement” with no substance. No parliamentary question, no reply to a concerned constituent, no submission to a committee established this.

The nation’s democracy is apparently so feeble that when an all-dominant SNP declares something for the purposes of publicity, not a single check in the system is capable of establishing it as a fact or not.

This is government by virtue signalling – saying things to please voters and not acting on them so that, if the wind changes, it can say something else to retain popularity.

Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse already looks weak. Announcing a National Energy Company when he had no details about what it would be, do or achieve was virtue signalling at its most lazy.

Telling parliament there was a ban on fracking, as he did last October, when the government now says there are further consultations needed, appears deceitful.

Honour suggests he should go. Form tells us he won’t. He and his drowning colleague, health minister Shona Robison, will stay because Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP doesn’t do weakness.

Behind this farce lies a serious matter.

The institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) brought out a report into the merits of the UK having a sovereign wealth fund.

The idea of government saving money for future needs was first used by Pitt the Younger, who created the Sinking Fund in the early 19th Century.

Many nations have these savings, most famously Norway, with a pot now worth a trillion dollars. The usual way to do it is to charge a levy on the extraction of a natural assets and bank the money.

The SNP appears very keen on a sovereign wealth fund. In 2009, the Scottish Government issued a paper on the merits of oil funds in particular, implying Scotland could have one if it were independent.

According to the IPPR report, had a UK fund been set up in the mid-1970s when oil began to come ashore from the North Sea, it might be worth £500 billion now.

The pro-indy newspaper The National reported this as further evidence of British stupidity and a missed opportunity for Scotland.

North-east MSP Gillian Martin told the paper that the UK was broadly useless and urged for powers over oil to come to Holyrood.

“With a steady oil price, the oil and gas sector is once again set on an upward trajectory. The revenues from such a valuable national resource cannot be put towards covering the cost of Tory tax cuts for the very richest in our society – they should be invested wisely for future generations. The best way to ensure that happens it to take these powers out of the hands of Westminster altogether – devolve them to Holyrood and let us properly steward, rather than squander, Scotland’s natural resources.”

Which sounds tough and ambitious, but is drivel when tested against the facts. Since the 1970s, Scotland has been presented with two oil-like energy opportunities. The first is renewables and the second is fracking.

On renewables, we got the virtue signalling – the Saudi Arabia of renewables – but the reality was exposed when the wind turbine plant BiFab in Fife was in jeopardy. Far from grasping the opportunity and using it to build wealth and employment for Scotland, the Scottish share in the renewables industry was miserable, most local companies set up to exploit the wind had since folded and the industry was largely in foreign hands.

The SNP’s abject failure to capitalise on renewables will be the subject of economic tomes in years to come precisely because it was the mid-1970s all over again, because Scotland had the chance to re-run the last four decades but this time better, and blew it.

Now, yet another chance has come around in fracking, and this time the SNP isn’t even pretending it can handle the challenge. We could fund an economic renaissance from fracking and build a sovereign wealth fund, but will do neither. The Nats hate the UK for “squandering” the oil. They must loathe themselves for messing up two chances to correct the mistake.

The excuse for not fracking is that it will burn fossil fuels. But the SNP’s dream of an oil fund floated on carbon emissions. Much as so many Scottish Government policies amount to hot air.


So when is one of the other major parties going to bring these people to book , so we can get rid of them and their snivelling useless Green opportunist lapdogs
Agree with all you said - sadly both the Scottish and UK Govts have completely failed in their No1 duty to protect their citizens. In particular we have little to no resilience in our energy reserves meaning we are totally vulnerable to world wide natural disasters or political/military action which threatens to cut of our supplies. When the crappy weather hit us earlier this year the UK was down to 6 days supply of oil and gas - for comparison Germany maintains 60 days! The first thing Trump did was to open up a gigantic oil reserve in Alaska so the USA is now totally independent for fuel, has far cheaper energy costs for consumers and can negotiate world wide from a position of strength. Scotland has huge resources and GIGANTIC debt which is growing ever higher due to the SNPs incompetence and mismanagement - Sensible use of fracking could easily improve all of our lives and our children to come. Sadly, nearly all of our useless politicians have little or no experience outside of politics/student unions so don't understand Logistics or the need for resilience (particularly they don't understand a growing population needs more resources to support it) - the truth is we need to maintain a surplus in utilities eg fuel, water, power, sewage, comms not run everything down to the point where a single week of bad weather literally brings the country to its knees!
 
Agree with all you said - sadly both the Scottish and UK Govts have completely failed in their No1 duty to protect their citizens. In particular we have little to no resilience in our energy reserves meaning we are totally vulnerable to world wide natural disasters or political/military action which threatens to cut of our supplies. When the crappy weather hit us earlier this year the UK was down to 6 days supply of oil and gas - for comparison Germany maintains 60 days! The first thing Trump did was to open up a gigantic oil reserve in Alaska so the USA is now totally independent for fuel, has far cheaper energy costs for consumers and can negotiate world wide from a position of strength. Scotland has huge resources and GIGANTIC debt which is growing ever higher due to the SNPs incompetence and mismanagement - Sensible use of fracking could easily improve all of our lives and our children to come. Sadly, nearly all of our useless politicians have little or no experience outside of politics/student unions so don't understand Logistics or the need for resilience (particularly they don't understand a growing population needs more resources to support it) - the truth is we need to maintain a surplus in utilities eg fuel, water, power, sewage, comms not run everything down to the point where a single week of bad weather literally brings the country to its knees!
Tax. More money promised. Has to come from somewhere. Tax. Not enough people. Bring in more to generate tax do the jobs that don't pay a living wage that are crying out for workers. Independence from evil London gov't. Must stay in EU (and hope they still have a magic money tree).
 
My post from Oct last year.

The question is, what have you promised the Greens for this support. That support may come into question now that it has come to light that Mr Swinney has been having secret unrecorded meetings with fracking companies.

Ruskell said: "It's understandable that the deputy first minister would meet with a major employer but suspicions will be raised if we're not told what the reason was for meeting a firm also determined to frack under our homes.
"Scottish Greens have consistently stood with the communities threatened by Ineos' desire for risky, unnecessary drilling and it's time Scottish ministers stood with us."
Interesting view by MSP Claudia Beamish,

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish said the SNP is telling big business that fracking will eventually go ahead in Scotland.

She told STV News: "The SNP need to come clean on fracking. They are hiding behind a temporary freeze whilst all the evidence suggests they are telling big business that they will eventually give fracking the green light.
Although the Greens may be for an independent Scotland, can they trust the SNPs to keep to their promise or will the will of SP be sidestepped in the SNPs drive to find a new replacement for NSO totally under their control.

By using planning permission to stop fracking it may provide a simple and quick method but if things change it is also a simple and quick to get round. The motivation to frack is not there yet and as long as the SNP need the Greens it will never be there. A change in government of the SNP having a majority may provide the motivation needed.
 
The SNP don't need the revenue from fracking.
All their figures have been costed and are sound................




.................as soon as Brent crude gets to $113 a barrel!
 
The SNP don't need the revenue from fracking.
All their figures have been costed and are sound................




.................as soon as Brent crude gets to $113 a barrel!
Which might be sooner than you think. Sitting a ba' hair under $80bbl as I type on an upward trend.

Given the limited shale resources in Scotland, the revenue from fracking is not going to be a big fiscal contributor anyway. The problem is more of a political one.
Only the Greens can see the sense in burning oil to ship fracked gas from Louisiana to Grangemouth, when there is a potential supply of gas under the very body of water that Grangemouth sits on.
 
Which might be sooner than you think. Sitting a ba' hair under $80bbl as I type on an upward trend.
It hasn't been anywhere near $113 since 2008 and that was a record price even then.

BBC NEWS | Business | Oil price hits $113. 93 a barrel

And even if the price rocketed tomorrow, it would take years to get back to 2008 levels of production.
The SNP's figures were totally unrealistic in 2014 and are even more so now.
 
It hasn't been anywhere near $113 since 2008 and that was a record price even then.

BBC NEWS | Business | Oil price hits $113. 93 a barrel

And even if the price rocketed tomorrow, it would take years to get back to 2008 levels of production.
The SNP's figures were totally unrealistic in 2014 and are even more so now.
If you use old articles, you get an inaccurate view



Above the $90-$100 bbl range, North Sea production will ramp up very quickly.
 
If you use old articles, you get an inaccurate view
I deliberately used the 2008 article to highlight the fact that $113 a barrel was a record high. It has been nowhere near that since.
If you want a recent forecast then read the Oil and Gas UK latest Business Outlook report.

North Sea oil and gas outlook remains ‘uncertain’

But the report highlighted a “serious concern” about the lack of drilling in the North Sea , with 94 wells started in 2017, the lowest number since 1973....
...
Rising oil prices meant revenues from the sector increased from £16 billion to £21 billion last year, making this the
first year since 2013 that the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) generated enough cash from sales to cover expenditure.

(my bold)

Like I said, it's not just the price but the cost of extraction and the amount extracted. The SNP's figures were all based on the tax receipts from north sea oil production. They were vastly overinflated then and are even more so now regardless of the price of a barrel of oil.
 
I deliberately used the 2008 article to highlight the fact that $113 a barrel was a record high. It has been nowhere near that since.
It was a record high in 2008. Have a look at the chart I posted and you will see that your statement "it has been nowhere near that since" is in fact incorrect.
It is true that it has been nowhere near $113bbl since 2014, but from 2011 to 2014 the price was in the region that you stated it was not.

If you want a recent forecast then read the Oil and Gas UK latest Business Outlook report.

North Sea oil and gas outlook remains ‘uncertain’

But the report highlighted a “serious concern” about the lack of drilling in the North Sea , with 94 wells started in 2017, the lowest number since 1973....
...
Rising oil prices meant revenues from the sector increased from £16 billion to £21 billion last year, making this the
first year since 2013 that the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) generated enough cash from sales to cover expenditure.

