THE governor of the Bank of England last week warned that UK households face greater exposure to energy price shocks than those in the US or Europe and are less protected than in Europe. If ever there was an indictment of the UK Government’s handling of Scotland’s energy sources then this is it, from the mouth of the BoE.

After 47 years of wasted oil production – not to mention the years of burning off the accompanying gas – and the failure to invest in our many sources of renewable energy, we are like paupers compared to Norway, which has a massive sovereign wealth fund (worth £1 trillion and growing). That is exactly the price Scotland’s population pays for remaining under the Westminster thumb.

READ MORE: Robbie Mochrie: Why a post-indy Scotland should treat all bankers as rogues

As a palliative, Spain has given free travel on its rail system from September 1 until December 31 for all season ticket holders. France has reduced energy bills to a maximum increase of 4% (but the French government owns their single electricity company).

Meanwhile our "government" has flip-flopped for years on all energy matters (but only after they cunningly moved planning for hydrocarbon development from the Scottish Office to Westminster immediately after oil and gas was found in the North Sea).

After Thatcher dispatched the miners in the 80s they opted for gas, as there was an abundance in the world and they could buy it cheaply, meanwhile burning off the gas from the disparate North Sea oil production fields as it would cost more to lay a gathering pipeline, which the canny Norwegians developed. Later they had to buy into the Norwegian pipeline to access it for the gas we produced.

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The gas storage scheme planned for the north-east of England was abandoned as “it cost too much”. Now we have an “idea” to set up “mini” nuclear power plants (which haven’t yet been proven to work).

After extending all infrastructure in Caithness, it was found that the grid substations could only handle the wind power produced there, so cables have been laid from the huge number of sea-borne wind turbines in the Moray Firth to Aberdeenshire, and from there to be added to the grid, and as I write, cables are being laid from Caithness to Orkney, and by the end of 2023 to Shetland, to “guarantee security of supply” for the islands!

Last week it was announced that a substation planned near Haddington has been withdrawn (although it already had planning consent) as it isn’t big enough and will be resubmitted, no doubt to enable the grid to accept the power from here, and the Neart na Gaoithe wind turbine field off the Fife coast, while a cable is to be laid from North Berwick to the north-east of England (at least no "official" explanation is put out for that, so far).

The list is endless, but Scotland had better waken up for before we know it we’ll be well and truly another depleted "county" of greater England with no resources to control for the benefit of our people.

Paul Gillon

THE Wee Ginger Dug’s article “Tory leadership contest takes a very dark turn” was one of several in The National on Friday regarding the economic upheaval that the Bank of England is predicting will hit the UK in a matter of months and last until beyond the next General Election.

Rishi Sunak is talking about dealing with extremists who threaten the very existence of the country, Liz Truss is vilifying the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, and both are attacking the trade unions. David Cameron’s plea for Scots to stay and lead the UK has been thrown aside, along with Theresa May’s precious Union of four equal partners – the UK is now a single country.

The new Tory government obviously has an oven-ready plan for when the recession hits later this year and inflation and interest rates soar ever higher; the magnitude of the crash and the need for rapid responses will then be used to justify taking back powers from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments and restricting industrial action.

READ MORE: Tory attempts to ‘browbeat’ Scots will not save Union, former UK adviser says

The unlimited publicity available for their leadership campaign is being utilised by the Tories to portray the devolved governments as incompetent. References to “levelling up” and lower regional pay imply that they have fallen behind and cannot recover without UK Government assistance. Unlike the UK Government that creates the national deficit, the devolved governments have to run balanced budgets – yet somehow their allocated per capita shares of the UK’s annual deficit all greatly exceed those of England under the UK Government.

Pro-government think-tanks are being used to enhance this spendthrift image by claiming that the devolved governments are neglecting core services such as health and education by using their over-generous “block grants” to provide unnecessary freebies, such as free university education, prescriptions, personal care, child allowances, bus travel and so on, for the Scots and Welsh – mistakenly believed by many to come from taxes on hard-working English families who do not share these advantages.

The UK Government brought in devolution for all the wrong reasons and is now embarking on the even more dangerous path of setting identifiable groups of the people against each other in order to concentrate power in the hands of an ambitious, incompetent few in Downing Street.

WATCH: Liz Truss told Scotland to 'get lost' with Nicola Sturgeon jibe, says Brown

On September 5, tens of thousands members of the Tory party and Conservatives Abroad will impose their newly elected leader on the 65 million people who have not taken part in the selection of their Prime Minister, the most power politician in the UK.

The law-abiding Scottish Government is now engaged in a race against time to legally extricate Scotland from the stranglehold of the government in Westminster that shows little respect for human rights, international agreements and law and order.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry