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« Darien II | Main | Beddington hearing »
Tuesday
Nov082011

Will renewables kill off Scottish independence?

H/T to a reader for this from the Telegraph a few days ago.

Thee Prime Minister cited an analysis by banking giant Citigroup that said Scottish home owners and businesses would have to provide £4 billion of subsidies per year to make wind and wave farms economically viable.

Distributed to companies across the world, the report warned them to exercise “extreme caution” over investing in Scotland before the SNP’s separation referendum as a ‘yes’ vote could render green energy plants “unaffordable”.

The Citygroup study said green energy currently relies on subsidies paid by all 27 million UK households and 4.5 million businesses. Scotland only accounts for eight per cent and five per cent of these totals respectively.

English and Welsh taxpayers would be highly unlikely to agree to continue paying this money to a “foreign country” post independence, it said, leaving green energy investors with “stranded” assets.

Now I see - Cameron's obsession with renewables is a way to keep the UK together.

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  • Response
    Response: Goodbye Scotland?
    I have long thought, first, that the United Kingdom has for some time been heading towards being the Non-United Kingdom, and second, that this would probably be a very good thing. If such a separation is indeed happening, then what is causing it is the end of the British Empire. That ...

Reader Comments (53)

So that's two excellent reasons for Scottish independence. The first being that I'm sick and tired of hearing the whining.

Nov 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

What you need is a Scottish Tea Party.

Nov 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

But according to Alex Salmond, an independent Scotland would be a land of milk & honey.

Nov 8, 2011 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuck

Won't they just want to offset it against the last 40 years of North Sea oil? ;-)

Nov 8, 2011 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

8% of 27 billion is 2.16 billion dollars. No idea if that is annual or total. But that is a hell of a lot. How many power stations is that again?

Seems damned obvious what to do to me.

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

The American economist and political extremist has a column out that is bizarre even by contrast to his typical bilge regarding solat energy and the wickedness of natural gas.
It is amazing how our elites have built themselves a virtual echo chamber that permits them to live better than royalty of even the early 20th century, even as they place huge yokes to burden the tax payers.
The fiasco regarding energy supply in Scoltland is just one symptom of this dysfunction.

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

>ahem< that economiist would be Paul Krugman
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/opinion/krugman-here-comes-solar-energy.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Cameron is too soft for that. The Barnett Formula will mutate to some other subsidy, probably justified on grounds of the 'priority for environmental sustainability' in the 'national interest'.

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

would have to provide £4 billion of subsidies per year to make wind and wave farms economically viable.

Cracks me up every time.

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

Somebody has already postulated that the UK might invest in Irish wind farms and then pay them the going rate for exhorbitant renewables to import the energy into the UK. Thus we support the Irish economy and meet our renewables obligation at the same time.

I don't see why Scotland would be treated any differently?

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

I was born in Scotland (Aberdeen). I love the countryside. Scotland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen..

Whatever anyone says the Scots still hate the English, even though we pay almost all of their bills. Salmond tells them that independence will be a nirvana - only because he will seek as much EU money as he can get his grubby hands on. Scotland as a country standing alone couldn''t afford to get out of bed in the morning.

It should be allowed to get its independence, if that's what it wants. There is no doubt that on a financial level it would be a disaster for Scotland. If I recall correctly in 2008-9 there were only 150000 scots who were net tax payers. Almost the entire population of that country exists, subsists, and lives on hand outs from England.

Let them go, I say. They can then whinge to the EU about how much money they need instead of ripping off the English to pay for things that we dont even get in this country. Then they can sing their offensive national anthem at rugby matches and we will all sit here happy that we are no longer paying to be hated.

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

Another Economist (of the printed variety) has a debate going on whether or not renewable energy should be subsidised by governments. In typical "The Economist" fashion, it biases the debate by assuming that renewable energy promotion is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions.

Nov 8, 2011 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorley Sutter

History repeats. In this case the history is "Darien".

