This is a cost of corporate greed crisis

corporate greedAn American Buddhist nun called Perma Chödrön wrote a famous self-help book called When Things Fall Apart, she later expounded on the message of the first book with a follow up, subtitled A Guide to Fearlessness. The books give advice to dealing with personal crises such as the loss of a loved one, or dealing with a life-changing illness, but the lessons that help people through those personal and intimate challenges are also apposite for the challenges that are currently facing us all as a society.

Right now the UK is falling apart, I don’t just mean that the so-called Union is falling apart, although it certainly is, but many of the wider structures and services that have allowed most people to live reasonably comfortable and decent lives are falling apart. From widespread difficulties in getting a driving test to the near impossibility of registering with an NHS dentist, so many things that were once simple now pose huge challenges. And that is by no means the worst of it, already there are unprecedented levels of food bank use, an entire generation struggles to find suitable housing, job insecurity is widespread, hundreds of thousands are trapped into low paid jobs in the so called gig economy which don’t offer any prospect of advancement or the things like holiday pay or sick leave which previous generations in the workforce took for granted. Inflation is soaring, expected to reach 13%, adding even further to the burden of paying for essentials.

All of these problems are compounded by the obstacles created by Brexit, for all that the Conservatives refuse even to acknowledge that their ideologically driven hard Brexit could possibly be a contributory factor to the economic problems which have made the British economy the worst performing out of those of the G7 by a significant margin. Household incomes in the UK are now falling in real terms, and we have a British government which willfully lies and denies that Brexit could have anything to do with it, blaming the global factors which every other economy has to deal with, yet is dealing with markedly better than the UK. We have a British government of right wing fantasists which insults everyone’s intelligence and refuses to engage with reality.

And it continues to get even worse. Just yesterday there was dreadful news about soaring gas and electricity bills which threaten to throw over half the households in the UK into fuel poverty at a time when millions are already struggling to pay their bills. It was also reported that the British Government is making plans for organised blackouts for industry and households over winter when cold weather may coincide with gas shortages. This is happening in no small measure because successive Conservative governments deliberately ran down the UK’s gas storage capacity. Millions are facing a freezing winter and possible destitution.

Yet the big oil and gas companies report soaring profits, the largest oil and gas producers made close to $100bn in first quarter of 2022 on the back of record prices for oil and gas caused by increased demand following the pandemic and supply issues created by the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. Shell posted record earnings of $11.4bn (nearly £10bn) for the three-month period from April to June and promised to give shareholders payouts worth £6.5bn. Meanwhile Centrica, the owner of British Gas, reinstated its dividend, handing investors £59m, after reporting operating profits of £1.3bn during the first half of 2022.

The cost to the government of the help to the poorest households is claimed to be £37 billion over the year, which is less than a half of the profits recorded by the biggest oil and gas producers in just three months.  And the big idea from the Tory leadership candidates is to reward them with tax cuts.

It’s not just the big energy companies however, Amazon has also posted record profits, surging to $14.32bn for the last quarter of 2021. Alphabet, the owner of Google, reported profits of $19.45 billion in the second quarter of 2022. We need to be clear here, what we are facing is not a cost of living crisis, it is a cost of corporate greed crisis. Ordinary households are suffering while a small minority become rich on the backs of their misery.

It is beyond scandalous in a country like Scotland, which has an embarrassing wealth of energy resources, both fossil fuels and renewables, that people are facing a winter without heat and power in their homes. Yet as part of this dysfunctional UK, there is nothing that Scotland can do beyond hope that the right wing ideologues of the Conservative party who have always prioritised private profit over public good will do something about it. The signs are not good. Liz Truss thinks that the way to deal with the industrial and social unrest which this crisis will inevitably provoke is to crack down on public protest and striking workers, not to do anything about the underlying issues which created the protest and the strikes in the first place.

The British Government is paralysed while the Conservative party consumes itself with its internal party politicking and Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak compete to out-Thatcher one another in an effort to appeal to the overwhelmingly white, male, southern English, elderly and middle class membership of the Conservative party which will decide who is to become the next worst Prime Minister in modern times. The British Government is absent, refusing to engage with the issues, claiming that everything must be put on pause while the Conservatives focus on their leadership contest. Johnson is basically on gardening leave and the others are too busy campaigning and nothing will be done until a new Prime Minister is elected.

Meanwhile influential Tories continue to indulge themselves in fantasies divorced from the real world, the Truss supporting architect of Brexit Lord Frost has called on his favourite to forget about “mediaeval” wind farms and even as Europe burns and faces an unprededented drought insists that there is no climate emergency, calling on Truss to expand fracking and nuclear energy. His absurd claims come even as scientists say that the recent record breaking heatwave which saw temperatures in parts of England exceed 40C would not have been possible without climate change.

vagueFor her part Liz Truss is more interested in how she can appear in Vogue magazine than in doing anything to tackle the crisis. A study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation foundation found that £6 of every £7 of her tax cuts will go to the better off.

Scotland has an escape from this madness, but as Perma Chödrön explains, we must be fearless, that does not mean denying that fear exists, change is always frightening, but we must recognise that there is no status quo any more, change will happen whether we like it or not, and the choice for Scotland is to be a victim of the change that is imposed on us by Truss and her allies, or an agent of change. Put like that it is not a difficult choice.

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209 comments on “This is a cost of corporate greed crisis

  1. Capella says:

    Brilliant article. Once more you get to the core of the malaise that afflicts the UK. Without a corrupt and incompetent Westminster government we could take action to protect the public from corporate greed. It will take courage. But better to act to protect people than to bow down to liars and thieves.

  2. Dr Jim says:

    Has Rupert Murdoch’s control media group decided who’ll be the leader to tell us what the *truth* is and what to do yet? once good old Rupert makes a decision on what to do then his new personal selection of PM will guide us using Sky television and every newspaper, so it’s cool

  3. Hamish100 says:

    I’m confused but the Truss photograph. Is she in the Vogue, Vague or just VAIN?

    As for corporate greed hasn’t it always been the case with the banks, tories selling off National assets, labours PFI for which we are still paying US corporate giants ( the red tories keep quiet over that). Pure greed and pure profit are the motivation promoted by the corrupt 2 party system at Westminster. We shouldn’t forget the dames and lords sitting on the same self corporations.
    https://members.parliament.uk/members/lords/interests/register-of-lords-interests
    Their interests are not our interests. Dame Davidson is worthy of note plus the red tories.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Apparently Truss wants to get on front page of ‘Vogue’ and asked Nicola Sturgeon how she managed it, or something. I like the Vague page…
      Yes the ScotGov need to shout very very loudly how Labour UK HQ’d in London plunged Scotland into £billions of ‘debt’ with their PFI scam, money still being paid out to this day.
      Labour UK would have privatised Scottish water lock stock and barrel had they been in power a minute longer in Scotland.
      They are having to vaccinate all children against Polio in London, it’s being played down, but it’s because their private water companies dump raw sewage into rivers and do not invest in infrastructure or maintain it properly. I had a link to a transcript of Michael Gove giving a talk about how wonderful privatisation of water in England is, but can’t find it now, anyway, he was singing the joys of it all, sorry children.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        “Apparently Truss wants to get on front page of ‘Vogue'”

        I’m sure she has more chance of getting on the front page (cover) of Viz….it also starts with a ‘V’ and rhymes with her first name…Liz….

        Liz on the front page of Viz….I’d buy a copy.

        Perfect….Vogue’s front cover is for the grown up’s… cue Nicola Sturgeon.

        Viz meanwhile would play to Liz’s strengths…which based on the multitude of different published recent photos of her then her strength (singular) comprises of being limited to SEEKING constant ATTENTION….to win the Tory leadership.

        In other words publicising how infantile and bereft of political acumen she, as a politician, really is….but very adept at getting her picture taken for some self promotion (also known as ATTENTION SEEKING)….

        Oh that’ll bring the cost of living down….DRESSING UP FOR DIFFERENT PHOTO OPS….NOT.

        I DESPAIR…same vibe when Willie Rennie sat on yon big big DECKCHAIR….politics YOONstyle….NO style over NO substance.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Arty Hetty,

        Is this the one from St David’s Day 2018:

        https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/a-water-industry-that-works-for-everyone

        All I did was Google, “Michael Gove” “Water privatization”

        What’s he doing now, anyway? Wasn’t he sacked by Johnson as Levelling Up Whatsit?

  4. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    UK a failed state.

    Meanwhile JR Mogg says that under the Scottish government Scotland is a failed state…I have just watched a report on SKY News where Head of Paramedics in England saying people dying because of failed system in NHS in England….people who have had strokes waiting over 59 minutes for an ambulance…..staff left the Care sector so not enough staff……paramedics and ambulances unable to respond to those who need medical help…..amazingly lack of staff in the Care sector ,as far as the media is concerned , never seems to be identified by them as a direct result of Brexit….is that because it’s a Tory policy ( now also adopted by labour party too).

    Tory projection is ALL they, Tories, have to attack others for the very crimes they themselves commit against the people of the country they are supposed to govern….and LOOK AFTER…..but tis a fact that the (wealthy) FEW come way before the (poorest) MANY….profit before people (ordinary people that is).

    Tory…think private enterprise…think profit….think consultancy fees for lobbying….think selfish……think elite….think incompetence….think underfunding….think English Nationalists….indeed THINK anything that currently destroys the quality of everyone’s lives and you associate it with the Tory party ……so perhaps some people need to just THINK before they place a cross next to Tory on a piece of paper in a voting booth next time an election comes round…..then perhaps they themselves won’t need to THINK so much about where the money will come from to pay for their food and heating…..

    I know what I think….the best way to rid Scotland of the Tory party is, I think, to vote for independence…..undecided others however need to stop just constantly THINKING about it….and DO IT.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Folk who vote for British and English Nationalist parties have failed brains

      The Tory party is the single most successful political party in the history of the world at dumbing down and misinforming the population of their own country so much that they accept anything they’re told

  5. James Mills says:

    Particularly since Thatcher came to power the UK population has been subjected to the ”boiling a frog ” strategy of the Tories ( sadly aided and abetted by Labour under Blair and now Starmer ).

    Imagine if only three years after the 1979 election we were in the situation we are today :

    dragged out of the EU by a combination of right-wing lies , smears and dark money ;

    unprecedented queues at ports delaying passengers and goods ;

    an exodus of foreign ( mostly low-paid ? ) but essential workers leaving a dangerous shortage of labour in ,many areas of the economy ;

    energy prices predicted to quadruple (?) by the end of Winter ;

    food prices soaring yet supermarkets enjoying unprecedented profits ;

    fuel prices soaring yet oil companies enjoying unprecedented profits ;

    the NHS ( especially in England ) short of tens of thousands of staff thus delaying hundreds of thousands of operations ;

    an openly corrupt Westminster Government profiteering during a pandemic ;

    when not corrupt , a completely incompetent Westminster Government causing countless untold deaths during a pandemic ;

    a PM who instructs a Cabinet Minister to lie to the Head of State in order to illegally close down Parliament ;

    a Prime Minister who casually and frequently lies to Parliament and the people yet is supported by an amoral media ;

    a Westminster Government which changes the rules to suit its own authoritarian agenda , including watering down and interfering in the hard won Devolution settlements in the UK’s devolved administrations;

    a UK where the biggest growth industry is Food Banks ;

    a UK where the right to strike is deemed unacceptable when wages are seriously declining and profits are increasing dramatically ;

    etc…etc ….etc…..

    The frog is well and truly boiled !

  6. ArtyHetty says:

    Add to the Eton mess that is the England, and their dragging Scotland down with them, the Tories plan to scrap the human rights act and remove their possession that is the UK from the ECHR, replacing it with a ‘British bill of rights’…Truss will do that on day one she is very keen and enthusiastic about that, will their BBR’s only apply to ‘British’ what about those of us who are Scottish, not ‘British’.

    Check out ‘Led by Donkey’s channel on youtube, if you can stomach the truth about mini Russiauk.

