Cameron’s Prime Aberdeen Angus Bullshit 158

David Cameron is peddling bullshit of the premium Aberdeen Angus kind today.  At today’s oil prices, recoverable North Sea oil is worth a minimum of 1.2 trillion and a maximum of 2.4 trillion dollars.   Cameron is claiming that potential will not be released without government subsidy of 24 billion dollars, and that only the UK government’s “broad shoulders” can raise this.

It is nauseous to dive into such bulllshit to analyse it.  To knock a few noughts off, Cameron is saying that it is impossible to raise £10 investment if you have a guaranteed return of £5,000 and possibly £10,000.  Salmond’s counter that Norway manages these things is perfectly valid.

Am I the only one who wonders why the taxpayer, under Cameron’s plan, the taxpayer – ie you and me – should fund $20 billion to decommission oil platforms when the oil companies made, at today’s values, over $400 billion in straight profit from those platforms?  That payment to the oil companies constitutes 83% of the money from the UK which Cameron claims an independent Scotland would miss out on.  The money would not actually go to Scotland at all – it would go to British Gas, BP, Shell, Exxon and other such needy people, to compensate them for polluting us (sic!).

Finally, the taxation revenue to Scotland from the oil and gas after independence will be a minimum of $240 billion and a maximum of $500 billion more to the Scottish taxpayer if Scotland were independent, than the share Scotland will get within the UK.  Purely in terms of government revenue, Scotland will still be at least US 216 billion better off in taxes even if it pays the precious 24 billion Cameron is harping on about today.

Finally, the Cabinet is in Aberdeen and discussing vital revenue and investment questions, but where are they hiding George Osborne?  Have they hidden him behind a curtain with a bucket on his head?  Come on, we want George! Bring out your Family Trust Fund Public Schoolboys!!


158 thoughts on “Cameron’s Prime Aberdeen Angus Bullshit

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  • fred

    “I don’t believe heather moorland has a vote, much as Better together would like it to. Just 18% of the human population lives in rural areas. ”

    That heather and moorland is Scotland.

    I’ll tell you what, take the Borders and declare your independence, leave the rest of us alone. We can manage without you better than you can manage without us.

  • fred

    “80% of those polled by P & J stated their preference had not changed in the past 6 months. Clearly a rigged poll or did they accidentally fall over these no voters?”

    Well of course it was rigged, every poll that wasn’t in favour of the Nationalists has been rigged and every poll that was wasn’t.

    Hadn’t you noticed?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    1. ‘That heather and moorland is Scotland.’ (Fred)

    2. ‘So the opinions of rural people don’t matter to the Nationalists Unionists then.'(Fred, almost)

    You need an archivist and a proofreader.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    Someone’s link says –

    ‘The Council Tax freeze is represented by the Scottish Government as a socially progressive policy which protects hard up families. However, there is now a growing body of evidence to show that’s what the Council Tax freeze is not doing.

    Citizen Advice Scotland is reporting that although overall levels of personal debt are now falling, Council Tax arrears along with payday loans are increasing.’

    and then argues that Council Tax should be increased.

    I don’t follow that. And neither does the author. He thinks that CT should be increased because council services are being cut. Which is defensible. But does he think arrears would fall as a result? I don’t. Conclusion: the poverty issue is irrelevant to his argument, and is introduced as an emotive lever.

    Actually what is needed is secure employment in profitable manufacturing industries, as Salmond has said.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    Galloway: lately MP, in turn, for Bethnal Green and Bow, and Bradford West (5 Bradford Respect councillors resigned in protest at George in 2013). Also contested Poplar. Not likely to find a Scottish Labour seat -independent or not-, having been kicked out of Glasgow Hillhead. And lost his deposit at the sole Scottish Parliamentary election ever contested by Respect. His only hopes lie in England, in substantially Asian communities. So he’s not going to say ‘yes’, is he?

    Despite his prior advocacy of devolution-max, he now finds himself aligned with the usual suspects on the devolution-haha front.

    Poor George.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Etc)

    ‘“Poor George.”

    If you can’t argue with the facts just attack the person.’

    What facts? GG is for ‘No’ That’s the only fact you’ve presented. And I’m not arguing with it. Just pointing out which side GG’s bread is buttered, and the company he would, left to himself, probably prefer not to keep.

    Personally, I’d be glad he’s ‘no’ if I were ‘yes’. His credibility in Scotland isn’t exactly great. He’s about the last person I’d cite if I were ‘no’. As it is, I’m ‘Let the people decide, and let’s keep the debate factual’.

    I am sure you will indicate your approval by ceasing to regard all nationalists everywhere as the spawn of Satan, and conscientiously linking to factual evidence. Won’t you?

  • fred

    “What facts?”

