The Party is Over

jeremy-corbyn-3The Party is Over…and both Corbyn and his enemies know it.

What is going on now can no longer be seen as a fight for control of an existing institution. The split has already happened in all but name. There are already two parties. There is no unitary Labour Party to be fought over anymore. There is no going back.

That is the only logic behind the actions of both warring factions of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Let’s just be clear about that. What is going on is not a principled fight between two wings of the Labour Party for control of that Party. That wouldn’t be anything new. Variations on the theme have been played out since Ramsey MacDonald, right the way through Bevan and Gaitskill, Cartland and Wilson, Benn and Healey, Militant and Kinnock.

The difference between then and now is that back then there was something to fight over that would still be there no matter who won. Not any more. Now there is no scenario where EITHER wing can win the whole party over. What is happening now is a fight over the assets of a party that has already ceased to exist. And both warring factions know it.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum, Ergo Split.

It’s not exactly news. They’ve been effectively dysfunctional for a year or more. So bereft and nihilistic was the “establishment” wing of the party in the wake of their defeat in 2015 that Corbyn got on the ballot as a matter of balance and nostalgia and then won…much to his own surprise…not really because people were excited to hear a prospective labour leader, even one as crashingly dull as Corbyn, talk like a socialist…but because there was simply nothing left in the batteries of the rest of them…so that Corbyn’s pale imitation of conviction sounded , well…alive…at least by comparison.

Anyway, they may not have actually published the divorce papers yet, but the two parties have already separated without any hope of reconciliation and there is no prospect of either giving a shit about the kids. The assets are going to be split between the two…the affiliates, the members, the Union backing, the name and the headed notepaper. There are precious few other assets and a good deal of financial debt. The Tories barely need to get out of bed to have the next two or three elections in the bag. The demise of Labour south of the Tweed is about to be as precipitate and terminal as it was in Scotland.

(Which pretty much kisses off any prospect of Labour recovery here, by the way. All that was left was the prospect of a Labour government in Westminster. That duck is floating upside down and displaying no signs of movement.)

I fear that the Tories will just HOOVER up seats in England. That’s why St Theresa made a left wing speech in Downing Street before going in to summon the most right wing cabinet since Attila the Hun organised his cavalry.

So in 2020, there will be two Labour parties, both exhausted financially and personally by years of courtroom action…one probably calling itself “Real” Labour or something equally vacuous… taking votes off each other all over the country. There will be a party of socialist saints and a rump of socially democratic pragmatists…who may hope for some kind electoral alliance that includes the SNP.

But I think that ship sailed in 2015. I fear that the Tories will just HOOVER up seats in England. That’s why St Theresa made a left wing speech in Downing Street before going in to summon the most right wing cabinet since Attila the Hun organised his cavalry.

(That is, if we’re lucky, and someone even more seriously nasty doesn’t emerge in the meantime when Brexit fails to send the immeegrunts packing and wages go even lower while prices batter through the roof on the back of a collapsing pound…)

Enough of all this. There have been calls in Bella and elsewhere for practical economic arguments to get made for “indy” right now.

Well, here’s one.

A lot of people I talk to want to “wait and see” The electorate on both sides of the border are pretty wary of electoral politics right now, nationalist politics included. A lot of other people have been calling on Bella (which is mostly written by volunteers who happen to write about what they happen to write about) for economic arguments around the issue of “Indy.”

Well, not speaking as anything like an expert, here’s one with a bit of politics and a bit of economics and the future of the planet (or human civilisation, anyway) all rolled into one:

Renewable energy is, in the view of a lot of people, a sine qua non of the economic case for “independence.” But…

It looks like all the investment needed for renewable energy research, from the UK as well as from the EU…is drying up. Theresa May is merging the department of energy and climate change which underwrote research into a new department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I do know that the mechanics of Brexit, economic and institutional, are going to absolutely consume all the time and all the money that the UK government has got. A future for Scotland and its economic base is not remotely near being on the agenda, let alone in “a safe pair of hands”

Wait and See? While Trident is renewed? While we leave the EU ? While Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition can’t even form a Shadow Cabinet? Wait and see?

Like they say in disaster movies, I don’t know if we have that kind of time.

Comments (41)

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  1. bringiton says:

    On renewables,it is not clear what the UK strategy will be going forward.
    Osborne’s cunning plan to invest heavily in nuclear power was looking pretty shaky on both economic and deliverable grounds and now might be the time to revisit that.
    Scotland’s renewables may now seem a much more attractive option although “security” of supply may still be regarded as an issue,especially if the possibility of independence looks likely.
    Once the Tories are unshackled from EU environmental constraints,they may well decide to go all out for fracking but that outcome in terms of meeting demand is far from guaranteed.
    The Tories were exploring the possibility of importing renewable energy from Iceland,Ireland and Norway but for some reason seemed less keen on Scottish supplies.
    Why would that be I wonder?

  2. Graham King says:

    You sully your sound argument in my view by labelling Jeremy Cor yn ‘dull’. I and many other voters disagree profoundly; to me, he appears refreshing, admirable, a man of integrity – and of sound mind.
    True, he ‘lacks’ a shalllow glamour of charisma – the glossy veneer of charm – that we have been accustomed to see – the messianic fervour and deluded convictions of Tony Blair, the brash oratory and soundbite confabulations of David Cameron – but haven’t we followed for too long already enthralled in the wake of such illusory appeal?

    I would vote for Corbyn as Prime Minister tomorrow, given the opportunity.

    1. Alex Buchan says:

      I agree the cynical tone used to describe Corbyn in the article was off, but if the argument is sound, as you say, then it’s meaningless to say you would vote for Corbyn as Prime Minister because there won’t be any chance of Corbyn getting anywhere near 10 Downing Street. If the split has already happened and just needs to work itself out, then Corbyn would need to go form having a handful for loyal supporters in the PLP to a majority of MPs in the House of Commons. I didn’t buy the argument that Corbyn couldn’t win an election as leader of the Labour Party, but he won’t be leader of the Labour Party as is and to go from say 30 MPs to 300 is pie in the sky.

    2. Graeme Purves says:

      Jeremy Corbyn is a decent and sincere man and much to be preferred to the nonentities who seek to overthrow him. He spoke very eloquently in the Commons debate on Chilcot and very graciously at David Cameron’s last appearance as Prime Minister. Unfortunately, his political horizons do not seem to stretch far beyond Islington. He and those around him have done nothing to advance debate on the constitution or build a wider progressive coalition over the past year. He can’t engage effectively with voters in the North of England, let alone Scotland.

    3. John B Dick says:

      Dull? That’s a criticism, even after the Eton Mess?

      I remember Clem Atlee was considered dull, and look what he achieved in difficult conditions.

      Dull is what I want!

    4. Callum says:

      But he’s right. Corbyn IS crushingly dull.

      I think that Corbyn is a nice man with some nice ideas that it would be nice if everyone followed. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s also singularly incapable of leading anything more advanced than a branch meeting discussion a particularly obscure clause in a branch motion. And I say that as a leftie who don’t want the Blairites to win.

      Sometimes two things can be true at once. In this case it is true that Corbyn is incompetent, and it is true that the Blairites are bereft of anything that would make anyone support them. In this case, it is the choice of two evils. One lesser than the other. Either the dotty incompetence of a Corbyn leadership, or the mendacious and cynical and undemocratic leadership of the Blairites. It’s not a situation I particularly envy.

      I hope they get over it. In a sense of solidarity with the English left, I hope they get their house in order because they’ll need it. But maybe they’ll need to take a good long hard look at the options, and then decide that neither is particularly good. Either damages the Labour party. Either, most likely, kills it off for a good long time.

  3. Jamie Tintin says:

    Interesting article, but what’s with littering it with Latin? I’m genuinely puzzled as the author doesn’t need to impress with a dead language.

    1. Melville Jones says:

      Jamie,
      Latin may not be a language in general usage, but it is far from dead!
      Ask any garden centre, or nurseryman , or landscape architect, and you will find that trees, shrubs and flowering plants are described under their Latin name. Some plants have common English names, but the vast majority do not.
      Lots of these English names are in fact the same as the Latin name eg Chrysanthemum, which presumably most folk know is a herbaceous perrenial, is Latin.
      Crocus is Latin, etc etc etc.
      Not in common usage as a language, but far from dead!

      1. Murray Shoolbraid says:

        That ‘perrenial’ may be Latin in form, but it’s basically Greek, which is still spoken in that poor country we hear about. If a certain language fits, why not use it?

    2. Ceasar says:

      Aquila non capit muscas

  4. JohnEdgar says:

    Corbyn is a westminsterite”centrist” with a socialist twang. Je sounds convincing, but UK Labour socialism means londonisation and control of macro economic, fiscal and monetary policy from ( now) Brexit Westminster.
    Corbyn is/ was a closet Brexiter.
    Scots can expect no change from an English, Islington – constrained socialist. He is agin additions powers for Holyrood; no surprise there as post Smith, the Labourites in Westminster were not very supportive of full powers like devo-max. The English Labour (former) heartlands are all brexitters. Scotland voted to remain in the EU.
    Wait and see is NO option. Labour in Scotland would be better to dissolve, move to the other pro-independence parties in Scotland and make their own future untrammeled without being thirled to the UK.
    The make-up of May’s Cabinet is revealing. She, another “closet” brexitter, has pulled in “nasty” types like Fox, Johnston, Leadsome, Rudd, Fallon (Trident monger), and a whole host of reshuffled deadbeats from Cameron’s Cabinet.
    Labour is now deader than dead!!
    No hope there for Scotland.

  5. john young says:

    Our hopes have always “skated on thin ice” with our Orange/Unionist/Dyed in the wool Old Labour supporters even yet refusing to see the”wood for the trees” they put themselves their ideologies before their country before the welfare of their children,they countenance no dis-cussion no debate,how do you reach out to them?

  6. Peter Clive says:

    Absolutely agree, time is a luxury we no longer have.

    The need to align our country with circular economics and Industry 4.0 powered by renewables is urgent and alluded to above. I would submit that the need to formally delegitimise the racist rhetoric that has encouraged a surge in hate crime is another reason to push for an early Indyref 2. See arguments below:

    http://moflomojo.blogspot.com/2016/07/now-we-need-indyref-2-as-soon-as.html

  7. Drew Campbell says:

    I believe Corbyn is sincere, principled and well meaning, but he simply doesn’t have the ideas or imagination to inspire. Forget charisma, if he could just articulate some new ideas for a more democratic accountable polity that would connect with people then he would’ve put his POP’s gas at a peep. Or at least stalled their mounting one of the most half-arsed coups in political history.

    But we are where we are, and they are where they are. It’s clear Scotland is on an entirely different political journey from Labour, Tories and the rUK. Time to focus on creating the political structures to reflect that reality.

  8. Mach1 says:

    Yanis Varoufakis once described the austerity plans contained in Osborne’s last budget as “class war”.
    Now we have a Tory government even more willing to punish the poor to steady the UK ship. It should be obvious then that the real battlefield is between those included in the new Tory project and those excluded, the haves and the have-nots.
    Most of the electorate would be hard pushed to come up with an alternative macroeconomic vision, but we all know people struggling on benefits, and facing further hardship under Tory reforms. Working in this area, whether as a party activist or a volunteer, would be an appropriate individual and organised response.
    Sadly for Labour, there is no one of the stature of Aneurin Bevan, or Hugh Gaitskell, or even Ramsay MacDonald, Harold Wilson or Anthony Crosland in its current leadership. It is this lack, on both the right and left of the party which has led to the current, catastrophic decline. Thirteen years of government, decades in power in local government, and Labour’s establishment saw and still sees young or new members as the enemy, making no provision for how to develop activists to hold the reins of power. Let us hope the SNP recognises the central importance of supporting and developing an activist network in building towards an independent Scotland.