  7. Bill McDermott says:

    What a disaster is the Tory hard Brexit. It has all but destroyed our shellfish export market. I have personal experience of this because before the Brexit referendum, I was negotiating with a French company to invest large sums of money into my farm, but Hey Presto they withdrew their interest because of Brexit. And one of the economists who urged the Tory government to go as hard as possible on the withdrawal was Patrick Minford, Liz Truss’s favourite economist. He has subsequently admitted that negotiating trade deals with America and Australia will reduce our food standards, but he would live with that to enable financial services a full tilt at world markets.

    When you investigate the real reasons behind the Tory policies on the EU, it is clear that it was engineered by the Financial Services Industry and that has been the case ever since the Big Bang. People like Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Cameron, Crispen Odey and Big Media moguls have always been against a powerful EU and the writing on the wall of upcoming EU legislation on offshore accounting fed their desire to get out while the going was good.

    • JoMax says:

      Am I right in thinking that I heard Minford just before the EU referendum when asked about the effect on British farmers and food producers if the UK left, saying that food prices should be determined by world markets, ie completely laissez-faire, the implication being that if British producers couldn’t compete with imported stuff, tough. They could change or go out of business.
      There should be no subsidies for agriculture!

      It seems that quality and the difficulties some farmers face due to their location somehow didn’t matter. If hill farmers went out of business due to competition from abroad, for example, and local communities suffered, well, that was just too bad. You can imagine how that would affect some areas of Scotland and has done in specific industries as Bill has described above.

      Shocking.

    • grizebard says:

      A lot of well-grounded sense there, Bill. I hope the direct experience of people like you will be at the forefront of indyref2.

      The wellbeing of the people of Scotland sacrificed on the bloody altar of deranged lost-empire political dogma.

    • Ken says:

      US (protectionist) & Australian market 325million. Transport costs.

      EU nearest biggest market 450million. Less transport costs.

  8. […] This is a cost of corporate greed crisis […]

  9. Alex Clark says:

    I’ve been saying for quite a while now that it is the cost of living crisis that will bring this government down. they are totally blind to the carnage that will fall on them this coming winter.

    Truss has said there will be no more “handouts” but is now backtracking on that like she seems to do with most policy announcements. Sunak is not much better, removing VAT from energy costs or removing the green levy will barely scratch the surface of the price increase coming this October, followed by another in January and yet another in April.

    Nicola Sturgeon though has not taken her eye off the ball and today called for the next energy price cap rise to be canceled and for those most in need to be protected even if it means greater borrowing by the government, something that the Scottish government cannot do.

    Quite simply, it is clear to me that we are at the mercy of the UK government as to what if anything they will do about this ridiculous situation, I’ve no doubt that with Independence we would be in a similar position to the customers of EDF in France where their government has limited increases energy costs to just 4%. By October energy costs to you and me will have increased by 200%.

    Here’s Nicola Sturgeon talking about this today in Forfar where she was attending a free breakfast club where children and their mums can have free breakfast and the kids are then given a packed lunch to take away with them.

    This is the state that successive UK government policies have got us in.

  10. Alex Clark says:

    Nicola Sturgeon also had this to say at the breakfast club that the video does not show.

    Speaking at the breakfast club in Forfar, Ms Sturgeon warned: “We are going to see an increase in deprivation and undoubtedly loss of life.

    “And by October 30% of households will be in severe fuel poverty so we need to see the kind of urgent action we had at the start of the pandemic.”

    She added: “The Scottish Government is doing everything it can to make sure we get money to those who need it.

    “We are looking to extend the eligibility of the Scottish child payment and raise the value from £20 to £25 per child per week.

    “We will also look at our budgets to see if we can change our priorities to direct resources to those in need.

    “But we need action from the UK Government who have responsibility for tax welfare and regulating the energy market.”

    https://archive.ph/wip/rm9op

    There are at least some political leaders taking this crisis seriously while Johnson and Starmer gp on their holidays and completely ignore the seriousness of the crisis coming. They will regret this at the ballot box, I’m certain of that.

    • grizebard says:

      Well referenced. I just wonder how much of that positive message will be aired for everyday passive broadcast media audiences, though.

      The message can be neatly summarised as: “Welcome to (ever-hotter) Mitigation Hell”.

      This though is one we can escape from. It just takes a little self-confidence and courage. Bring it on.

  11. Golfnut says:

    The Scottish Civil Service is threatening strike action by their 10,000 members, citing the current offer as derisory. They claimed that because the SG found extra money for Scotrail and the council’s they should do the same for the civil service, which I think includes the police and prison service.
    I think we need to ask these union leaders which service they want cut to increase the pay offer to their members, because going by Nicola’s comments today she is already having to rob Peter as well as Paul.

  12. Eilidh says:

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/20623186.labour-take-control-north-lanarkshire-council-snp-thanks-bup-vote/?ref=suit
    This scumbag of a pretendy Snp councillor who appears to have jumped ship to Labour should resign forthwith he is just another one who has conned Snp voters

    • Dr Jim says:

      I understand there’s flute tooting involved

    • Hamish100 says:

      Conned another selection panel you mean or is it the same one that the ex leader of the council got through with?

      I suspect in each local authority area there are councillors attached to a party as they see fit. Namely to be a councillor -the party doesn’t matter. Likewise MSP’s, likewise MP’s .

      Labour has found to its cost too many of their faithful were really tories. SNP are finding some are just in it for themselves or labour wrapped in a saltire.

    • Just learned about this this morning. As one who has tramped the streets of North Lanarkshire for years in a bid to get S.N.P control of the council, I am incensed. Yes Eilidh, he should resign, but I very doubt that will happen.

  13. grizebard says:

    Great interview on C4 news just now with Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, the discussion revealing that while energy prices in UKOK are going stratospheric, countries on the Continent are setting very significant price caps to protect their people from this marketisation madness. Vince calling for UKGov to do its duty for once and cap the cost of North Sea gas production for domestic supply instead of allowing it to be re-sold to ourselves for a grotesque mark-up. A point that has been made by some here for quite some time now.

    Informative interview if someone could link it…

    • Alex Clark says:

      This is all that’s available so far. I agree a very good informative interview.

      • grizebard says:

        Thanks for that. Quite a lot of it there, but the wee bit that came just before totally gobsmacked me, with a significant average price cap across the Continent, the Germans down at around 23% and the French at a stonkingly low 4%. (IIRC)

        Meanwhile, what do we have? A PM and No.2 both AWOL, still being handsomely paid by us, and as substitute the equivalent of a holiday resort two-up “best dad-dancer” competition.

        It’s criminal neglect of a whole nation. While in Scotland we’re sitting on immense reserves of every basic resource the world needs. (Not forgetting whisky! {grin})

        • Alex Clark says:

          The full interview which is well worth watching is up now.

          https://www.channel4.com/news/the-uk-government-doesnt-care-about-the-energy-crisis-says-ecotricity-founder

          This shows just what can be done by governments where there’s a will to help people tyhrough the crisis. We have Johnson, Sunak, and Truss.

          The three stooges who are (NOT) running the UK government.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Indeed it was an excellent interview, Dale Vince pulled no punches, and Matt Frei did good old fashioned journalism instead of the BBC variety.

            I’d posted elsewhere my own example from Romania – from 2020-21 to 2021-22 my total energy bill rose 20% – Even if prices rise a further 20% this October, my total annual energy bill is still below 1,000 GBP despite a 44% increase in 2 years.

            Given that unlike the UK, we DO get Russian gas here, what is happening in the UK is the most blatant scam I’ve witnessed since the Iraqi Oil crisis.

            ALL of this is due entirely to Tory dogma, and to be blunt, the Treasury are raking it in big also, so it’s not just big corporation who are profiteering off the backs of the public…

        • Golfnut says:

          The words ‘ dereliction of duty ‘ spring to mind.

  14. Alex Clark says:

    This Channel 4 report covering the energy cost crisis came before the interview with Dale Vince, it was made in Scotland as it followed a district nurse doing her rounds in Falkirk.

    There will be little help for her patients or even the nurse herself who will also be struggling unless this useless government gets the finger out now.

    https://www.channel4.com/news/uk-energy-bills-to-top-5000-in-april

    • Bob Lamont says:

      It’s actually the same clip as you posted earlier Alex, it’s only a different start point 😉 it’s common for C4 to do this.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Damn, I saw it live and it was very well made and even a bit scary as you listened to the old folk who were her patients. This is why I believe the government will see sense before it gets to the stage that people just don’t have the money to pay the huge bills that are being talked of.

        I’ll see if I can find the full video.

        • Legerwood says:

          Is this the Ch4 news video you refer too? Ciaran Jenkins reporting. 9minutes long
          https://www.channel4.com/news/uk-energy-bills-to-top-5000-in-april

          • Alex Clark says:

            That’s the link I posted but what they have done is edit the clip about the district nurse into other clips about the crisis. It was just one story but now it is broken into pieces to make up that 9-minute clip.

            I think it was very good by itself and it loses much broken up the way it is and what is left is not the full clip of the original as there was a second patient interviewed who seems to have disappeared in the edited version though I didn’t watch the entire 9 minutes again.

            • Legerwood says:

              Sorry but the link I posted does show the second patient – at 3.50 min and then finishes with the section with the district nurse being asked how she will manage when prices rise. That whole first section including the bit about Gordon Brown and the brief interview with the Labour politician were all part of Ciaran Jenkins and are as broadcast certainly as I remember it. At the end of Ciaran Jenkins report it continues with the Matt Frei interview.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          NO Alex, you misunderstand – What what you posted is correct.

          If you look at and open the first one then look to the bottom of the screen there is a time slide bar, click at the beginning of that bar and you have the start point for the second one you posted.

          C4 do this fairly regularly – Sometimes 5 separate videos are on their site, one of them is usually the master, the rest are all timestamped to begin at a set point along the video…

          OK ?

        • Alex Clark says:

          Sorted, I’ve watched the full video of the link I posted and it is as was broadcast but includes the full Dale Vince video I linked to earlier as well as the district Nurse story.

          I understand what you both were saying now. Not easy keeping track 🙂

  15. Hamish100 says:

    U.K. government, I assume you mean.

  16. James Mills says:

    We still have the totally illogical ( to me ! ) strategy of linking electricity prices to that of gas .
    Why ?
    We generate so much ( all ? ) of our own electricity in Scotland yet are subject to luicrous price hikes .
    Why ?
    This is an energy strategy ( if it deserves such a description ) which is clearly designed to PUSH UP prices -and profits – surprise !!!

    • Alex Clark says:

      Because of this government legislation. “Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Act 2018”

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/21/enacted

      The SNP have tried to have it amended because 1 in 6 households do not have access to the gas grid and they will be most severely impacted by the rise in energy costs. In Scotland, it is far more than 1 in 6 who do not have access to gas.

      Here’s a link to an SNP sponsored bill in an attempt to change that but which did not pass as it ran out of time.

      https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3118

  17. Alex Clark says:

    Labour too have totally lost the plot. Starmer’s big paln for the energy crisis is to make sure that those on pre-payment meters don’t need to pay more than those without meters.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/labour-cut-energy-bills-4million-27719334

    Seriously these people are all fucking idiots. By April energy bills will be £5000/year for the average household, a single person over 25 on Universal credit is paid £4500/year. A single pensioner is on just over £8000/year how is it possible that anyone in their situation can pay those sort of bills?

    It’s simply impossible and Truss’s answer is to cut Income tax which none of those even pay so they will be no better off. She wants to avoid a recession and says cutting taxes is the best way to do that. She’s one of the biggest idiots around as it’s obvious that if you take £4000 more each year from people’s pockets to pay their energy bills solely to fill the pockets of energy company bosses, bankers, and shareholders. Then the local pubs, taxi drivers, takeaways, hairdressers, corner shops etc etc are all going to go out of business as no one has any spare cash to spend on such “luxuries”

    Things are just warming up and only the SNP so far has come out with a credible plan to tackle this crisis. Starmer is an absolute embarrassment to the founders of the Labour party and those that still believe in their traditional values.

    He’s as Tory as Thatcher was and even his parents aught to be ashamed.