    Well the article was about a local council refusing to hire a hall because it would be used to promote the No campaign.

    I don’t see that your character assassinations have any relevance to the legality or the ethics of the council’s decision.

  • Mary

    Copied in case you are not registered. More pressure for a No vote from the retailers and supermarkets. There is a ganging up.
    February 4, 2014 3:50 pm

    Retailers review Scottish pricing ahead of independence vote
    By Elizabeth Rigby and Andrea Felsted

    When supermarket bosses last year warned of rising prices in Scotland in the event of a “yes” vote in this year’s independence referendum, many in the Scottish National party denounced the comments as scaremongering, with some even urging shoppers to boycott Wm Morrison and Asda stores.

    But the threat is real. For decades, a nation of 5.2m Scots have paid the same prices for supermarket groceries as the wider 64m-strong UK market, despite many being in locations that are more expensive to reach.

    That could change in the event of independence, argue retail executives and competition experts, who warn that without the protection of national pricing policies, the Scots will end up paying more for all fast-moving consumer goods including clothing, medicines, toiletries, stationery and hardware.

    “Scotland is very sparsely populated and retailers carry that extra distribution cost out of the centre,” says John Fingleton, former chair of the Irish Competition Authority and chief executive of the UK’s Office of Fair Trading. “If those costs are isolated to Scotland only, it will just push up the prices in Scotland and lower prices in England. All of the retail sectors where in-time distribution matters [will be looking at this].”

    Supermarket bosses have publicly spoken about the added distribution costs and regulatory pressure of doing business in Scotland as they eye the September plebiscite.

    “Once it is a separate country, we and other retailers will take a view of what the cost structure is of that industry, and of course the revenue structure too,” says Justin King, the outgoing chief executive of J Sainsbury. “If you were to strike that today, there is no doubt Scotland is a more costly country [in which] to run a grocery retail business.”

    Andy Clarke, chief executive of Asda, the second-biggest UK chain, has previously said a yes vote “could result in Scotland being a less attractive investment proposition for business, and put further pressure on our costs”.

    Dalton Philips, chief executive of Wm Morrison, has admitted any extra burden on cost structure would “potentially have to be passed through to consumer pricing”, adding: “Why should the English and Welsh consumer subsidise this increased cost of doing business in Scotland?”

    The cost impact is also a concern for the wider retail sector, and some companies are already considering how to adjust their pricing strategies.

    “Does it really matter if you get a bit of differential pricing if you get up to Peterhead?,” asks an executive of a leading UK clothing retailer. Stating that pricing for the borders and big cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh would probably stay the same as English cities, he adds: “I think there would be a real issue with more expensive pricing for the remoter parts. So there would be arbitrage.”

    Mr Fingleton disputes the possibility of retailers engaging in a price war to win over Scottish shoppers, arguing that in a smaller nation, there will naturally be less competition. “If you don’t have a big enough market, you get weaker rivalry,” he says.

    The Irish retail market also has lessons for an independent Scotland. Tesco operates on both sides of the Irish border, but its businesses are run as separate entities in the north and south, operating in different currencies with separate management teams, tax regimes and buying structures.

    This inevitably causes pricing differences – though Tesco will not be drawn on whether its Northern Irish customers enjoy cheaper prices by being under the umbrella of the retailer’s UK-wide pricing structure.

    One industry expert believes the Northern Irish customer “absolutely” gets a better deal than their southern counterparts, which helps explain why consumers in the border area migrate to the north when they buy in bulk.

    “People tend to go and do their big shop in the north. You wouldn’t drive from Dublin to go to the north, but anyone who lived in Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan or Louth, if it was a 20-mile journey, you’d go across the border to do your shopping.”

    Does it really matter if you get a bit of differential pricing if you get up to Peterhead?
    – Executive of a leading UK clothing retailer

    Large retailers in Scotland have already had to deal with higher taxes under the SNP, and unanimously cite regulatory risk as a top concern if Scotland does vote for independence. But there could yet be benefits for smaller retailers.

    In Scotland, the SNP-led administration slapped a £95m “public health levy” on big supermarkets selling alcohol and cigarettes, but delighted the industry last month when it decided the levy would not be renewed.

    In Ireland, the government pushed through a similar ban on below-cost selling through its Groceries Order – “in effect a ban on competitive pricing by larger supermarkets against smaller shops”, says Mr Fingleton.

    “In a smaller economy, in my experience, having run competition agencies in both, smaller retailers are much more powerful.”

    Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, chief executive of Business for Scotland, rebuffs all the arguments from the retailers.

    He told the FT that a reformed Scottish tax system could mean lower prices for shoppers. He also said while distribution costs might be higher, land and labour costs are lower in Scotland. “There are opportunities for retailers to maintain or cut costs and maintain profitability.”

