Friday 12 November 2010


Angus Robertson MP (Moray) has met with Defence Secretary Liam Fox in London to press the case for RAF Lossiemouth, as the campaign to secure the future of the Tornado base, supported by the major parties in Scotland, gathers pace.

Mr Robertson, the SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson, pressed the Mr Fox on the strategic military arguments which support Lossiemouth as the best place to base the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, both in terms of cost and location. Mr Robertson also raised concerns over the economic and social cost of closure.

Mr Robertson reported:

“Liam Fox confirmed that the timescale for decisions on the future of Lossiemouth will be made in New Year. On one hand this will prolong the uncertainty for the families of service personnel, but on the other allows the Moray taskforce and campaigners more time to build the case for retention of the base.

“It is clear that no plan has been agreed to mitigate the economic and social impact of base closures by the UK Government, which is regrettable and irresponsible, and UK Ministers, including the Defence Secretary, need to understand their responsibilities.

“RAF Kinloss and Lossiemouth make an enormous contribution to the local economy, and the closure of both bases would be the equivalent of 700,000 job losses in the Greater London area.

“Liam Fox has just returned from Norway, as have I, after discussing the opportunities for defence cooperation and this again reinforces the case to maintain and utilise RAF Lossiemouth as a northerly home for the Joint Combat Aircraft. This would allow easy and cost effective transit to and from Norway and a capability commitment able to address the challenges facing the Arctic and the High North.

“There is no doubt that the successful future of RAF Lossiemouth can be secured through cooperation with our Nordic neighbours if the right military facilities are maintained and vital capabilities such as maritime reconnaissance and fast-jet capability located in the best strategic location.

“The national significance of the RAF's role in Scotland is demonstrated by the endorsement from each of Scotland's political leaders, including the Scottish Tories and Liberal Democrats, is that RAF basing should remain in Moray.”

What good common sense. It seems reasonable to me that we should look at co-operation with other countries in matters of defence. For far too long the British taxpayer has punched well above his or her weight in these matters. Now we simply cannot afford that ”luxury”.

Mr Robertson’s point that the economic impact of the job losses would equate to the effects of 700,000 redundancies in the London area was a point well made. The government would never consider such a move.

Let’s hope that the MoD can see sense as far as this is concerned.


  1. Though I think 'Admiral Angus' is a joke of a defence spokesman, he is right to fight for Lossie.

    I wish the campaign all the best - and I am sure that the MoD will listen very carefully ...

  2. Well Dean, if he is, and I don't say he is by any manner or means, he'll feel at home with the noddle brained Spud and the bigot Fox.

    But this issue is far above name calling. This is the very life blood of a whole area of our country.

  3. Lets see now, an English base versus a Scottish base, thats a really hard decision for an English based Tory.

    Remember Rosyth, a Scottish based Tory was quick to sell out Rosyth, even though Rosyth had all the facilities and Devenport did not.

    The Torys will sell out Scotland at every opportunity, why? they have very few votes and even fewer MPs to protect.

    When will the people of Scotland stop voting for English party's, giving Westminster a mandate it does not deserve? Maybe when there is nothing left to close or no assets left to strip for the good of the "UK"

    Lossiemouth R.I.P.

  4. To run a defence policy by defending political votes is rather bizarre let alone seamen and oil rig workers safety being comppromised, they must be trying to outdo president Mugabe!

  5. seeing as the snp are Pacifists and Nationalist(they say) why do they not campaign for the immediate closure of RAF Lossiemouth
    and the ejection of the foreign Armed forces..

    snp base hypocrisy and two facedness on an massive scale.

    To beg for the Unionists to keep the Base open only serves to weaken the snp arguments for Independence as for the job losses,
    If the snp are unable to answer that conundrum without squealing for English Gold then what is the point of all the talk of being better of Independent.

    'bought and sold for English gold'-
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

    with the snp leading the way.........

  6. It's quite simple really even for Labour to understand.

    Since we are in an enforced marriage with an imperial overlord who wishes to take our tax money to support an armament industry we are only trying to retain a fair share of those jobs which we don't recieve at the best of times.

