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Frack Frack Fracking on Scotland’s Door

Frack Frack Fracking on Scotland’s Door
April 02
12:11 2016

Perthshire, Scotland

Here in Scotland, there is a serious debate going on about whether to frack or not to frack. It has been relatively easy for the Scottish government to deal with so far, but with oil price falling, decisions will have to be made.

We have an election to the Scottish parliament on the horizon and fracking will be one of the hot topics under discussion. Of course all the parties have differing opinions and views on this thorny subject, so common sense will be in short supply.


First Minister Sturgeon in action

The campaigning had already started in earnest with insults and abuse being hurled across party lines with little regard for the safety or sanity of the public. We have had two leaders debates in the last two weeks. The election isn’t until sometime in May. Enough already! The public are sick and tired of hearing politicians lying through their shiny white teeth about anything and everything.

I have to admit I couldn’t watch either all the way through, and I would award medals for bravery to anyone who sat and listened to the whole lot!

Apparently now we have five parties worthy of inclusion in the televised debates, whose leaders are very serious about themselves and how their ideas are the best for the rest of us.

The truth is, they would all happily sell their entire families and any principles they still have, to be in a position of power. None of them actually care about what the public want. If they did, they might get some respect, instead of derision.

There are of course supporters of all these parties, who can’t say a negative word about their own “Dear Leader”. They follow blindly, believing every ridiculous utterance these puffed up nonentities produce.

The ruling party, SNP, are obsessed with control freakery. There’s no room for argument or discussion. Dissent is punished by being savaged on social media.

Their leader, Nicola Sturgeon comes over as an “affay nice wumman”, but she makes Angela Merkel look like “Little Bo Peep”! Miss Sturgeon rules the party she inherited from her mentor Alex Salmond, with a rod of steel. Her lips smile, but her eyes show little sign of humour.

The SNP has a vice like grip on power in Scotland and show no real signs of letting go.

The one fly in their ointment is the plummeting oil price. This has blown a huge hole in their financial plans for the country, but they are willfully ignoring this rather important factor and the possibility of fracking being the answer, because of their fear of public opinion.

The opposition to the SNP government is the Labour party, which was shredded but the SNP in the British General election last year. They are led by Kezia Dugdale. No, I have no idea who she is or how she got the job, but there she is, looking constantly harassed, trying to make the tattered remains of Scottish Labour seem relevant to the electorate.

This is an almost impossible task. Almost all of the Labour strongholds in Scotland were lost to the SNP in the last election. They are a lost cause, led by an earnest person, but seemingly doomed to electoral obscurity. Ms Dugdale can promise anything because she will never be in power. But she is anti-fracking.

The Scottish Conservative party is led by Ruth Davidson. She is quite a character and unusually for a politician, actually has a sense of humour, which she will need fighting this election! She is also a pragmatist, so she can see fracking will probably be necessary.

Her chances of making much headway in the election are possibly marginally better than Labour, which isn’t saying much! She certainty comes over much better to the public than the earnest Ms Dugdale and the hard-eyed Ms Sturgeon.

The Liberal Democrats were in coalition with Labour in the first couple of parliaments here, but now that the SNP have a huge majority, the Lib Dems really can’t expect to do very well.

They are led by the very grey Willie Rennie. A man so bland, he is virtually magnolia emulsion paint! When he makes speeches, he is an instant cure for insomnia! It just shows the dearth of political talent in Scotland. Mr Rennie is anti-fracking because he follows whatever he thinks will win him votes.

The Scottish Green party are mostly an irrelevance at Hollyrood. They really don’t say much more than is said about the environment by Labour or the Lib Dems. They are “led” by Patrick Harvey, an averagely able politician but isn’t going to set the heather on fire in any of his speeches!

He talks a lot about renewable energy, but doesn’t mention the enormous government subsidies it takes to get them built and running! Mr Harvey is definitely anti-fracking.

The parts of the debate I accidentally saw on the television news, were of the five leaders standing in a line behind individual lecterns, looking uncomfortable. In the centre position was First Minister Sturgeon, flanked by Ms Dugdale and Ms Davidson. Out on the wings and looking lost, were wee Willie Rennie and Green Patrick Harvey.

From the little I saw, it looked like the three ladies were slugging it out with each other, and all talking at the same time. The two men just looked scared to say anything and as no one was asking them questions, they were fairly irrelevant to the proceedings.

This was basically the same outcome from the second debate. I would be surprised if fifty viewers were still tuned in by the end of these horror shows.

The only people who find these things riveting are the politicians and the media pundits who pore over every utterance from the puffed up self important idiots.

I truly believe no one will change their minds or voting intentions by watching grown men and women hurl abuse at each other on a public forum. No one wins in these debates. Some just come out looking slightly less stupid than the rest.

The most important issue facing the current government is the falling oil price and the effect it is having on the economy and jobs. The North Sea has provided billions of pounds of revenue for the British treasury department, but sadly at the very moment as Scotland gets almost total control of their own economy and tax affairs, the worldwide price of oil falls dramatically. This has meant the SNP government will have to look elsewhere for tax revenue and jobs for the thousands of laid off oil workers.

Here is where the the thorny issue of fracking comes to the forefront.

There is huge opposition to this method of oil and gas extraction, in Scotland. The SNP have never said outright that they are for or against this controversial subject. Licences have been issued to companies who want to begin shale gas extraction. The Scottish government has now said there is a moratorium on fracking for the moment. This means that the government doesn’t have to make a decision before May’s election.

My feeling is that as soon as they win the election, which they will, there will be a lifting of the moratorium and fracking will begin in earnest. The government knows this will be hugely controversial, but they will counter this with the economic benefits and job creation that fracking will bring.

As there won’t be an election for another five years, any opposition can be deflected or just simply ignored, as they hope that the benefits outweigh any pollution caused!

Time will tell whether I’m right or wrong, but I’ll just be glad to see the backs of the vote-seeking parasites for another five years.


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Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[header image from Wikimedia Commons, credit to Ostroff Law; the Flying Scotsman credit to Virgin Trains East Coast]

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