Salmond Crosses the Line

VC's of Wellington College

These pages are full of instances of people speaking before engaging their brains, me included. Alex Salmond though crossed the line yesterday when he said, in referring to David Cameron and the "debate" debate,  “He should have been called to account last year and should be called to account this year. Like most posh boys, given half a chance, he’ll run away from a fight."

Just for reference Mr Salmond, below you can see the number of boys on the Roll of Honour for the Great War from each of the following schools,

  • Eton 1157
  • Marlborough 733
  • Wellington 707
  • Charterhouse 687
  • Rugby 686
  • Cheltenham 675
  • Harrow 644
  • George Watson's 605
  • Dulwich 506
  • Winchester 505
  • St Paul's 490
  • Glasgow High 478
  • Malvern 457
  • Uppingham 451
  • Tonbridge 415

Jockageddon Averted - Now It's England's Turn

Commentary and analysis from referendum observers is being produced by the bucket load, not all of it has substance. Here though are some salient points to note from friend Marcus Ashworth, Head of Fixed Income over at Espirito Santo, and he writes really, with no particular axe to grind..

"It was Crumble's Ma wot did it........ the silent majority came out in droves to register their understated desire to retain the Union, whereas in Glasgow the turnout was one of the lowest and 53.5/46.5% was not enough of a Yes vote to give Salmond a chance.  Despite all the puff he didn't get his vote out, and in what was probably the largest % turnout in a modern democracy ever (Aus doesn't count as semi-forced voting).  Bully boy tactics clearly backfired.

A double digit majority was what was required to put this issue to bed for now - though of course Salmond doesn't have that in his nature - "at this stage" was a particularly telling phrase in his most ungracious acceptance of defeat speech.  Evidently his only tactic left is to try and grab as much of the "vows" as possible.  However, Number 10 apparently has some other ideas and talk of Devo Max is being downplayed.

The chat from Downing St seeems to a swift volte face to try and redress the growing clamour from the Tory backbenches about what Gordy was allowed to promise in the final days?  For all the sense of panic it is evident that Gordy had this worked out many months ago but was only sanctioned to unleash the dogs of war in the final nail-biting furlong.  His last speech was apparently his best, though equally Cameron did his bit under unrelenting abuse.  The Better Together campaign was pretty much totally Scottish Labour led and Tory free, it is not the winner though.  Labour party conf in Manchester - Ed needs an even better speech this time - pref without that Disraeli one-nation blather.

The West Lothian question is the key piece of egregiousness that will have to be finally knocked on the head - something that Labour has conspicuously failed to do.  Scottish MPs will soon no longer be allowed to vote on England only matters - whilst of course English MPs have never been allowed to vote on Scottish matters.  This will pose a knotty one for Miliband because it could very well permanently emasculate Labour Govts if on budgetary matters there is not enough of an English-only MP backing.  The Barnett formula (which even its eponymous creator thinks should be scrapped) will stick in the craw.  If affords a permanent upward only subsidy of circa £1500 per person to Scotland over rest of UK.  This has not gone down well south of the border.  At all.

Cameron may have been knifed by Clegg on the Boundary Commission changes (which is the most outrageous breach of code for the so-called Mother of Parliaments) - but this way he may partly get his own back.  If he fails then he will really face the chop from the 1922 cmte.  Bear in mind Clacton by-election shortly will see a big slap for Cameron - and his image is very much of the "essay crisis".  Tricky times if he drops this ball on Constitutional change - especially if Salmond gets traction on any perceived signs of backsliding on the vows.

Labour has acted appallingly throughout this campaign being utterly self-serving and using every opportunity to try and turn a battle to save the Union into a call for a Labour Govt next May.  If Miliband fails to engage in a William Hague (as Leader of the House) overseen all-party talks, then it will be Labour who will carry the can for failing to deliver on the myriad of promises offered up by their last Prime Minister.

If only for that fact Cameron should emerge from this as the biggest winner and it's a 2nd big win for him after seeing off the Lib Dems on proportional representation, is he on a roll for winning in Europe as well?   OK that might be a leap of faith too far - still the gamble has largely paid off and the Tories can get to shape constitutional change whilst still in power.  That is a major, major difference from the expected situation that the next Labour Govt (as the polls still point to) would carve it up as they see fit.

