Thursday, 27 September 2012

Secret papers show oil cash fears

Oil workers
North Sea Oil was in its infancy in 1975
Official papers which were previously secret have shown how ministers were advised to delay devolution to maintain control of North Sea oil revenues. The 1970s documents warned that if devolution increased calls for independence, the loss of oil income might leave the UK virtually bankrupt.
The documents are highlighted in the BBC Radio Four series Document.
Prominent Scottish National Party supporter Sir Sean Connery has called for an inquiry into the affair.
Harold Wilson's Labour government came into power in 1974 promising a referendum on devolution for Scotland.
The same election saw major advances for the Scottish National Party, fighting under the slogan It's Scotland's Oil.

The Scots have really got us over a barrel here
Treasury memo 1975
A senior Whitehall civil servant wrote: "Progress towards devolution should be delayed for as long as possible, consistent with honouring the government's commitment to move down the devolution route and containing the SNP lobby in parliament."
Another official warned in 1975 of the impact on the rest of Britain's economy if Scotland moved to independence and took control of North Sea oil.
He said: "The Scots have really got us over a barrel here. The prospects for a separate English, Welsh and Ulster economy on the same assumption must look pretty grim."
A referendum on devolution was eventually called in 1979.
A slim majority of people in Scotland voted in favour but not enough to pass the threshold of 40% of the entire electorate required by legislation.
Sir Sean suggested the result of the vote could have been different if Scots had known the full truth about their oil reserves.

Sean Connery
The former Bond star has called for an inquiry into the affair
"This is genuine evidence of what I consider collusion by people who are not in the position to make that decision.
"The depth of it, the cynicism of it, is appalling. There should be a genuine inquiry and it should be exposed."
Lord Healey, then Labour Chancellor Denis Healey, said: "The real tragedy for us would have been Scotland run by the Scot Nats because they had no interest in the rest of Britain."
Papers released at the end of last year by the Cabinet Office under the 30-year rule revealed a 1975 memo by Sir Kenneth Berrill, head of the central policy review staff, saying that Scotland could "go it alone" on the profits of North Sea oil.
SNP leader Alex Salmond said in December that it showed "the extent of Whitehall's duplicity".
He said the note admitted that a UK government would have to divert huge resources to Scotland for it to be as well off as under independence.
BBC Radio 4's Document - It's Our Oil, 2000-2030 GMT, Monday 30 January.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012



Monday, 24 September 2012


Dear Independence Supporter

As organiser of the 2012 March and Rally I am dismayed, but not at all surprised, by the utterly inaccurate reporting by several newspapers regarding the figures reported as turnout for last Saturday and also the negative headlines with which they used the March and Rally to attack the Scottish Government.

The facts are that our attendance was 9,500. That is the reality, not the extremely inaccurate and adhoc method employed by an 'official' at the Meadows. This figure was derived by a cursory glance and calculation based on that glance - from the top if our bus!

Of course the media are, by and large, only to happy to seize upon any opportunity to attack the Scottish Government and in the past few months we have witnessed the intensification of that wholly unprofessional behaviour. Previously it barely passed as journalistic reporting but now it more closely resembles the press office of the NO CAMPAIGN.

In particular the Scotsman and DC Thomson have recently thrown to the wind any attempts to cover their contempt for fair and balanced reporting.

Recently we have seen senior journalists move positions from the Scotsman to DC Thomson, etc and as a result what was once a company that rose above the gutter press in Scotland has now joined the growing band of media outlets which take their orders from the boardroom - a boardroom which invariably has connections to the Conservative party. Whilst this is no surprise to us, and of course many of yourselves, what is distasteful is the collusion of the Labour party working together with the Tories in Scotland.

Each has a different reason but essentially it is to serve their own self-interests. The debate of what independence offers Scotland is ignored as the spend all their time colluding together to release the latest scare story, often including lies.

It's inevitable that these negative and relentless attacks will intensify in their frequency and voracity - reporting the truth is not even a passing consideration for the Courier in Dundee or The Scotsman anymore.

It is OUR responsibility to fight back.

I urge everyone to add as many people to this PAGE as one simple way of spreading awareness of the forthcoming 2013 March and Rally. Also, if you have not done so please subscribe to our website via the link below:

Once you have done so we can keep you updated on everything we do via our monthly newsletter.