    • Golfnut says:

      The new standing charges, even if you haven’t used any gas or electricity is around £24 a month and you can expect them to rise as well in the next round of increases.
      I’m not an economist but I have a serious problem trying to understand why a government could happily hand over nigh on a trillion pounds to the banks, because the banks didn’t trust each other apparently, can provide tax cuts and even refunds to the oil and gas industry while allowing unearned profiteering, allow water companies, train operators billions in subsidies so they can pay share holder dividends but have to go cap in hand to ask these same businesses to come up with suggestions on how bills can be reduced. WTF.

    • Eilidh says:

      The standing charge for having a prepayment meter is barely more than £100 a year higher than ordinary meter so abolishing that differential won’t help anyone much at all

  18. UncleBob says:

    I have calculated that I am currently paying 27% of my income in energy charges. Looking at what the two “potential” Tory Prime Ministers might do to help will not even scratch the surface of this current situation. If the predictions of further increases is to be believed this will mean that I will have to pay approx. 40% of my income by the end of this year. I am a thrifty Scot and am good at making things last a long time. I’ve been doing this for many years very successfully but I am worried sick about this winter. I have a smart meter and even in this warm weather with no central heating on the little energy I use is costing a fortune. I don’t pay tax, so tax cuts mean nothing. I do not get a state pension or any means tested benefits, so I don’t qualify for anything other than the one-off £400 that every household will get. Not sleeping well just with the worry of it all.

    • Golfnut says:

      The like probably half the UK population you are officially in fuel poverty.

      • Golfnut says:

        Actually, reading somewhere that come the next price hike that your household would need to have an income before tax of around £63,000 before you cleared the fuel poverty threshold which is 10% of income. In Scotland that’s going to be a hell of a lot of families.

      • davetewart says:

        In englandland the measure of fuelpoverty is not related to income, they changed in 2020 to defining it as the insulation state of your property.
        This means that lizzie the last is in fuel poverty.
        The Scottish Government have kept the definition as related to income.
        We can expect the media to use the figures against by forgetting to explain the definition change.

  19. Old Pete says:

    Who’s the guy that betrayed the SNP in North Lanarkshire and why did he wait till after the elections to do it ?

    • Eilidh says:

      Per the article in the National his name is Michael Coyle a Councillor for Airdrie South

  20. Old Pete says:

    Any idea why Coyle defected to the “Red” Tories ?

  21. Capella says:

    France has also nationalised its power company, EDF. It is now nationalising the 16% the government doesn’t already own.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jul/19/france-to-pay-nearly-10bn-to-fully-nationalise-edf

  22. Stellar, Paul.
    I’m still up to my eyes in it, so to speak, occupied, busy, ‘killing dead things’ to use a weird idiom courtesy .of my Belfast immeasurably Better Half, but am keeping up with Duggers’ pearls, never fear.
    Mock the Week is to shut down, the producers arguing that they could not be more cynical, satirical, and mocking than the politicians themselves nowadays.
    We are living through the dying tortuous stage of England’s Empire.
    Baroness Rape Clause will take up arms against the country of her birth, and fight us rebellious Scots for her ‘country’ Brengland?
    I titillate my grey matter by contemplating this pointless little chancer squeezing in to her honorary colonel’s battle dress, clambering into her tank, and setting forth to quell the Northern Colony’s rebellion.
    What an idiot of a woman.
    Later.
    Paul, I would dip you in aspic.
    Look after yourself.

  23. Ken says:

    Tax evasion should be stopped. The tax Laws should be enforced. The Tories in Westminster and their associates are tax evaders. £30Billion+ goes in tax evasion. A tax evading chancellor setting the tax rate for others. So they can evade tax. Millionaires milking the system. Gaining from mismanaging public funds. Fraud and corruption.

    The Oil companies should be taxed higher when the price and profits are higher. Lower when the price and profits fall. The Oil industry has been taxed at up to 80% before. Oil was $120 a barrel. Taxed at 70%-80%.

    The Oil industry is taxed at 20% corporation tax 10% supplementary. Not enough. The Westminster incompetents have no idea how to manage the industry. The ConDems/Tories have been mismanaging the economy since 2010. The Oil price fell 75% but the high tax was not cut quickly enough. 120,000 lost their jobs. The tax has not increased enough now the price and profits are higher.

    The threshold for tax should be raised. NI increase cancelled. The £20 Universal credit restored. Pensions increased. Tax evasion should not be condoned by the UK Gov. The higher tax on Oil industry and the increased tax take from evasion would pay for it. So people could afford the higher fuel and energy costs.

    Increased UK Gov pensions would cut out administration and benefit costs. It would cost less to administer pensions paying for higher pension rates. The UK has the lowest Gov pensions in Europe/world. 1/4 of the average income. Leaving people in poverty. Especially women who worked P/T who were denied pension rights. Everyone’s mothers.

  24. Sunak will resign his seat.
    Truss will be prime minister of England in three weeks time. What could possibly go wrong?
    This clearly disturbed person will be PM in three weeks’ time.
    I’ll just leave that there.

    • Aye. I’ve been saying since Cameron that the next PM will be worse, and the one after that even more so…

      It’s exactly what you’d expect for the last days of Rome situation that the UK is in. Both a symptom and a cause.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Are you trying to say that the lunatics have taken over the asylum?

      • yesindyref2 says:

        That was to Jack, very strange it misthreaded!

        • Just catching up with my reading now, YIR2.
          We are in the darkest of times, that’s for sure.
          Truss, with Rees Mogg and Nadine Dorries at her side…and Johnson lurking in the background, will surely signal the end of the UK…
          They have run out of rope.
          Dross Jack, Murray Jardine and Carmichael, are on borrowed time..and they know it.
          They have quite literally disappeared off the face of the earth, as England falters, and implodes.
          57 million deluded souls, gasping for water, and the return of empire.
          Their ‘lionesses’ beat the Jerries doncha know?
          They partied like it was 1945.

  25. Capella says:

    The National lists the action planned by the Scottish government to tackle the cost of living crisis and also the action demanded from Westminster.

    Nicola Sturgeon reveals cost-of-living package, saying inaction will cost lives

    Writing on Twitter Sturgeon wrote: “Today I chaired a meeting of the [Scottish Government’s] Resilience Committee to agree further actions on the spiraling cost of living/business emergency. We will do all we can within our powers & resources to help – including conducting an emergency budget review.

    “However, reality is that key powers and access to necessary resources lie with the UK Gov. So we are calling – again – for urgent action: more cash help now; cancellation of next energy cap rise; energy market reform; & investment to support wages, business & public services.”

    https://archive.ph/M37WH

  26. jfngw says:

    I always thought the Thatcher plan was always to keep the populace in fear of their jobs, in debt so they were reluctant to strike and remove any route to challenge these. As far I can see this is progressing as planned.

    The only reason I can see for the post war real improvements were the establishment were fearful of Communism and decided they needed to make capitalism look the better option. With the demise of the USSR this threat receded and they decided the people could then be put back in their box.

    Now the UK is not even capable of providing the basic necessities but the establishment and corporates are raking it in.

    I was just remembering the old film ‘Rollerball’ were the corporations control society and you bend to their will, the rollerball game was the ‘circus’ to keep the populace distracted. Are we far from this now as the media will be talking about ‘Strictly’, the latest sporting event and whatever other circus which will distract attention (except for viewers in Scotland were the BBC will be highlighting the latest unionist party outpourings).

  27. yesindyref2 says:

    A great article by Cherry in the National:

    https://www.thenational.scot/politics/20624432.joanna-cherry-unionists-shouldnt-confident-stopping-indyref2/

    It’s holiday time for some, and going back to school for others, so there’s been a dearth of articles encompassing the SNP intervention apart from the Unionist press who want to present it as a lack of confidence by the SNP in the LA and the FM. THAT really couldn’t be any further from the truth.

    The LA was constrained to the be within the Scotland Act in her powers as contained therein, the SNP is not so constrained, and can widen the argument, as indeed, they are trying to do. I daresay the LA can then reply if she so wants.

  28. Dr Jim says:

    It’s possible Glasgow will be the host city to the Eurovision song contest, what joy and delight that would be for us in our Ukrainian and Saltire bedecked Glasgow when the UK of England comes in last, Scotland wins England loses, Oh the joy, the joy !!

  29. Huh? How come when it comes to (UK reserved matter) drug deaths, Scotland is a fully fledged ‘European country’, but for Eurovision, we’re just a region of the UK?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-62496803

    The shortlist of UK cities that could host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest has been revealed, with seven locations in the running.

    Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield will vie to stage the event in May.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      It’s the UK is the competitor in the Eurovision Song Contest, and it’s the UK wold be the host “country”. And until we achieve Indy, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield are all actually UK cities, otherwise they couldn’t host the ESC on behalf od the UK.

    • Sure, but Scotland isn’t a European country when it comes to drug deaths as drug control is a UK reserved matter. Scotland is, literally, no different to a region of England when it comes to drug deaths. It’s north Britainshire, not a ‘European country’.

      If Scotland had control of drugs, it could dramatically reduce deals very rapidly through changes to legislation. If it had been independence pre-thatcher the root cause of the problem may never have occured. The cause of the high death rate precisely because Scotland is not a ‘European Country’ as presented by the unionist media when it suits.

      That was my point.

      • Dr Jim says:

        A point well made too sir

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yeah, I’m just being pernickety 🙂

      • grizebard says:

        Well said. We’re said to be “British” when things are good (often because we’re Scottish) and “Scottish” when there’s a problem (esp. when we’re unavoidably British).

        The only way to escape this insidious Alice-in-Wonderland media role-reversal is to separate the two definitively in everyone’s mind.

        Scottish in sovereignity and British (and European) culturally and geographically.

      • Aye, if the UK Eurovision act was from Scotland, even all the members were Orange Order, self-identified ‘British only (not Scottish)’ singing a rangers famine based song, they’d be Scottish if they did crap, British if they did well.

  30. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Loud mouth and serial interrupter of other people Carole Malone has been slagging the NHS.

    She was on SKY paper review and her opinion on newspaper headlines re state of NHS in England was that it is failing and needs private enterprise……..in the Daily express she stated :

    “The NHS is NOT the best in the world – it’s not even CLOSE”

    Kevin O’sullivan interrupted a guest talking about the NHS by stating that they, the guest, forgot to put “Marvellous” before saying NHS and also said as “ apparently best in the world ”

    Julie Harley Brewer ( also of Talk TV/Radio) tweeted this on 24th July :

    “I see our heroic NHS GP’s are moaning again about how hard their lives are “

    AND this on 22/7/22 :

    “Let me summarise this for you: the NHS has utterly failed this country”

    Farage , Kate Andrews (ex Institute of Economic Affairs now with the Spectator) and many others like him have also been introducing the same kind of CONSTANT ‘suggestion’ as to Private Healthcare being needed as NHS failing….

    Remember the John Pilger documentary ‘The dirty war on the NHS’…..private healthcare…..think tanks lobbying on behalf of private healthcare companies …..with access to the Tories…

    Well the wheels are still in motion to ensure this will happen…with the usual ‘fake concern’ suspects out on a mission to persuade the same people who ‘Believed in Brexit’ to now ‘Believe that we NEED private healthcare as the NHS is failing us’ …just like they were persuaded to believe the EU was failing them……the alternate new media has a HUGE role to play in ‘persuading’ or rather ‘coercing’ the gullible to see the NHS as an albatross around their necks that drains the ‘PUBLIC’ purse……when this money could go elsewhere…does this sound familiar…it should as that is what they said about giving money to the EU (via membership)…..but then of course THAT money formally given to the EU was, when we left, supposed to then go to the NHS…..did it ?

