The moral and political failure of the Tories and the British state

nuclear option

On Friday, the energy price cap rose by 80%, threatening unprecedented fuel poverty for millions of households, and destitution for hundreds of thousands of the poorest households who are already struggling with impossible choices between having heat and hot water in their homes or putting food on the table. Yet Friday’s devastating news was by no means the worst of it, the energy price cap is predicted to soar by similar amounts in January and again in April, when it is forecast that the average household could be looking at bills of £7000 a year. We are now reaching the point where for many people, it will no longer be a question of struggling to pay their energy bills, it will simply be impossible for them to pay. If you take home the average UK annual salary of £31700, you are going to have to juggle soaring energy bills with rising costs of food and other essentials, increasing housing costs as interest rates go up, affecting mortgages, or rising rent bills. However if you are on a minimum wage or dependent on benefits, the increase in energy bills means that you will just not have the money to pay, no matter how you budget.

This is a truly terrifying development for millions of people, yet the so-called ‘leaders’ of the British Government were nowhere to be seen. No British Government minister was roused from his or her slumber to make the rounds of the TV studios and provide even a modicum of reassurance to worried and frightened people left to deal with the consequences of the meltdown of an energy policy which is reserved in its entirety to that government whose leaders were last seen sunning themselves on a Greek beach.

We did however get a statement from the acting, or rather play-acting, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi saying that people needed to look at reducing their energy consumption. Glossing over the fact that this is pretty rich coming from a man who attempted to claim the heating costs for his stables on his parliamentary expenses, Zahawi’s horses will be warmer this winter than millions of families, it was a gob-smackingly arrogant statement which effectively tried to shift the responsibility for the catastrophic failure of the Conservatives’ energy policy on to those who are suffering because of Tory mismanagement.

According to Dr Sean Field, research fellow at the Centre for Energy Ethics at the University of St Andrews, told the Sunday National: “To put it bluntly – there is corporate responsibility in this, but this has been a catastrophic failure of political policy in the UK for the last 15 years.”

What all the various crises besetting the British state have in common is that they are the result of decades of British governments prioritising short term private profit over the longer term public good. The crisis in England’s water supply is due in part to private companies which preferred to cream off profits rather than invest in fixing leaks and building reservoirs to store the winter rains. Problems have been ignored for decades. Even now the Conservatives prefer to pander to the fossil fuel companies rather than fund the transition to renewable energy and funding the insulation of the housing stock that are the only long term solutions to the energy crisis. Liz Truss talks about abolishing the green levy on fuel bills and her party wants to prohibit on-shore wind farms, because apparently those are the problem, not the profiteering of the oil and gas giants.

The Conservatives permitted the energy companies to give up on gas storage facilities, meaning that the UK is hugely dependent on ‘just-in-time’ gas supplies from Europe to meet domestic needs. This deprived the UK of the ability to store large quantities of gas when the international market price was low and leaves the UK more vulnerable to large rises in prices on the international markets. We got into this position due to a combination of corporate greed and UK government failure. While the international wholesale price of gas was low it was more profitable for the energy companies to buy on the international markets than to invest in maintaining and repairing the storage facilities which existed at the time and the Conservative Government refused to grant a subsidy to help with the maintenance and repair costs of the existing gas storage facilities. The companies then announced that it was not cost effective to keep the storage facilities open and decided to close them down. The Conservative government compounded its sins by allowing them to do so.

We are now seeing those same companies reporting record profits while the Conservative wring their hands and bleat that “there’s a war on” even as they refuse to impose a windfall tax on the energy companies that could go a long way towards funding a freezing of the energy price cap. In this crisis, as always, the priority of the Conservatives is to protect the profiteering of the wealthy while ordinary people are forced to choose between freezing or starving. This is a catastrophic political and moral failure the blame for which lies squarely at the door of the Conservative party.

Even now, the Conservatives remain missing in action, more concerned about their internal party politics than the disaster facing millions. Neither of the two leadership contenders have said what they intend to do to deal with a crisis of their own party’s making. Truss’s camp has hinted that if she becomes Prime Minister she is considering cutting VAT by 5% across the board. However VAT accounts for less than 5% of the typical energy bill so a VAT cut would do little to reduce energy bills to an affordable level.

A reduction in VAT is effectively a tax cut for the better off. If you wanted to put more money into the hands of the sort of people who have high levels of discretionary spending, and the higher the discretionary spending the more money they’d get, then cutting VAT by 5% is what you’d do. It will do almost nothing to help make energy more affordable. To save £1,300 from a 5% cut in VAT, you’d have spend £31,200 a year on stuff that incurs VAT at 20%. There is no VAT on food or children’s clothing. VAT is not normally charged on rent or mortgage payments. A cut in VAT does nothing to help those who can only afford the essentials, yet this is her big idea, her ‘nuclear option’. It’s only nuclear in the sense that it will not solve the problem and will leave devastation in its wake. Truss’s resistance to offering targeted support for vulnerable groups is terrifying and unforgivable. Public anxiety is now raw, the fear is naked.

Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action, a campaign group, told the financial news site Money Week that cutting VAT will do little to give consumers respite from soaring energy bills because VAT accounts for only a minor proportion of the overall bill. The only realistic solution, in order to prevent millions from being unable to heat their homes is a freeze on the energy price cap ,funded by taxes on the energy companies, as called for by the Scottish First Minister and Keir Starmer of the Labour party. Ideally the energy companies should be nationalised But only the British Government has the legal power and the financial authority to do so and the Conservatives won’t go there. They will protect their corporate donors no matter how many elderly or disabled people die of hypothermia this winter.

Thanks to the British Government, energy rich Scotland, which has an abundance of energy resources both fossil and renewable, is unable to ensure that it can heat its citizen’s homes. That, Liz Truss, is far more of a disgrace than the fact that the UK imports most of its cheese. But Truss won’t let humanity get between her and a burning ambition that makes her pander to the worst right wing excesses of the Conservative party. She is going to be a far worse Prime Minister than even Boris Johnson. The only question is how much damage she will do before she in her turn is finally forced from office.

I am sorry but this bout of post-stroke fatigue is proving very difficult to shift. New blog posts may be rather intermittent this week.


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191 comments on “The moral and political failure of the Tories and the British state

  1. bringiton says:

    Government of the people,not for the people.

  2. Alex Clark says:

    I just can’t believe how stupid they must be to not see the catastrophe that is staring them in the face.

  3. P Harvey says:

    Paul, first and foremost look after yourself. I’ve known a number of people who put their job first and unfortunately this exacerbated their Ill health. You need to take time away and don’t feel guilty about it.
    The force your writing & work has achieved will ensure Independence is ours!
    A perfect storm is forming and Scotland will be free!

  4. Golfnut says:

    Let’s call this what it is, profiteering, greed and explotation. The UK Government is complicit in the assault on the wellbeing of the people they were elected to serve. The UK Government have allowed this to happen and I got one do not put this down to incompetence. This is deliberate.

  5. Tam the Bam says:

    I can only surmise there’s a General Election ‘roon the corner.’

    • deelsdugs says:

      And if people are too weak and vulnerable, they’ll not make it to the polls. Think this is their grand plan of extermination.

      • Legerwood says:

        And if they do make it to the voting centre they then find they need photo ID in order to vote. I assume this rule will be in place for the next GE

    • grizebard says:

      Actually, I think the opposite. What the Dodgy Duo are saying to win over the hardline Tory faithful is going down like a cup of cold sick with everyone else, who are increasingly hard pressed and not seeing any hope whatever of an improvement. Instead just the grim prospect of a further tsunami of hardship to come. The blue-rinse faithful on their own can’t win an election for the Tories under either Truss or Sunak, even in England, and now who else can they still con? Blinkered economic dogma voodoo chickens comin’ home to roost. In flocks.

      Maybe you reckon on them “getting one in” before reality fully penetrates, but myself, I think that option is already too late. Unless the prospective Tory leadership is either grotesquely deluded, or frantically desperate to get out before their reputation takes a terminal knock, and let Labour carry the can instead. (As has happened before.)

      And what’s the best they can manage here? A pathetic attempt to create a diversion over uncollected rubbish in the hope that “Sturgin” will get all the blame here. Maybe the stark reality of Mitigation Hell in a land of plenty though is finally sinking in with most everyone, and the stench is blowing back in the BT connivers’ lying faces.

      • Stephen says:

        They still have the 7 million U Kippers and in a FPTP voting system that is probably going to be enough. Starmer is proving to be spectacularly bad in making the big calls.

  6. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, dire times ahead unless something serious is done to resolve the UK’s “version” of the energy crisis, civil disorder is inevitable otherwise…
    Despite having energy resources the envy of most of Europe, only in the UK are it’s citizens facing bankruptcy because of it, to the complete bafflement of europeans.

    Behind every crisis to hit the UK in recent times lies Tory dogma dictating government “policy”, even when they have been temporarily removed from office.
    Thatcher’s mantra of light touch regulation and market economics is as much to blame for the 2008 crash as it is for England being out of water but swimming in shit, just as it is over energy, it’s ever about engineered profits.

    I’m not convinced discontinuation of the “Rough” gas storage facility in the UK would have made a huge difference given UK energy policy, but it did provide another layer of excuse. The UK is I believe 80% self-sufficient, so why pay 100% on the basis of the 20% imports ?

    From the BBC’s “Russian Gas” public disinformation campaign to the “global market prices” scam to the “it’s up to consumers to economise”, I’m convinced this crisis has been deliberately engineered, a massive sting on UK energy consumers, and not for the first time….
    Even were EU interventions discontinued on energy bills in Europe, the UK would remain by far the highest charged consumers, something stinks and it ain’t gas.

