The Surrealism of The Scotsman and GERS
The annual GERS figures produces a churn of Opinion and predictable re-tread of arguments.
This from Scotsman Editorial though takes us into new territory …
Consider the logic in this piece ‘GERS figures: An independent Scotland would be plunged into an economic crisis that would wreck efforts to tackle climate change’.
“The latest annual report on the state of Scotland’s finances contains a wealth of information, but two figures stand out. Scotland’s public spending deficit was £19.1 billion in 2022-23 and, without North Sea oil and gas revenues, it would have been £28.5 billion.
The staggering gap between national income and expenditure (representing nine per cent of Scotland’s gross domestic product, compared to 5.2 per cent for the UK) is only possible because Scotland is part of the Union. If it were to become independent overnight, there seems little doubt that swingeing cuts to public services would follow. As Scottish Labour finance spokesperson Michael Marra said, these figures expose “the SNP’s plans for independence as little more than a charter for austerity.”
“In such circumstances, staving off economic collapse would necessarily be the top priority for the government of an independent Scotland. And the £9.4 billion of North Sea revenue for 2022-23 would be like a liferaft to a drowning sailor. So independence presents a very real threat to Scotland’s efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions, with ministers of this parlous new state virtually forced to take up Rishi Sunak’s mantra about “maxing out” North Sea oil and gas.”
“However, there is hope. The government’s independent advisory body, the Climate Change Committee, has estimated that between 135,000 and 725,000 new jobs could be created in low-carbon sectors by 2030. But doing so will require a huge investment of government time and resources to stimulate the markets. Chatting about independence is just one of many distractions from this generation’s great task: preventing climate change from spiralling out of control and futureproofing the economy.”
Now take a seat. This won’t take long.
The argument seems to go that:
a) The only option is to be lashed to a political entity that has promised to ‘Max Out’ the North Sea and committed to commissioning 100 new oil licences
b) To do anything other is to risk “a very real threat to Scotland’s efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions”.
This is insane.
This is TINA thinking so contorted and narrow it’s unbelievable.
Faced with massive climate breakdown and with the IPCC and the IEA demanding no further fossil fuel expansion, The Scotsman has written this anonymous editorial. No surprise for the winner of the Bad Climate Media – but deeply strange. As the IEA stated in 2021: ‘No new oil, gas or coal development if world is to reach net zero by 2050, says world energy body’:
“Exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year and no new coal-fired power stations can be built if the world is to stay within safe limits of global heating and meet the goal of net zero emissions by 2050”.
In the world of The Scotsman there are no economic alternatives to an oil economy and Scotland is – unlike other small nations uniquely incapable of organising any alternative at all. In their desperate gleeful rush to celebrate Scotland’s economic instability, the Unionist media has now descended into unprecedented levels of absurdism.
Added to this after 316 years Scotland is poor, impoverished even, for reasons never explained. We are just essentially poor, as if this is a natural state of being. We are a mendicant nation, yet strangely rich enough to transform the whole British economy. Scotland is simultaneously too poor to be independent but rich enough to “power up Britain.”
That’s quite a paradox.
We are being lied to, systematically. Scotland’s notional ‘national’ newspaper is publishing in Doublespeak arguing that the only solution to the climate crisis is to drill for more oil and the only viable economic model is one which is destroying the earth.