    Carole Malone’s argument was that we cannot just keep putting more and more money into a NHS when it FAILS us…..funnily enough the John Pilger documentary exposed how ONE private hospital FAILED to pass checks when they were reviewed because it put PROFIT before HEALTH…..targets NOT met……….failed to achieve JOINED UP Health reform….they were rated as failing to meet heath objectives for the public…..Matt Hancock and Vince Cable promoted the person who founded this private healthcare company who owned this hospital……indeed Vince Cable explained to someone who worked there that it, the private hosiptal, was a business ….Cable took along founder of this private company to the hospital and spoke to a woman who worked at the hospital and told her that the hospital was to be run like a BUSINESS and when she challenged him on this by stating healthcare was not a business he said …” No dear it IS a business”…when Vince was asked by the programme makers about this comment that he had made to her he said “Could not recall this conversation”…how convenient…no recall…but then no denial either…..can someone tell Carole Malone that private healthcare FAILS as her current mission to demonise the NHS relies on the argument that it FAILS……giving the Tories, who have had 12 years in power, a free pass on their funding and management of it via various Tory Health Secretaries…..and don’t forget currently there is a lot of PRIVATE healthcare companies entangled in the NHS just NOW……

    So there we have but ONE example of a failed PRIVATE healthcare hospital whose main priority was PROFIT over PEOPLE…..indeed a bit like what is happening with ENERGY companies just now…….in that it does not work for the CONSUMER and only works for those who PROFIT from the proceeds of private enterprise in sectors that should be in public hands……also let’s not forget the FAILED Test & Trace system in England during Covid overseen by DAME Dido Harding (whose appointment to that role has now been deemed UNLAWFUL)…operated by the PRIVATE sector that £37 billion was spent on …and it DID NOT WORK…but many in the PRIVATE sector made money from it…..loadsa loadsa money spent on it Carole…and it FAILED.

    There is a take over being instigated……and they only need to convince the same members of the public to BUY into it in order to fully implement it…….and they WILL buy into it.

    Meanwhile parochial branch office managers and their predominantly list elected gang of agitators against Scotland having NICE things…. focus ALL of their attention upon the VERY thing that could prevent Scotland suffering the same doom as England and Wales…..

    We either GET OUT or ………..you know the rest.

  31. Always worth remembering.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Indeed …among OTHER predictions that have now unfolded as they stated …..BUT have done so via the NO vote winning in 2014 and NOT as they stated if YES won the vote…..however parochial branch office managers and their predominantly list elected gang of agitators against Scotland having NICE things….have EXCUSES (spin) as to reasons for this………the BT gang BLAME all current woes firmly at the door of the Scottish government while endorsing the scapegoat excuses constantly used by the UK government……….after all there is a Union to save and that is a united cause for them that will prove , for them ,that there is NO depth too low they collectively are NOT willing to descend to in order to WIN…..the public are but collateral damage in maintaining their Union.

    • Statgeek says:

      Back in 2014, I was arguing that between wind power, oil and water, Scotland would reduce its problems more readily than other less-ready economies.

      Fast forward to 2022, England takes the oil, the energy, and the water, and tells us we’re scroungers.

      Would anyone Scottish care to tell me the benefits of the Union to Scotland?

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    From the National:

    Keir Starmer finally breaks silence … with plan to save just ‘£46’ off energy bills

    He really is a complete and utter plonker, and while he’s the leader of Labour they have absolutley no chance of winning a General Election. They’d do better to make Ruth Davidson leader, she’s more socialist and sensible than he is.

    • Capella says:

      The choice was him or Lisa Nandy remember (once they elbowed Jeremy Corbyn out).

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Keir Starmer breaks wind” would probably more accurate and at least you’d know where the smell came from.
      My suspicions are that after years in the legal trade, he’s of the silent fart variety aided by the cloak, when a ripper emerges and the cloak inflates theatrically as he departs the fallout zone.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        So what you’re saying is that if he takes the lift, wait for the next one or take the stairs.

        “It wasn’t me”.

        • James Mills says:

          No , what would happen is that the Tories would abolish the lifts and tell everyone to use the stairs .
          Starmer would then claim that he would not re-introduce the lifts but ” make the stairs work better !” – and then silently release a fart ( which would contain more sense than any of his utterances ! )

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Ah!

            “When the wind wouldn’t blow
            and the ship wouldn’t go
            Starmer the farter would start ‘er.”

            Tis indeed the Good Ship Venus.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          🤔

  33. Capella says:

    Believe in Scotland takes the biased media to task for their skewed reporting of the Scottish exam results and attainment gap. Oddly, they describe this as an attack on Scotland rather than on the SNP. But I doubt we would be hearing this level of criticism if it was a Labour administration in charge.

    Scotland’s Unionist media used this week’s Higher results as an opportunity to attack Scotland’s education system. They largely did not report that Scotland’s other widening access strategies mean that the percentage of students from the most deprived areas who attend university in Scotland is a whopping 50% higher than England’s.

    These numbers are rising to record-breaking highs for those from the poorest areas and have also risen in nursing – but while STV reported this, most media outlets ignored it, focusing on raw exam results, which showed the poorest students have suffered most from the pandemic.

    https://www.believeinscotland.org/media-watch-shamelessly-biassed-reporting-of-scotlands-higher-results/

  34. andyfromdunning says:

    A worrying time. Here is an article from Talking up Scotland from a few days ago. It explains feed back loops in society. A long read but worth it. Have a whisky ready.

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2022/08/11/the-dark-night-part-2/

    • barpe says:

      Good article, andy, I certainly miss the daily blogs Prof Robertson used to put out.

    • James says:

      He is actually missing the really worrying bit. Countries are allready ladenended with huges amounts of debt (thus debt repayments) from Covid, they are now having to borrow huges sums more to offset the energy price increases, whilst at the same time cutting things like VAT and other taxes thus reducing the amount of money they have to spend, so they have to borrow more again so there dept repayments go up and up and up. Eventually it will get to much and we will end up with another soverign debt crisis except unlike 09/10 the big three European economies (Germany France & UK) are going to be in no state to bail countries. This leads to stock market crashes (resulting in peoples pensions and savings being wiped out over night) run on banks etc etc all the really scary stuff. At the rate prices are rising probably a year /15 months of this being a real posibility of happening.

      • Which is why radical increases in tax on the wealthy are needed. Re-nationalisation of key utilities etc, as is already happening in Europe. The right wing capitalist countries will suffer the most, the moderate centre social democratic will come through the best.

        Extremes of left or right are always invariably failures.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I couldn’t agree more, higher taxes for the most wealthy, including companies with excessive profits will benefit all.

        • James says:

          Re nationalising energy companies would put national debt on steroids.

          Just fully nationalise the top two energy companies at the same price the French Gov is paying for EDF shares would cost 130billion and not reduce peoples bills by one penny. To do that you need another 30billion+. Of course you also lose the tax income from energy companies (cica 60% of profit inc windfall tax) Centrica alone made 1.65billion in six months so thats roughly 600 million in tax income the goverment has lost in just 6 months from just one company.

          On the other side of the scales increasing high earners taxes only gets you about 3billion a year so does not even scratch the surface.

          This is why aside from France no other european country is considering nationalising private energy companies. Its probably the least effective way of getting prices down for the end consumers.

          France is a unique case becasue it owned the majority of EDF already (thus on costing about 10billion rather than 100’s of billions and 70% of its energy comes from Nucular.

          THatcher and Britishness has nothing to do with a global energy crisis.

        • Nothing can be done while we are part of the UK, and yes there is no overnight magic bullet that would not cost. As a huge net exporter of energy, Scottish bills are subsidising English households and England’s coffers. The crisis in the UK has undoubtedly been made worse by privatisation.

          However, a national energy / utility company is perfectly feasible. As feasible as EDF or Scottish water. It will be a roaring success if it aims to make minimal profits, so charges the least, only using profit to expand itself by buying up assets such as power stations, oil/gas fields, wind farms, pipelines etc. Customers would flock to it overnight as the lowest cost provider. Even with EU state support laws, as long as the business is not getting unfair state support, it’s legit.

          Scottish Water is an excellent example.

          In Scotland’s case it could charge domestic customers as little as possible, but make more profit on exports.

          The privatisation of key utilities was an absolute disaster, and is about to be the undoing of the UK. Energy is key to an economy, and the high prices we face are going to grind it to a halt. A massive recession. Businesses will close, putting people out of work, and the vicious circle will go on repeating. This is why so many sensibly run countries still have fully or largely nationalised utilities.

          And the loss of tax argument is just silly. The tax/profits from energy companies has been removed from people’s pockets, reducing their spending power severely, so weakening the economy. Much of the profit will go into wealthy bank accounts, being removed from the economy completely (it is the hoarding of wealth, not the earning of it that is most damaging). The only way to counter that somewhat is for the government to spend the tax it got on the public, putting it back in. If they hadn’t taken it out in the first place, they wouldn’t need to. If the company had not creamed off huge profits, there’d be even more cash swilling around, being redistributed via people buying stuff, going to restaurants etc.

          Scottish water financially benefits Scotland, hence the Scottish government not wanting to sell it off. If they did, they’d get some extra tax potentially, but this would make the population poorer as it came from their pockets. On top, the profits going to wealthy people who hoard it, would remove yet further cash from people’s pockets. This could not be offset with by putting the tax back into people’s wallets. Scottish water would invest less, slowly degrading the network. Prices would rise, harming businesses and reducing economic activity. All the problems England faces.

          I firmly believe in private enterprise for non-essentials. It’s great to have a wide choice of cars, clothes, TVs, phones, sofas, restaurants… whatever. It does encourage innovation and keep costs low for people. We can buy a cheap phone or a super expensive one if we want, but most can afford some type of phone.

          But privatisation of basic human needs such as energy, water and food* is recipe for disaster and can only badly harm an economy / society.

          —-

          *Hence state subsidies to the agricultural sector to reduce reliance on imports.

          • Alex Clark says:

            UK needs 30 new reservoirs to protect water supply from drought after failing to build one in 31 years

            …not a single new reservoir has been built since 1991 despite the UK population increasing by 10 million during that time, while climate change has put pressure on existing reserves.

            Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said the Government and regulators need to accelerate the delivery of new reservoirs and ‘transfers’, assisted by recent steps to streamline the planning process for nationally significant water infrastructure projects.

            “If we want to avoid severe shortages in future we really need to focus on boosting our supply pipelines once the rain comes and this summer becomes a memory,” …

            He added: “We think at least £20bn needs to be invested in new supply infrastructure, alongside work to sort out leakages.”…

            This cost will need to be shared fairly between consumers and investors, while recognising that as monopolies, water companies cannot expect big returns, Sir John said.

            https://archive.ph/e3yRM

            Once again it will be the consumer who will ultimately foot the bill for this much needed invetsment in England’s water infrastructure despite the fact that more than £70 billion has been paid out in dividends by the water companies since privitisation in 1989.

            The privitisation of utilities and public transport to a lesser extent has been a failure as far as the consumer is concerned.

            • James says:

              For things like energy im very much in favour of choice. So you have a state tun company and privaatly run companies and people get a choice of which one to choose, these gives people a choice and generally choice, but unlike in a private only market there is always the state owned company as a fallback.

            • Yes, I’m not against that. However, a country should be broadly in control of it’s own energy supply. The less control it has, the more vulnerable its society / economy become to price shocks and/or being held to ransom by other states.

              If a company’s goal is primarily to make profits, it is inherently less cost effective than the same company run the same way not for profit. This is why Scottish water is cheaper and more efficient than English private utilities, and why state oil and gas companies can offer much lower priced fuels to domestic customers.

              A profit driven agenda also stifles innovation and investment in the longer term, as the goal is short term profit.

              The greatest inventions / innovations that benefit society primarily originate from not-for profit organisations and are invented by people who are not first and foremost money driven.

              Contrary to what the right argues, if we increase taxes on the wealthy, the leaches / ‘wealth drainers’ (those who extract and hoard excessive wealth) might well leave, but the ‘wealth generators’ will stay. We only have to look at e.g. Scandinavian countries to see this.

              Of course their is ultimately no such thing as ‘wealth generation’ as that is contrary to the first law of thermodynamics. Wealth, ultimately, is energy; that which is needed to sustain our lives. That can neither be created nor destroyed, just changed from one form to another. Wealth generators find ways to covert energy into useful forms for the benefit of society. Wealth leaches convert it into stored forms for their personal use, removing it from society, meaning less for everyone else.

              • James says:

                Agreed. Of course even not for profits still make a profit (in fact some of of biggest not for profit companies make huge profits) the only difference is that not for profits reinvest their profits back into the organistation rather than paying out shareholders.

                Making profit is not inheritadly bad, it cant be all it is is a accounting term that means your income is more than your expenditure. Its how use the profits that counts.