    The sooner Scotland severs control by this London mafia and becomes independent the better.

  7. davetewart says:

    From the chancer’s own words.
    IF we are at WAR the 70+ majority means they can simply suspend the oil and gas production licenses and replace them with a cost plus reasonable profit pricing policy.
    Pricing a unit of electricity on the cost of the worst gas generation station’s costing if only there to make sure it doesn’t go bust.
    The chancer was well paid as an mp and he was paid by an energy company as a second job.

    This won’t happen as the not in government party don’t wish to see past the markets.
    Strange that we managed the markets in bank interest rates for years but don’t want to manage energy during this WAR on the population.

  8. Alex Clark says:

    The EU look like they are about to take some action to protect consumers and business from the worst of the energy price rises. The useless UK government will of course continue to dither and delay making a decision about what to do. I fear that when they actually do act it will be less than useless for huge numbers of people.

    Calls are mounting for an EU-wide cap on the price of gas and its decoupling from the price of electricity.

    EU states have been struggling with huge energy price hikes since key gas supplier Russia invaded Ukraine in February, triggering sanctions…

    Belgian Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten wrote on Twitter that gas prices in Europe needed to be frozen urgently, adding that the link between gas and electricity prices was artificial and needed to be reformed.

    “The next five to 10 winters will be terrible if we don’t do anything,” she said. “We must act at source, at European level, and work to freeze gas prices.”…

    “We have to stop this madness that is happening right now on energy markets,” Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer said. Electricity prices must go down, he said, calling on the EU to decouple electricity and gas prices. “We cannot let [Russian President Vladimir] Putin determine the European electricity price every day,” he added.

    The article is from the BBC and what it doesn’t tell you of course is that the UK has had the highest price rises in Europe.

    • grizebard says:

      That last sentence in particular is the real story, together with the dismal prospect of nothing more than totally inadequate UKGov footling over the issue. We had a glimpse of the truth the other day on C4, but nowhere else, only the usual UK media failure to do any kind of proper journalistic due diligence. All part of its ongoing insular Brexitamnesia, the wilful economic self-harm whose name can never be mentioned.

  9. Capella says:

    Take care of yourself Paul. We need your voice but we need you to be well above all else. The Tories are doing a great job of writing their own charge sheet and it won’t be long until we, the jury, get an opportunity to give our verdict.

  10. Capella says:

    One thing worse than unaffordable energy is no energy at all.

    The UK is facing prospect of power blackouts this winter, expert warns

    With the price cap now due to rise to £3549 from October, London Energy Consulting chief executive David Cox said the mechanism was “not protecting consumers in any way”.

    People will “only get through this winter with the aid of Government money”, he insisted – accusing politicians at Westminster of “glossing over” the problem.

    Speaking on The Sunday Show, Cox said: “We’re going to be short of gas in Europe for this winter. That will drive prices potentially even higher.

    “Not only that, we might be short of gas to the extent that we have blackouts, we don’t have enough gas to burn to make electricity, and that is a serious problem the Government are glossing over at the moment.”

    He said that the North Sea supplies about 40% of the UK’s gas, leaving the UK to import the remainder of its supply.

    However, Cox said shortages in Europe meant the UK would not be able to turn there and could instead have to import supplies from countries further afield, such as the US and Quatar.

    • davetewart says:

      I keep an eye on the grid out of interest.

      If the summer max demand is 35GW you would think that
      the winter max demand would be greater than 70GW.
      Unfortunately the installed capacity is Fifty Five GW.

      Cox conveniently forgets that the St Clair gas field provides 30% of the uk’s gas but is not piped ashore it is loaded onto tankers as
      it is unknown where it comes from!!!!, it’s an import.

      The DC cable links from Norway, Belgium, France and Netherlands will not make up the shortfall as they are already in use.
      The Hunterston DC link to Cheshire exports One GW every hour of every day the wind is present.
      You will not see it as a figure on the GERS figures, neither that or the overhead lines that cross the border into englandland from the west and the east.

      Coal is supposed to be burnt in an emergency, today it’s being burnt to provide about 5% of the demand.
      Winter is coming and the PM raffle still runs.

      • Alex Clark says:

        The cynic in me believes that there will be those who think high energy prices are a good thing because it will have the effect of forcing down consumption and reducing the chance of blackouts this winter. Just ask Nadim Zahawi.

      • Capella says:

        This is the sort of technical detail that baffles the uninitiated. Do you mean the St Clair gas is sold on the open market and UK has to bid for it along with everyone else? Because that’s what I understood happens with all North Sea oil and gas produced, as it is, by private companies i.e. it isn’t ours.
        So is it not included in the 40% produced by the North Sea (though not in the North Sea)? Which would mean 70% of gas is produced in UK waters?

        • davetewart says:

          That is my understanding.

          The 40% figure I think is landed from the gas pipelines from the rigs.
          The St Clair field, West of Shetland, is loaded onto gas Tankers and goes where the owner of the gas has contracted.
          I’m sure that over 60% of the gas used by gas turbines to generate come from gas sourced from our waters.
          I think there is only Peterhead power station involved in Scotland the maority are in englandland.

          Pretty much smoke and mirror confusion, I think he was correct on the 40% from the North Sea, which includes the english water rigs, he may not know of the secret St Clair fields, Cameron decided not to publish the details before the referendum, wonder why?

  11. Capella says:

    Oops! Alan Sugar first out of traps with a call for retribution, or even justice..

    Johnson and Gove ‘should both go to jail’, says Alan Sugar

    BORIS Johnson and Michael Gove should face jail for misleading the public over Brexit, according to the controversial business magnate Alan Sugar.

    Writing on Twitter this week, the former host of The Apprentice described both Johnson and Gove as “the biggest liars in 2016… with the red bus”, referring to the infamous Vote Leave campaign bus which bore the slogan “We send the EU £350 million a week – let’s fund our NHS instead.”

    Sugar added: “They should both go to Jail. As a chairman of a public company if I mislead or lied to my shareholders (in this case the public) I would be sent to jail.”

  12. Skintybroko says:

    Another great blog post, always look forward to your posts but would much rather you looked after yourself, now is the time to put yourself first and get as well as you can. Am sure we will all still be here checking in on your progress and wishing you a speedy recovery.

  13. James Mills says:

    The Tories have had a terrific few years in conning the Public :

    Brexit – the ”sunlit uplands” await with all the mythical benefits that Rees-Mogg can imagine ;
    Covid corruption has had an enormous impact on their bank balances , from PPE scams to Test and Trace ( no ‘trace’ of the money ) ;
    Water companies are coining it in and are like pigs-in-shit ( so are the swimmers on their beaches !).
    Now they and their main sponsors are profiteering from artificially high energy prices -and can do so for years as there is no end to the excuses they can use to shaft the Public ( Global demand , War in Ukraine , no gas storage facilities , Tory Leadership contest , …. )

    Perhaps they will solve the Energy Crisis by deporting all the poor to Rwanda – it is warmer there !

  14. She is going to be a far worse Prime Minister than even Boris Johnson. The only question is how much damage she will do before she in her turn is finally forced from office.

    Aye, there was such an inevitable predictability about this. The demise of the UK is being reflected in a demise in the standards of its political leaders. Both symptom and cause. Real last days of Rome stuff.

    If the UK government does not step in to help Scots families, the latter will be asking what the point of the UK exactly? Might as well just have a Scottish government…

    What is needed is a viable cap on prices for all, from domestic to business customers. The government must step in here as we are seeing in Europe, or the UK will face a social economic crisis of epic proportions that will result in its rapid break-up.

    I suspect the UK government will act, but as usual it will be too little too late.

    • I note it was the aftermath of the financial crisis that catapulted the SNP to majority in 2011. The slow economic recovery that followed countered the rise in Yes, ultimately contributing to it falling short.

      A similar pattern was seen with covid; when things seemed out of control, Yes went into comfortable majority. Only when people felt that the situation was becoming more controlled / certain, did the wave retreat, but it’s failed to drop below around 50% as that is the underlying demographic baseline.

      When the public feel things are out of control, they seek ways to get control, and Scottish indy is an obvious way of doing that.

      A winder of discontent can only have the effect of making Scots seek a way to take control, and that will be through independence, particularly as poor UK governance is a root cause of the crisis.

      That said, I really hope the UK government does intervene, even if that might benefit No. Our independence is inevitable anyway, and I’d not wish unnecessary horrific hardship on people in pursuit of it.

  15. Arthur+Thomson says:

    Your posts and your site are brilliant Paul. Take a break whenever you need one. We all understand and are with you all the way.

  16. Brexit summed up.

    UK’s biggest warship breaks down off England’s south coast after leaving for US

    THE Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has broken down off England’s south coast just after embarking for exercises in the US.

    The 65,000-tonne warship left from Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Saturday before an “emerging mechanical issue” occurred.

    • Eilidh says:

      That incident was mentioned on the BBC news channel but not near as much as everytime a Calmac ferry breaks down. Funny that !!

  17. Skintybroko says:

    To buy future gas and electricity today for 2023 2024 the energy distribution businesses are paying over 200x from 30pence to £6 per unit than they were paying a year ago. This isn’t going away anytime soon. Energy supply is vital to a healthy economy and to ensure security it should be nationalised. But the top 1% are making too much money from this to give a monkeys, I won’t be surprised if we see inner city riots come winter.

  18. Capella says:

    While reading the comments on that article on UK facing power blackouts, I came across this link to a website called ScotFacts. I haven’t read any articles yet but it could be good resource for anyone researching the Scottish economy.