Nov 8, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce of Newcastle

Darien indeed! Salmond's Darien Mark II - his seductive opportunity, too good to miss, all his advisors advised it. Only this time no need to leave the country in order to court disaster and set back social progress for many a generation. Whatever good he may do elsewhere, he will be remembered only for inflicting a new madness on Scotland. The windfarms are detested for the damage they do, and the penalties they impose on those nearby, those visiting, and those subsidising them. The detestation will naturally transfer in due course to the instigators and impkementors of this almost melodramatically foolish energy policy.

Nov 8, 2011 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

We've got a couple of redundant political partie shere in Ireland which Scotland can have.

Fianna Fail and the "Expletive Deleted" vomit making greens had a coalition here until not very long ago and they are all looking for some suckers to take on their very strange policies.

Nov 8, 2011 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

"Then they can sing their offensive national anthem at rugby matches and we will all sit here happy that we are no longer paying to be hated."

Touchy! Which part of Flower of Scotland offends you so much? Are you also offended by Star Spangled Banner which refers to a battle against the British in 1812?

And actually I don't think most Scots hate the English. Many or most of us have family connections. The London and southeast media bias is another matter.

As for independence? Difficult one. I can see both sides but I don't think I'll be voting for an independence which includes the crazy SNP energy policies and continued EU membership.

Nov 8, 2011 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTed

Bruce of Newcastle and John Shade

Conjure the vision "Eck The Shrek" in a Panama?

Nov 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

So all those wind turbines are putting a new spin on the political implications of glowball warming.

Who would have believed it.

Nov 8, 2011 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred from Canuckistan

I am puzzled at what has happened to Scotland over the last 70-odd years.

Up until then, if you had written a list of the greatest British scientists, engineers and mathematicians, it would not have been so very different from a list of the greatest Scottish scientists, engineers and mathematicians. This was a country that punched ludicrously above its weight in intellectual endeavour and quite a lot else besides - exploration and warfare for a start.

What the hell happened? Is the situation retrievable?

Nov 8, 2011 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

J4R:

There used to be a real pride in being educated: in the age of the Scottish Enlightenment even humble farm boys like Robert Burns were familiar with the classics from an early age.

I'll leave you to work out what's happened to the education system in Scotland and the wider UK over the last 50 years.

Nov 9, 2011 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

"I'll leave you to work out what's happened to the education system in Scotland and the wider UK over the last 50 years."

Don't feel lonely. Public Education in America is just a keep 'em dumb enterprise.

Andrew

Nov 9, 2011 at 12:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

They can't even focus their hatred at the right nationality - an anthem proudly recalling a single military victory the best part of a millennium ago is a bit pathetic, particularly when the loathed Plantagenet oppressor in question was about as English as pate de fois gras with extra garlic. If Bannockburn was a victory against England then Napoleon's defeat at Moscow in 1812 was actually Russia beating Poland, on the grounds that the French conquered the Poles on the way...

But we can still rise now/ And be the nation again! /That stood against him/
Proud Edward's army/ And sent him homeward/ To think again.

Homeward indeed, as in Anjou. Mind the red hot pokers on the way though, eh?

Meanwhile, can anybody enlighten me as to why England has to wait for the Scots to secede? A referendum south of the border would be no contest at all. There's even a wall which we could patch up a bit to confirm the decision...

Nov 9, 2011 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers

J4R

When I think what has become of my mother country it makes me weep. Many of us left the hameland, thinking it would always be there for us. But in the end, all the Scots with fire in their belly and a brain in their head had departed - for England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, America....

If RB's figure about the net number of taxpayers is right, it says it all.

It's still a beautiful country - well, at least the bits not despoiled by windmills - but it's rooted, as we say on this side of the world. Sad but true.