                As an example I am on the exec for a local Scout Group. We chage £15 a month in subs and through that (plus other fundraising) we made a moderate profit each year (pre covid). That profit stayed in the orginistion (as funds of the bank).

                Now with the cost of living increasing we rellise that £15 a month might become unaffordable so we have say if you can pay great but if you can’t no problems we can make up the shortfall through the money we have made from previous years profits. We dont want people missing out through lack of money. Its always allowed us to absorbe the increases in costs like gas/electric without putting up subs to cover it. Without previous years profits we would not be able to do this.

                For public companies reinvesting profits means that they can invest money in things like infastructure and /or lowering bills. Of course its a balancing act you dont want a public company making too much money espeically if it comes at the expense of high costs to the conusmer, but a modest profit is definatly desirable

              • Yes, I meant what you say, i.e. that profit is used for reinvestment, for the benefit of customers etc, rather than creamed off. Universities e.g. of course make profits, but feed this back in, investing in new R&D, buildings, new courses, staff…

        • I’ll add that the old a canard that ‘privatisation is needed for innovation’ is just pure guff too.

          The most innovative centres of R&D in the country, stuffed with PhD profs / the greatest minds in the UK (and the same elsewhere) are not for profit charitable organisations. Universities.

          The bulk of my own research funding comes from industry as they just are just not as innovative. They need to come to non-profit charities for the most novel ideas / brightest minds.

          The real ‘wealth generators’ are people who work in modest wages in non-profit sectors.

      • Thatcherism, and it’s destruction of the post-war social democratic consensus that bonded the peoples of the UK in solidarity, set in motion the final end of Britain as a state.

        You cannot build a society based on the individual. She said openly ‘There is no such thing as [British] society’, and so here we are, as her successors have pursued and expanded upon her ideals.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Which countries ? Are you talking about HMG for instance ?
        There is so much nonsense swilling in the public sphere about debt it’s hard to keep up these days so two questions –
        I lend myself a tenner, who owns the debt and who should pay it to whom ?
        The BoE (a wholly owned subsidiary of HMG), lends HMG 10 gazillion, who owns the debt and who should pay it to whom ?

        • James says:

          You lend yourself a tenner and spend it. You then need to borrow another tenner but this time you also have to pay back the 5% interest from the original loan so you only get 9.95 to spend. The next time you want to borrow tenner you have to pay back the interest on the first and second loans so you get less again. Eventually for every 10 you borrow you only get 8 pounds back. Now 8 pounds is not enough to pay your bills to next time you have to borrow £12 (£2 to pay the interest and ten pounds to give you the money you need). This is what causes inflation.

          In the good times this is not a problem lots of people are working all paying taxes and you can even put taxes up so you dont have to borrow as much. But we are not talking about good times we are talking about cutting taxes whilst simatiously borrowing huge sums of money on top of the huge sums of money borrowed during Covid. In this situation inflation goes up stagnating the economy meaning less tax income more inflation and more borrowing.

          Desipte what the MMT advocates proclaim you cannot just use Qutative easiing to get out of crisis , inflation always wins, which is why no economy has sucesfully based its economy on MMT.

          • Alex Clark says:

            The borrower pays the interest to the lender which is himself, the lender is now 5% richer and the borrower 5% poorer. Since the lender and borrower are the same person the net result is that YOU who are both lender and borrower is no worse off. And round and round we go.

            • James says:

              Nope becasue when the lender gives you the 5% back its as new capital so interest baring. So the the inflationary pressures do not change.

              Again if MMT worked it would not be a theory, it would be used in economies around the world.

              • Alex Clark says:

                Between 2009 and 2021 the Bank of England “bought” £875 billion of UK government bonds with money created at the push of a button and called it “quantitative easing” instead of the old-fashioned term “money printing”. Throughout that period inflation remained around 2% or less and interest rates dropped close to zero.

                Can you explain why that was the case?

                • James says:

                  Becasue the QE was used to restart an economy after an economic crash. Post finacial crash banks were not lending money at reasonable rates meansing that companies could not get the capital to invest and grow the economy. All that the QE did was release capital for compaines to grow and the economy with them. Effectly the Banks were getting no risk capital to lend. It was not just the BoE England doing this the ECB and Fed were doing the same to stimulate their respective economies. As you say interest rates were close to zero so the inflationary pressure was not so large. Also at the same time the UK Gov was embarking on save austerity measures which along with reducing peoples spending power (which also keeps inflation down).

                  None of the above is MMT, except for the increase in taxes bit. Becasue under MMT you cant use interest rate increases to reduce peoples purchasing power (which then lowers inflation) you have to increase taxes.

                  Quantive easing is a tool that works to some extent to help restart an economy post recession. But every time it has been used to stop an economy from falling into recession (especially if casued by external factors) its lead to inflation/hyerinflation.

                  Again if MMT worked it would not just be a thory it would be an economic policy of countries.

                  • Alex Clark says:

                    I couldn’t care less about MMT theory and know absolutely nothing about it because it’s not something I have time or any inclination to learn about. There are far more important “little things” going on that concern me these days, like will people I know have enough to eat this winter if they struggle to pay their energy bills?

                    If the BoE can “release capital for compaines to grow” in times of crisis as you have said then why shouldn’t it “release capital” in order to prevent people from freezing or starving this winter bue to runaway inflation and unheard of energy costs?

                    Your argument for doing nothing because “sovereign debt” will increase sounds very much like one Truss, Sunak or Rees-Mogg would make.

                    • James says:

                      Reece Mog would love it bankers make a fortune out of it in the long run!

                      I’m not saying that that Goverments should not borrow to combat the effects of the energy crisis, of course they should and counties will have to deal with the effects of it unwinding down the line, just that its not going to happen though QE. The BoE and ECB have stopped it and the Fed is likely to soon.

          • Golfnut says:

            So which countries have based their economy on MMT and failed?

            • James says:

              None, no country has trused it to make their economy to work if it was there silver bullet that it is sold as.

              • Golfnut says:

                But the UK uses or should I say misuses MMT. To say the BOE or the government don’t understand MMT as some say is nonsense, they use it knowing it will never have to pay it back but present it as debt to the plebs to justify austerity, to hide filling the pockets of shareholders and mates, bankers bonus’s etc etc. What they don’t do is use it to benefit the plebs.

                • James says:

                  Goverments around the world understand MMT, its nothing new, they just don’t think it works as sold.

                  Somebody needs to try it to see if it works but the issue is that the country that does needs to have a strong enough ecomomy to hold up if it does not work but not so big that the shokwaves of it not working dont hit the global economy. That rules out America. Japan would be a good canidtate a few years back but now they are too far into their QE programe to switch, China has no need for it, France and Germany cant as they are in the Eurozone ditto other medium size EU countries. Russia & the UK have both screwed their economies too much to be early adoptors. Maybe one of the Scandinavian countries will give it a short in a decade or so once the Covid / Energy crisis has had a chance to unwind and wash out of their economies.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            I prefaced my question with “There is so much nonsense swilling in the public sphere about debt it’s hard to keep up these days”, thank you for proving the point.

        • UK debt as a function of GDP is pretty low by historic standards.

  35. Dr Jim says:

    My energy supplier has just offered me a smart meter to *help* me

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      *My* energy supplier is almost begging me to have a smart meter to *help* me

      • davetewart says:

        That’s because they get paid for each meter installed.

        They don’t help you save as they tell you what you have consumed After you have consumed.
        Lots don’t work with all providers, the mark 1 versions are bad for this.
        Would you believe who bought the network?
        Capita now have control and are tasked with sorting things out.

        Only saving is that your provider doesn’t need to send a person out to read the consumption.

        They update your provider every 30 mins IF they work.

    • UncleBob says:

      I have one and I’m unable to see any of my Gas usage. I’ve ended up with British Gas as my supplier. The Smart Meter is only helpful if you can see your daily usage and then experiment with turning things off and on to see the effects. But it has been about 2 months now since it worked. After half a dozen tries to “Chat” to British Gas about it I have given up. Smart Meters do not help even if they work. They just tell you how much you have spent. I have been looking at “Hints and Tips” from different energy supplier to see if I have missed something. The nuttiest one I found was: Do not use a tumble dryer in the Winter if you can’t hang clothes outside. Instead put clothes on a clothes horse near an open window!!!! An open window in the Winter. Are you having a laugh?

    • Alex Clark says:

      I have one because I asked for it to be installed last September thinking that I could get the Octopus Energy Go tariff which was only 5p/kWh at the time and increased to 7p/kWh in October. Being all-electric as not on the has grid my Economy 7 cheap rate is 18p/kwh, so more than double.

      Anyway getting the smart meter didn’t help as the Go tariff is only available to electric vehicle owners so I couldn’t get it anyway but I have found the smart meter useful in seeing exactly where the electricity is being used and how much it costs.

      I don’t bother with the little display that the energy company gives you as it can only tell you 1 days readings and these are overwritten the next day which is useless. Instead, I use a free app on my phone which reads my meter and stores 18 months’ worth of results.

      Used properly I believe it can make your use of energy more efficient and that means cheaper.

    • I’m personally gonnae stay well away from smart meters. Heard some scary stories about these. I looked into one but decided against given the stories of massively incorrect bills. Best stick with simple records of kw/h usage. Jeez, it’s kinda obvious what uses a lot of juice! Kettle, electric radiators, ovens, on demand electric showers… Doesn’t take much to just turn stuff off if you are not using it. Just read the meter every few days if you want to see how you are doing.

      We bought an 1860’s cottage 15 years ago and extended. We went for absolute max insulation and electric storage as there’s no gas out here and oil/propane are well, the past and highly variable in price. Electric storage is of course pointless without great insulation. With insulation it works very well.

      Still gonnae be expensive. We were used to a really warm house for not really that much on economy 7, so figure we can get used to a cool house for more £. We have more wiggle room than others I imagine. We have a centrally placed open fire and free firewood from the surrounding forests (farmers permission for fallen wood, of which nature made sure there is plenty this year!). Been stocking up in preparation. Guess we’ll run it most of the time rather then just in the evenings. Going from a feature to a decent source of heat.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “My energy supplier has just offered me a smart meter to *help* me” should be read as help THEM.

      Companies save on having to physically read meters by installing the “smart” version, they can communicate their readings remotely – eg You can read an entire street’s water meters by radio just driving through normally with a van, ditto gas meters if equipped – Power meters tend to have a direct comms link which updates a central hub.

      One aspect of “Smart” electric meters I had misunderstood until recently was the ability to shut off the supply – When my old borehole pump blew a short, the meter shut down the supply, why the house breaker didn’t trip was worrying – On looking at the meter it was displaying a message of power limit exceeded – Switched off that breaker and back on, the meter responded and restored power, so “smart” right enough.

  36. Dr Jim says:

    The neat trick of the smart meter is that after the battery runs out it uses your electricity to power itself, so if you want to save energy and a little money throw your smart meter in the bin and you’ll have saved ££££££sss over the amount of time you might have left the thing plugged in to *save* you

    • Pogmothon says:

      There is one other benefit to a smart meter.

      As alluded to above somewhere, at the stroke of a keyboard in Noneating (sic) you can be disconnected without having to go before a judge and show just cause, or a warrant, or a bailiff.

      A definite benefit to the companies in cutting their slippage.

      There is only one thing in our favour the companies must reach a specific percentage of households on smart meters before Westminster will mandate to make them compulsory.

      So if you have a social conscience resist smart meters.
      For there in lays not only the road to fuel poverty, but the road to fuel deprivation.
      (sorry about that went all evangelical there for a bit)

  37. Dr Jim says:

    I see the British nationalist print press have resorted to their old ways of criticising the FMs clothes and shoes again
    Must’ve been the Vogue thing, it hurts them

  38. Alex Clark says:

    I see that COSLA has only offered council workers a 3.5% rise despite being given the money they asked for from the Scottish government that would allow them to offer a 5% rise.

    As expected the unions have rejected this offer and are now planning strike action. COSLA consists of more Unionist controlled councils than those controlled by the SNP but if they are hoping that strikes will be blamed on the government rather than where it should lie which is with COSLA then they are taking a bit of a gamble.