    • Golfnut says:

      Hi Capella, thanks, I had a look, read the oil and gas section, sorry to say it just looks like a rehash of the same old, same old. I looked at Norway for 2015 which was a real downturn for the UK revenue. Norway £17.5 billion compared to our figure £220 million.

  19. The Tories freezing the over 65 vote to death this winter is certainly a novel approach to propping up support for the union.

    Contrary to popular belief, while the well off do prefer the Tories, the correlation is more with age than income, just as it is with Y/N. ABC1 (better off) Tory support is only a few % higher than C2DE (less well off) normally.

    So it’s not just wealthy pensioners in Melrose that historically are more pro-union / Tory, but those on state pension etc too who still identify with post-war Britishness that the young generation don’t.

  20. Capella says:

    In case you were wondering why we haven’t heard from Michael Gove lately:

    • Dr Jim says:

      If folk can’t afford to switch on their heating they’ll do the obvious thing and make fires in their houses and use anything that burns, watch for the problems that’s going to cause, the bin men won’t need to work because folk’ll be burning their refuse and out in parks sawing branches off trees

    • Aye, we have an open fire (coal and wood) and that’s not going to be a decoration this year. Going to be burning anything we can. Thankfully the farm manager of the lands around lets us help ourselves to windfall, so lots of free wood, albeit hard graft needed to prepare it!

      The nuts thing is our cottage is supposed to be heated by off peak renewable electricity, but since the that’s not decoupled from gas…

  21. Welsh_Siôn says:

    So long, Sarwar and thanks for all the fish:

    Scottish Labour leader says UK has ‘major flaws’ but that he wants to see ‘reform’

    29 Aug 2022 3 minute read

    The leader of Scottish Labour has said that the UK has “major flaws” but that he would like to see “reform” under a Labour UK government rather than independence.

    Anas Sarwar was responding to calls by Stephen Noon, the chief strategist of the Yes campaign in 2014, who had called for the SNP to compromise and call for a reformed UK with significant new powers for Scotland.

    The suggestion mirrors that of Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford who has called for the continuation of the UK as a “voluntary association of nations” with significantly more powers for the Welsh Parliament, including the devolution of justice and policing.

    Speaking to the BBC, Anas Sarwar said: “I also believe that the United Kingdom has major flaws and needs to change, and I want to see a strengthened Scotland with any modernising and reforming UK.”

    He added that Scotland should remain part of the Union but that he had “always been about building consensus” and would work with anyone across the political spectrum to achieve that.



    Onward Labour lemmings

    Onward Labour lemmings,
    Marching o’er the cliff,
    With the mark of Sarwar,
    Leading them skew-whiff.
    Anas, chief of numpties,
    Heads his band of woe;
    Forward into hist’ry:
    See those bampots go!


    Onward Labour lemmings,
    Marching o’er the cliff,
    With the mark of Sarwar,
    Leading them skew-whiff.

    [With acknowledgements]

    Songs for the New Politics

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Excellent post…
      Sarwar’s “always been about building consensus”🙄😁😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 och ma sides,

    • Tatu3 says:

      Love the song, very clever

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah but if you don’ want Sarwars CONsensus then your a steenkin separatist nationalist

    • Azel says:

      That call from Noon is deeply stupid though. On a value standpoint, why should the SNP be the ones setting out that particular stall: aren’t Labour and the LibDems supposed to be the ones all about reform of the UK? So why not ask Sarwar to follow Drakeford’s example and actually put some meat on what would this reform look like? On a strategic standpoint, there’s of course that moving one’s position prior to negociations is daft.

  22. Alex Clark says:

  23. uno mas says:

    Speaking of Scotland´s ability to generate clean and renewable energy here is an ad that Iberdrola, who own Scottish Power as you know, were running on the telly here a few years back to show how well they were doing in Escocia.

    Until I asume the considered it to be too politicaly sensitive!

  24. uno mas says:

    Oh look, you can´t view the video outside Spain!!

    Que sorpresa!!

  25. dakk says:

    When british nationalist career politicians plead that the cost of living crisis effects the “whole country”,they are just patronising the less well off.

    I had the misfortune to hear Christine Jardine’s wee british view from Scotland slot on Sky News this morning saying same.

    The truth is none of this will significantly effect her or any other MP or MSP for that matter.

  26. Alex Clark says:

    Herald headline on another Tom Gordon pile of keech.

    Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I can’t wait until I don’t give a f*** anymore’

    NICOLA Sturgeon has said she can’t wait until she doesn’t “give a f*** anymore” and is getting closer to that point every day.

    The First Minister, an MSP for 23 years and leader of the country for eight, fuelled speculation about her future earlier this month when she admitted she might not lead the SNP into the next Holyrood election.

    She said she would make a judgment about the job “nearer the time”.

    She made her latest Freudian quip at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, hosting an event with Dundonian actor Brian Cox…

    What was actually said.

    The actor said he was enjoying life at 76.

    He said: “It’s got better as I’ve got older, you know. I like being my age. I enjoy being my age [more] now than I’ve ever enjoyed before.

    “As I’ve got older, I just,, I don’t know, I feel more free. I just don’t give a f*** anymore, you know what I mean?”

    Ms Sturgeon said: “I can’t wait to reach that stage.”

    Mr Cox said: “Nicola, you will reach that stage.”

    She said: “I get a bit closer to it every single day that passes, believe me.”

    So Brian Cox says “I just don’t give a f*** anymore, you know what I mean?” and the headline says: Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I can’t wait until I don’t give a f*** anymore’

    F*** me they are getting more desperate by the minute.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Well, given the Heralds pitiful daily sales, our Tom will be handing out flyers for the Edinburgh Festival top gigs next year.

    • Golfnut says:

      Headline should read.
      Union hopes shattered, Nicola still gives a f###.

      It was revealed today that despite all the lies, misinformation and abuse thrown at Nicola ‘ she still gives a f### ‘. Union hacks and stooges were visibly shaken at the news.

    • The nonsense thing is, is that support for indy is nothing to do with Sturgeon, just as it was never to do with Salmond either. If she stepped down tomorrow, independence support would not change at all.

  27. Dr Jim says:

    What a clown, Headline news: First Minister has conversation with friend about getting older becomes a British nationalist journalists twisted fantasy

  28. Fionat says:

    We have reached a tipping point not of our choosing but one that has risen and we have to say enough is enough, we have had all of your scenarios but where does our future lie not with you but with us

  29. […] The moral and political failure of the Tories and the British state — Wee Ginger Dug […]

  30. James Mills says:

    The Herald ”doesn’t give a f*ck about accuracy ” – says Tom Gordon !

  31. yesindyref2 says:

    Basically speaking, in 2014 Scotland voted NO and got BoJo whereas if we’d voted YUSS we’d have avoided Truss.

  32. Alex Clark says:

    Read a tweet this morning from someone whose mother runs a bakery shop. Last year her electricity bill was £10K this year it will be £55K. They are looking at the options but with that kind of bill the business becomes unviable so they say the likelihood is that it will close.

    Tories are all for profit but by allowing energy producers to make vast profits they are actually just taking away all the profits from small energy intensive business and many will be left with no choice other than to close their doors for good.

    At the same time, they are raiding the purses and wallets of the people who buy things in the bakers, the takeaways and hospitality, making it a double whammy.
    This must be the most useless government since Marie Antoinette said to let them eat cake.

    • Golfnut says:

      Lots of businesses and properties will be coming on the market soon, venture capitalists and asset strippers dream time. Mogg’s faither penned a book on it.

    • Through inaction / incompetence, the Brenglish government looks about to utterly ruin the UK economy. The market has failed. Without affordable energy, the economy will simply cease to function. The government must step in an put a cap on prices for all, funding support packages as it did with furlough during covid.

      I can see mass protests in Scotland and rioting in England this winter as people get utterly desperate.

      To have any remote hope of saving the union, the UK government need to get their finger out. Expect too little too late though.

    • davetewart says:

      Reminds me that we may see the story of the German Inflation of 1929 where ,it is said, two women with a basket of money, are trying to work out what they could afford, somebody stole the basket and left the money behind.
      Don’t know if true.
      The one story that was confirmed was that the new exchange rates were announced at 11am, a man in a cafe couldn’t pay his bill as he waited until just after 11am and didn’t have enough.
      They were printing Billion Mark notes.

      The chancer is off to the USA to get a deal to sort out energy prices when they could sort it out at home, just sort out the madness that charges for all electricity generation at the price the highest cost generation company needs to stop it going bust, even when 50% is from renewables.
      Not today though, there is little wind generation so we are burning coal and cat litter imported from Poland and the USA/Canada.
      Two nuclear stations off line for maintenance and two on reduced output for faults

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Everything from the local chippy and bars and restaurants to Iceland Stores are under threat from this Tory made UK energy fiasco…

      A couple of weeks ago I read an article on a 50 year old England based multi-million pound business who relied intensely on cold storage, despite all their tribulations over Brexit they survived – What they could not get around was Tory energy policy, then prospective power bills threatened bankruptcy – Hence with a handful of staff they closed down and moved lock stock and barrel to Holland, making some 1,500 personnel redundant.

      Instead of the United Queendom’s sunny uplands, we have a fire sale, and scavengers aplenty….
      Who knew ? The Tories did.

  33. Some good news.
    Crime figures at lowest recorded levels since 1974, new statistics show
    CRIME is at the lowest level recorded in Scotland by police for a 12-month period since 1974, according to statistics published on Tuesday.

    The latest figures show there was a 5% fall in police-recorded crime for the year ending June 2022 compared to the same period last year.