    1. John B Dick says:

      There is nobody of the stature of Smith, Dewar or Cook, never mind Maxton, MacLean and Shinwell.

      SLAB has died from the top first.

      I mostly supported Labour since I was old enough to vote, till the day that ‘HQ’ in a previous incarnation as ‘No 10’ let it be known that Donald Dewar would get one term as FM leader and then be replaced.

      DD was my school friend and in 1954-57 shared with me the Labour Party’s (not his) vision for a Home Rule parliament in great detail, from the Founding Principles to the seating arrangements.

      The Scottish Parliament has changed more since its inception than it did in the 44 years since I was told about the proposal.

      You may note that considering where the SNP were in the 1950’s it would be bizarre for anyone at that time to seek to disadvantage the SNP by choosing closed list d’Hondt, whatever Jack McConnel may have said to Brian Taylor.

      In 1955 when I was told about the then Labour policy, JMcC (like TB and GB) wasn’t even born.

      I cannot imagine any circumstances where a PR dominated and London-led Labour Party could ever again receive my vote.

      1. JohnEdgar says:

        Slab were never true devolvers. Harold Wilson had to force the then Slab led by Ross to look to devolution. Two spike the SNP rise and to get Labour MPs from Scotland to get UL Labour majorities.
        It was a Scottish Labpur MP who introduced the 40% rule in the first referendum by Callaghan’s government.
        Now they are in tatters north of the Tweed and imploding dahn sath.
        Yet, Kezia and Co still are thirled to Westminster. The EU referendum has shown the divergence in the vote between Scotland and England/Wales.
        Yet, the Westminsterites north of the Tweed still deny the democratic vote in Scotland.
        Indyref2 next!!

        1. John B Dick says:

          Over several decades, “HQ” obviously didn’t have their heart in it, but from d’Hondt to the committee system, the petitions system and the job titles, the 1999 parliament was a fully worked out concept before 1955, when Donald told me it was ‘official Labour party policy’ ….’… to be enacted by the next Labour government’.

          One of the most obvious decisions Tony Blair took in his time in office was to make DD Sos for Scotland. Undoubtedly, John Smith’s soundbites “Settled will’ and ‘Unfinished business ‘was enough and maybe he didn’t need to understand more than that DD was ‘a safe pair of hands’. At the time there were people in all parts of the spectrum who doubted whether TB fully understood what he was agreeing to.

  9. MBC says:

    If we can run and win an indyref within the two year time frame established by triggering Article 50, then accession to the EU does not arise, as we will not actually have left. So Rajoy in Spain and others worried about ‘secessionist’ movements cannot veto us.

    Thus huge economic opportunities will open up to us, as English-based businesses threatened by Brexit relocate to Scotland. This will be an independent Scotland, run by our and EU rules.

    The universities, business, finance, research, all these sectors stand to gain hugely by this opening.

    This is a strong economic argument. To all intents and purposes, we will become ‘rUK’, the successor state to all the UK’s treaties with the EU and not the rump that will be England and Wales.

    But we must win it within the two year time frame triggered by Article 50.

    1. Anton says:

      MBC – This is a very attractive idea, but I can’t see how it could work in practice. The UK is a member of the EU by means of various treaties such as The Single European Act, Maastricht, etc, which were agreed and signed by the UK.

      If Scotland were to leave the UK within the two years time frame triggered by Article 50, by the same token we would also be leaving the EU, as we would no longer be bound by decisions made by Westminster. Which I take to be the whole point of independence.

      I am open to correction by any constitutional lawyer who reads this…

  10. florian albert says:

    ‘Cartland and Wilson’ Who is Cartland ?

    1. Drew Campbell says:

      Barbara Cartland, presumably.

  11. The Economist says:

    ‘Well, not speaking as anything like an expert, here’s one with a bit of politics and a bit of economics and the future of the planet (or human civilisation, anyway) all rolled into one’

    If there was a single sentence that summed up the amateurish bluster of both the Brexit and Scot independance Yes movements this surely is it. No you clearly aren’t an expert (I am – I work in energy economics, albeit for the evil oil industry rather than renewables – although we work closely with them also).

    1) Most investment in research into renewable energy is private not government funded. See Pelamis or many other wave tech companies that went under during the indyref – see Salmond’s idiotic Saltire prize that has quietly disappeared.

    2) The problem is not developing technology – although university funding will be hit by Brexit and would have been decimated under an indy Scotland without tuition fees and all the other free stuff to keep comfortable middle class people like myself happy at the expense of the poorest and those who are not academic but very talented in vocational industries and need apprenticeship and college places – but cost and location.

    3) Funding: The renewables system works on the basis of a Feed in Tarrif (now cut for onshore wind but not for tidal and wave). The reason why there has been no private investment in Scottish renewables in the last few years is because that tarriff only makes sense on a UK basis. Basic maths if you’re a Spanish company like ‘Scottish Power’. Would you invest in England/ offshore wind or tidal when there is potentially a market of 55 million (or 30 million units) and a system that mitigates the higher costs of production compared to natural gas? Or do it in an indy Scotland with only a guaranteed market of 5 million (or 3 million units) and an unsustainable price of energy for customers that would be needed to maintain competetiveness vis a vis other forms of hydro carbon energy? How much would energy bills have to rise to support a Scottish only scheme? Think about it. This is why Fergus Ewing consistently claimed (falsely – he lied basically) that the UK would automatically maintain the UK integrated market after independence. Total nonsense – the rUK will source where it is cheapest and most beneficial to THEIR interests. Denmark – who are streets ahead in mitigating wind costs and generate energy very close to the main SE England market in the Northsea. Ireland Ditto and the North, French nuclear, Welsh and English tidal and wind/ wave – the Severn Estuary has one of the highest tidal surges in the world, hence the reason they are building (despite problems) the worlds biggest tidal pools in Wales. What Scottish nationalist seem to not grasp is that many other countries/ places also have winds and waves and tides. Not just us.

    4) Location and energy production. The further away you are the more energy costs – it cannot be stored and much is lost in the process of getting it from source to market. This is another reason why private investment dried up during the Indyref. UK has entered deals with Norway, Denmark, France, Iceland and Ireland to create a smart grid across Northern Europe that mitigates baseload problems (google it) by sourcing creating an exchange of themal from Iceland/ Hydro from Norway wind and wave from Denmark and UK Ireland etc. The EU are doing this for all Europe. The reason is that it is eye wateringly expensive to upgrade/ convert existing energy grids and invest in new subsea + land interconnectors. The one between Norway and UK alone is costing upwards of 9 billion. Many private investor simply look at Scotland’s economic reality and fail to see how an indy Scotland, without automatic access to the UK market, with a 10% budget deficit, with a collapsing/ volatile oil industry will be able to afford to invest in their grid to keep up? Also, steel has a shelf life of around 30-40 year max before it corrodes and degrades in the salt water environments – much of the infrastructure in NS is reaching maturity and retirement – there was initially plans to convert aging riggs into unmanned wave and tidal that don’t have the same problems with vibration and moving parts (the bits that degrade) using aluminium compounds instead – aluminium doesn’t degrade. All this was shelved thanks to the Indyref and uncertainty about decommissioning/ conversion costs and tax breaks from the UK government that would be lost.