    It will make a good International airport as it can be used by the largest aircraft in the world and is open for business for more days than any other airport in the UK.

    Happy sailing on your new floating sunbeds.

  7. Niko,

    The SNP are pacifists only in as far as they do not believe in invading foreign countries for flimsy and contrived reasons. They also do not see the need for weapons of mass destruction that serve no purpose and will never be used.

    As far as Tris's hope that the MOD will "see sense" it is a forlorn hope that an organisation which lurches from crisis to crisis will see sense.

  8. Dubbieside: Exactly. The Tories have no one to keep sweet here. They did at some stage tell us that the number of votes cast here would dictate their policy towards us. Perhaps that is why among Mr Camerons first acts was to visit the First Minister. To dispell the allusion that we were to be cast adrift. It's a pity his second action was to rubbish our law and our Justice Minister's decision in another country.

    I'm not hopeful, but every bit of publicity helps, even the very little afforded by this blog.

  9. Niko:

    I see that Brownlie has answered that point for me.:)

    You know as well as I do that every country has to have some military to protect itself. Even little Iceland with a population smaller that Edinburgh's has a couple of Fisheries Protection Vessels and a wee presidential guard.

    Scotland will need to protect itself, its oil rigs and its fisheries. It is also bang slap next to an aggressive nation which appears to poke its nose into every available skirmish, on direct orders from the President.

    England will undoubtedly continue to act the 51st state when we are gone.

    We have to ensure that we can protect ourselves from those who would land in our country on their way to war with England.

    Protection Niko, notagression.

  10. It's true CH. We help pay for all this nonsense which does us no good. It'd be a bad job if we didn't get something out of it.

    I wish it were an airport for holiday flights... and business flights.

  11. OK John... so it's hoping against hope, but we have to not give up... Good on Angus Robertson for fighting our corner...

  12. Tris

    you avoid the question of why the snp are Begging the Unionists to keep a foreign military outpost on the sovereign soil of Scotland..

    The answer is money and jobs they are so desperate to keep both they will/are selling out any and all of their dubious principles.

    But the truth is to the sovereign people they disprove the viability of the snp Independence waffle.,,,,,,,,


    did cynical Highlander give you the secret of the power of the hyperlink i must have it with it i can rule the Blogosphere..........

    you must give it to me NOW!

  13. Niko, yer a haver. It will be ours not theirs, and we'll make it an airport for civilian use, and base our small protection forces there.... well, that's if I'm defence secretary...

    Now you were wanting something from me, so that you could rule the universe, so you'd better stop being so unpleasant or you won't get it... and I will thwart you plans to take over....everything.

    If you join the SNP I'll send it to you....OK?

    Email me your email address Niko, to


  14. Oh, CH, I see you've just thwarted my plans to thwart Niko's plans...

    Drat and double drat!

  15. Niko is right. Given the comments here, I'd be inclined to agree with him - "with the SNP leading the way" LOL

  16. So you dont agree with your Scottish leader?

    “The national significance of the RAF's role in Scotland is demonstrated by the endorsement from each of Scotland's political leaders, including the Scottish Tories and Liberal Democrats, is that RAF basing should remain in Moray.”

  17. Good Lord Dean... I never thought I should live to see the day when you and Niko agreed about anything. I'll have to have a little lie down I think.........

  18. Oh dear Dean and Mr Mixedpickle in the same boat? Did not take as long as I thought!

    What would Metternich have to say about this? You see Dean that’s the problem with all these long dead political heroes of yours, don’t exactly fit a contemporaneous model do they? I’m sure Metternich would be all at sea over European integration issues and anything to do with human rights (they didn’t have them in the 18th Century after all did they? Not in the Austrian Empire at least). Sorry being flippant again just seems to come naturally not voluntary but compulsory you might say, but of course being a Tory you won’t know the difference will you? “Big Society” I say! That’s what they can shout at benefit claimants and a lot of pointing, that should save a fortune! David Cameron can then afford a personal trainer on the public purse and stick up a few more van Gogh’s form the National Gallery!