Monday, 25 August 2014


Does the oil belong to Scotland?
Yes. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) says oil revenue should go to the country in whose waters it was discovered. Professor Alex Kemp, of the University of Aberdeen, says 90 per cent of UK oil lies in Scottish waters but we need to be independent to get the revenue it generates.

Isn't the oil running out?
No. UK Oil and Gas, who represent companies working in the industry, say there are 24 billion barrels left in the North Sea. That is why they are investing record amounts. Even the UK Government have conceded it could last another 50 years.

How much is it worth?
Around £1.5trillion. This could rise as world demand pushes up prices. The International Monetary Fund’s research team have predicted world prices could double by 2022.

Will we be too dependent on oil if we choose independence?
Even without oil, Scotland’s wealth is around the same as the rest of the UK, according to official figures. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s say, even without oil, Scotland would be one of the most successful economies in the developed world. But the oil is a huge bonus and gives an independent Scotland a great head start.

What does that mean for me and my family?
We can create an oil fund by saving some of the tax – Norway, a country the same size as Scotland, has accumulated an oil fund of £500 billion to be used for pensions, healthcare and investment in the future. The UK has failed to set up a fund and squandered our oil wealth.

But the UK Government say the Scottish Government have exaggerated the value of oil
They would say that, wouldn't they? The highly respected Investors Chronicle magazine said the UK Government are underplaying the value of the North Sea oil because of the forthcoming referendum on independence.

Who else backs the Scottish Government?
Professor Sir Donald MacKay, the world’s foremost expert on oil prices, says the UK government are wrong and the Scottish Government are right. He said: “There is no hole in the Scottish Government’s oil predictions but there is a mountain of black gold missing from the UK Government’s.” The economic think tank N-56 said the figure for future tax revenues was six times more than the UK government claimed.

Is more oil being discovered?
All the time. This month Xcite Energy announced a major new oil find east of Shetland. The Bentley field will produce 700 million barrels over 35 years. The Clair Ridge Project to the west of Shetland is expected to produce 640 million barrels in the future. BP’s publicity video says Clair will make an enormous contribution to the UK economy for many years to come.

Why don’t I know this?
Good question. David Cameron made a secret visit to Shetland to see this important field. But the visit was hushed up along with the latest results of test drilling, which are rumoured to reveal even more oil.

Why would they bury a good news story?
A certain independence vote on September 18. It has even been suggested that workers on the field stand down till after the referendum.

Surely the UK Government are not involved in a cover up?
(At this point we had to pause while we arranged oxygen for Munguin.) They have form. When oil was found in the 1970s, a report for ministers by the senior civil servant Gavin McCrone predicted an independent Scotland would be richer than Switzerland. That was kept secret for 30 years.

So they lied to us?
(Well duh! They are the British government. It's what they do.) Denis Healey, the former Labour chancellor in the 1970s, admitted the value of oil was played down by Labour and Conservative governments to stop the Scots supporting independence.

How much did these lies cost us?
Around £300 billion of oil tax revenue has gone straight to the London Exchequer since oil was discovered. Scotland didn’t receive a penny.

Anything else I should know?
Significant oil finds were made in the Clyde in the 1970s but the industry was blocked by the UK Ministry of Defence because they didn't want anything interfering with nuclear submarines. Michael Heseltine, defence secretary at the time, admitted it this week.

Last weekend the Scottish Government created a taskforce to examine the potential of oil in the west. A Yes vote will mean the Ministry of Defence will no longer be able to block these developments.

What will independence change?
All the tax money from oil will stay in Scotland and be used for the good of the people who live here.




  1. HI Marian... Nice to see you. I just read it. It's excellent.

    Off topic: Guardian/ICM poll Salmond – 71% Darling – 29% Sample 500+

    I think we won tonight.

  2. Brilliant piece of work!

    This is also a brilliant piece of work too

  3. Sorry Tris for deleting my first post that you responded to.

    I was trying to correct the formatting of the second sentence with the link and deleted it instead!

    1. Oh don't worry about that Marian. It's the post that counts. I can clear that up no bother... And blogger formatting sometimes drives us all to distraction or even destruction!

      It's a really passionate piece... brilliant.

  4. Sorry, I have been absent here for some wee whiles but I have been hors de combat thanks to France fuckin Telecom who have somehow buggered the last copper bit of my internet connection. Of course as France is following on in the neo liberal privatisation model, the line is owned and run by them but my internet supplier is not them, because they are the most expensive and still an arrogant pseudo monopoly supplier. They will not let my internet technician free range of their exchange and have to arrange a RDV which in August is as unavailable as a truth from Alastair Darling ( what a Flodden for him, tee he he). Until the check at the exchange of the connection is made, FTel will do sweet FA until my internet supplier confirms an irregularity in FTel's line.

    into my 3rd week of no internet and really no info.

    My internet company says I can check up on the status of my "connection irregularity report" on their website within My Account Page? I thought the French didn't do irony.

    No internet, no TV and no telephone.

    So down to the local Café des Sports for a piggy back on their Wifi, until the batttery on my iPad mini ran down.

    JeezDarling was filleted like a kipper and don't you love the wee wifie who got stuck into Darlin;s lies on the NHS. Wow. At first I thought she had to be an SNP plant but this was the BBC, remember, and I wonder if she was not in fact a real Labour activist showing her disgust at everything Darling represents. No doubt somebody will track her down and tell us.

    The other question of not being Better Together now as a cracker too.

    They must have been an accidental error in the form they filled in to get their tickets. Ticked the No box by accident?

    Just been receiving some late spams from Conan's last article. Normally they are gibbereish or Chinglish with a link to what they say is another blog, Don't ever go there as they are links to malware etc.,

    Anyway the latest was a link to a French porn site, or so it says, so Conan must be up to some Entente Cordiale of his own?

    Either that or it was something I said or did?

    We are going to win this and I have fair few quid on over 60% Yes, all divvied out to my kids to collect.

  5. Forgot to click the notify button on the last post.

    How appropriate,

    Last night was Darling's Last Post

    I hope he has the Ermine promise in writing.

  6. Bonjour Bugger

    I'd naturally say "ca va?" after that, as a matter of course, but I think I might risk an apoplexy of I did, so I'll stick to "Quelle histoire épouvantable".

    Truly the rather antiquated idea of everything shutting down "pour les vacances" in August is well past its sell by. There were I suppose always (as that song "Carte D'Amitié" said) those who make bread and deliver the mail, but modern life demands a pretty 24/7 repair response otherwise we are left out of touch with the world.

    As for Darling... Well after the first one, it was bound to happen. For some reason last time our man was off form. Maybe it was because he wasn't feeling great; maybe it was because he had been badly advised; maybe even part of the game plan.

    But the truth is that Alistair Darling is a dreary boring man with a dreadful agenda of "more of the same only not quite as good", and Alex has been described as one of the most competent politicians we have with an exciting and adventurous vision.

    Darling had, for him a good night, last time round.

    The truth is it was unlikely that Darling could be that good again; it was also unlikely that Alex would be off form twice.. Darling could only get worse, Alex could only get better. And so it was.

    As for the wifie, yes, make her minister for health!

    And as for Conan.... His porn sites are probably the reason that put your internet down. Not heard from him in a while.

    Lord Flipper?