Nov 9, 2011 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

I think the Scots have got various options covered, they have already licenced two companies to drill for shale gas ^.^ .
On the subject of the union I was born British and proud of it. Now I am English and proud of it as a result of the loathing I have seen from the Welsh and the Scots. Easy to understand when I consider my feelings for the EU. I think we should grant the Scots and the Welsh all the independance they want in the hope that one day they will rejoin the Union because they are able choose to do so.

Nov 9, 2011 at 2:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Dung

That ain't gonna work. All the Scots with the wit to see the merits of Union are now KIwis, Aussies, Canadians....;-)

Nov 9, 2011 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

The politiicans are looking for a way out of the Green Energy economic fiasco. If they can use it while appearing to discourage seccession, they have an out that gives them a Get Out of Jail card at the same time.

Bringing up inconvenient facts while supporting national unity is something you can disavow later as a ploy in the greater interest of the nation(s). But it also allows you to bring out for view truths that are difficult otherwise. Like saying, in the face of an external enemy, that you need new, better weapons to fight the battle, without having to say your existing weapons are inadequate.

Reveal with one hand what is hidden in the other.

Nov 9, 2011 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

O/T but Huhne is getting ripped to shreds in the comments at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/8877214/Britain-cant-afford-to-bet-its-future-on-shale-gas-wind-turbines-are-here-to-stay.html#disqus_thread

Nov 9, 2011 at 6:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

What the hell happened? Is the situation retrievable?
Nov 8, 2011 at 11:46 PM | Justice4Rinka

Rab Nesbit?

Nov 9, 2011 at 6:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

J4R and others.

I too am a Scot but who has now lived more than half his life in Australia. I visited my birthcountry for the first time in 35 years a couple of years ago and was apalled. But then things aren't any better in England, outside central London, as far as I can make out.
Put it all down to a series of totally incompetent/corrupt governments, the very class of people who have led Europe and America into the current financial quicksand, and are rapidly doing the same for Oz.
There's a lot to be said for the Confucian background the Asian nations have. They're kicking our arses all over the place in almost every field: political, educational and industrial.

Nov 9, 2011 at 6:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

Would an independent Scotland have to pay back the money it received under the Act of Union? What is £398085 10s worth in today's money?

Nov 9, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

Before we get into anti-Scottish rhetoric, a recent poll put only 33% in favour of independence in Scotland. Not everybody there is a whiner, you only hear the whiners because they are well.. whining.

You hear the same whiners here in England whining about not being allowed to put up a St George's Cross (who's stopping them?) not being able to put English on their passport instead of British (the myth that Scots can put Scottish is particularly tiresome) that England subsidises Scotland under the Barnett Forumla and it's successors (alas, true)

Having said all that, as an expat myself, I am also sick of hearing them whine, and if they want to give it a go that much - let them try. The first step would be to give them fiscal control and tax raising powers, drop the subsidy. Once that's crashed and burned, allow them back in, adjust the Barnett forumla to pay off their debts, and tell them to keep the noise down.

Nov 9, 2011 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Anyone commenting about North Sea Oil should remember that RBS and HBOS have blown pretty much all of the North Sea oil and gas tax revenues from the last 40 years. According to HMRC these amount to £156B, most but not all of which was generated from Scotland, against which should be set direct funding of £76B from government plus a percentage of the £200B indemnity to the Bank of England for impaired asset support (say 25% = £50B) and a smaller percentage of the £250B loan guarantee (say 10% = £25B). Total £151B, and all down to two egomaniacs in Edinburgh.

Nov 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

HMRC link: www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/table11_11.pdf

Nov 9, 2011 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

And actually I don't think most Scots hate the English. Many or most of us have family connections. The London and southeast media bias is another matter.

I lived in the Midlands for 20 years and now live in Scotland, the complaints about London and the South East I heard in the Midlands are the same I now hear in Scotland. When I point out that most of England have the same complaints but its directed at London and the South East I get agreement that yes it is only London and the South East they are complaining about but had not realised.

