CLIMATE change! What’s that about?

It was always the UK “PLC Elite” plan to use “British” oil in Scottish territorial waters to fund the economic downturn of Brexit. In December 2018, Andy Critchlow wrote in The Telegraph that “oil remains one of the country’s most reliable money spinners and sources of hard currency export revenues” and that “pressures will only grow after Brexit, but North Sea oil should still give Britain the cash generating power to defend its economy and the leverage to build new trading relationships overseas.”

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No problem for those “in the know” who can and have inserted themselves in the “right” industries, and no problem for those who are on the preferential lists to receive public money to provide profit-weakened services to the public, and no problem for those who are closest to where the new money is being printed and where additional borrowing is green-lit, but tough luck to the other 97% of the UK’s population!

If the UK’s leaky-bucket tax regime did not allow so much money to exit the UK to pay minimal offshore taxes to another country, and if the UK’s profit-gouging chumocracy weren’t inserting themselves between government and public services, and if we weren’t funding bloated class, privilege and entitlement tax-exempt lifestyles, and if we weren’t still pursuing the economically illiterate and economy damaging austerity regime, and if we weren’t still trying to fund a world-power presence on an economy smaller than the single US state of California, we might be quite a “normal” big to medium-sized country with almost all of its citizens enjoying a comfortable socially democratic lifestyle, and we definitely wouldn’t be printing as much new money or borrowing as much as we are at present.

Dream on!

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf: Brexit cost Scotland £1.6bn in tax receipts in 2023

The Tories are very good with money, but they have a very different definition of “very good” than the rest of us have.

Too many fingers in pies, too much institutionalised appropriation of public funds and assets, and let’s not forget a government structure designed to perpetuate and protect class, privilege and entitlement.

Anyone for a new start? Anyone for independence?

In 2010, offering advice on how to deal with the economic crash, the International Monetary Fund advised strongly against using austerity because it would damage a country’s economy and slow the rate of economic recovery.

The UK was the only country that stuck with (and still sticks with) austerity. Made worse in the UK because austerity is not applied equally across the population; those in power have kept their incomes well ahead of inflation while the majority have lost out and have wages that are steadily losing spending power. The result is that the UK’s obscene levels of wage inequality are world leading (not something to be proud of).

I’ll repeat, anyone for independence?

Alistair Potter
via email

ON Monday morning our First Minister Humza Yousaf left domestic problems behind and headed south to deliver a speech at the London School of Economics on the effects of Brexit on our public services, a subject about which I suspect that audience was frankly well aware.

It is a battle we sadly lost back in June 2016. It was a modern-day Culloden from which our economy may never recover. I can only hope that he gave more thought as to how we might reverse the situation and less on the obvious mistakes of the past.

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He then went on to meet with representatives from countries from across the Arab world, including Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Libya and the Palestinian territories – countries that would not know what a ballot box was if it fell from the sky and hit them on the head.

In the session on Monday evening, the First Minister apparently discussed Scotland’s commitment to promoting human rights and reiterated calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, while also touting the Scotland’s “economic potential” – to an all-male audience! I would have paid good money to be in the room at that point, as talk of promoting human rights in most of the Arab world would be a bit of a conversation killer.

I do rather worry about the emerging concept of touting our country’s economic potential. The First Minister’s social media page talks of “investment in Scotland’s renewable potential”. I can only hope that this does not translate into “come to Scotland – bring your oil dollars – everything is for sale – much cheapness”.

Brian Lawson

I READ with interest the recent McCrone retrospective, and one inexorable truth came over particularly load and clear: in many ways the McCrone Report can be seen as a manifesto for mercantilism. After all, the mercantilism practiced by 19th-century imperialists was nothing more than a way for larger, dominant states to exploit the people and resources of smaller nations to their own advantage, and there can be little room for doubt that McCrone advocated pretty much the same with regards to Scotland.

READ MORE: Westminster 'wants to tax Scotland to fund tax cuts in England'

It puts me very much in mind of the internal colonialism paradigm put forward by Michael Hechter in his book of the same name first published in the 1970s. Looks like some things never change. Then again, in the words of social reformer Fredrick Douglas, without a struggle there can be no progress. I believe the struggle will be worth it and we will get there.

Iain Lappin

I AM writing in support of Charlotte Church’s speeches in support of the Palestinians. Keep up the good work, Charlotte, we need young people like you.

Margaret Forbes