A fraction short of 10,000 made the journey to Edinburgh last Saturday - it's most likely that you made the trip yourself. I am making a personal plea to you, not as a politician or employee of an organisation, but as a fellow citizen of Scotland and someone who is heartily sick of seeing his fellow citizens lied to by the mainstream - a media which has no intention if reporting anything close to the truth.


I ask you to do two things:

1. ENCOURAGE AS MANY OF YOUR FRIENDS TO LIKE THIS PAGE AS POSSIBLE many friends to the group as possible.


at this link:

Let's give them a 2013 March and Rally that they cannot distort in terms of numbers by ensuring it is the biggest gathering of Independence Supporters in recent times.

Proud of you all.

Jeff Duncan - Organiser



This is a serious blow to the credibility of the No campaign

Angus Robertson MP, referendum campaign co-ordinator for the SNP said:

“This is a serious blow to the credibility of the No campaign, from which it will struggle to recover.   We now know that - whether due to staggering complacency or incompetence - it has been engaged in illegal activity since its launch.

“As a director of Better Together, Alistair Darling along with its other board members bears personal responsibility for the No campaign's failure to comply with data protection law - an extraordinary position for the former Chancellor to find himself in.  If Better Together cannot run a campaign without breaking the law, why on earth should anyone take them seriously on the issue of Scotland's constitutional future?

“The law must take its course and be applied.  In the meantime, Mr Darling must make an immediate statement confirming that the No campaign will destroy the data which it has been unlawfully gathering over the past few months - and which it may well have shared with the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem parties.

“The three anti-independence parties have serious questions to answer about how they have found themselves in the position of ganging up together in an organisation which has been caught operating outside the law.”

Saturday, 22 September 2012



 And here they are hooded and sporting the union flag.
 They were however having trouble keeping it up much to the hilarity of the now gathering crowd who were becoming increasingly annoyed by them.

 They did there best to look really hard and almost carried it of until the action kicked of. Then they bottled it.
 The Union flags were dragged down by an unamed warrior who was now on the ground being cuffed.

 Another hard case arrived to be greeted by Lothians finest who did a splendid job and cleared up the mess real good.

The unnamed  hero is escorted away to much cheering and clapping. I do not know who you are Sir but I salute you. I hope you do not get charged as your actions were perfectly in order.

That was the only slight problem in what was an excellent day. No drunkenness in fact very little drinking was in evidence it was a huge success. The turn out was massive, the BBC website puts it at 5,000. I say that is nonsense and that the turnout was over 10,000 easily.

A massive congratulation to the organisers they have done Scotland proud. I am so proud to have been part of it and so uplifted by the spirit and courage on display there today. Well done to all.




Sunday, 16 September 2012

The poisoned toungue of Murphy dribbles again

 A response from the SRSM:

March for Independence on Saturday, September 22nd in Edinburgh

September 15 2012 --Glasgow, Scotland

It is our understanding that the Shadow Minister for War, James Murphy has objected to Scottish Republican Socialist Movement’s presence on the forthcoming cross party and non-party March for Independence on Saturday, September 22nd in Edinburgh.

He complained of pictures showing the burning of Union flags and “Terrorist Trials” on our web site. These are archives from the National Press, not from us. These old photographs showed members of different groups around the said flags. We do not have any intention of burning flags at the Edinburgh rally. We will be there as individuals carrying Saltires, despite Unionist objections to our national flag.

Quite apart from the rally having nothing to with Mr Murphy, or his Unionist Party, we shall remind them that the Imperialist Union flag is not called the “Butcher’s Apron” for nothing. We object to Mr Murphy’s War Party incinerating people in Iraq and elsewhere, plus the biggest incinerating Nuclear Terror Weapon of all, Trident, being based in our country.

Daniel Berrigan, when charged with burning draft files for the Vietnam War in 71 said: "it’s better to burn paper than to burn children” We say we would rather burn cloth than burn people.

Father Daniel Berrigan is a poet and a Jesuit priest who defied the law as a means of dramatizing his opposition to the war in Vietnam. On May 17, 1968, Father Berrigan, his brother Philip—also a priest—and seven other men and women entered the Selective Service office at Catonsville, Maryland and burned several hundred draft files with homemade napalm. The Catonsville Nine were later tried and convicted of destroying government property. On April 9, 1970, the date he was due to begin serving his prison sentence of three-and-a-half years, Father Berrigan went underground. He successfully evaded capture for four months. On August 11th, Father Berrigan was finally arrested by agents of the FBI on Block Island, Rhode Island.

Donald Anderson Organiser, Brian Quail Convenor.

Scottish Republican Socialist Movement

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Petrol prices are "crushing Britain"

Tory MP Robert Halfon claims petrol prices are "crushing Britain" and creating a poverty trap, as he demands an investigation of the "oil cartels" not just from the Office of Fair Trading - but from the Financial Services Authority as well.
Today in Parliament, MPs of all parties will respond to an explosive whistle-blower statement that has been handed to, a website that I set up to campaign for cheaper petrol and diesel.
Over the last few weeks, has published a dossier of evidence, including this statement. It proves that:
1) Petrol and diesel have never been more expensive, in real terms.
2) Oil companies are uncompetitive, and are NOT passing on cheaper fuel to motorists.
3) There is increasing evidence that dodgy speculators are rigging the market, and forcing up the international price of oil.
First, the cost of fuel. To the Chancellor’s credit he has frozen fuel duty - not just for six months, or for 12 months, but for two whole years. Despite this, fuel prices are still rising and DECC said this summer that - in real terms - fuel has never been so expensive. To be clear - I believe we need to cut taxes on fuel. But the oil market makes up nearly half of the pump price. It must bear its share of responsibility as well.
If you don’t believe me, listen to what Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco said, in 2011, about the catastrophic slump in retail sales that has hit Britain. He said:
I don't think people fully appreciated what an oil shock we've had. Filling up the family car has gone up 70% in two years, causing what was a steady recovery to go sideways.
Yes the Eurozone crisis is difficult, and so is the overhang of debt - but it is expensive energy prices that are really hurting people on low incomes, and crushing our economic recovery.
Second, the oil companies. DECC data - from their Quarterly Energy Prices release - makes it clear there is now a three week delay between a fall in oil prices, and a drop in petrol prices at the pump. But even accounting for this delay, cheaper oil was not passed on to UK motorists for most of the last two years. This is true of nine out of the last 18 months. No market is perfect. But why are motorists always the ones to lose out?

Third, there is the allegation of price-fixing. This means that - even if oil companies were doing the right thing - that hedge-funds and speculators are rigging the price of oil, to keep it artificially high.
Many academics and financial journalists have said this is happening. For example, Rowena Mason has written an important piece in the Telegraph, about how oil price “benchmarks” are unregulated, and - like LIBOR - are vulnerable to manipulation. The Consumer Federation of America has raised the same concerns, as has Deutsche Bank, professors at MIT, Maryland University, and the LSE. Bloomberg and the Sun have written about how banks are buying up strategic stocks of oil, and hoarding them on ships at sea, or in underground silos. Finally, a whistle-blower who trades the oil futures market has contacted, and given us a detailed statement about how the market is rigged.
"I trade the oil market on a daily basis, and every day the price is manipulated - not just the daily benchmark price but the calendar spreads that make up a large part of the daily volume. All through July, for example, there has been a massive buying-pressure on oil futures for August and September 2012. This gives a false impression of the market, and inflates the price of the nearby oil price, making prices higher on retail markets so pushing up the price of petrol at the pumps.”
He goes on to say:
One part of the problem is a lack of market transparency. In the oil futures market, huge volumes are offered and then withdrawn without trading. There is no reason for this behaviour other than to distort market prices - and unlike stocks and shares where large holdings have to be declared, in the oil market nobody knows where the money is coming from. Prices are particularly manipulated at the close of business, when "markers" are set on an average of trades in the last three minutes of the trading session. Every day, around these times, I see that the structure of the market is being moved to bring prices in line with the trading books of whoever is manipulating the market. This is in order to fix the price and make sure a profit is shown on their books.”
This is why today in Parliament, I will ask for an investigation not just by the Office of Fair Trading, but by the Financial Services Authority as well.Some of this debate is technical - but we should not forget that petrol prices are not just about money. They are an issue of social justice. Petrol prices are crushing Britain, and they are creating a poverty trap. There is evidence from the LSE that they are adding to Britain’s dole-queues. The AA says that low income families now spend more on filling up the family car, than on food. The ONS say that fuel prices are regressive - that they hit the poorest Brits the hardest. RAC figures show that an ordinary worker in Harlow is paying a TENTH of their income just filling up the family car - in essence that they are facing petrol poverty. In my constituency of Harlow, the question is not can you afford to drive; but can you afford NOT to.
Germany and Austria are cracking down on the oil cartels, America is taking action against rogue traders and banks - why can’t we do this here in Britain, too?
Robert Halfon is MP for Harlow. He tweets at @halfon4harlowMP

Sunday, 9 September 2012




Saturday, 1 September 2012


By a Newsnet reporter

A new report by think-tank IPPR has blown apart claims that wind-power is an inefficient and unreliable source of energy.