    Plots don’t show the latest data, but you really need to ask why the difference? Maybe an in-depth comparative analysis by the BBC could shed some light? You know, like when the topic of drug deaths comes up?
    Overall UK crime rate
    In 2019/20, the crime rate for the United Kingdom was 96.4 crimes per one thousand people, with England & Wales having a much higher crime rate of 102.8 crimes per thousand people than Scotland’s 45.1 crimes per thousand people. The number of overall crimes in the United Kingdom has been steadily climbing from a low of 4.4 million recorded in 2013/14, reaching 6.43 million in 2019/20.

    That is an incredibly stark difference. But then right-wing capitalism breeds inequality and inequality breeds crime…

  34. Capella says:

    An interesting itinerary for the UK Chancellor in the US. Serving all the right people, as ever.
    Nadhim Zahawi slammed as he jets off to New York to meet top bankers this week

    CHANCELLOR Nadhim Zahawi has come under fire for travelling to the United States this week for meetings with top bankers and politicians as the cost-of-living crisis in the UK worsens.

    According to the Treasury, Zahawi will be in America to seek joint solutions to the cost-of-living crisis with bankers and US government officials – with the aim of reaching co-operation on the financial services sector and energy security.

    His trip to New York and Washington DC comes in what could be his final days at the helm of the department, as whoever emerges as Boris Johnson’s successor on September 5 is likely to install a new chancellor.

    Labour have condemned the taxpayer-funded trip at a time when the UK Government should be “listening to people here at home”.

    • Legerwood says:

      The pound is now at $1.16 so should be an interesting series of talks.

      It was at $1.16 yesterday morning then went up to $1.17 before falling back down today. Considering how much of what the UK buys is priced in dollars this is likely to affect prices.

      • Capella says:

        He may not be the Chancellor after next week! Kwasi Kwarteng is Liz Truss’ favourite I hear. Perhaps he had some job interviews to attend.

  35. Capella says:

    That famous (thanks Tom Gordon) interview in Edinburgh.
    Brian Cox tells Nicola Sturgeon Scotland has never been as ripe for independence

    SCOTLAND has never been as ripe for independence as it is now, Brian Cox has told Nicola Sturgeon.

    Speaking to the First Minister in front of a packed crowd at Central Hall in Edinburgh, the HBO Succession star said Scotland lacked the confidence to go it alone.

    The event, part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, saw Sturgeon interview Cox on politics, his life and his book Putting the Rabbit in the Hat.

    During the talk, the Dundee actor revealed that he is planning on making a movie set in Scotland and announced his plans to return to his home country permanently.


    Scotland in the UK set for slow GDP growth and population decline, new figures show

    SCOTLAND is set for slow GDP growth and population decline over the next 50 years under the current constitutional set-up, according to new figures.

    The independent Scottish Fiscal Commission (SFC) found that Scotland would see growth of 0.9% per year between 2028-29 and 2071-72, compared to overall UK growth of 1.4% during the same period.

    The population is also expected to drop by as much as 900,000 people, a whopping 16% decline on the current figure.

    16% decline. Jesus wept. To put things in perspective, thatcher’s destruction of the Scottish economy the mass exodus that caused only caused a 3% population decline.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Complete bullshit in attempting to forecast anything at all 50 years ahead, it’s laughable, the BoE can’t even forecast inflation 3 months ahead.

    • Alex Clark says:

      This is Douglas Fraser of BBC Scotland’s take on this report.

      Today’s report from the Scottish Fiscal Commission is the prelude to a study, due next March, of what this could mean for the taxation base (shrinking) and public spending (rising).

      The Commission has already warned about more shorter term pressures arising from Scottish government promises on welfare benefits that will be hard to sustain, while Audit Scotland points to health and social care pressures that are already unsustainable.

      You can safely predict that the report next March will not be comfortable reading for policy-makers, and particularly those who wish to retain the current range of public services that are free to use.

      The outfit producing this report is publicly funded by the Scottish government to the tune of £2 million a year and in my view, the Scottish government should save their money and get rid of the lot of them.

      How anyone can take seriously a forecast of what a country’s economy and population might look like in 50 years time is just a complete joke. I don’t know where the idea for this outfit arose from but what they are producing in today’s report at least isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

      • JoMax says:

        And why do any ‘predictions’ about Scotland have always to be so negative? Time for positivity and uplift. I suppose they have to justify their salaries by coming up with something and it will have to fit the unionist narrative which is, inevitably, Scotland is a basket case, now and forever. How many other countries around the world are plagued by this sort of endless bunkum, much of which, even worse, comes from its own people?

        • JoMax says:

          And, I should have added, is jumped upon by the media who positively salivate over anything smacking of Scottish ‘failure’, whether or not that was how the outcomes of any of these studies were intended to be interpreted.

        • Actually, this is about a UK failure. It is about Scotland as part of the UK facing a bleak future due to being part of the UK.

          Of course the BBC doesn’t point that out…

          • Alex Clark says:

            It’s still complete and utter hogwash, being part of the UK is just one of a huge number of variables that you would need to take into account just to have a good stab at what Scotland might look like in a year’s time never mind in 50 years’ time.

            What are the assumptions about climate change and how they might affect growth and the economy?

            How long will Ukraine remain at war with Russia and what does that mean for energy prices?

            Is the discovery of Nuclear Fusion just around the corner and free energy for all?

            None of even just these 3 things can be predicted and there are hundreds more that cannot possibly be taken into account in their model so at the end of the day the report is effectively worthless.

            What is even the point of pretending that such a report looking 50 years into the future has any worth at all as a forecasting tool? It is foolish in the extreme and the authors know that. It’s simply drivel, but it pays the author’s wages and gets media attention which is then used as a stick to beat the Scottish government with.

            I’m not happy that they are being funded by £2 million of Scots taxpayer’s money and can think of a lot better ways in which that money might be spent.

            • grizebard says:

              Anything that provides the usual media knockers with fodder for their specious claims is not public money well spent, I would also have thought.

              If it could be directed at heightening public disquiet at London’s mismanagement of our economy – sacrificed as it often is for England’s competing interest – that would be a worthwhile gain. But too often, the SG’s honesty in trying to make the best of the situation we find ourselves in – not least via third parties whose own assumptions and allegiances may themselves be a factor – isn’t rewarded by due public recognition. On the contrary, it is typically used against the SG and thus against the prospects for independence by a virtual media monopoly which is ever ready to find fault, however nit-pickingly trivial.

              In the current toxic environment, everything has become political, and it’s difficult to steer a course between openness on the one hand and promoting the case for independence on the other. Too much of the latter is predictably accompanied by rancorous accusations by the usual suspects of “news management” and “state propaganda”.

              It’s hard to stay savvy while simultaneously running a county without possessing any of the real levers of power. No wonder Nicola (or anyone else) would be heartily glad one day to get off that evil roundabout. But the truth is that only real way to make the damned thing stop is to demolish it once and for all.

            • Oh I agree, but as I said, we can be absolutely sure of economic and population decline as part of a brexited UK. It’s already well underway.

    • On growth figures, absolutely, pinch of salt, but a future of low growth and population decline as part of the UK is entirely expected and supported by current evidence in terms of what’s happening.

      Jeez, as part of the UK, Scotland had a lower population in 2000 than it had in 1940. Our history is one of mass economic migration due to rape of our resources by England, from oil to skilled workers.

      Having partial independence (devolution) as part of the EU for the first time reversed this trend, seeing our population start growing for the first time since the 1960’s. Devolution being rolled back combined with Brexit is already causing our population growth rate to slow sharply. After 10 years of a rising growth rate, the rate stalled with the Tory led coalition, and has been falling since brexit.

      Our 5-year average population growth rate in 2021 was 15k/r; that’s less half of what it was at peak in 2012 at 34k/r. We will soon see the effect of the end of free movement. UK Tory governments mean economic and population decline in Scotland.

      • grizebard says:

        The depopulation of Scotland has been happening for centuries, and as a consequence we have been chronically deprived of many of our brightest and best, to the great advantage of many other places in the world. (Something they have always been happy to recognise, even if such widespread positivity hasn’t apparently made much impression on the homebodies.)

        While depopulation after The Clearances has been more a case of “collateral damage” consequent upon London’s mismanagement of our vital interests than of continuing deliberate policy, it does reinforce the impression that we, the population of Scotland, are more of an inconvenience to our so-called “masters” exploitation of our wealth of resources than any kind of asset to be maximised.

        Your point about EU membership having for the first time halted this apparently inexorable decline is well made.

        • Golfnut says:

          We need to embrace this report for what it is, a damning indictment of the union. A glimpse into the a future of a Scotland tied to the union. It’s a report that the bbc can’t dismiss because they have already tried to use it, perhaps they haven’t grasped it’s significance in their haste to broadcast yet another negative for Scotland, but they’re wrong, very wrong.

  37. dakk says:

    I assume the Scottish Fiscal Commission will also be researching Scotland’s prospects for growth as an independent nation as a member of eea/efta/eu.

    The likely stark contrast would be of some import during an indyref2.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Thanks for posting those 2 links Sion.
      Its no surprise to me..well most of us I suppose…that sooner or later The Establishment were going to tire of saying ” now is not the time”and look to embed ‘in statute’ something to rid themselves of the separatist (their term) threat.
      Daisleys article is welcome in my view as it validates my thoughts on what Truss (and lets face it..its gonnae be her) would do to counteract the threat to the union.
      Guess we wont have long to find out eh folks?

  38. Some British independence* supporters jailed for abusing a journalist.

    Protesters who ‘intimidated’ BBC journalist sentenced

    *Unless that is, they support the UK closing its parliament in favour of handing primary control to another country.

    • Capella says:

      These were anti-lockdown protestors so not sure what you mean.
      Also, the article doesn’t specify which law they have broken unless “intimidating a BBC reporter” has become an offence under the public order act. James Cook will be delighted.