    There is no way that any Independence supporters are going to be convinced that this is nothing more than the Unionist councils and Trade Union leaders working together to inconvenience the public and blame the SNP. The facts are that everyone who pays any attention at all to politics in Scotland know that the Scottish government’s hands are tied when it comes to how much money can be made available from a limited pot gifted by Westminster.

    Stinks of Labour and Tory collaboration for an SNP bad angle at any cost.

    • James Mills says:

      Noticed that GMB spokesman , Chris Mitchell ( ? ) who joined up with Sarwar during Cop 26 in Glasgow to run down the city as ”dirty” is reverting to type in Edinburgh .
      He is dressed as his alter ego , a big RAT , and is trying the same tactic with Edinburgh to shame them into paying his members a pay rise .
      Haven’t seen Sarwar – maybe he is also reverting to type and is dressed as a Tory !

      • Dr Jim says:

        Unions used to negotiate with employers, now they wear fancy dress and perform for the media on demand, or is it command?

        All hail Rupert Murdoch Tory controller of the political airwaves, and his drones the Labour party mugs who get used every single time to do the Tories dirty work for them because they think they’re on a promise

        They’re not and never will be

  39. yesindyref2 says:

    Talking about coporate greed, it seems the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) should be renamed the National Mistrust by Scotland (NMS), as it heartlessly sends tenants eviction notices through no fault of their own.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/20628223.dunkeld-tenants-threatened-heartless-eviction-national-trust/

    Disgusting organisation.

    • Dr Jim says:

      There’s a lot of money changing hands and gifts being exchanged right now

      • Hamish100 says:

        The National Trust of Scotland, Scottish Rugby, Church of Scotland and such groups are full of the same place men and women as far as I can see. I left the NTS after they appointed home with the sweeping ( dyed?) locks.
        Lib Dem’s, tories interlinked with each other.
        Years ago a newspaper I believeproduced a tree shown the connections with the bbc / labour/ tories etc. It is insidious and undermines this country. Scotland — just in case tories/labour trolls read this!
        Same for the quango’s and the universities. All biased and Tory links. Aberdeen, Glasgow all heavy with the unionists. A guess but I would would say 80 to 20%.

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    Somewhere else someone misleading on Section 31 of the Scotland Act:

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/section/31

    trying to say that Sturgeon can use that to effect meaningful changes for residents in this time of crisis. But what the “protected subject-matters” are, are these:

    (5)The matters are—

    (a) the persons entitled to vote as electors at an election for membership of the Parliament,
    (b) the system by which members of the Parliament are returned,
    (c) the number of constituencies, regions or any equivalent electoral area, and
    (d) the number of members to be returned for each constituency, region or equivalent electoral area.]

    which are all to do with elections and franchise, absolutely nothing to do with alleviating “this time of crisis”.

    The main problem is not this clearly deliberate misrepresentation, it’s that people do not check it out for themselves but, for some odd reason, believe anything that supports their own prejudices and beliefs, even including complete rubbish. Which makes it very easy for those with bad intent, including actual unionists but not restricted to them, to manipulate suckers.

    The Truth Shall Set Us Free

    The problem is far too many are too lazy to establish the truth.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      The thing is, that person has quoted this part:

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/section/31A

      31A Two-thirds majority for Bills relating to a protected subject-matter

      If the Presiding Officer states under section 31(2A) that in his view any provision of a Bill relates to a protected subject-matter, the Bill is not passed unless the number of members voting in favour of it at the final stage is at least two-thirds of the total number of seats for members of the Parliament.]

      without quoting the “31(2A)” it refers to in the previous provision – 31 – or the “31(5)” which specifies what are the protected matters – all electoral.

  41. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Big feature on your FM/my 2nd Boss in today’s Guardian.

    But do we *really* need a photo captioned like this?

    “Suit, by Veronica Beard; knit, by Joseph; shoes by Jimmy Choo. Necklace and pendant, by Ellis Mhairi Cameron, aetla.co.uk. Above and top images: suit, by Pinko; blouse, by Club Monaco; shoes, by Jimmy Choo (all clothes from Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh). Gold pendant, by Ellis Mhairi Cameron, as before. Stylist: Amanda Blackwood. Hair: Zoe Harrison. Makeup: Jak Morgan.
    Photograph: Manuel Vazquez/The Guardian”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/aug/13/nicola-sturgeon-feminism-independence-life-after-politics

    • James says:

      Needed definitely not! its just the way that interviews with photoshoots work. The subject gets nice clothes to wear and a team of stylists and in return they get credit for supplying the clothes etc. Note what is written alomost at the top:
      Bute House, “her white suit jacket is reflected in the glossy mahogany”. What Veronica Beard hopes is that people will see that suit think it looks amazing and go and buy one for themselves.

      In ‘return’ for doing the interview and shoot Nicola gets people who would not normally be reading an interview with a politican reading which means she can get her message about independence to people who may not normally engage in politics.

      • Tatu3 says:

        Maybe you’re right about the promoting of shops etc, but they never mention where Johnson, Starmer, (D)Ross, or Sarwar buy their suits, shirts, ties or shoes from

        • James says:

          Have you seen Johnson’s suits and his hair?! I’m pretty sure his suit maker is probably paying not to be associated with the suits he wears.

          But more seriously, there is a huge disparity, as you say. Some of it is because having your brand seen on a famous woman can hugely increase your sales, especially if they are wearing an ‘affordable’ brand, whereas a man wearing a certain brand does not have the same effect.

          Then you are left with plain old sexism where a woman is nothing more than a clothes horse whose choice of clothing should be dissected and discussed and in many cases criticised, whereas men can wear what they want without a comment being made.

          Somthing like the Oscars is a good example of this. What the female actors wear on the red carpet is discussed and dissected in minute detail, whilst the male actors’ clothing hardly gets a mention.

          The difference is slowly narrowing especially as men beome more adventurous with their clothing choices (see Brad Pitt wearing a skirt) but there is still a huge disparity.

    • Dr Jim says:

      She’s got a coffee machine that’s better than average too, so much better is it they did an entire column featuring it once, only to be followed by British nationalists pretending to be independence supporters enraged by her extravagance declaring they’d never vote for that woman again

      So extravagant is Scotland’s FM that she travels to far flung holiday destinations like Argyll and Bute by private car, which is very many many yards from her constituency which outrages the people of Scotland that she didn’t at least travel by bus or bicycle

      On the other hand the FM of Scotland can often be seen dressed in jeans and a T shirt, and what kind of leader representing a country should go around dressing in that disgraceful fashion demeaning the office of FM, It’s no wonder the people of Scotland feel let down

      Nicola Sturgeon could win a Nobel prize, discover a cure for cancer, bring about world peace,
      it wouldn’t make one iota of difference to the British nationalist fascist state and their media

      Nicola Sturgeon must be destroyed as the most dangerous rebellious democrat the English ruling class has ever seen

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Nicola Sturgeon must be destroyed as the most dangerous rebellious democrat the English ruling class has ever seen

        ___________

        I remind you of that famous anagram:

        Nicola Sturgeon = A cool insurgent

  42. yesindyref2 says:

    And now for something completely different:

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/20636538.climber-82-bag-final-peak-282-munro-challenge/

    The grandfather-of-four, from Gairloch, in the north-western Scottish Highlands, set off into the hills in July 2020 to begin his impressive feat.

    Now, just over two years later, he is about to embark on a bid to bag his final Munro – Cairn Gorm.

    I did 66 back in the day, well, more than one day, he’s done 4 times as many.

  43. Golfnut says:

    Sorry but couldn’t resist this.

    According to the Express a quarter of Tory voters fear Scotland becoming an ally of Russia and China.

    Hope it links.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yaay !! it’s the Express so it’s bound to be true, honest tae God the depths these total English Nationalist eejits will sink to

      Pretty hilarious though given that the present PM most of England and Scotland’s past and present Tory and Labour MPs have been luxuriating In Russian oligarch cash donations for years
      Of course it’s what accusers do isn’t it, accuse others of the things they’re doing themselves

      Russian cash for lunch with Baroness Ruth?, game of tennis with Boris Johnson?, any offers Vlad? try that with Nicola Sturgeon and you’ll get her two word Glaswegian brand of Russian ending in OFF

    • Russia and China support self-determination of minority peoples within their borders right?

    • stewartb says:

      ‘ an ally of Russia and China’?

      It’s not so long ago that the UK Tory government took this attitude towards China:

      From The Guardian, 20 Sep 2015: ‘Osborne kicks off China visit vowing to be Beijing’s best friend – Despite criticism for ignoring growing human rights crisis, chancellor determined for UK to be ‘best partner in the west’

      We’re told by George Osborne: “We want Britain to be China’s best partner in the west and that is what brings us here today,” he added, echoing a joint article with Lord (Jim) O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs economist, published in the Observer. “We are really ambitious. We want to make sure that the British-China relationship is second-to-none.”

      ‘…. with Cameron vowing to build a “lasting friendship” with Beijing during a December 2013 visit to China and Chinese premier Li ‘ ‘“It’s a win-win for Britain and China, and I think if we set out on this goal of making Britain China’s best partner in the west then we reap the benefits for both our economies,” Osborne said.

      How quickly Tory principles can change. As the vast majority spectate, we can but wonder what policies the UK will have imposed on it next by the new PM!

  44. Hamish100 says:

    Of course the more likely scenario ignored by the right wing English britnats is that Scotland will be part of Europe and if the not the EU or efta.

    Europe will respect Scotland whereas England defames, mocks and undermines Scotland , it’s culture and its peoples.

    The English establishment need to change , royals and all- but they won’t.

    More People recognise this. More voters will see the tories, Lib Dem’s and labour are in the same camp.
    Effectively anti-Scottish, anti- Europe, anti-everything that isn’t them.

  45. Huh?

    https://archive.ph/HS6k7

    Stewart and Starmer claim Fringe victory over Sturgeon

    Erm…

    Tickets sold per head of respective country population in millions:
    92.6 Sturgeon
    9.7 Stewart / Starmer

    Jesus, Stewart and Starmer had a massive country to draw ticket sales from, Sturgeon has a tiny one by comparison.

    Times argument is like boasting the US Superbowl sells more tickets than the Norwegian cup final, so the former ‘must be more popular locally’. Utter nonsense.

    Stewart and Starmer should be asking why they are so unpopular, being only able to draw in 1/10 of the crowd per capita of Sturgeon.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yeh the box office always reflects public opinion MORE than the voting booth argument….can’t see it catching on somehow…..was the headline ‘Clutching at MORE straws (to try and ‘SAVE’ the Union)’.

      Matt Forde also has a ‘Politics’ show on at the festival where on one of his shows he has a special interview with Gordon Brown…Forde pretends he is a comedian but in reality he is but a political agitator working for the Labour party against the SNP (the Right of the Labour party that is)……neither of which he does very well…….as in he never makes me laugh or persuades me to vote or support his preferred political party……and if anything he inspires me to KEEP supporting and voting for the SNP…..#PretendyComedian

  46. Statgeek says:

    Not seen in the Beeb – https://www.itv.com/news/central/2022-08-13/critical-incident-declared-at-shropshire-telford-and-wrekin-health-system

    Meanwhile, in the Times – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/54e5542a-1a6b-11ed-b1f4-627a202c7457?shareToken=13e034b630fe5a5e0fd5b52109f3b865

    “Water companies pay £1bn dividends as the taps run dry

    Bosses were rewarded with bumper pay rises and bonuses despite losing millions of litres a day to leaks”

    Must remember to buy up some popcorn ahead of the winter. The new PM will be popular.

  47. Alex Clark says:

    This is something I posted about last night.

    The Scottish government made enough cash available for COSLA to offer council employees a 5% pay rise. The Labour party, Tories and Lib Dems voted instead to offer the council workers just 3.5%

    I think we all know why they have chosen to do that.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, it’s getting that across to ordinary voters though, both now and at the next election, that’s the real difficulty as things stand. All we seem to have is “word of mouth”.

      Prime example is what happened here in Glasgow not long ago. SNP incomers grasp the nettle of sorting out years of Labour mismanagement and underpaying women workers, then get the blame afterwards at every turn for doing the right thing by a cynical Labour Party.