Results of studies carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Research have shown that the controversial green energy source is both a reliable source of electricity and also that it contributes greatly towards carbon emission reductions.

According to the independent body, the results show unequivocally that wind power can significantly reduce carbon emissions, is reliable, poses no threat to energy security, and is technically capable of providing a significant proportion of the UK’s electricity supply with minimal impact on the existing operation of the grid.

The conclusions of the report note that:

  • It is inaccurate to describe the output from wind power as ‘unpredictable’.
  • In the short term, wind power output is remarkably stable and increases and decreases only very slowly.
  • The risks associated with ‘long, cold, calm spells’ have been overstated.
  • In the UK, National Grid has reported that up to 30GW of wind power can be accommodated even if no changes are made to the way that the electricity system functions.
  • In the longer term, there are numerous technological options to facilitate much greater amounts of wind power – such as improved interconnection with other countries and intelligent management of supply and demand through a ‘smart grid’.

Working with GL Garrad Hassan, a leading renewable energy consultancy, the report also found that recent rises in energy bills were largely due to wholesale gas costs, not renewable subsidies. From 2004 – 2010 government support for renewables added £30 to the average energy bill, while wholesale gas costs added £290.

According to the report, in Scotland, connection capacity with England has risen from 2000MW (a third of peak demand) to almost 6000MW, ‘largely as a result of the development of substantial wind generation in Scotland’, and could be 8000 MW before 2020 – significantly greater than Scottish peak demand.

In a scathing attack on the anti-wind power lobby and the attitude of the UK government, the report’s authors called for a “balanced debate based on accurate evidence” and added: “False claims that influence policy outcomes and result in a low ambition for the technology could sacrifice important opportunities for the British economy.

“Inconsistent support from government will increase the riskiness with which businesses regard investment opportunities and increase their cost of capital. This will ultimately mean higher energy bills for consumers and businesses.

Describing the Westminster coalition’s approach to wind power as “worrying” the authors continued: “Although a decision has now been reached to reduce financial support for onshore wind by the anticipated amount of 10 per cent, rather than 25 per cent as HM Treasury had preferred, the postponement of the announcement and the decision to almost immediately conduct a further review of this support level has created widespread concerns in the industry.

“It is entirely proper that subsidies for wind power are not overly generous and that local concerns are taken into account through the planning process with opportunities for local residents to share in the dividends of local development. But an ad hoc approach to policymaking based on political whims is not the right approach.”

Welcoming the report, SNP Energy spokesperson Mike Weir said:

“This informative report debunks the myths that wind power is an inefficient and unreliable source of energy.

“Renewable energy is vital to Scotland and to the rest of the UK if we are to keep bills down, boost the economy and meet our climate change targets. Onshore wind is one of the most cost-effective of the low carbon technologies and plays an important role in the energy mix.

“A recent poll found 71 per cent of people in Scotland support wind power as part of our energy mix and a survey from VisitScotland found 80% of visitors do not agree that wind turbines spoil the look of the Scottish countryside.

“It’s important to debunk objections to wind power that are not based on reality, although it’s also important wind developments are in the right places and any local concerns are rightly addressed. New guidance from a Scottish Government led EU project will help ensure good practice and the active involvement of the community in the planning process.

“The biggest threat to our renewable industry comes from a UK Government sending mixed messages on renewables, providing uncertainty over funding for onshore wind, and still wedded to the discredited and expensive nuclear power industry. The UK Government’s up and coming energy bill must not provide subsidies for new nuclear at the cost of Scotland’s renewables industry.

“The UK Government’s lack of commitment stands in stark contrast to the Scottish Government which is attracting investment in the green energy market.

“The renewables industry now meets 35 per cent of Scotland’s annual demand for electricity and directly employs more than 11,000 people across the country. We are well on the way to meeting the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of 100% domestic electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 – but the UK Government must not hinder the continued growth of this vital industry.”

Scot Independent.


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