    5) ‘Theresa May is merging the department of energy and climate change which underwrote research into a new department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. I don’t know exactly what that means…’

    I can tell you. It means not very much at the moment. Clark, the new guy actually has a decent record on Green tech, just not onshore wind – strangely enough people in the leafy English shires, just like those in leafy Perthshire/ Aberdeenshire, along with the RSPB object to having their hills and fields and views destroyed and made to look like an invasion of Tripods in war of the worlds has just occurred or having sensitive ecology upset by turning it into a killing ground for bird life. Quite sensibly they prefer them out to sea where they can be much bigger and generate much more energy and birds can fly over them. Alex Salmond and the SNP disagree and prefer to carpet Scotland’s beautiful landscape with windmills destroying the tourist industry in the process.

    That real issue (Scottish nationalism).

    So ultimately the real responsibility/ blame for the currently dire state of Scottish renewable economy is nationalism, Scottish nationalism. Brexit was idiotic, but Scottish nationalism is a hundred times more problematic if we are simply considering it in economic terms.

    But hey who needs rational thought out economics and planning when you have a nice flag and pithy wee slogan instead?

    1. JohnEdgar says:

      You call yourself an economist after that article?

      1. Ceasar says:

        Which part do you think he/she got wrong? Details I mean? Would be interested?

    2. alex says:

      sorry. you may well be correct but no ones listening to scare stories anymore. the cry of wolf has been heard too many times. look at brexit.

    3. Craig says:

      What a lot of shite…

      1. The Economist says:

        Feel free to elaborate and to point out which part in particular is ‘Shite’?

    4. Paul Codd says:

      The Economist – “Independence makes NO difference to control over Scottish energy policy.” I can think of more than a few renewable energy developers who might argue that the loss of the Feed In Tariff was probably the most significant thing to come from government in recent years, and it was Westminster 100% at the helm on that one. “NO difference” is quite emphatic, absolute, and plainly false.

      “All this was shelved thanks to the Indyref and uncertainty about decommissioning/ conversion costs and tax breaks from the UK government that would be lost.”
      So those investments went ahead after the uncertainty of Indyref was lifted? Is there a reason Holyrood couldn’t give those public spirited oil companies the same tax breaks? There are obviously key parts of this point that you haven’t included in your argument.

      You’re entitled to your opinions about onshore wind… “invasion of Tripods”, “killing ground for bird life”, “destroying the tourist industry” but nobody should conflate these personal opinions with your expertise in the oil industry as giving your opinion any more weight than the weird guy in the newsagents. You also seem to think that there has to be a choice between onshore and offshore, where the pros and cons are weighed against each other, and the best is selected. The real choice is between renewables and non-renewables. Onshore and Offshore wind each have roles to play, and careful site selection, and design criteria to minimise negative impacts are important in any energy project, of any type.

      I liked the main thrust of your analysis of May’s positioning on Brexit but didn’t fully understand why you said, “Sturgeon will be blamed for obstructing EU efforts to get the best trade deak with UK. Any good will towards Scotland SNP in Brussels will quickly dry up”. I don’t doubt that May will try this, but from where I’m sitting it seems easy for Sturgeon to rebuff this and send the pressure straight back to May. Could you explain why you think Brussells might actually fall for it?

  12. Alex Wright says:

    Is it possible to check your Economist credentials? I’m not casting aspersions on your integrity, however I’m always a bit wary of self-proclaimed “experts”.

    1. The Economist says:

      Fair enough, you are right to be skeptical and question things – that experts and polticians claim. But the fact is it doesn’t matter who I am or what my credentials are, as all the above and the general situation is easily researched. So quite right, look at the situation and make your own mind up. But do look at the actual facts and not just those that support any pre conditioned biases.

      https://www.scottishrenewables.com/news/lenders-put-investing-onshore-wind-due-uk-governme/

      It depends on your perspective also. If you think onshore wind is better than offshore or other forms of renewable energy? I personally can’t stand onshore wind as it destroys the ecological balance due to the effect on the bird population and the know on to all else up and down the eco chain. Plus they are ugly as hell. Frankly stick em in the sea.