    Mr MacIntyre-Kemp added that Scotland would still be a competitive market if the Scots did vote for independence.

    “Scotland has a full range of retailers and full competition. Most of Scotland’s population lives in the central belt and up the east coast, which are very highly populated areas and those areas such as the Highlands and Islands are not well served by national retail chains as it is.

    “So the competition is here and the vast bulk of the Scottish population are as cost effective to distribute to as anywhere in the rest of the UK.”

  • nevermind

    so no citizen rights then, ah well, lets hope human rights conventions will be adopted, or…..?

  • Dabs

    My tuppenceworth.

    Orkney/Shetland were part of Scotland prior to the 1603 Union of Crowns. Britain has a history of partitioning countries – divide and rule. Its part of their contemptuous attrition against us that they whisper such tosh. What next, are we to see the Black and Tans at Parkhead? Will they try to poison the relative religious peace we are at last seeing between the Christian denominations? Those islands have been Scotland since before the Scots nobility sold their birthright.

    The EU. Like a Readers Digest Sub,or a stay at the Hotel California. They can accept East Germany overnight, but existing members of 40 years standing will be chucked out to reapply? Maybe they will have us vote 3 times til we get the right answer.

    I have yet to read in any Daily Mail or Telegraph article, news of any former member of the Empire petitioning Westminster to come back into the fold. Yet some are considerably worse off economically than they were when the map was shaded pink. Could it be that richer or poorer they still want the people who make decisions in their counties to actually come from their homelands? I couldn’t care if I was 5 millions richer or bankrupted. My country is worth more than money. In this struggle nobody is shooting at us. We are choosing in a democratic vote how our country will be governed and by whom. I sure as hell wont be bought or sold for English gold. Will any of you?

    Scotland should be governed by Scots. Our kin have died in shitholes the world over to defend other tribes right to self determination. We have a right to be free too.

    I have found a great deal of both ignorance and confused self interest in talking to people about this vote. A woman the other day was under the impression that Eck set the tax rates here in Scotland. Some of the business people think only about the rates of tax, not about the economic opportunities that will arise. Am I alone in hating having to pay English “agents” a fee to buy some thing made in another country which I know the Irish can buy from the factory direct? Its not Alex Salmond you are voting for, its Scotland yes or no. Not Eck yes or no. I do strongly feel that the issue is not being openly talked about because it is divisive, and people fear losing business if they nail their colours to the mast. I don’t recall any other issue being off limits. So this is not just wishful thinking, but I don’t trust any opinion poll about this. I don’t think more educated people are keen to declare. Fred Mac live stays as impartial as its possible to be. I think he too is in the best not say camp.

    England is up to its arse in debt. No country has ever been that much in debt and got out of it. Maybe it will be just like that no more boom and bust mirage, and George will sail into a bright new debt free world. They need the exports of oil and hooch to fill their treasury and pay for the BMW’s. And our blood comes in handy as cannon fodder at times too. We really need to just get the divorce over with.

    YES Scotland.

  • Duncan

    So Ukraine will be let into the EU along with a great black deep hole for an economy and Scotland will be excluded with oceans of lucrative black gold to back it. Does that sound sensible or likely? If independence goes ahead and Scotland employs some steady and innovative heads at the helm, then it could well be a financial power-house to rival Norway or Switzerland, both not in the EU, have colossal reserves and their own currencies.

    There is also the threat to the City of London having it’s financial services sector decimated, the only industry worth saving it seems in the UK Government’s reckoning.

    Change is what scares the Westminster Establishment most, the mask falls and the truth abounds that much of the UK serves London and the home counties and without Scotland and it’s wealth, the wheels fall off the wagon. Then a wind of change will erupt making the recent winter storms seem like a storm in a tea-cup. No wonder the Lib-Lab-Con pact are panicking.

  • Clark

    Dabs, 9:44 pm:

    “England is up to its arse in debt”

    Nah, deeper than that. Breathing through a tube.

    “And our blood comes in handy as cannon fodder at times too”

    Yes, we certainly don’t want to have to move our nukes to our Green and Pleasant Land. We’d rather make a target of places further north.

    Go for it Scotland.

  • fred

    “Orkney/Shetland were part of Scotland prior to the 1603 Union of Crowns.”

    Well only just. Orkney and Shetland are culturally, genetically and historically Norwegian. They weren’t annexed by Scotland till 1472.

  • fred

    “So Ukraine will be let into the EU along with a great black deep hole for an economy and Scotland will be excluded with oceans of lucrative black gold to back it.”

    No, they will have to go through the process of meeting all the criteria then applying and going through the acceptance process like every other country which wants to join. East Germany, which was mentioned earlier, unified with West Germany so in effect didn’t exist any more, it became Germany which was already a member. The situation with Scotland, should they gain independence, would be the exact opposite.

  • Clark

    Mary’s comment, 5:32 pm: isn’t there a (fairly) simple solution? With independence, Scotland could:

    (1) Limit oil extraction. This would put the actual cost of fuel (and hence fuel profits) up, but improve compliance with CO2 emission restriction commitments.

    (2) Reduce the tax on fuel more than the increase caused by (1), thus reducing transport costs and thus the cost of everything else. This would reduce fuel tax revenue collected (but it’s going to Westminster at present anyway), but stimulate the economy.

    I’m a tech, so I explore first-order effects first; I expect that economists could argue ad infinitum about my above suggestion, and I’d fail to understand a word of it.

    Using high tax rates to reduce CO2 has no effect at the global level in any case:

  • Clark

    Of course Scotland would have to go through the EU application and acceptance process. Drawing attention to this is merely distraction.

    The real question is whether Scotland would seriously have any trouble being accepted. I don’t think so.

  • fred

    “The real question is whether Scotland would seriously have any trouble being accepted. I don’t think so.”

    I think that would depend on how things go. That English debt mentioned earlier is actually British debt and any attempts to renegue on their share by Scotland would probably put them in jeopardy.

    Britain was blocked from EEC membership for 20 years just for sinking the French navy. Best not making any enemies.

    Those nuclear submarines you mentioned are a bit of a sticking point too, if Scotland intends joining NATO as they say they will then they will have to stay.

  • fred

    “I have found a great deal of both ignorance and confused self interest in talking to people about this vote. A woman the other day was under the impression that Eck set the tax rates here in Scotland.”

    In effect he does, he sets it the same as the rest of the UK. He has the power to vary it by 3p either way if he wants to. An act passed in 2012 gives Scotland total control over tax rates but it hasn’t come into force yet.

  • Duncan

    It may well be that Scotland would be better off without being tied to the EU and rather than go grovelling to be let in, wait till they come to you with their begging bowl. The entrants into the EU now are the economic basket cases such as Greece which should never have been let in in the first place. Presently we have the former communist countries wanting in which are a big load on the wealthier countries. Who in their right mind ever thought any of this could work?
    It will be interesting that if after the next General Election and Cameron does by some miracle get back in power and does as he promised have a referendum on continued EU membership (all very unlikely I realise) and he loses, then where does that leave the UK and an independent Scotland? I would suggest in a far better position than at present.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    ‘character assassinations’

    That is, -is it not? – an implied attack on me. Your criteria for your own comments here do not appear to match the standards you demand of others.

    In any event, most of what I said about GG was instantly verifiable as hard fact. The rest was clearly intended as a personal opinion derived from that. I wish I could say the same about your outbursts re. Scottish aspirations to independence. (That, too, is my personal opinion.)

    Galloway’s public persona is that of an old-school Socialist, and nothing wrong with that in itself. As a Socialist he is presumably wedded to the idea of universal brotherhood and the breaking-down of national distinctions. He aims to accomplish this by splitting off his own personal political fiefdom from the broad Left, selectively and uncritically wooing the British Muslim vote, and giving aid and comfort to a variety of unsavoury regimes, including no-longer-Communist Russia. Maybe this is symbolic of his world citizenship, but I can’t help seeing it as at best naive; and more so in that he is apparently prepared to ally himself with some extremely fat cats in decrying the Yes campaign.

    Maybe he has realised that global capitalism is in a much better position to achieve the brotherhood of man – albeit dismissably poor and exploited man – than Marx ever envisaged?

    Yes he has good points. He loathes Blair like poison, and he is supportive of the Palestinian cause. Which involves….wait for it….independence for the Arabs in Palestine! Who are by your measure, or any other, Nationalists. Good. Noted.

  • fred

    ‘character assassinations’

    Yes and you’re still at it and still haven’t commented on the legality or ethics of a council refusing to rent a hall because it would be used by the No campaign.

    BTW I find your comparison of Scotland with Palestine repulsive and an insult to all Palestinians.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    ‘character assassinations’….cont’d

    Once again, you intentionally missed the point. I wasn’t comparing Scotland with Palestine, was I? I was simply pointing out that the Palestinian desire for independence was necessarily nationalist. And you have repeatedly stated that you abhor nationalism. Everywhere. That’s the trouble with a rigid and dogmatic mindset.

    Legality or ethics… I don’t have sufficient knowledge of Scots law as it applies to council property to comment one way or the other on that. Ethically…want me to dig up some equal and opposite shenanigans by the No campaign? Possibly unlike you, I’ve worked for a political party during an election campaign. I know how dirty it can get, even in a nice area. On all sides, without distinction of class or political creed. Your instance is not exceptional. There, you have my comment.

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