      Ditto the unions who colluded with Labour in charge, then after the changeover quickly organised a march demanding instant action to right the {sob} women’s grievous wrong. Blithely unconcerned, it would seem, over the reputational damage this kind of politically-inspired monkey business eventually wreaks on the rightful cause of the protection of workers’ rights.

  48. Dr Jim says:

    The Guardian says Nicola Sturgeon’s on her *last* push for Independence.
    When England gives up its push for even more fascism maybe Scotland will lose interest in independence. Nah we won’t.

  49. Alex Clark says:

    Boris Johnson is on his hols again, this time in Greece where he was seen shopping in a supermarket with his wife Carrie. I think we’re still paying his wages as a caretaker PM, why?

    https://greekcitytimes.com/2022/08/14/boris-johnson-supermarket/

  50. Alex Clark says:

    Starmer’s big plan to tackle the energy crisis is the same as that which Nicola Sturgeon has already announced, and is to cancel the rise in the price cap due in October.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Alex C.
      David Wallace ( no hyphen) Lockhart formally bbc Scotland on bbc TV news.

      With the jorries in his mooth he explains to the viewer that tomorrow Starmer will announce the policy tomorrow!!

      Yes, bbc announces something ahead of it actually happening. How quick is that.

      Of course Lockhart makes no mention of the FM of the energy rich nation of Scotland has already announced such a policy. Surprising since he is supposedly a Scot and is chief political reporter. His London centric views is not surprising. So many ex Scots have gone down that route of conversion. His vowel changes are all part of this although he started this at Pacific Quay no doubt with the mentorship of some britscotch still living there.

      Bbc unionism of Tory/labour is what the Brit broadcasting cooperation is comfortable with.

  51. Bob Lamont says:

    OT – With drought and water shortages in England (again) in the news, I stumbled across a clip of a Sky interview with Therese Coffey, and my jaw dropped as she yet again got away unchallenged on talking nonsense about what had caused England’s latest water crisis.
    Her latest Tory wheeze is to blame it all on mystery EU rules preventing new reservoirs being built for the last 30 odd years – No mention of the dire state of water and sewerage in England 3 decades after Thatcher’s privatisation binge to get everything “fixed”….

    When I started off in the industry, average UK water consumption was 230 Litres per person per day (L/hd/d), 200L/hd/d was the last figure I heard quoted before retiring.
    Forever burned in memory is Yorkshire Water’s infamous 40% water leakage and TV clips of convoys of distillery tankers headed southbound with water, so I wondered how much had changed aside from global warming effects.

    Scottish Water figures were readily found as they publish leakage annually, it works out at 84 L/hd/day.
    Finding latest leakage rates for England was not so simple, but eventually a figure of 141 L/hd/d was turned up, along with a long “bean-counter” explanation as to why this was a cost-effective loss, comparable to Germany, blah-blah etc…

    So effectively Scotland not only enjoys an abundance of fresh water, but once treated and put into the supply network, loses 40% less than in England despite it NOT being “cost-effective” ?

    Lunacy….

    • James says:

      You might be able to answer a question that has been playing on my mind for a while. Whilst Scotland has indeeed an abundnce of water it is not evenly distibuted. In general terms the west has the majority of the water.

      What is the solution to get the water from the west to the east so that you dont get the imbalance of more what that can be used in the west whilst restrictions are being imposed /going to be imposed in the Tweed and Eden catchment areas. Is it something as basic as tankers taking the water across the country or is the infastructure (pipes pumps etc etc) being built to evenly distribute the water?

      • Hamish100 says:

        Really James? Preying on your mind.
        Don’t worry Scotland’s water isn’t in the hands of English / foreign water owners. Put your mind at ease.

        https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/Your-Home/Your-Water/Managing-Water-Resources

        • James says:

          Yes it is? Dosn’t it worry you that an water rich country like Scotland has an amundance of water in one part of the country yet in other parts farmers cant water their crops to the extent they need due to water scarcity?

          As you say due to not having foreign owned water companies Scotland manages it water resources very well, yet water sghortages in the east happen and will continue to happen unless there is a memthod of more evenly distributing Scotlands abundant water supplies more evenly across the country. I’m assuming due to Scotland having a compitent Goverment and Water company in charge there are plans to tackle this is, I was just asking someone who going by his post worked in the water industry if he knew what it was.

      • The east / west thing is basically right, but it’s a bit simplistic. It’s more driven by orographic rainfall patterns. Our rain bringing weather mainly comes from the Atlantic and falls primarily on the highest mountain peaks, which are mostly in the western Highlands.

        As you can see from the map though, the mountains extend all the way to the east across most of the country, so reservoirs in these hills do well enough too. What we drink comes from these, hence it’s quite rare for us to have real tap water shortages, even in the east in droughts. However, the lack of rainfall in low lying eastern land can cause problems; not in terms of tap water, but for farmers. And of course our dry gardens!

        The whole of Scotland has had a lack of rainfall. The winter was fairly dry and now we’ve had a hot dry summer. So the reservoirs are lower and the water table has fallen across whole country, causing river levels to fall, notably in the east, where, as noted, the lack of rainfall at low levels means there is drought. But we are still not being restricted in terms of mains water. Just farmers in some eastern areas being banned from taking river water at this stage.

        So in that sense, moving lots of water from the east to the west isn’t really needed in Scotland. It also already happens in that we have reservoirs in which are more ‘west’ (or just up in the hills getting rainfall similar to the west, but very far from cities), supplying people in the east. It’s easy to move water if you are going generally downhill, e.g. from Meggethead in the border hills to Edinburgh; gravity mainly does it. If you need to go over hills for a great distance, that needs pumping and/or siphoning systems, so is more costly / complex.

        Putting a reservoir in a western watershed and feeding it under a single range to the eastern watershed on the other side of a mountain isn’t difficult, but crossing many ranges would be technically challenging.

        Tankers are only really practical for supplying people in emergencies. The value of water is not enough to justify them as a means of supply.

        I don’t claim to be the expert here, but did some hydrology at uni as a geologist.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “….a question that has been playing on my mind for a while.” – Why start with a flat out lie ?

        Do you have the faintest idea what you are talking about, or are you perchance a Sun subscriber, or perhaps Paul Drury himself who composed that preposterous nonsense the Sun published yesterday, now promoting the bunkum here ?

        Do you even KNOW where these rivers are, or which Water Treatment plants the Eden or Tweed feed into, or who put the restrictions in place, or what those restriction are and why they were imposed ? Obviously not.

        The answer to your question is reverse global warming….

    • andyfromdunning says:

      Bob your message is spot on. Read this about Englands water and population growth.

      https://anglingtrust.net/2021/09/27/time-to-fix-the-broken-water-sector/?utm_source=pocket_mylist

  52. Golfnut says:

    I’m absolutely certain that the UK gov isn’t anywhere near as impotent as it would like us to believe over the energy companies profiteering, in fact it might be nearer the mark to suggest they are complicit in creating the current crisis.
    Nicola doesn’t have any power over what’s currently happening and at this stage she is perhaps overly cautious, understandably as anything radical is likely to result in an instant media onslaught, what she currently suggests though isn’t really a solution, drastic and punitive measures against the profiteers are needed.
    Richard Murphy highlights some measures that would be a real help.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/1159477114783157/

    If Scotland needed an excuse for nationalising strategic assets the profiteers have provided it all by themselves.

  53. Hamish100 says:

    Maybe The Sunday National could explain how Scotland is a devolved nation?

    No point us pointing out to the bbc and other commentators when the SN falls into the trap.

    SN -please note . Scotland is a nation. Has been for over 1200 years.

    • Dr Jim says:

      English government keep pumping out propaganda and eventually people begin using the same language unconsciously , and one of the biggest pieces of that is that Scotland is a devolved Nation, that’s garbage when they wrote it and garbage now, who in the entire world has ever heard of such a thing as a *devolved nation*, only the bloody English could come up with such a derogatory term, you can’t *devolve* a nation, you can devolve power and authority to that nation but people and land cannot be devolved using the same propagandised meaning

      To use this vile term in reference to Scotland and Wales is just outright objectionable and offensive, something devolved is given, passed down or is less than the main, are we really accepting that Scotland Welsh and Northern Irish people and our countries are *less than the main*

      Every time I hear one of our own representatives use this terminology in normal conversation I instantly do an Elvis and reach for my gun to blow the TV or radio to bits

      I am a 100% person in the world equal and not devolved or *made less* or *passed down* by anyone

      There’s only one thing a Scotsman or a Welshman or a Northern Irishman can’t do that an Englishman can and that’s affect change by voting democratically in a political system invented to maintain power in England over our countries

      In that sense yes, I am less than an Englishman

      So F their economy arguments, F their borders, F their family of nations, F every damn word they utter, their intentional aim always was and is to make us *less than them*

  54. [Waves]

    Brenglish government seem to believe we are a colony too. Wales and N. Ireland likewise.

    Not a very nice country at all, with a history of this.

    https://archive.ph/6EwZi

    The Last Colony by Philippe Sands review – Britain’s Chagos Islands shame

    The Chagossians were forced from their archipelago in the Indian Ocean in the 1970s, and Britain still refuses to hand it back. Human rights lawyer Philippe Sands relates the wider tragedy of the scandal with nerve and precision

    Brits forcing the Chagossians off their land and occupying it militarily = ok.

    Russia doing this in the Ukraine with respect to Ukrainians = not ok

    That about right in Brengland?

  55. An obvious route out of Brenglish imperial subjugation.

    https://archive.ph/uNCei

    SNP could turn to international courts to secure independence referendum

    THE Scottish Government could turn to the international courts to try to secure a vote on independence after a “de facto” referendum, according to a legal expert.

    Dr Nick McKerrell, senior law lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, said it was another legal route which could be explored if the Supreme Court rejects the case for Holyrood to legislate for indyref2 – but he cautioned it would be “complicated”.

    The SNP have applied to “intervene” in the Supreme Court case, which will be heard in October, with their argument focusing on the “inalienable right of all nations to self-determination which is enshrined in the United Nations charter”.

    McKerrell said that using the International Court Of Justice – the main judicial body of the UN – could be a “longer-term” prospect.

    The more the UK resists iref2, the greater the support for independence will become. This forces it to crack down even more or give in.

    There’s no way around this. If Scots want indy, they shall have it.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If Liz Truss gets her way she’ll be issuing each us with a QR ID code, or perhaps a big yellow badge to sew on our clothes?

    • grizebard says:

      Two things immediately spring to mind.

      1. The prospect of an eventual international appeal might just help keep the SC juridically honest.

      2. “If”. That’s the crucial hinge. At the moment it’s too evenly balanced, not least because of Unionist “command and control” over the main media, and a general public of whom too many are still internally colonised as a consequence.

      A referendum campaign itself, of course, levels up the field to a great extent by giving the indy side much more exposure. Which is why Nicola Sturgeon is so convinced indy will win, and why the Unionists are so desperate to prevent such a campaign happening. Like last time, the campaign itself is a powerful recruiter for independence, and exposes Unionism for what it really is. The reputational damage caused to Labour in particular has made it virtually excluded from any realistic prospect of a return to governance here any time soon.

      But there’s no escaping the fact that the crux of the matter remains majority popular support for independence. At the moment all remains in the balance, so anything that can reach out and engage more people in advance of the campaign proper is worth its proverbial weight in gold.

  56. Dr Jim says:

    The English government knows the world knows what they are but the world needs Scotland *and*Wales *and* Northern Ireland to be more noisy about it so they can condemn publicly what they already know, the more noisy we become the more the English will try to shut us down resulting in more public condemnation from the world and the reporting of why Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are so noisy about England’s violations of our human right to democracy

    Even the Chinese mocked England’s fake defence of the democracy of Taiwan and compared it to England’s behaviour towards Scotland

    • Yup. Brengland can’t give China any lessons in democracy; not while Scots/Welsh/N. Irish are denied the right to freely self-determine.