........... welcome back Scotland

I find it hard to see (bar Gordy, Darling to some extent and of course the redoubtable Jim Murphy who will clearly get a Knighthood) who in Labour comes out of this with any accolades.  Miliband is a dead man walking - and he knows it.  It is one thing for Cameron to find it difficult to campaign in Scotland but for a Labour leader not to either basically bother to get up there until the last few moments and then not to be capable of walking through Edinburgh is a travesty of not just how the Yes campaign has been conducted but of Miliband's validity.  Clegg has proved that the Lib Dem vote has vaporised.  Question now is whether Salmond can survive, let's hope not as he allowed a very dirty campaign to get quite seriously out of hand - he deserves to go just for that alone.  Only Farage had the temerity to call him out for that."


Scottish Independence; The Final Furlong

Final furlong

Heading into the final week of campaigning in front of the most momentous vote that Scots will take in their lifetimes and with the rest of the Kingdom strictly relegated to observer status, mixed emotions are increasingly evident. Many can see victory within their grasp and are beginning to see red mist. Their claims become more emotionally charged and factually outrageous by the day. Others are suffering from referendum fatigue and simply want a quick end to it all and to be allowed to get on with their lives while some are sucked into a vortex of questioning disbelief, worry and anxiety for the future.

“No,” would appear to be slightly in the lead but with a tolerance of + or – 3pts in these polls it really is all to play for. I do though hear more stories of stupid and crass low level intimidation from the “Yes,” campaign from the Highlands to the Borders. I think we’ll hear more about this after the vote but one thing is for sure and for certain, when individuals are in that voting booth they can tick which ever box they wish with absolute privacy and impunity. That’s exactly the point when Mr Salmond may regret not reigning in the more febrile elements of his campaign.

Standing back from the melee for a moment I can’t help but think how badly planned and handled the entire enterprise has been from every constituent part. That with four days to go the level of informed debate is better suited to the cut and thrust of a mid-term by-election is nothing short of an international embarrassment. Peoples livelihoods and their economic future are at risk here and they deserve better. So does the rest of the United Kingdom.

Both campaigns have in fact completely missed the target. Salmond has failed to invest in time and energy to create a sound intellectual case for independence and instead has leaned far too heavily on transient soundbites, reviving ancient mistrust of the English, (that many voters have no lineage to anyway), questionable election practices, a nostalgia for a post war economy that has forever gone and oil and well, oil. Creating a dependency for the well being, health and education of 5m people on the price of a globally traded commodity would to me seem a somewhat casual approach to policy but what do I know?

What did you expect Nick when you asked an awkward question at a press conference. The SNP, reinventing East Germany.

An independent Scotland though is of course possible and indeed could be more of a reality if Salmond and his hopeless band of backward looking socialists embraced a culture and manifesto of socially liberal, economically conservative policies that enthusiastically sought openness, collaboration, partnership and participation. That’s not going to happen though. The SNP is a small minded, spiteful and resentful collection of miscreants who in the best traditions of modern politics will promise everything to everyone and deliver nothing except value destruction and national strife.

There is the possibility that the electorate vote for independence then immediately vote the SNP out, preferring instead individuals capable of doing the job properly but they are in short supply in Scottish politics. I think such an echo of Churchill being tossed out from government in the 1945 election is unlikely; the SNP have simply left it too late having relied too much on what they perceive to be a spirit of nationalism and they have left too many open questions unanswered.   

It would have been so much better to make the case ex oil and ex the EU and sell those as added bonus’s. Salmond should have focused on a very gradual disconnect with the rest of the UK with multiple joint ventures and collaborations, with checkpoints, at the sovereign, financial and social level. He should have warned every Scot that this momentous decision was one they were entrusted with on behalf of their children and subsequent generations. That for most Scots there would be no immediate financial uplift. That in fact the benefits would take a minimum of ten years to accrue, if not a generation. He should have asked, “Is that a sacrifice you are prepared to make?” He should have reminded, if not berated his potential voters that Scotland suffers from a corrosive drug problem, galloping ill health in some areas and a bewildering and growing culture of dependency on government. He should have reminded Scots of their heritage and what he intended to do to unleash the capacity of Scots to revive, invent and build based on a competitive and forward looking education system and an environment which allows business to thrive. Instead, he’s just shovelled out a truck load of lies, half-truths and  cynical scare stories that add nothing to the debate and diminish his appeal to voters. Voters see through this nonsense and his standing has fallen commensurate with the diminishing integrity of his argument. He will lose on Thursday and he need look no further than himself to blame.