Trouble with Alex's plan for renewables is that it relies on it being sold at peak rates at a premium, but going by the Dutch experience it will be sold at off peak times at low rates and when the wind is not blowing the shortfall will be bought at premium rates.

Nov 9, 2011 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterbreath of fresh air

I too am a Scot. I don't hate the English. How could I? I live in England and my missus is English (well, Yorkshire). I hate Flower of Scotland. It's a piss-poor greet and we should replace it with Highland Laddie or Scotland the Brave, like we used to years ago. "Sent them homeward tae think again" - well, they did think again, and they came back and kicked our arses on more than one occasion, but we never gave up - we went toe to toe with one of the world's greatest powers and we were never subjugated and eventually we ended up in a Union with them - an equal partnership, which went on to become the most successful nation state in the world, and we should be proud of it, not pretending we were colonised, which is just pig-ignorant ahistorical stupidity.

We nearly all have relatives in England, genuine ties of culture and blood. As someone brought up Catholic I suspect the Union with England has saved Scotland from the deep sectarian divisions in our society - we could easily have been Northern Ireland all over again. Something I have always really admired about the English is their tolerance and forebearance. Mr Salmond, while he preens like a cock on a midden, is not a stupid man. He sees that most Scots don't want to dissolve the Union and probably never will. So he is tackling the problem from the other end - he is determined to provoke the English to the point they dissolve the Union, irrespective of the Scots. I just hope English patience outlasts the SNP's efforts. Scotland's real tragedy is our inability to replace the old traditional industries (which would have disappeared even if Maggie Thatcher had never existed) and our grotesque welfare dependency. Which is why, when I left school, in order to be a success, I had to leave. Small minded people want to look elsewhere for someone to blame. The relative success of England (really, the South East) gives the 10% of Scots who are stupid bigots someone to blame. Please don't assume we all share that outlook.

There is something very odd about a political movement which wants to escape the Union with England, Wales & Northern Ireland - with whom we have shed blood on battlefields, with whom we share a language, a culture, actual blood ties, with whom we form a real demos - in order to take orders from Berlin via Brussels. I just wish the Unionist parties would wake up to the threat.

Nov 9, 2011 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix

Well said Sebastian. My kids, born here, consider themselves English, and they are. The Scots stood shoulder to shoulder with England in wars all over the world, and like any local derby, we take snipes at each other, but we have far more in common with each other than either of us have with Europe.

Scotland is poor, which means it has a large working class population, which makes it predominantly socialist, and unfortunately has a bigger dependency culture. But no more than other similar parts of the north of England, it's not an especially Scottish trait, just a poor northern one.

Nov 9, 2011 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

No word from Scots Renewables, then?

Nov 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I wouldn't take issue with much Sebastian wrote except the suggestion that England historically was "one of the world's greatest powers".

Britain was economically powerful from about 1750 to about 1915, but even then most of the money went on funding a navy to defend the source of the money, which was trade. Land battles always required the hiring of sepoys of one sort or another - Marlborough used Austrian sepoys, Clive and later Wellington used Indian sepoys, Cornwallis and later Wellington used German sepoys, and Kitchener used French sepoys - to handle the land fighting. England could fund armies but couldn't man them. WW2 can be seen as using American and Russian troops as proxies to further British war aims just like Pitt used Russians as proxies in 1805.

England up to 1707 wasn't a superpower by any stretch of the imagination. In the one corner you had Britain and Portugal, and ranged against England on the other you had the Netherlands - usually an enemy for reasons of trade competition; Spain, France and Scotland for reasons of trade and / or religious antagonism; and a melange of principalities that rather later evolved into Prussia, Austria and Russia but were either neutral or unfriendly.

Britain was militarily a bit player throughout, surviving because of a relatively effective navy, but was often bested at sea by the French, Spanish and Dutch. We don't hear about these defeats very often, but in the 100 Years' War Jean de Vienne pwn3d the Channel and raided the south coast whenever he felt like it. Spain owned the Elizabethan seas and Drake and co were about as significant as American privateers in the war of 1812, i.e. annoying but trivial. In three Dutch Wars the navy was repeatedly stuffed and in one raid the Dutch captured the English flagship from the Thames and towed it home as a prize.