  13. Stephen says:

    The economist makes a number of points that amount to no more than a personal opinion based upon an interpretation.Salmond had a different opinion. I know Salmon’s credentials. I do not know the economists and he has to date failed to provide them. He blames Scottish Nationalism (whatever that is) for the dire state of renewables, but offers absolutely no causal explanation for that conclusion. His contribution would offer points for discussion if it wasn’t couched in the usual angry dismissive tone as so many other pieces by pro unionists. Rants tend to negate any valid points they may have to make. And do I really want to rely on opinions from someone working within the oil industry, where reaction to price volatility and forward planning appears to amount to nothing more than increased redundancies?

  14. George Gunn says:

    Peter is right – we don’t have time. Let us get this independence referendum to the people as soon as we can. As to renewable energy – one of the answers sits several hundred yards from where I am writing this: in the Pentland Firth. What an independent Scotland has to do, despite the macho arguments above from The Economist, is take control of the development and production of the technology and that requires a politics which understands local benefit, materials, supply and demand and international markets. Everything can be done if the political will is there, anything can be achieved if we have courage. The skills exist in Scotland. Let’s put them to work within a mature political settlement which is an independent country. If we do not the Tories will asset strip everything.

  15. The Economist says:

    Aye, maybe you can see them busy dismantling Pelamis for scrap in the Pentland firth.

    http://renews.biz/101935/end-is-nigh-for-pelamis-device/

    Lets start with the basics. Renewable energy is vital to Scotland’s future and the future of energy/ environment in general. So what really needs to be done is to compromise and find the optimal set up to maximise.

    1) The Scottish government already has complete ‘effective’ control over the direction of ‘Scottish’ Energy policy through the planning system, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism. Hence it is to Alex Salmond that Donald Trump complains to when he wants to stop an offshore windfarm being built near his stupid Golf Course.

    2)Scottish renewables are in their developmental stage, but have a great future – but! – that future is inextricably tied to the UK integrated market. Basically we need nice English and Welsh consumers to subsidise it to scale, through increased energy bills + for the UK government to maintain 2020 EU green energy targets. So far, despite the ill informed hysteria of Peter’s article, there is every indication that this will happen as May’s government announce a few days ago they are going to push on despite Brexit.

    What the renewable industry needs is cooperation and joined up policy with UK govt + energy policy in rUK, not antagonism and petty politicking for short term gain or nationalist motives (Please take note SNP!).

    Independence makes NO difference to control over Scottish energy policy. In fact the opposite as we will lose automatic access to the UK market + UK govt investment/ strategy will no longer include Scotland in it’s thinking. Contrary to what most nationalists think Scotland’s renewable sector has done pretty well out of the UK compared to other parts of the UK. This will change if the current agitation for independence goes on. It’s simple – why would English and Welsh consumers continue to subsides Scotland after we have done nothing but criticise and denigrate them? The UK government plans for renewable targets will instead focus on supporting ONLY England, and Wales. Scotland will be left behind. And frankly who could blame them?

    3) Brexit – Things need to be clarified, but hopefully the EU packages that Scottish renewables rely on also remain in place. Frankly May has played a blinder, Sturgeon only cares about her dream of independence (Not the environment). What May has done is to say that Brexit can only happen on a UK basis – Only when ALL parts of the UK are in agreement on the exit conditions will article 50 be triggered. Why? Because she doesn’t want Brexit and it means the blame is all on Sturgeon in England (for obstructing agreement on Brexit which Sturgeon has to do, due to the Scottish vote – simultaneously she knows there can be no ref2 without the EU situation for Scotland clarified in Brussels – Sturgeon will be blamed for obstructing EU efforts to get the best trade deak with UK. Any good will towards Scotland SNP in Brussels will quickly dry up) while kicking Brexit – the actual event – into the long grass for a few years.

    This is good for Scottish renewables as it means Brexit is delayed while new funding is sourced + we get to maintain access to the UK market.