    • “These were anti-lockdown protestors so not sure what you mean.”

      I know, and my point was too subtle. Also somehow posted again while not quite finished!

      Anyway, unless those concerned support the UK ceasing to be a sovereign state, which I very much doubt, they are unquestionably ‘British independence supporters’.

      ‘Scottish independence supporters’ are just Scottish people like the French are ‘French independence supporters’. Our political views are normal and not remotely radical. It is people who support Scotland being ruled by England that are unusual in their political views compared to the citizens of other countries. If any group is to deserve highlighting by special language treatment it’s them.

      Also, I am a unionist; I support Scotland being in the EU. So why am I described as a ‘Scottish independence supporter and nationalist / anti-union’ when the BBC etc don’t use these terms for people from other countries who hold identical political views as me with respect to their country? Why the British union considered higher ranking than the European one? That can only be based on some sort of sense of British (racial) superiority. It is me and me alone that decides which union is more important to me and therefore how I should be referred to in that context.

      This is the difference between civil nationalism and racial/ethnic nationalism. In the first, the individual decides what they are nationally / ethnically and in terms of unionism. In the latter case, they have labels they may disagree with forced upon them. The British do the latter.

      Another example is Sinn Fein and the SDLP. These should be described as ‘anti-partition / pro-reunification / pro-unity / anti-sectarian’ for that’s what they are. Conversely, the DUP etc should be ‘pro-partition / pro-Belfast wall / pro-sectarian (the partitioning was specifically intended to create / reinforce two ‘sects’ on the Island of Ireland; Irish and British). Why are we encouraged to celebrate the fall of the Berlin wall and the terrible division that caused, yet the UK celebrates the centenary of NI partitioning in in the same way the East German government used to rejoice in it’s own founding?

      It is because the UK is institutionally discriminatory against Scottish / Welsh / Irish people. We are relentlessly othered in pejorative ways like no other peoples are, even if subtly so. It’s why when a Scottish protester is unruly, their Scottishness is deliberately mentioned, but when a British one is charged, it’s not, even though their political positions may be identical.

      Scottish people are so used to this they almost don’t see it anymore, but it is propaganda 101.

  39. Eilidh says:

    The arrogance of these two Unionist morons quoted in these articles astounds me although it shouldn’t. I should be used to it by now nothing but fascists the pair of them.
    Meanwhile BBC Lying Scotland tells us that Shetlands population will have to pay double the Uk average for energy over the next year as no mains gas,colder weather and often poorly insulated housing then belatedly mentions same applies to areas on the West Coast/Hebrides and basically anywhere with no mains gas and in rural areas so why the major focus on Shetland? BBC Shortbread editorial staff would have done well writing propaganda for the Nazis. My brother lives 6 miles outside boundary of Glasgow in an estate with no mains gas so will have similar problems to Shetlanders

    • davetewart says:

      There’s a Londom Allowance.
      Why is there not a Scotland Allowance, our temperature is always lower here in the winter.
      Instead they charge us extra to get electricity.
      I feel for those people who have installed electric central heating and no other way of heating.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Drew Hendry MP for the SNP tried to introduce a private members bil this year in Westminster that would have leveled the playing field for those who because they have no access to gas must use electricity to heat their homes and water.

        The bill had its 1st reading in April this year but went no further as it ran out of time to be completed in the last parliamentary session.

        It could be resurrected next session but surely the government themselves will do something to sort out this ridiculous situation where the price of electricity is dictated by the price of gas even if consumers might not be able to access gas and resulting in their costs being more than twice as high per kWh for energy.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I should add that since I’m in that boat my solution would be to limit the price of Economy 7 electricity that is generally used between the hours of midnight and 07:00 for storage heaters and hot water tanks to the same as that charged for gas per kWh.

  40. dakk says:

    Another increase in UK inflation forecast by Goldman Sachs today.

    22% is the latest figure.

    Heard fake decent guy Andy Burnham telling Sky News it was all the Tories fault for privatising everything.

    Liebah were in power for 14 years not that long ago and didn’t bat an eyelid.I also recall Libdem Vince Cable selling off Royal Mail on the cheap too.

    • grizebard says:

      Aye, let’s not forget El Gordo Brood’s betrayal of the mutual sector and large-scale PFI privatisation-on-the-cheap (not): “socialism for private banking and industry, capitalism for the masses”.

      • dakk says:

        Indeed the SNP gov funded and owned QE uni hospital in Glasgow showed how public minded competent governance works.
        That’s why the british parties and their treacherous media arms have been running smear campaigns since before it was even built.

  41. Legerwood says:

    Seen a few comments on here about the 50 year ‘forecast’. Stewartb has done his usual detailed deconstruction of the BBC’s report on the report on the Talking up Scotland web site.. As usual what the BBC has chosen to report and their analysis of the ‘forecast’ is not quite an accurate reflection of the actuality.

    You will find Stewartb’s post in the btl comments on this, unrelated, post

    • Alex Clark says:

      Good post by Stewartb as always,

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Saw the article on this (BBC or possibly STV….they’re interchangeable) and the chap from the Fiscal Institute of Scotland was nonother than Graeme Roy ex- Allander Institute.
      Is this a career merry-go-round for these folk……Miss Spowat…your career progression awaits!

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Stewartb’s post is fine, but so in fact is the SFC report itself, and even Gordon’s article about it in the Herald. I had a quick look this morning (oops, yesterday), saw the projections (and yes, I thoroughly approve of the word projection rather than forecast [1]), including the demographics which were known about back in 2014, but saw this:

      The SNP said the predictions showed “the staggering cost of continued Westminster control” and underlined the need for independence.

      nodded my head and got on with the day. The Scottish Fiscal Commission was set up in 2014 but I wish it had existed 2 years earlier, as it would have been the goto authority rather than the UK’s UK-centric IFS, and others. Graeme Roy is basically a statistician and statisticians present the stats as honestly they can. It’s others like journalists or “executive summaries” or “analysts” that distort them, so you get in descending order of honesty:

      1. Base data
      2. Tabulation and statistical correction of that data
      3. Analysis
      4. Executive summary
      5, Press release
      6. Press reports by journalists
      7. Use of those press reports by politicians.

      [1] In 1976 using the results in General elections for the SNP, I “projected” 30 seats for the SNP in 1979 according to the voting progression. But the Devo Ref happened in 1979 along with Labour’s 40% rule and Thatcher’s promises, and the SNP fell apart and actually got 2 seats. Things do indeed happen to change projections, and part, perhaps most of the point of them for some purposes, is to encourage changes to change those projections if they’re gloomy.

      As the SNP say – Independence is the only way (or at least the best way) to change those bad projections.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Whether it is called a projection or a forecast in my opinion it is still useless as a tool for predicting the “likely” state of something in 50 years time.

        The reason is that the assumptions that are made on the many variables affecting a rate of change of the something you are trying to estimate are themselves liable to change over relatively short timescales.

        Here’s an example of what I mean, the ONS make their own projections on population growth as an example and they update those projections every two years as can be seen in this table.

        You can see that the projected population of the UK in 2045 that was made in 2020 was 1.8 million less than that projected in 2018. That’s a very big change in just 2 years, You can also see that in 2018 the ONS projected that the UK population would pass 70 million in mid-2031 but by 2020 this is now not expected to happen before mid-2037.

        These are the latest tables and they will be another projection published in 2022, I’m asking what’s the point of projecting what something will look like in 50 years time if your assumptions are out of date very shortly after you have made them.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I look at it more along the lines of “you have your wanring, now do something about it”. Kind of like a doctor (if you can ever get to see one), saying “you smoke 60 a day and drink a bottle of whisky a day, your life expectancy is 5 years”. Solution – prepare for your funeral? In this case:

        Overall Scotland’s population is projected to fall by nearly 900,000, a drop of 16 per cent, between 2022 and 2072. [compared to UK 1.3m and 2%]

        Comment – being part of the UK is not good for Scotland in comparison, and we need to do more to encourage net immigration – and increase the birth rate. Solution – Independence.

        In addition, Scotland’s population aged between 16 and 64 accounts for 64 per cent per cent of the population in 2022 but is expected to account for only 56 per cent in 2072.

        Same as the general drop in population, but even more so.

        These figures were known about in general back in 2012, with a crossroads date of 2030 for when compared to the UK, our shorter life expectancy stopped compensating for our increasingly ageing population being supported in terms of pensions by a decreasing percentage of younger people. Same solution back then – Independence, control of immigration, control of the macro-economy (and currency but that’s a different story!).

    • jfngw says:

      I think you will find the Westminster controllers are quite happy with the population decline in Scotland, it’s the Lebensraum they want, not the people. Just a few loyal managers, someone like modern major general Jack is the type of ‘Scot’ they see as a true supplicant.

  42. Alex Clark says:

    We’re fucked now.

  43. Tam the Bam says:

    Mikhail Gorbachev has passed away.
    I thought he was a peacemaker and a good guy.

  44. Bob Lamont says:

    OT slightly but a thoroughly recommended read…
    Little wonder HMG are so reluctant to address the failings in the energy market when they are the greatest beneficiaries….

  45. andyfromdunning says:

    Do a search on ‘global Britain’ and you will find lots of stuff indicating that the U.K. is great again. All stupid and inaccurate.
    Going through border control in Edinburgh on Monday you can see this with a sign stating ‘Welcome to GREAT Britain’. The word great being huge text in a different colour.
    If it was not for Westminster over decades we could be a better place. All image, ‘fur coats and no knickers’, a phrase from the past.