(my bold)
Yes, I've seen that. It's something I monitor closely. The North Sea is a high cost province, but becomes profitable very quickly once prices cross the threshold.
Oil and Gas UK are being cautious, and rightly so. There is no guarantee that the oil price recovery will continue, however, the signs are there and we (my employer) are beginning to see signs of recovery in activity.

Like I said, it's not just the price but the cost of extraction and the amount extracted. The SNP's figures were all based on the tax receipts from north sea oil production. They were vastly overinflated then and are even more so now regardless of the price of a barrel of oil.
That's your opinion. I agree that there was a degree of realism missing in that they didn't take account of oil price fluctuation, but to state what I have made bold is demonstrably incorrect. The price of a barrel of oil has a fundamental influence on whether the figures are correct or not.
 
That's your opinion. I agree that there was a degree of realism missing in that they didn't take account of oil price fluctuation, but to state what I have made bold is demonstrably incorrect. The price of a barrel of oil has a fundamental influence on whether the figures are correct or not.
Fair points, however I still stand by my statement that the SNP's figures were wrong in 2014 and are still wrong.
I agree that the price of a barrel of oil has an influence on the figures (of course it does) but the price could be $120 and still not produce the tax receipts required if the cost of production goes up (which it is) and the amount produced falls (which it has).
The industry is gradually getting back on it's feet, but you only have to walk around Aberdeen and look at the closed hotels, pubs and restaurants to see that a lot of damage has been done and will take an awful long time to recover to anywhere near pre 2008 levels of profit and it's the profit (tax receipts) that's key to the SNP's figures not solely the price of a barrel.
 
Fair points, however I still stand by my statement that the SNP's figures were wrong in 2014 and are still wrong.
I agree that the price of a barrel of oil has an influence on the figures (of course it does) but the price could be $120 and still not produce the tax receipts required if the cost of production goes up (which it is) and the amount produced falls (which it has).
The UK Oil and Gas review reported on by the Scotsman article that you linked to contains the following statement.

It is impressive to see that unit operating costs have halved and that production is 16 percent higher than 2014.

I suppose it's not surprising that the Scotsman decided to leave this out.

Business Outlook 2018

The industry is gradually getting back on it's feet, but you only have to walk around Aberdeen and look at the closed hotels, pubs and restaurants to see that a lot of damage has been done and will take an awful long time to recover to anywhere near pre 2008 levels of profit and it's the profit (tax receipts) that's key to the SNP's figures not solely the price of a barrel.
Yes, I know how badly Aberdeen has been affected, I still have property in Dyce that I would dearly love to get shot of. I also (still) work for a company who have only just scraped out of chapter 11/sauveguard but with turnover at something like 25% of what it was in 2012.
 
The UK Oil and Gas review reported on by the Scotsman article that you linked to contains the following statement.

It is impressive to see that unit operating costs have halved and that production is 16 percent higher than 2014.

I suppose it's not surprising that the Scotsman decided to leave this out.
I would venture to suggest that operating costs have halved in large part due to the reduced wage bills because of wholesale job losses throughout the sector.
Anyway I am not in the industry, but am effected by it's prosperity (or lack of) due to geography.
However it is refreshing to have an adult debate, with differing views, without it degenerating into a mong slugfest as seems to be the norm now on ARRSE.
 
I would venture to suggest that operating costs have halved in large part due to the reduced wage bills because of wholesale job losses throughout the sector.
Anyway I am not in the industry, but am effected by it's prosperity (or lack of) due to geography.
However it is refreshing to have an adult debate, with differing views, without it degenerating into a mong slugfest as seems to be the norm now on ARRSE.
I’m in exploration, not production, so I have limited insight, but from what I have been hearing and reading, the production companies have gone to great lengths to cut costs and be more efficient. This has involved improved use of technology, but yes, has also involved streamlining working practices and cutting rates. As an example the day rates for support vessels has been slashed (one of my sons works on those).

Yes, good discussion. I’m sure there are plenty things we don’t agree on, but I have no interest in a mongfest.
 
Noticed today a police car with police written in English and Gaelic
now that's a money saver , Mark the cars twice. Road signs double printed like Wales next

Which actually got me thinking, with all this nationalism and pride in the (dead, rarely used,) language, does the first minister actually speak it herself?
 
Noticed today a police car with , police written in English and Gaelicnd the gathe trvoghdittosc
now that's a money saver , Mark the cars twice. OfRoad signs double printed like Wales next

Which actually got me thinking, with all this Indynationalism and pride in the (dead, rarely unchused,) w about, does the first minister n effactually speak it to re launch theherself?ortm
,

And the garlic is poileas, pronounced ‘police’, waste of flaming rations. I wish the Scottish govt would address the real issues. Also glad to see that things are so far down the sh**ter that sturgeon is now about to relaunch the Indy campaign in an effort to divert attention from the issues at home, aka Argentina or any other tin pot country.
 

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