Not all one way traffic; 5000 gather in Edinburgh yesterday

The No campaign meanwhile has been equally poor. In fact, its been an utter shambles. The “Keep Calm,” approach was chucked on the bonfire last week when the enormity of the weapons grade fuck up they’d made of it became apparent in the polls. They will probably pull it off in the end but it will be in spite of their efforts not because of them. In fact, it will largely be the pragmatic and sensible undecided Scottish housewife who rescues them. I don’t imagine she has much love for either side but will instead vote for whoever she thinks will cause her family the least dislocation and worry. I don’t blame her. The failure of the “No,” campaign to properly articulate the benefit of being a Scot within the United Kingdom is symptomatic of our hermetic national politicians and the arms length political class we’ve created. Here though is a man who can and in fact is one of the few who has written sensibly about the issues at hand for some considerable time, Alex Massie. Worth a read.

The winner in all of this, and there aren’t many, is UKIP who will benefit from an English reaction to an independence vote but also to an excess of largesse with Devo Max. The driving undercurrent is anyway, a rumbling dissatisfaction with central government which has resonance throughout the UK and indeed in many European countries beyond.

Referendum fatigue, voters deserve better

That general feeling of dissatisfaction was nicely articulated by a chum in the Highlands over the weekend,

“I took a wee wander with the dog the other day to pass the time and popped in for a pint. On looking up at the sign above my watering hole, it read - The Royal British Legion (Scotland) Branch. I pondered and wondered what that will be called next week?  Anyway, I digress...

It was a lovely sunny day so I sat outside at a table and during my time there, I chatted to several tourists from the Manchester area about various topics, weather, how nice it was 'up here' etc, etc.... and of course the referendum. It was quite surreal actually, with about a 50/50 split in how the 'tourists' would vote if they had the chance, which came as a bit of a surprise. 'Westminster' isn't too popular in the North of England either it seems...

Also sat with me was a wise old piper, now in his eighties, who served his Queen and country well when he was in his prime and he eventually summed it all up in a few ( or quite a few...) words.

He was sitting quietly listening to all the opinions, not saying anything - apart from humming his usual heedrum hodrum pipe tunes aloud until he finally stopped 'playing' his imaginary pipes and he said;

‘Och!! I'm sick o' the whole damned thing!

Some days I wake up and my heart says Yes, but my head says No.

On other days my heart says No, but my head says Yes.

The problem is I can never get the two of them to agree.

I've listened to everything all these (*expletive*) politicians have said and all I have to do now, is decide which lot of the (*another expletive*) are lying the least!’

That for me, sums it up in a nutshell.........”

Indeed it does.

Scottish Independence; The Wolves Lair

The Wolves Are Waiting

Salmond has had a fairly easy run up up until now with his mendacious and toxic mix of lies and hyperbole while unleashing the worst traits of Scots character. I can’t yet decide whether he reminds me of Haig before the Somme, lining up his citizens Army before they go over the top and into oblivion or Kinnock at Sheffield in ’92 when his victory grandstanding was actually followed by ignominious defeat. Perhaps though, Salmond’s smug triumphalism most reminds me of Napoleon………… and he may be about to meet his Waterloo.

Salmond has had everything going his own way since he was found wanting in the first televised debate. His scheduled debate this afternoon with Alistair Darling on Mumsnet though may be looked back on as an error of judgment on the part of the “Yes,” team. Just look at some of the questions already posted,

Salmond is going into the Wolves Lair and I don’t rate his chances. The questions so far are overwhelmingly sceptical. These Mum’s don’t care about waffle; years of listening to excuses from their husbands about why they haven’t “mown the grass / mended the hoover / forgot about the dinner party / forgot to pick Jonnie up / looked at their friend that way at the party / lost weight / not noticed their hair / not recorded their favourite programme / ………. and so on,” have battle hardened them to excuses and are trained now to just go straight for the jugular and rip the arms of helpless, mumbling men. 

I’d rather be anywhere on the planet than where Salmond will be at 1:45pm, and I’m not joking; the press will seize on this. Darling meanwhile should say nothing, (especially after his disastrous interview on BBC Scotland last night by Jackie Bird), but if he has to, just agree with everyone – just like the rest of us do when faced with angry women.


Oddly though, I don't seem to be able to get my own question for the debate posted

Balancing this off is of course the visit of the other party leaders to Scotland which may neutralise any damage Salmond ships today because its difficult to see any circumstance where the #westminsterschooltrip can end well. For what it’s worth, I think honest straight talking would have more value and garner more respect than sycophantic toadying to many who will not ever change their minds. My question to Cameron is, “would you indulge your young children in this way if they didn’t get what they wanted no matter the cost or how ridiculous the demands?” The “reverse engines,” on Devo Max is actually harming the “No,” campaign because voters can only see headless chickens in a flat out panic who are throwing honesty and integrity out of the window.  Their target must be the small percentage of Labour voters who have swung to “No.” The bookies meanwhile, or rather the punters, are still backing “No,” and whatever the media noise level, I wouldn’t dismiss that.