    • jfngw says:

      This along with the union flag being embellished on everything was the early signs that the intention to deal with Scotland was to erase it from the map. Now they are more open about it, even closing Holyrood is not enough, after all we are not countries according to them now.

      The only country they intend to still exist is England, just as it always was. Watch any oldish films, it was always England never Britain. The Britishness was invented, it’s actually Englishness with a different coat on, as they thought this would be enough to placate the Scottish fools. It has worked for many who thinks they are valued Brits when they are still considered inferiors in the corridors of power (that’s more than just Westminster).

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        The Britishness was invented, it’s actually Englishness with a different coat on, as they thought this would be enough to placate the Scottish fools.


        You could say it started even earlier. John Dee (of Welsh ancestry) suggested the term to Elizabeth I, a generation after the ‘Acts of Union’ between Wales and England promulgated by her father, Henry VIII, in 1535 and 1542.

        Not only would this be a bigger entity than ‘England’ (which had already annexed Wales under this previous legislation), it could also be seen a way of placating the Taffies in invoking the older (Welsh) term of ‘Britain’ for their ‘new’ part of the island – and beyond, when the foundations of Empire were being built.

        Hence, the Taffies were already conscripted into the imperial ethos, and the use of their own term for the enterprise (*Prydyn > Prydain > Britain) would ensure its success and that they would (as promised in prophecy since at least the Middle Ages) be the owners of the island once more. Indeed, until late in the 18th century – despite having no legal status at all – the Welsh language was known amongst the chatterati of the time as, ‘the British language’.

        So successful was this propaganda (or perhaps I should I say ‘is’ and not ‘was’) that a lot of my countryfolk to this day hold on to this concept of ‘Britain’ – despite being repeatedly pushed into the dirt and treated as second-class citizens (sorry, ‘subjects’), without representation on the ‘British’ flag or Royal Standards or as supporters of the Royal Arms unable to break out of their own Cardiff/Stockholm Syndrome with their fetishing of all things ‘British’ (aka ‘English’).

  46. Dr Jim says:

    I’ve been having a look round and can’t seem to find any reference as to why or when or if the Scots ever renamed ourselves Scot-tish, everything I research only ever mentions the Scots and Scotland, was this another Briton to British moment that we didn’t know about until we were instructed?

    Is there a history buff amongst us who can educate me?

    • Not quite sure what you mean, but British as an identity is very going. It really only dates back to the post-war social democratic consensus period, peaking in those born in 1945.

      People born before and after that are increasingly less British in identity the further back / forward you go respectively.

      Scottish identity over the same period has remained firm, but shoots up sharply in the children of devolution, who are overwhelmingly Scottish and not British.

    • Here you go. Free choice national identity (2011 census) by year of majority (year someone turned 18).

      Those born in 1944 (turned 18 in 1962) are the most British in Scotland. The young the least. Britishness declines in those born before 1944.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Basically speaking there were the Visigoths who, according to some reports, were the overlords in what would today be known as Germany. Well, you know how it is with overlords, those being lorded over get a bit fed up with it “Ich hab die Nase gestrichen voll” as they said, so they kicked out the Visigoths who went wandering around for a time, enjoying the scenery in their campervans.

      They got a bit fed up of that after a time, fancied some pizzas and spaghetti so went off and sacked Rome, to the dismay of the Romans who held a grudge against them for some reason.

      That got a bit boring and fancying a bit of paella they sailed off to Spain discovering that yes, they could sail and navigate at the same time, and settled there for a time before deciding to go off for pate and sailing off to Normandy. As you can imagine, by the way, much wine was drunk at all times!

      Then they fancied a pastie or three so went off to Cornwall, got a hankering for a bit of Welsh Rarebit, then needed to work it off with a motorbike ride on the Isle of Man, heard about Guinness and tripe and trosheen so sailed off to Ireland, then sailed over the water eastwards and settled on the west coast and islands of this land, where the Romans who still held that grudge, called them the “Scotti” as a term of abuse for some odd reason.

      Hence the origins of Scotland and indeed, Scots.

      • Robin McHugh says:

        Check out Scots, IR2, she was a daughter of one of the Egyptian pharaohs, who is thought to have settled in Ireland after escaping from Egypt. She and her retinue are also believed to have spent time in the Spain/Portugal peninsula prior to getting to Ireland. Not a similar tale to your Visigoth one but is Scota herself the original Scot perhaps?

        • Robin McHugh says:

          That should read “Scota” in the first line, sorry.
          Damned spulchucker at work again!

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Yes, perhaps, lost in the myths or mists of time.

          Another story is that the word “Scot” means “Border Raider”, though I guess that would mean the English should also be called Scots as the raids were from both directions!

          I suspect border raids were the ancient equivalent of “borrowing” a bowl of sugar from a neighbour, but a bit more violent.

    • Bob Lamont says:


    • Drew Anderson says:

      Probably Malcolm III Canmore and his wife Margaret of Wessex (St Margaret) changing the language of court from Gaelic to Scottis; although it was probably called Inglis at the time. So, some time after 1058 is the when.

      As to the why???

  47. yesindyref2 says:

    So a positive initiative by a couple of young LibDem members is treated by the usual thoughtless suspect as “hypocrisy”, instead of looking at the support for Independence amongst LibDem voters, and possibly amongst other members, and hoping the new group can help to sway other LibDems towards Independence.

    It’s a form of “othering”, and I’m heart sick of it – and those naive gullible ignoramuses that are taken in by it in its many forms.

    It’s worse than “splits”, it makes the YES movement appear repugnant to ordinary voters to whom Independence or Union is 5th, 6th or even lower priority.

    I’m going to give up elsewhere, the ethnic nationalists seem to be taking over, by a mixture of stealth, plausibility, patience and preying on the ignorance of the gullible.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      and those naive gullible ignoramuses that are taken in by it in its many forms.

      I meant to put that in italics and quotes as an example of irony – and othering. Oh well.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      OK, I may have got it wrong thank God.

      Maybe I should take a break, I’m getting too emotional 🙂

  48. Dr Jim says:

    Well you could look at it this way, what are the basic fundamental differences between the people who identify as Liberal Democrats and those who identify as social democrats ?(the SNP) There’s really not supposed to be much of a difference there at all really, except for the independence for Scotland question, so why then would any young democrat who might support independence want to join and donate their money to a party such as the Liberal Democrats who are totally against that proposition just to be a rebel faction within a party that doesn’t support their views?

    They might as well join the SNP in the first place if they’re interested in joining a political party at all, and their money will go towards what they support, they can even canvass and everything, simples!

  49. Tam the Bam says:

    For what its worth:-
    ” Wholesale gas prices tumble as Europe prepares to intervene in energy markets.”

    ——- Breaking News strapline on my browser page.

  50. Golfnut says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of gas storage facility reopening off Yorkshire coast, same with the EU. Did anybody else hear about this, apparently they’re already at 80%.
    Hope the link works.

    • Decoupling the price of electricity from that of gas is really a must, not just in the short term, but for long term net-zero goals.

      Switching from gas / oil to green electricity depends on the price of these reflecting them being cheaper, which is what is happening now.

      Instead, we have homes powered by wind / hydro paying for extortionate gas prices. That’s just nonsensical, and even contrary to the principles of ‘free market’ choice. It’s a particular problem for rural homes like mine which have no connection to the gas grid. I have off peak electric in a super insulated (when renovated) home. This should be encouraged as a very green approach, not cost so much people are tempted to get a propane / oil boiler!

      If the EU goes ahead and decouples, the UK will be under pressure too as well.

      • Alex Clark says:

        “If the EU goes ahead and decouples, the UK will be under pressure too as well.”

        Yes, it appears to be looking that way according to some.

        Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the Commission, revealed on Monday that an attempt was being made to separate power prices from purely gas – so that the cheaper cost of renewables is reflected in the electricity market.

        This decision is applying pressure on the next Prime Minister to do the same, as the price cap is set to hit £3,549 in October.

        Separating the price of gas from electricity is being considered by Ofgem, as a means to protect the market.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      The “Rough” storage facility was decommissioned with the blessings of HMG, who stood to make a packet from it, and to my understanding have done so handsomely whilst pleading poverty, both financially and intellectually by dropping their ‘markets’ dogma.

      My suspicions are the EU looking to decouple gas powered electricity generation from the mix of energy providers has thrown a spanner in the Tory works to screw everyone over – the “Rough” facility is HMG’s Achilles heel for explanation to UK Consumers why they are at the mercy of “Russian Gas”, which propaganda nonsense they promoted via a willing BBC from the start of this farce…

  51. Tam the Bam says:

    Watched the 6 o’clock BBC News …. not a cheep about this story.

  52. Eilidh says:

    Oh great now BBC Scotland Misreporting Scotland now banging on about alcoholic related deaths. Whilst I understand the desperate sadness of parents who lose a child through alcohol or drug misuse there is no way rehab will be ever be available for anyone who needs it straight away or immediately at a time of their choosing. They are also banging on about the Tories Right To Recovery Bill. Priceless when they are the biggest threat to the mental health and physical health of the entire population of Scotland and so is BBC Shortbread. You can only listen to blatantly biased reporting so many times

    • Dr Jim says:

      It’s an impossibility to accurately predict someone’s mortality due to a self inflicted desire to do something that will harm them, then create a system of rehabilitation to mitigate that problem by immediate access to it, it’s like fortune telling with a psychically foretold time and date, alcoholism isn’t like fitting a heart pacemaker or a monitor sending signals to a central NHS computer control station

      The Tories right to recovery bill is a pretence, a populist stunt to make themselves look like they care, most of what they demand is a kind of psychic pre mitigation for the consumption and regurgitation of the media

  53. davetewart says:

    Another wee problem coming.
    The fertiliser factory the produces CO2 as well is stopping production.
    The gas is used to preserve packaged foods.
    Of the 9 nuclear reactors in service,
    8 require CO2 as their coolant,
    only one is a pressurised water reactor.
    That could mean 5 GW of nuclear power station output being switched off.
    Good job the pubs are closing down as there will be no gas for the beer.

