SCOTLAND’S population is around just 1.1 per cent of the EU’s. Yet, newly revised figures show that Scotland possesses nine per cent of offshore energy potential compared to the EU.

You might think that would be a positive news story about Scotland's economic and energy producing potential. It proves that Scotland has the potential to produce vastly more energy than the country requires for domestic use, generating a huge surplus in clean energy which could be exported at international energy prices, providing a massive boost to the financial position of an independent Scotland.

But, of course, that is not how BBC Scotland chose to frame the story.

Scotland having the potential to generate an enormous surplus of never-ending clean energy is actually bad news for the SNP. This is because the Scottish Government had previously cited a figure of 25%, which turned out to be based on faulty research. Apparently, it's a really bad thing that Scotland has less of a massive energy surplus. It doesn't change the fact that an independent Scotland will have an embarrassingly large surplus of energy for export – which will generate huge income for the Scottish budget.

But it's really bad news for the SNP and for hopes of independence. The BBC said so, so it must be true.

Imagine how awful it is that the massive amount of energy export earnings Scotland could earn is 36% of what it was previously thought to be. It's like winning £36,000,000 on the lottery instead of £100,000,000. It's still a huge amount of life changing extra cash that can be used to transform the lives and prospects of hundreds of thousands of Scots, allowing Scotland to offer pensioners and disabled people a dignified standard of living, boosting Scotland's economic development, and assuring a just transition to a green economy.

Without Scottish independence all that money will go directly into the greedy maw of the UK Treasury, where it will be spent on Great British vanity projects or given to whatever finance company David Cameron is lobbying for this week. But still, let's not let any of that get in the way of an SNP-bad story.

A senseless minister for common sense

The National: Esther McVey has praised the PM for scrapping HS2

Buried amongst the media excitement yesterday about the return of former Prime Minister David Cameron to front line politics was the news that Rishi Sunak has appointed Esther McVey (above) as minister for common sense. Presumably her role will be to try and find out where they put it.

GB News host McVey has had to apologise for misleading parliament about Universal Credit, claimed £8750 in expenses for a personal photographer, and once said it was right that more people are using foodbanks because "we all have to pay back this debt". Sunak has appointed her as his personal spokesperson against "wokery", further blurring the line between government and right-wing news channels. She'll now have to come up with an alternative definition of "woke" to the current "not being a racist".

Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle blues

The wheels are already coming off a reshuffle that Sunak hoped would prove that the Conservatives are a serious, sober and centre-right party that could start to make substantial inroads into the 20-point lead Labour enjoys in the polls.

Within 24 hours of the reshuffle being announced, one of Sunak's junior ministerial appointments had announced her resignation. Trudy Harrison, a land use and environment minister, did not give a reason for her resignation but said that she had decided not to seek reelection and was stepping down. Her Copeland constituency in Cumbria is tipped to vote heavily Labour at the next General Election.

Harrison's resignation was quickly followed by that of junior whip Julie Marson. Marson, the MP for Hertford and Stortford, a formerly safe Conservative seat which could fall to Labour at the next election, announced in a statement that she was standing down for personal reasons. Marson has only been an MP since 2019.

Scottish Labour’s view of Scotland

Labour peer George Robertson has said there is a "still quite strong" sense of parochialism in Scotland during a discussion on the successes and failures of devolution. Robertson infamously claimed during the 2014 independence referendum debate that Scotland had no language or culture, displaying that he suffers from an industrial grade level of the Cringe, not to mention an appalling ignorance that makes Donald Trump seem well informed and erudite.

Robertson is also the man who claimed that the introduction of devolution would "kill nationalism stone dead”. The question of whether it's even possible to have nationalism in a society which has neither a language nor a culture is a philosophical debate that Robertson has never troubled himself with, obsessed as he is with his own ego and position.

The National: George Robertson, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen

The former Labour shadow Scottish secretary of state (above) was being asked this week by a Holyrood committee whether the Scotland Act which created the Scottish Parliament did enough to anticipate problems in the relations between Holyrood and Westminster.

Robertson replied: "Well, remember my involvement, my detailed involvement with the devolution settlement sort of ended on May 3, 1997 because I became the secretary of state for defence."

He went on to say that his change in role was sometimes described as a "demotion" by others, adding that he had to "go along with this mythology at the time, such is the parochialism in Scotland”.

It was a demotion as the post of secretary of state for Scotland was one of the cabinet's most powerful and influential positions prior to the introduction of devolution, but Robertson's ego is such that he has to pretend instead that he hadn't really been demoted, because that was only the opinion of “parochial Scots” who naturally don't count.

All this proves is that the greatest parochialism of all is that which lives in George Robertson's head. Yet these are not merely the attitudes of a has-been politician, resentful that his countrymen and women do not share his own estimation of himself as a great statesman – these are attitudes which are alive and kicking in the Labour party of Keir Starmer.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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