Finally, the press have reported that assets have been leaving Scotland. That’s a bit presumptuous and premature. It’s not as if everything would shut down on the 19th in the event of a “Yes,” vote, indeed it would take years to disconnect and unravel Scotland from the rest of the UK and many things simply wouldn’t change at all. Nonetheless, as I alluded to yesterday, changes in the psychology of the crowd can quickly surge and overrun accepted thinking. Watch the ATM’s. Big and widespread cash withdrawals would be illogical but watch what happens, that would scare voters.

A few interesting articles,

Paul Krugman in the NY Times doesn’t get it

John Redwood on the role of Scottish MP’s

Heffer takes offence at South African comparison and a good deal else.

Scotland’s Financial Service Industry – Reuters

International impact; Vuc Jeremic in The Times

Prof Charles Pattie with a reflective view of an unsettled future

Forecasting Scottish Migration in the context of the Referendum; University of Southampton


Scottish Independence; Escape Velocity?

The weekend polls were unsurprising and made dismal reading for unionists. The problem besetting the “No,” campaign now is the nagging concern that they’ve allowed the “Yes camp,” to seize the initiative, set the agenda into the final phase and have allowed them to gain significant momentum. As the “Yes,” block gain more “don’t knows,” and turn previously set “No,” voters have they in fact reached escape velocity? That is, have we just witnessed a Berlin Wall moment this weekend when passion and emotion overtake logic and reason when the end simply becomes inevitable?  I see a growing number of “ah, fxck it, lets give it a go,” type of one liners on social networks and the hope now, that voters adopt a pragmatic and reasonable stance with a high turnout of “No,” voters looks at this point at least, doubtful.

English Scots For Yes.............. I have no words

Within Scotland the “Yes,” camp consists of a pretty broad church of constituencies. Surely the oddest must be this collection of loons, English Scots for Yes. I initially though they must be a bunch of ultra conservatives campaigning for a yes vote to rid parliament of 43 Scottish Labour MP’s but no, they seem to be fully paid up members of the Turkey’s for Christmas Club. Be careful what you wish for. On the other side of the nonsense wing are characters like Bruce Ogilvie of Siol nan Gaidheal.

Nutter

A kind observer might think him an eccentric cove but actually, he’s just a rabid racist of National Front type extremism who will inevitably end up behind bars one day. I remember there used to be a few clowns like him running around in the seventies dressed in what they thought Jacobite s wore and spent their time being angry and chopping down telegraph poles. The independence consortium consists of left wingers, right wingers, nationalists, naturalists, greens, immigrants, special interest parties, bored people, mischievous people, anti English people, anti government people, anti establishment people, passionate people, rich people……………… and all the rest. I’ve even heard of “no” voters who intend to vote yes because they want the relocation package to the south from their employers.

Thing is, once Motherwell Man has cast his deciding swing vote, what next? The experience in Estonia was that everyone wanted independence, they got it and then produced a fragmented political landscape consisting of many, many parties. Salmond has promised so much to so many but has not managed any expectations. In the transition phase Scotland will need a strong government acting with a fair but firm hand to navigate its way through the decoupling process. There is no indication that such leadership yet exists and there will be a danger of squabbling and division sinking the boat before it makes it out of the harbour. The SNP’s default position of “blame Westminster,” for anything they get wrong simply won’t cut it on a go forward basis and any “yes,” voter who sees some utopian vision where all Scots act as one is simply being disingenuous as to the reality of how Scots see fellow Scots across geographical, cultural, demographic and social divides.

The entire exercise will have a negative impact on the UK during and after any transition. The hard facts however, are that England, Wales and Northern Ireland are likely to emerge more or less economically intact after a prolonged period of restructuring. It will though, probably take Scotland a generation to reengineer its economy and there are likely to be some early hits to tax revenue and business morale with some companies moving out or reducing investment. Voters who are influenced by a need to teach Westminster / England / anyone-not-voting-yes may wish to ponder that.

Certainly, if I lived in Scotland and had a mortgage I’d be sprinting to lock in a fixed rate.