    Let them eat cake then.

    • Alex Clark says:

      If a supply of CO2 gas is that critical but rising energy costs make its manufacture unfeasible for a private company then that’s another essential industry that should be nationalised.

      Otherwise, in order to keep it running since it is critical. then it looks as if the government are once again going to have to step in and bail out the plant’s American owners with taxpayers’ cash as has already happened with the same plant.

  54. Dr Jim says:

    I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to learn that “nuclear submarines are not weapons of war” says Boris Johnson, in fact he goes on “they’re peacemakers”

    Aye ! OK then

    • JoMax says:

      I heard the Americans filled their warheads with Hershey Bars to drop on kiddies specifically Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or North Korean children for some reason. Gobstoppers (courtesy of Boris) or jelly tots heading your way from ‘Great’ Britain, kids, if Liz decides to press our buttons.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      “nuclear submarines are not weapons of war”

      Johnson didn’t actually say that, and nor did the National though it worded it badly. As the National article says in its 3rd paragraph:

      Johnson and other ministers attended a commissioning ceremony for the new Astute-Class nuclear-powered attack submarine, in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

      That’s nuclear powered, not a nuclear submarine.

      Asdtute has conventional weapons, and is totally unable to fire a ballistic missile – the tubes are far too short, and in fact a Trident at 14 metres long would be sticking out of the top and bottom of an Astute which has a draught of 10 metres, which would make it a bit hard to float, let alone submerge.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Your defence of UK nuclear defence weapons of mass destruction and Boris’s words are unusual for a Scottish independence blog

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Your defence of UK nuclear defence weapons of mass destruction and Boris’s words are unusual for a Scottish independence blog

          I didn’t do that at all. You have misinterpreted or deliberately misrepresented my comment – same as you did the National article.

          Astute can NOT fire Trident missiles – weapons of mass destruction. It fires conventional missiles and torpedos. And I didn’t defend Boris’s words, you misquoted them.

          Trident is fired by Vanguard submarines . A totally different submarine, though both are nuclear POWERED.

      • Pogmothon says:

        Hello Yesindyref2,
        Did you miss the bit where it said…”attack submarine”, they’re not out there to feed the fishes.

      • BJ: “That’s why I’m so pleased, by the way, but under the Aukus agreements with Australia and with the United States, the technology we hope in the submarine will be used to help keep people safe across the whole of the Pacific region as well.

        “Now, some people will continue to insist that this is a weapon of war. I tell you that she is a guarantor of peace. And, in this uncertain world, we need that guarantee more than ever.

  55. yesindyref2 says:

    I give up.

    If the Indy movement wants to call an SSN an SSBN and look stupid, why should I care?

    If people want to call Torness a weapon of mass destruction because it has nuclear reactors, same as the Astute has, why should I care?

    Facts and Truth are going to hell in a handbasket. Which is also apparently a WMD. Back, back I say, get back to yuor bunkers, there’s a handbasket on the loose !!!!

    I’m done. It’s not worth the constant aggro.

    Goodbye and thanks for all the fish. Which, of course are also WMD as they contain neutrons. Oh dear.

    • I think an Astute Class nuclear (powered) attack sub does count as a ‘weapon of war’. In fact it’s arguably more a weapon of war than a nuclear armed sub as it’s much more likely to actually engage in conflict; nukes being MAD weapons of last resort.

      UK attack submarines have waged war against countries not presenting any danger to the UK quite a few times. Very much an offensive weapon rather than a ‘peace making’ one.

    • Legerwood says:

      Given the events in Ukraine around its nuclear power stations and the threats the Russians have made regarding them it is now clear that under certain., specific circumstances, a nuclear power power station might be considered as a weapon of war. Hopefully the events in Ukraine around this issue have helped to concentrate people’s minds on this issue.

  56. Hamish100 says:


    I think you are probably ex navy or military at least based on your comments over the years and your detailed knowledge.

    Nuclear submarines have both nuclear and non nuclear weapons systems. The term weapon is crucial. It is designed to kill the enemy ( military and civilian).
    I accept we have nuclear powered subs which do not hold nuclear weapons.

    Personally I don’t like the idea of an nuclear submarine but I understand why it is the means of propulsion. An accident could still be horrendous in the Clyde or anywhere else for that matter.

    Even an independent Scotland will have weapons system.

    We will not have nuclear weapons which I understand are “banned” by the United Nations.
    Surely that is something we all who have contributed can agree on?

  57. Capella says:

    War is Peace. At last, Orwell’s prediction comes true.
    Here’s the National link for those who want to read it for themselves.

  58. Capella says:

    More dispatches from the front (the interminable Tory trench war)
    Rishi Sunak asked how he will ‘suppress’ Nicola Sturgeon at final Tory hustings in London’s Wembley Arena

    “I think the first is we need to more actively demonstrate the benefit of the United Kingdom Government in Scotland.

    “And that’s something that we started doing actually with Michael Gove and I working together with Alister Jack to demonstrate that the UK Government was investing in Scottish communities for the first time, and it’s changed the conversation. “ He said as well as this, he would call out “the failures of Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership” as he criticised the Scottish Government’s record on schools and hospitals, which he said were “not performing as well as they should”.

    “The second thing is to remember when it comes to the Union in Scotland,” he continued, “ is who are we speaking to?

    “Well, we’re not just speaking to ourselves, we’re not just speaking to Conservatives, right? We need to talk to all the other people in Scotland who don’t vote Conservative but are Unionists. So we need to have a leader who can speak to them. And I believe I can.”

    Sunak said the third and most important thing to remember was that “nationalism is an incredibly seductive and romantic idea”.

    If Unionists only meet it with arguments about currency, borrowing, or who’s going to pay for pensions or issues around trade, “it won’t be good enough”.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Without the slightest hint of irony British nationalists decry other peoples nationalism because it’s not the same nationalism as theirs

  59. Skintybroko says:

    Sunak is clueless, clearly at a disadvantage with the likes of Gove and Jack as company. He also needs to consider just how badly his NHS is performing before going gung ho after the Scottish Goverments record.

    It is so difficult for the SG to come out fighting to rebut these ridiculous ideas when we have a media in bed with the UK Govt. Should the YES movement resurrect the bill boards to get the message out to a wider audience. If the SG tried that they’d be hounded by the opposition and the press, but if the citizens…….

    Am sure there are people in marketing more able to express better ways of getting the message across, just feel helpless in the avalanche of negativity about our Country with no real opportunity to rebut.

  60. Dr Jim says:

    I did laugh when asked by the interviewer about Liz Truss’s insults towards other politicians such as Nicola Sturgeon Mark Drakeford and Jeremy Corbyn she replied
    “I agree with myself”

    Truss was then asked whether she believed Donald Trump was friend or foe in the same way she had implied that President Macron might be the latter, Truss declined to answer that question saying that whoever was the President of the US she would work with them because America is our greatest ally, which begs the next question that wasn’t asked, are Liz Truss’s intentions NOT to work with Scotlands FM or Wales’s FM or mibbeees aye mibbees naw work with President Macron of France?

    I fully understand Liz Truss’s desire to be elected to the position of PM of the UK so feels compelled to serve up this fascist right wing red meat fest to the Tory members to gorge themselves upon because whoever is operating her has instructed her to do so, but it should be noted amongst everyone in Scotland and Wales whichever side of the constitutional debate you happen to be on, the political ideology that Liz Truss and her compatriots espouse is not by a very large majority the accepted norm in any society except those of dictatorial regimes that considers no one but themselves, if you happen to be wealthy then you’re in, if not then you will be discarded and a serf created to serve those who are wealthy

    Liz Truss represents a group of very bad and dangerous people

    Remember all the polls since this Tory contest has been playing out have shown that Tory members like Rishi Sunak and his policies better but they will still vote for Truss to win

    Just that alone should indicate exactly what these people are and why Scotland must divorce ourselves double quick from this whatever it is we’re stuck in, because it’s not a union is it, they’ve made that position very clear

    So now there are no unionists and no nationalists, only dissolvers of devolution and internationalists, with nothing in the middle

    I watched for the third time last night the movie *Black 47* I recommend it to all

  61. Golfnut says:

    FM is preparing for an early General Election, the National.
    London evening Standard poll has majority calling for an early GE

  62. If the Scottish government do follow in Catalonia’s footsteps, it means we are set for independence. Unless that is, England sends in English troops to stop people voting, impound ballot boxes, beat up old ladies, arrest the Scottish government and close Holyrood.

    The Spanish Supreme Court ruling that a Catalonian referendum without Spanish permission would be illegal was a completely failure in stopping the vote. What prevented it going ahead freely and fairly was the use of troops employing violent repressive force.

    If we go ahead with a vote here, the only way to stop it would be using the same approach. English boots on Scottish streets.

    As I keep saying, if Scots (or any other people) want independence, the only way to stop them voting for that is to stop them voting at all. Declaring voting illegal will not cut the mustard; you need to follow up with boots on the ground. Democracy cannot be repressed without that. The courts are just not enough as people will find ways to keep voting. You need to rig or stop elections, round up ‘dissidents’, arrest opposition politicians. Ask Putin, Lukashenko…

      • Golfnut says:

        Kind of confirms my post at 1:42, maybe. We don’t know that Nicola will use an early GE as a defacto referendum, looks like they are assuming she will, apart from that there’s not anything much that we haven’t heard before, although bringing Catalonia into the mix should be perhaps taken as a threat. I hope Nicola does use an early GE as a referendum.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Former Alex Salmond YES advisor who’s just finished advocating a Gordon Brown style pile of wiffle waffle Federalpendence in the National, now this

        I think possibly these kites that are being flown have union jacks on them

      • Yes, anyone suggested that the UK would take the Spanish approach to Catalonia when dealing with a Scottish iref is talking about English troops using violent force on Scottish streets.