Britain is perceived as having been powerful but it's a mistake to read this back to pre-Union England. England got much out of the Union and so did Scotland, effectively being a sort of intellectual Hong Kong to Britain's China. So Scots invented a staggering amount of practical and intellectual stuff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_inventions_and_discoveries), explored the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Scottish_explorers), and booted the crap out of the Union's enemies by land and sea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Scotland#Part_of_the_British_Armed_Forces).

And then something happened and they went from being haggis-eating victory monkeys to deep-fried-Mars-bar-eating benefit monkeys, if the rumours are to be believed.

Unless the reasons for this are understood then I can't see why Scotland will be any more successful as an impoverished German region than it is as an impoverished English one. The risk for Scotland is that Salmond doesn't give a toss about Scotland, and provokes the English into holding a referendum on Scottish independence which he wins but Scotland loses.

Nov 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

@J4R
Nicely provocative!
I await comments from others with interest :)

Nov 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

Don't forget, everyone - when Andy Murray wins at tennis, he's British.
When he loses - he's Scottish.
Apply this principle to all relevant discussions....

Nov 9, 2011 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

There are a lot of comments here that give me pause for thought.

We do have blood ties and cultural ties and shared experience going back many years. The scots have stood shoulder to shoulder with us English and Welsh over many years and in many ways. Scots have historically been superb warriors - lets face it even in modern history no-one messed with the Black Watch.

But what has happened? Even when I was a young bairn growing up in Buckie in Banff in the late 60s early 70s Scottish people were friendly, proud and self sufficient. We had a distillery just down the road and economic activity was all around. Now, the country is, sadly, on its knees. Perhaps it has suffered from the concentration of economic activity on the South and South East of England, but what I can't get is how the Scots have, almost en bloc, not picked themselves up, kicked off the self pitying moaning about southern England, and made their own way again.

As has been said most Scots do not want independence, but this is, in my view, an economic rather than cultural issue. The country seems to have accepted that it can only survive on hand outs - but there are 5 million people who have choices and there must be some in there who have the wherewithall to get some industry or other economic activity going.

We do have issues that are still ripe for reform. The Barnett Formula - the West Lothian question. In respect of the latter it should not be underestimated how much the English find that situation repugnant and it has been allowed to fester for many years. And of course in recent years we English see a great deal of our current problems as having been caused by Scots who had essentially taken over the upper echelons of the Labour Party whilst it held power. And then of course there are the Scottish Banks at whose feet many lay the blame for much of the serious economic difficulties we now face.

The fact remains that the English wouldn't be bothered if the Scots took their independence. Let's face it - Scotland is the loved but resented unemployed brother who is always tapping you up for a loan but always seems to be pissed. It is also true that Salmond is no fool and will do all he can to get independence. Sadly, his assessment of the benefits to Scotland are simply wrong and Scotland would either undergo a very painful journey which leads back to Union, or they would, despite their fierce sense of independence, end up as a region of the EU.

As to whether "most" scots hate the englilsh, in my recent (20 years) experience, they do. Edinburgh may be the most "enlightened" part of the country but even there, most of the friendly bars and people are Irish. As an aside on my last visit to Edinburgh I have to say that I have never seen so many young and totally incapably drunk women in my life. It was very sad to see and this city definitely has an alcohol problem - I imagine it is even worse elsewhere.

Dont misunderstand me I love Scotland. The areas around Buckie, Spey Bay, etc. are just stunning. The people there when I was a young boy were warm, friendly and fierce. What happened to Scotland?

Nov 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

Is this why the National Socialists are moving towards 'Independence light'? Ie do what we like but keep the massive subsidies? But will the English swallow this? I think not!

Nov 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

Can't fault anything RB says, it goes for the UK in general though, not just Scotland. We've all stopped making and doing things, and seem happy with just sponging and whining and blaming others. In England, it's led to a rather nasty ahistoric Scotophobia, to be found on BBC's Have Your Say and the comments page of the Daily Mail, as also demonstrated ably by Mr Deane in this thread.

Nov 9, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

As a Welshman I think it is a pity that the policy the Liberals advocated at the end of the 19th century of "home rule all around" was not adopted. If it had we might have avoided all the problems involving Northern Ireland in the 20th century. Perhaps it could be revived and the Republic of Ireland might be tempted to join Britain in a confederation if the whole of Ireland would be reunited as a member of that confederation.

Although I am a keen supporter of devolution to Wales and Scotland I am opposed to complete independence. At this time of the year it should not be necessary to remind people of the sacrifices that English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people made together in two world wars. We ought to be proud of what Great Britain has achieved as well as the achievements of its component parts.

As far as the economy is concerned there is no reason, in principle, why an independent Scotland could not be a prosperous as the Scandinavian nations - or rather there would be no reason if it were not for Scottish politicians. As other commentators have pointed out Scotland no longer seems to produce great scientists, engineers, doctors, economists, philosophers and industrialists like it did in the 18th and 19th centuries and there is no sign that the politicians who now dominate Scottish political life have a clue what to do about that or that they even care about that problem.

Nov 9, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Oh it still produces them, but they get exported straight from graduation. For years I had a pile of application letters to Scottish engineering companies applying for various roles which I had amassed during about 2 years of looking for a graduate placement, all rejected. I made one phone call to a recruiter in London and I had a job in the SE in 24 hours. It's a no-brainer.

Nov 9, 2011 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Sebastian
As someone who in spite of being a quarter Scottish and only half English has succumbed from time to time to provocation from hostile Scots and wished for Scottish independence, I must congratulate you on the most compelling defence of the Union that I have seen in a long time.

Nov 9, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

David S, remember that you only hear the loudest whingers!

Nov 9, 2011 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

@David S - thanks. I never really expected any reaction at all so a favourable one is very pleasant!

@Justice4Rinka. Interesting comments; I think you demonstrate something I feel very strongly, viz: the Union is greater than the sum of the parts. Prior to 1707 we were all fighting among ourselves; together we made something really special. In my opinion, both England & Scotland would be greatly diminished if it ended. All of us outside London have been diminished by the accretion of power in the South East of England. The difference is Englishmen moan about London bias and Scots moan about the English. We all suffer the same thing - too much structural unemployment, too little self respect, and an over-mighty City of London which may yet screw us all.

@BigYin - same thing happened to me... been in England ever since. Perhaps that is the present trouble with Scotland & the English regions. Too many people with get up and go have got up & gone, leaving a lumpen mass of welfare claimants behind. Perhaps we need tax holidays for start ups everywhere north of Watford Gap. Anything that will give a shot in the arm to business and encourage entrepreneurs is desperately needed.

Nov 9, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Weetabix

The SNP assume many things will remain in place post independence.

For example in the case of the EU they believe Scotland will keep the UK negotiated EU opt outs.

In the case of electricity and gas they assume the GB structure will remain unchanged.

In both cases these critical initial assumptions may or may not be true.

It is utterly pointless debating issues that arise from makeing different assumptions.

More useful testing the assumption.

Actually I think their energy assumptions are more realistic than their EU assumptions.

Nov 10, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark, Edinburgh

I've just found myself 3 years out of date after just hearing on the Channel 4 news that we have the "Department of Energy and Climate Change" - do we not have anyone responsible for just energy now?? (I have been out of the country for a lot of that time) The website reads like a crossbred climate change/peak oil site, but with no real mention on supplying conventional energy. I am a peak oiler myself though, to the extent that I think conventional oil extraction rates peaked plateaued about 2005.

Nov 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

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