    The future of green energy is optimistic, lets not ruin it by short termist flag waving and stupidity. Co ordination and cooperation is needed to save the environment as climate change, unlike stupid humans tend not to care much about which silly flag is planted in the land it is effecting.

    1. MBC says:

      If May blames Sturgeon for holding up Brexit indefinitely, then I’m happy with that. Quid pro quo.

      1. JohnEdgar says:

        That is right. May had handed Sturgeon a de facto veto.
        What Sturgeon wants and Scotland needs and voted for was to remain in the EU and take full membership, as a primus inter pares, as all the other members of the EU.
        Nothing less will satisfy. According to Hammond, that can only come through Scottish independence. Correct.
        May, well that is up to the English/Welsh voters of leave. If they do not like it, they can elect to leave the UK and hence the EU. Take Evel to its logical conclusion.
        That is up to them.
        As Lab and “silent”Slab (they ha e gone all subterranean at the moment) argue themselves into irrelevancy, and the Tories lurch to be more Ukipper than Ukip, the two westminsterite parties are heading the slow decline of UK-Ruritania with its ageing Windsorite dynasty, all bunting and pomp.

    2. Asty Taylor says:

      It seems rather high-handed of you, “The Economist”, to say that Nicola Sturgeon does not care about the environment… She is opposed to nuclear weapons, which is a lot more than you can say about Theresa May.

  16. Iain Ross says:

    “1) The Scottish government already has complete ‘effective’ control over the direction of ‘Scottish’ Energy policy through the planning system, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism. Hence it is to Alex Salmond that Donald Trump complains to when he wants to stop an offshore windfarm being built near his stupid Golf Course.”

    What a load bull. There is no such thing as “Scottish” energy policy, energy is a reserved to Westminster and all key decisions related to energy are made their, much to our disadvantage. If you think that having control of the planning system provides ‘effective’ control over Energy policy then you are deluded or you are lying.

    “What the renewable industry needs is cooperation and joined up policy with UK govt + energy policy in rUK, not antagonism and petty politicking for short term gain or nationalist motives (Please take note SNP!).”

    Please take note SNP, is that a joke? Why are you not flagging up the recent actions of of Rudd in her previous cabinet position? These Tories have derailed the renewable industry in Scotland despite your claim that we should be grateful (grateful for what, being second class citizens are usual?). The Minch interconnector has been derailed, only one of the major offshore wind projects is going ahead (despite previous UK government promises and the fact that the Scots government and other private companies have invested millions already) and carbon capture has been be mothballed. At the same time they have agreed contracts to heavily subsidise the Nuclear industry.

    “It’s simple – why would English and Welsh consumers continue to subsides Scotland after we have done nothing but criticise and denigrate them? ”

    I think you mean why would then “buy” our energy after independence, and the answer is because they need it as do not have enough of their own. They can crack on and create their own but why would they if they can can get it from the neighbour’s at a cheaper cost? Really, next you shall be telling us the the mighty Brits subside the Germany car industry, it is supply and demand as you well know.

    “Brexit – Things need to be clarified, but hopefully the EU packages that Scottish renewables rely on also remain in place. ”

    Wow, is the best you can manage is “hopefully”, I bet you were on of those folk who complained vigorously about uncertain during 2014 and now you just cast it away with this through away sentence. In addition if you actually think EU funding is somehow going to be preserved post Brexit then you are away with the fairies. Do you think the EU shall keep shoveling money this way or that the Tories who already think we are spongers are going to hand over extra money to Scotland if if they had it?

    Do we need access to the UK energy market, probably. Do they need access to our energy, probably and probably more that we need access to their market. Thus is the basis for a negotiation and gives us a strong hand.

    One further point, I note that at no point have you raised the issue of grid charging. Where is your comment around a UK scheme that damages the industry here in Scotland? No doubt that is the fault of the SNP as well. Perhaps if they had been nicer and not rocked the boat those jolly nice fellows down in Westminster who always try their best to look after us poor children would have cut us a better deal. Yeh its all the SNP’s fault again……………

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