        There just isn’t a country in the world where voting is illegal but there are no boots on the ground enforcing that, arresting people etc. That would be a dictators dream, but it can only ever be a pipe one!

        The Chinese government would love it of they could simply just have their supreme court declare Uyghurness illegal and get on with things. All this arresting, re-education, repression etc is a costly and embarrassing business.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Scotland should maybe take a leaf out of the Grand Duchy of Fenwick’s strategy book and just declare war on the rUK, then we could host all the world leaders and the UN queuing up outside Bute House for summits to conclude the best negotiated way forward would be for Scotland to settle for Independence thus avoiding all the terrible bloodshed in England from marauding clans of blue painted sword wielding half naked Scots carving their way to London

          • Hamish100 says:

            We could also land on the moon at a leisurely pace!

            If you don’t what I’m talking about watch the movies with Peter Sellars!

          • Bob Lamont says:

            “… all the terrible bloodshed in England from marauding clans of blue painted sword wielding half naked Scots carving their way to London..” – I must have missed that bit in “the Mouse that Roared”

      • Hamish100 says:

        Scotland ain’t Catalonia and predates England as a Nation. Spain didn’t even exist for several hundred years.

        You would think Noon would know this. He does of course but we all have to earn a buck or two.

        No wonder 2014 failed with such guys as advisors. Salmond and Sturgeon had no chance.

        • I agree. However, the Spanish government felt that the Catalan people had a very strong case for self-determination under international law, and people there might very well vote for it. Hence they made a desperate attempt to rule the referendum illegal, and sent in federal troops to ensure the result would not be a free and fair reflection of opinion. They followed up with arrests, closure of the Catalan parliament etc, all because they believe the Catalans are people with the right to self-determine.

          The UK government attempting to stop our referendum shows that they likewise believe Scots (in our case) have the legal right to self-determination, and if we vote for it freely and fairly, it will be recognised internationally. If they actually believed we did not have this right, they would not go to court to try and stop it. There’d be no need. If Scots were not a nation / people, our referendum wouldn’t attract voters other than a few oddballs, and would just be a source of mild amusement for the local papers. Hell it would not be even be in the offing if Scots were not a people and so did not have the right to self-determination. You don’t get a majority for pro-indy parties in a PR parliament representing your nation unless you will tick all the boxes for ‘a people who have the right to self-determination’. Which is why we got to vote in 2014.

          So the SC case actually says to other countries that Scots are a people and have the right to self-determination, but the Brenglish are freaking over this, and trying to desperately repress the Scots as the Spanish attempted with the Catalans. But will England send English boots into Scotland to beat up Scots grannies? I suspect not.

  63. Alex Clark says:

    Today’s article in the Times about Noon is based on a piece he wrote that was published today by the Centre for Constitutional Change and is the fifth in a row in as many weeks they have published about Catalonia and Independence.

    All 4 prior to today’s by Noon and written by Spanish experts and none are favourable to using an election as a plebiscite referendum and all are keen to stress how bad the Catalonia referendum has been.

    Plenty of buzzwords too in all of the articles.

    the secession referendum

    The Catalan conflict divided Catalan society

    The secessionist crisis

    intense polarization of politics

    Opinion polls indicate that they do not have the backing of a clear majority of Catalans to pursue the rupture with Spain.

    That’s all just from the first article from Spain, the next article continued in a similar vein. It focuses on arguing a case for how a referendum on Independence is not about democracy and that the Independence movement is a populist one.

    The most recent is just as bad with such as this.

    Democracy is not only about voting or about the wishes of the majority. Constitutional democracy means people deciding, but doing so according to rules that can only be changed following their own amendment procedure. However, in the populist narrative of the Catalan pro-independence movement, a majoritarian concept of democratic legitimacy took prevalence over the rule of law, and the popular will was conceived as the only source of power. The implication was that ‘the people’ cannot be wrong and therefore, leaders and parliaments should find a way to carry out people’s aspirations, regardless of the letter of the law.

    From there on it’s all downhill for anybody that supports Catalan Independence.

    • That’s really scary stuff.

      Moreover, the triggering motivation behind a referendum on secession is not democracy, but nationalism. In other words, as Carlos Closa argues, there is no reason why the democratic right of one group to secede (Catalans) must prevail over the equally democratic rejection of this right expressed by a majority of a wider demos (Spaniards). In other words, why is it more “democratic” that only Catalans, rather than all Spaniards, decide the destiny of Catalonia and Spain?


      In other words, why is it more “democratic” that only Ukrainians, rather than all Russian people decide the destiny of Ukraine?

      The article words are the those of a racist Spanish nationalist.

    • grizebard says:

      Is the Centre for Constitutional Change the last outpost of devolutionism?

      (Just asking for a friend. {grin})

  64. Hamish100 says:

    It seems to me the latest drivel from Gerry Hassan confirms the suspicion that many of us have had that he really is a devolutionist and always will be.
    He is happy to live in fantasyland of the labour of the 1960’s. I would have said the Blair years but he was as much a Tory as a lib dem.

    They put England first
    They put England 2nd and 3rd

    What is it with the left ? Such delusion.

  65. Welsh_Siôn says:

    La Mone – the latest:

    HMRC issues winding up petition against PPE firm linked to Tory peer

    A company linked to the Conservative peer Michelle Mone that was awarded £203m worth of government PPE contracts during the pandemic has been issued with a winding up petition, apparently for unpaid taxes.

    PPE Medpro Ltd was awarded two contracts via the government’s “VIP lane” after Lady Mone approached Michael Gove in May 2020 with an offer to supply personal protective equipment. It is already under investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) for potential fraud.

    Details of the winding up petition, first reported by a courts blogger, Daniel Cloake, state that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs issued it against the company on Thursday morning. No details were stated as to how much tax is claimed to be owed, nor for how long it has been outstanding.


  66. Golfnut says:

    This is interesting.

    Poland seeks 1.3 trillion compensation from Germany for the 5yr occupation during WW2.
    Wonder how much Scotland and Wales should claim.

  67. Capella says:

    Why do we have standing charges at all? Why are Scots paying so much more? Answers on a postcard to …
    Scotland pays 50 per cent MORE than London for electricity standing charges

    DIFFERENCES in standing charges on electricity bills will see people in Scotland charged over 50 per cent more than their counterparts in London.

    House of Commons research published at the end of August makes clear the different standing charges – the fixed daily amount that people must pay regardless of their energy usage – across the UK.

    While standing charges for gas will be uniform across the UK, electricity charges vary massively.

    What are the different standing charges?

    The research shows that, for customers on a direct debit, the standing charge in North Scotland will be 51.1 pence per day (ppd), and South Scotland will pay 50.7ppd. In London, it will be only 33.2ppd – meaning people north of the Border will pay between 52 and 54% more.

    Scaled up, this means that a person in North Scotland will pay £186.51 per year on standing charges for electricity, while someone in London pays £121.18.

  68. Capella says:

    More evidence of the winter of crisis ahead for Scotland, where temperatures are lower and fuel charges are higher. Just another union dividend.
    Statistics show elderly are sacrificing hot meals to save money for energy bills

    A QUARTER of older people surveyed by a Scottish charity say they are buying less food so they can save money to heat their homes as energy costs spiral.

    Some members of Food Train are also sacrificing hot meals as they try to manage gas and electricity bills amid worries about rapidly rising prices.

    The stark statistics, following research by the older people’s charity, has heightened fears that increased numbers of older Scots will become malnourished this winter.

    Food Train has written to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack calling on the UK Government to double the amount paid in its previously announced Pensioner Cost of Living payment to help people cope with the crisis.

    Chief Executive Michelle Carruthers said: “Our members are very worried about the winter ahead. Many have no idea how they’ll cope. Some will have to juggle between keeping warm and keeping fed.

    “This puts people’s lives in danger

  69. Seems it’s every day now that there’s a story about the Queen missing an event due to ill health. New UK PM to meet her at Balmoral, breaking with tradition.

    It’s impossible not to feel that her reign is very close to its end.

  70. Not good for the Tories. Imagine being seen as more economically incompetent than Brown’s labour.

  71. Hamish100 says:

    We know who to blame.

    No not essenpee—

  72. Brengland becoming she s**tiest country in Europe.

    Belgium joins France in warning over UK sewage in North Sea

    Belgian minister seeks explanations from Britain as pollution threatens continental coast.

  73. Alex Clark says:

    This is the problem with Tories, their heads are so far up their own arses that they cannot possibly see what the coming enegy price rises look like to someone on an average wage.

    Even worse, they simply cannot contemplate of how this looks to those with less income than the £18,367 expenses he claimed every month last year for his work as an MP, a total of more than £220,000 .

    The Conservative MP who helped create the energy price cap has called for it to be reformed as, he says, it is no longer fit for purpose.

    John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare and husband to Baroness Dido Harding, helped devise the price cap which at one time stopped customers from being charged extortionate energy bills…

    “My reaction to Ofgem’s announcement was, ‘Oh my god, that’s terrible what’s it going to mean for my bills, my family’s bills, my neighbours’ bills?’” Mr Penrose added.

    “My energy bills have quadrupled. I’m looking on the internet for the same money-saving tips everybody else is,”

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