But, this is becoming less about the detail and more about the psychology of the crowd. Certainly, there are some pretty important aspects to a restructuring such as pension liabilities that at the moment, are dismissed with a catchphrase and wave of the hand but when the hard reality hits individuals they may wonder what happened to the Utopia they were promised. There will though, be no way back. “Yes” voters are buying a one way ticket which is why Devo Max is so attractive since they get the best of both worlds without the liabilities. That outcome is perhaps the least fair to the individual English tax payer which is why a “No,” vote ought to present the greatest satisfaction to any fervent nationalist.

The Wee Blue Book

GBP; Smell the coffee time

GBP; Smell the coffee time

Fourteen days to go and with the latest poll reporting a difference between the two sides of just six points, a frission of nervousness is flowing through capital markets and excitement is gathering across the media in expectation that they may be on the verge of the biggest story of their careers. Alas, no sign of life from Westminster but then we’re used to that. The “don’t knows,” are swinging to “Yes,” at a two to one ratio. Most observers attribute the change to Darling’s poor showing in the last debate when he had no answer to Salmond’s aggressive debating tactic of painting Scottish Labour as quasi Tories, (although Guido squarely blames the Gordon Brown effect!).

This is serious

This is serious

There may be an another reason however that is driving the don’t knows, and many previous unionists, into the yes camp. 

The Wee Blue Book

The Wee Blue Book

Hardly anyone has heard of it in the South but in Scotland, “The Wee Blue Book,” has been dropping through letter boxes for weeks with many households receiving, and continuing to receive multiple copies. Written by Stuart Campbell of the Wings Over Scotland cybernat blog, (who oddly lives in Somerset), it is turning heads and changing minds. You may not yet be familiar with Wings Over Scotland but it is a very successful site and is read daily by most if not all political journalists and interested politico’s.

Up until very recently many individuals were genuinely undecided but friends tell me that since this book started dropping on the doormat many have changed from “No” to “Yes” and its self-evident where the “don’t know’s” are heading. It’s a slick, well written production and having read it, its easy to see how many find it convincing. The scary thing is, people across the political and social spectrum appear believe it verbatim. The “No,” team do not yet have an appropriate, equal or original response. All of which is fascinating to reflect on across multiple levels given the recent debate on indoctrination and radicalisation in English towns. 

The “Book,” as it has become known, obviously covers just about every argument raised in pub debates in the last ten years and predictably, an independent Scotland wins every time. It even mentions the World Cup! No one would expect anything else from mischievous, or malevolent, political operators who have produced this cleverly, or craftily, written piece of propaganda.

I wouldn’t underestimate the impact this thing is having. At the minimum, interested unionists should read it cover to cover. At some point the penny must drop, we’re within a whisker of losing the most important political campaign in 300 years and we didn’t really show up for the bout. 

After the divorce the family might continue to squabble

Another aspect of the campaign which is manifesting itself on a broader basis is the increasingly spiteful and sinister edge to the Nationalists campaign such as was endured last week by the Better Together campaigner, Labour MP Jim Murphy on his “100 Towns, 100 Days,” campaign. Mr Murphy is genuinely to be admired for his commitment and passion. Unfortunately, an underlying nastiness is emerging further afield in villages and towns with rumours and scaremongering becoming more apparent. Everyone would earnestly hope that the debate, voting and counting process will be conducted properly and that both the eventual winner and loser, and their supporters, will treat the decision with dignity and respect. Scots harbour long memories. You don’t have to go far in the Highlands to discover a residual resentment borne in the collective memory from the Clearances and that resentment is aimed at the central belt every much as it is the English. A more obvious chasm exists between the Orkney and Shetland islanders and the central belt and that is likely to be one of Salmond’s first thorny problems were he to win on the 18th. But that’s another story.

The “Yes “ camp are a nose in front but that’s all. Placing a higher news and political priority on an Essex by election than a debate of national historical and international importance is not helping the perception in Scotland of how much the rest of the nation care. It needs to change, we need to engage and bloody quickly.

 

Critical Debate Averted!

Future of the UK is too important to be left to these clowns

A 90 minutes brawl between two shouty middle aged men was reported to have been witnessed by several hundred people in the vicinity of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow last night.

Apparently an informed public debate between two senior politicians on the future of the United Kingdom will now not be taking place before the referendum which is scheduled for the 18th September. Pathetic and bewildering in equal measure.

Alex Salmond Wins It!

Do you find it slightly odd, as I do, that with just 35 days to go until the Scottish independence vote public and political interest seems muted at best and disinterested at worst? As most have readily identified, a Yes vote would suit the Conservatives politically but as the Conservative and Unionist party, responsible individuals would be forever dammed if it were proved that avoiding engagement in the argument hoping for a Yes vote was their actual strategy.