      And Truss’s extremist nationalist chat below about the UK being ‘one country / one people’ is what the e.g. Uyghurs are being told by Beijing, complete with re-education camps.

      https://archive.ph/oje08

      China compares treatment of Taiwan to UK and Scottish independence

      Wang Wenbin claims Britain ‘would behave just like Beijing’ if Scotland broke away.

      China’s foreign minister has compared his country’s aggressive campaign to halt Taiwanese independence to the UK government’s suppression of Scottish nationalism.

  57. She’s nuts. This kind of talk is in direct opposition to the GFA and is an outright racist attack on the minority national peoples of the UK.

    I am not British Truss, nor more so than a (self-identified) Ukrainian is Russian, you nasty right wing Brenglish supremacist nationalist.

    https://archive.ph/oefJT

    Sinn Fein hits back at Liz Truss claims party ‘driving a wedge’ between Northern Ireland and Great Britain

    …As prime minister, I would also hold the role of Minister for the Union and seek to strengthen it,” she [Truss] added.

    “We are not four separate nations in an agreement of convenience, as some would have us believe.

    We are one great country which shares a history and institutions, but also family and friends, memories and values.

    We are four separate nations because the peoples of those nations collectively agree that’s the case, have done for millennia, and that is the definition of a nation under international law. ‘We Scots are a people and we are not in majority British (2011 census)’.

    To try and wipe a nation from existence in propaganda is the first step on the road to ethnic cleansing. Literally.

    This could get ugly folks. The British government has a history of ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, forced deportation of peoples etc. They have ethnically cleansed the Chagos Islands for example, in direct opposition to the UN.

    A really unpleasant state, and clearly a serious threat to the people of Scotland and free democracy.

    • Oh and on the topic of N. Ireland…

      If an executive is not formed, then it’s likely we may see a new election before the end of the year.

      Opinion polling shows strong opposition from all communities to the unionist boycott / blocking of the assembly. They also indicate an even greater win for pro-protocol, neutral to pro-reunification parties as a result.

      https://ukandeu.ac.uk/northern-ireland-is-another-election-just-around-the-corner/

      Northern Ireland – is Another Election Just Around the Corner?

      You can’t stop voters voting for what they want unless you stop them voting at all. And that takes increasingly violent repression.

  58. Alex Clark says:

    Nadeem Zahawi is being reported as having instructed officials at the treasury to make plans to reduce energy bills by a further £400 this winter above that already. As welcome as it is, the next rise is around £1500 in October and a further £600 rise forecast in January it’s nowhere near enough to prevent real financial difficulties in millions of households.

    A picture speaks a thousand words, the price cap should be frozen at the current level until they come up with a workable solution, that really is the only sensible thing to do right now as they have just wasted time by burying their heads in the sand over this. Something they are very much likely to regret when the outcomes of doing too little become all too obvious.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Unlike us the company executives and the rich and powerful never threaten to strike if their incomes are in jeopardy they just threaten the government that they’ll go bust and the government tax us to make sure they don’t

      Like the banks

      But they are doing all they can to help, no they really are, they keep telling us, a lot, the English government tells us this too and there are still plenty of idiots who believe them

      In Scotland we have an abundance of energy because the wind blows for free, we have oil, gas, water, food is plentiful yet our cost of living is the highest in Europe, and why? because the English government doesn’t invest they just take, consume, use up, then pretend to the masses that everyone is suffering the same fate and they’re preparing for it never to happen again

      Until it does then they refer to rule one again, take take take consume, blame blame blame then talk the same garbage they talked the last time

      300 years of these same people, their fathers grandfathers great grandfathers, England is a family business of rip off artists, so c’mon Scotland let’s get tae and dump these Bastirts

  59. Tam the Bam says:

    O/T

    Today ..for the want of something better to do..I perused a few other *Indy* blogs.
    Ye gods and little fish……….
    I hold my head in my hands in despair when I read of what they think of and what they would like to happen to the First Minister….. and then..to cap it all…they brazenly demand unity.
    UNITY!!!!
    I would never unite with a venomous snake about to attack me. I am inclined to decapitate it.

    • barpe says:

      Well said, Tam, and there are many so-called indy supporters who seem to take such pleasure in running down our elected FM!
      Can they not see we are coming up to the ‘last chance saloon’, and if we don’t get our act together, soon, then it will be time to accept our colony status in perpetuity.
      As Dr Jim said “… so c’mon Scotland let’s get tae and dump these Bastirts”.

    • jfngw says:

      They still worship at the feet of their Bonnie Prince, who did not flee to Skye but to Millbank.

      • jfngw says:

        Speed, bonnie jet, like a bird on the wing,
        Onward! the stewards cry;
        Carry the lad that’s born to be king
        Over the air to Millbank Tower

        Drat, it doesn’t rhyme.

      • jfngw says:

        If you are wondering where Millbank Tower is, that’s easy, it’s the one adjacent to MI5 HQ.

    • Dr Jim says:

      That would be the *real* independence supporters who if they were in power they would eh, erm, shout a lot and eh dae sumthin, coz they SNP are daein nuthin except talking whereas the *real* independence supporters would do what they’re doing now, which is eh, shout a lot, except they’d shout at the Brits which would give the Brits even more reason to ignore silly people shouting

      The *real* independence supporters just can’t seem to grasp the truth in this battle that Scotland can’t do this alone, unless of course we’re prepared to use the Irish method which no doubt would work but would also take forever and it would play right into the hands of the Westminster cabal using their worldwide media power to constantly keep pointing out the *real truth* of how undemocratic and nationalistic we really are and that the SNP were IRA style terrorists all along

      To do this democratically it must be done with the world watching the behaviour and antics of the British Nationalists, not us, they’re the guilty parties in this, we must at all times avoid making silly statements threats or even appearing belligerent, we must appear calm but determined and relentless in that determination and that’s the very opposite of what the *real* independence supporters represent, I mean for goodness sake I read the other day they wanted to storm and blockade Holyrood

      The FM is a serious politician not the rebel leader of a terrorist gang, what other countries are going to line up to associate themselves with that, we need EU UN and world condemnation of England’s behaviour, this isn’t the football season where the team’s performing a bit slow so just sack the manager install another one and cross your fingers it’ll all be different

      Make no mistake about the *real* independence supporters, they want one thing and one thing only, to install the the previous FM in some mad forlorn notion that he could do what Nicola Sturgeon can’t or won’t, because that’s the narrative they’ve been fed by their gurus that they somehow deserve revenge and Independence at the same time, but the revenge part is their main objective, they don’t even consider what damage attempts like that would create, in that Scotland would not vote for Alex Salmond again with big guns pointed at their heads, even if he promised Nirvana and milk and honey, that dog just won’t hunt and they know it, but their heads are so hate filled by Bampot Stuart Campbells invented disproved years of garbage without the previous FMs condemnation of any of it, making it pretty clear if he’s not condemning it he’s condoning it, and yet they squeal about country before party, well I’m afraid if the previous FM was a *real* Scottish patriot he’d put country first and his personal vendetta a very distant gotten rid of for the sake of this unity they keep bleating about as they daily insult the rest of us when we don’t happen to agree with them

      We are not the enemy, Westminster is the enemy and this is a serious time for serious politicians and Nicola Sturgeon *IS* the First Minster, so if the *real* independence supporters can’t accept that then they’re part of the problem and not part of the solution

  60. Golfnut says:

    I’ve been trying and failing to make some sense of and get a feel for how the oil and gas industry is failing and how the national grid and our electricity supplies are managed.
    First off, Scotland’s reduction in production of oil is deliberate since before 2014, reserves probably sit at the same as Norway which is currently double that admitted by the UK. The amount of gas imported from Russia is less than we import for Belgium and electricity grid charges attributed to Scottish producers are a rip off. The rational for connection charges being higher the further they are from the centre because they are trying to increase production closer to the largest user base is bollocks because as they admit the can’t get planning permission. The UK is as far as I can tell the only state which doesn’t operate a standard connection charge. The National grid though operating as a private enterprise is appointed by Ofgem and Ofgem is appointed by the UK gov.
    The buck stops with the UK gov.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      So far as I’m aware the only Russian gas imported to the UK was LPG, which was why my ears pricked up when the media began mispresenting it in concert with politicians…

      For context on gas and electricity production, Scotland is overflowing, England is not, and YET… The UK was exporting huge volumes of gas when the crisis hit, whilst HMG were presenting the UK as at the mercy of imports.

      Ofgem can only operate within the parameters set by HMG, equally the way the market operates is set by HMG, so indeed “the buck stops with the UK gov”, viz the Tories…

      It’s a massive scam….

      • Dr Jim says:

        The trouble with wind is Westminster can’t turn the wind on and off, bribe it sell it or privatise it
        Wind is free, they hate that

      • Alex Clark says:

        “The UK was exporting huge volumes of gas when the crisis hit, whilst HMG were presenting the UK as at the mercy of imports.”

        Exactly, even if the UK was producing double the energy that it needs from the North Sea that wouldn’t make any difference whatsoever to the price the energy companies would be charging the UK public for that energy.

        And yet on Saturday, you have Sunak announcing a grand plan to solve the energy crisis by making the UK energy secure by 2045.

        Rishi Sunak has set out plans to make Britain “energy secure” – including boosting North Sea gas production – as he seeks to make up ground in the Tory leadership race.

        The former chancellor said he would legislate to make the UK “energy independent” by 2045 at the latest as he vowed to ensure there is no repeat of the looming winter crisis…

        “The first rule of any crisis is to acknowledge that you are facing one. We are facing an energy crisis and I have a plan to both get us through it and make sure this is a one winter crunch,” Mr Sunak said.

        “I will lead a national effort to increase our domestic energy supply and cut our energy waste. I will also make sure our country is never put into this position again.

        “I will leave no stone unturned to secure British energy sovereignty. We cannot rely on imported energy so I will legislate for the UK to be entirely energy independent by 2045 to accelerate investment.

        “My plan will get us through this winter crisis and provide energy security for Britain.”

        https://archive.ph/saSZb

        So, this is the next would be Prime Minister pulling the wool over people’s eyes by insisting that energy security means the same as cheaper bills. It doesn’t unless they were to nationalise the energy companies of course. Otherwise, they will just keep selling their oil, gas and electricity at what ever the world market price says it is.

        By spinning this yarn, Sunak is also making out that all the blame lies with the war on Ukraine and there’s nothing he can do about it. Market forces are great when what you’re selling is in short supply. great that is for the seller, for the customer on the receiving end of “market forces” probably not so good.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          The UK could be energy secure in a year with a national insulation and energy conservation programme, simultaneously halving emissions.
          Sadly the public have become so gullible that he’ll get away with this claptrap….

  61. davetewart says:

    Agree,

    If we have a war why not Suspend the licences and insist that energy will be at Cost Plus a reasonable profit for the duration, No World prices and no billing for energy that is costed on the world price of oil and gas when over 50% is regulatly produced from renewables.

    Scotland exports 1000MW of renewables through the Hunterston HVDC cables to Algelsey, every hour of the day that wind blows.
    This doesn’t include the West overhead cables and the East overhead cables.

  62. Dr Jim says:

    We just had over two years of pandemic, every scientist warned them of it, all the medical experts warned them of future pandemics, they knew something would be coming, and when it did what did they say? “we were unprepared for this pandemic” and even when it was at it’s worst what were they saying? “we didn’t believe Britain would be affected so much because we’re an island?” yeah because pandemics are just for those foreign folk, not for us English stiff upper lipped soon to be bodies piled high dead people and we’ll all just put up with it till it goes away, Ooh vaccine vaccine

    The governments of England prepare for nothing unless it looks like a financial loss to those and such as those, the rest of us will pile our bodies high or pay the rich to stay rich whenever they decide they might be losing a quid or two

    When England’s governments tell us how globally wealthy we all are what they mean is how globally wealthy they are because the population of England is just so profoundly stupid they actually believe the words of the same people running those same governments that they vote for that keep repeating the same *mistakes* on a monotonously consistent basis until they tell them “Britain must live within its means and must tighten our belts” then they do it all over again

    No other government of any civilised country in the world is repeatedly so wrong by accident, the only thing England was ever good at was sewing division in other countries then invading them to bring their own brand of thieving democracy, all for their own good and to *help* them of course

    Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are still in this, for F sake why?

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