Moreover, too much engagement would probably have the opposite effect to that intended. I think many Scots have been somewhat taken aback by the tide of bemused detachment of most south of the border which has pretty much thrown Salmond and his cohort of permanently angry nationalists off balance; after all, it’s all about rolling up the sleeves and having a good set to with the English, isn’t it?

Having been denied the soapbox bun fight that so suits his rhetoric, Salmond’s arguments have had to stand on their own merits but have been found wanting by his own constituency. I’ve always felt that at the line Scots will prove to be pragmatic rather than emotional and a recent trip north kind of confirms that in my own mind. From the people I talked to most will be voting from their own perspective of what’s good for themselves, their families and their local communities which is pretty much what voters do the world over. We’ll see what happens on the 18th but just to drive my searing and incisive analysis just a little further, this is what I think will be the scene in Salmond’s battle bunker on the morning of the 19th as last of the 32 local results roll in……

In the smoke filled Nationalist battle bunker just off the Royal Mile, an exhausted and pensive Alex Salmond slumps in his seat and gazes over the table. Friends and advisors quietly sip a Red Bull or coffee, everyone in his own zone, mentally rewinding and playing back their part in the campaign. The vote is close, too close to call. The knock on the door will come soon, then perhaps……. a wee dram to celebrate the historic day then down to see the press with Alex, maybe squeeze into tomorrow’s front page photographs… the door bursts open, 

“Alex, Alex man. We’ve done it, oh bloody hell we’ve bloody gone and done it. Grampian are about to announce and its gone our way , thank God. Congratulations man, you’ve done it for Scotland.” 

Salmond slowly rises to his feet, lifts his head and after a moment, breaks into a deep grin. He hugs his messenger and with moistening eyes works his way around the room to thank his staff. 

 “Bugger boys, that was close……. I don’t ever want to go through that again. We’ve made it though and we’re in the driving seat now. Those idjats in the No camp almost screwed it up and let us win, that would have buggered things up for ever. Now, they win, we get the extra cash and it’s Devo Max all round and the Tories are still stuck with 31 Scottish Labour MP’s at Westminster. Magic! Oh you good thing… Tam! let’s have a dram, where’s the Aberlour?” 

Life actually, will be wholly more agreeable when things get back to whatever passes for normal these days.


Scotsie 100

The Scottish independence debate has so far been characterised by a poverty of original clear thinking.  The paper below by Paul Marsh, Emeritus Professor of Finance at the London Business School and Scott Evans of Walbrook Economics, about the merits of Scottish independence from a stock market perspective, changes the tone somewhat. In it, they soberly de-construct how Scotland would have fared since 1955 with its own stock exchange and how it would fare as an independent country.

With the clock running down we urgently need more input of similar calibre. One could be forgiven for thinking that the actuality of the situation is that Salmond & Co are dreading the "Oh bugger, that wasn't supposed to happen, what now?" moment if they actually do win while one might be left to think that Cameron & his playmates, latterly supplemented with a squadron of clickty-clack heeled media friendly thirty-something women junior ministers, won't shed a tear because the embedded Labour majority at Westminster will be gone forever.

 

Scotland in the Fast Lane to Darkness

"I am confident that by 2025 we will produce at least 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables alone, with the aim of increasing exports of clean, green energy to many times our domestic needs by the middle of the century" Alex Salmond

No it won't ya dunderheid. Confirmation comes to us courtesy of The Scotsman which suggests that Scottish wind farms are unable to cope with freezing conditions. Yes, they stop working just when power generation is needed most which meant that Scotland had to recently import power from French nuclear stations.

Apparently, plants like the 140 turbine Whitelee wind farm in Lanarkshire generate as little as 2.5% of capacity when it gets a wee bit hill billy and people put their kettles on.

So, not content with a technology which is inoperable in harsh winter it also doesn't work, as the Australians have discovered, in the high heat of summer when not only is there precious little wind but the turbines can't function in high temperatures either. Always at the forefront of blowing things up, the Germans too have discovered early on that the technology is not without it's flaws.

So Mr Salmond, if you believe in climate change claptrap good luck but it looks like you've picked a loser in wind and done so while ruining the natural beauty and calm of the Highlands. Time for another rebellion perhaps given the number of Highlanders you've alienated and we can see you off on a bonny boat, over the sea to Skye and then exile in France.

The Scottish National Party, Making Medieval Living a Reality.