GREENS NEED TO GET REAL SAYS ALBA.

TIME FOR THE GREENS TO “GET REAL” AND DELIVER RENEWED FERRY LINK

FROM ROSYTH TO EUROPE SAY ALBA MPS

ALBA Party MPs Kenny MacAskill MP and Neale Hanvey MP have launched a discussion paper on the maritime opportunities for Scotland as they call on the Scottish Greens to “get real” in delivering the direct ferry link from Rosyth to Europe they promised before and during the Scottish Election in May.  In their paper they contrast the lack of progress in Scotland with the decisive action already taken by the Republic of Ireland in establishing its own freight and passenger ferry services and routes between Ireland and mainland Europe. The Scottish Government continue to insist that any ferry route from Rosyth to Europe could only proceed on a “commercial basis”.

ALBA MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill said:

“The Scottish Greens called before and during the Election for the Rosyth direct ferry route to Europe to be reopened but since the Election have been conspicuous by their silence.  The Greens are now in Government and their co-leader has a specific remit for transport so where is the action we were promised?

“The Green Manifesto gave a clear commitment they would: ‘work with Calmac to establish direct publicly owned services for freight and passengers to continental Europe’ but the Scottish Government they are now a part of insist that any direct ferry links to Europe can only proceed on a ‘commercial basis’. 

“The environmental, economic and tourism benefits of re-opening the direct ferry link are clear – taking passengers and freight off the roads and the congested routes to the South of England while delivering jobs and trade to Scotland.  

“So far all that Greens have delivered are ministerial seats in ministerial limos and  the occasional electric bike. Greens must deliver on their commitment to reopen a direct ferry link from Rosyth to Europe or forever be known as the Scottish Greens who turned grey at the first whiff of power”.

Commenting on the Scottish Government’s continued failure to take action to re-establish the direct ferry link from Rosyth to Europe Neil Hanvey ALBA MPfor Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath said:

“The Scottish Government’s insistence that any re-opening of the direct link from Rosyth to Europe can only proceed on a ‘commercial basis’ is economically illiterate and politically dishonest.  The Scottish Government already uses Scottish taxes to subsidise ‘uneconomic’ bus and rail routes across the country so why not a direct ferry link to Europe?  There was no ‘commercial’ barrier to public ownership of Prestwick airport or Ferguson’s shipyard so why the reticence with a direct ferry link to Europe?

“There has never  been a better time for Scotland to develop its own direct ferry routes to the European mainland starting with the reopening of the Rosyth ferry port which provided Scotland’s only direct ferry link to Zeebrugge before it closed in 2010.  The port infrastructure already exists and even signage still exists on the road network for it.

“What is required is an international joint venture with the Port of Amsterdam and/or Port of Zeebrugge. The optimal provision would be two services, benefiting both passengers and businesses.  You could have two ferries carrying both passengers and freight to Amsterdam and one or two roll on roll off freight ferries to Zeebrugge. All possible through a simple tendering process.

“By refusing to act the Scottish Government are turning their backs on the people and communities of Rosyth and Fife.  Our communities need increased jobs, trade and tourism – all of which would result from the reopening of the Rosyth to Europe route.  The Greens were meant to make the Scottish Government ‘real’ but it is the Greens who need to ‘get real’ and deliver the direct ferry link from Rosyth to Europe which Rosyth, Fife and the wider Scottish economy so desperately needs.”

Commenting on their discussion paper Kenny MacAskill MP said: 

“Independent Ireland may been on the geographical periphery of Europe but that has not held her back when it comes to exploiting the trade and tourism opportunities that exist.  Ireland has forged ahead establishing many direct connections through ferry routes to the European mainland while Scotland has none.

“Scotland and Ireland are both island nations and for whom trade with the European continent is vital. Brexit saw preparations made by the Republic of Ireland with increased ferry capacity and new routes to the continent established.

Scottish exporters are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of cost and efficiency of getting their goods to market. The lack of short sea shipping routes connecting Scotland with mainland Europe results in unnecessary lorry loads of goods travelling to English ports for onward shipment, adding extra expense and time to Scottish exporters.

“Existing difficulties in accessing markets were thus compounded by customs and other complexities. Recent fuel shortages, again largely related to Brexit, have further worsened the situation for Scottish exporters.

“Ireland has five designated maritime routes into and out of Ireland. These are Dublin/Cherbourg and Rosslare/Fishguard, Pembroke, Cherbourg and Bilbao. The five designated routes were established to counter covid restrictions and continue the movement of goods, including food and medical supplies in and out of Ireland”.

ALBA MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Neale Hanvey concluded:

“While UK transport policy has driven freight and passenger traffic to the South East of England to the detriment of businesses and travellers in Scotland and the North of England, Scotland has the opportunity to develop its own freight and passenger services.  

“All that is required is the political will and the investment from the Scottish Government to make it happen.”

ENDS

A Tale of Two Nations 

Scotland and Ireland are both island nations and for whom trade with the European continent is vital. Brexit saw preparations made by the Republic of Ireland with increased ferry capacity and new routes to the continent established.

Meanwhile in Scotland where maritime transport is the responsibility of the Scottish Government no steps were taken to increase access, let alone restore the former service from Rosyth to Zeebrugge that had ceased in 2010.

Scottish exporters are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of cost and efficiency of getting their goods to market. The lack of short sea shipping routes connecting Scotland with mainland Europe results in unnecessary lorry loads of goods travelling to English ports for onward shipment, adding extra expense and time to Scottish exporters.

Existing difficulties in accessing markets were thus compounded by customs and other complexities. Recent fuel shortages, again largely related to Brexit, have further worsened the situation for Scottish exporters.

Ireland

Ireland has five designated maritime routes into and out of Ireland. These are Dublin/Cherbourg and Rosslare/Fishguard, Pembroke, Cherbourg and Cork/Bilbao. The five designated routes were established to counter covid restrictions and continue the movement of goods, including food and medical supplies in and out of Ireland. 

See the source image

There are 10 ferry freight routes that connect the Republic of Ireland to France, UK, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands. The most popular routes are Dublin to Rotterdam and Dublin to Zeebrugge, these crossings can vary from twice weekly to 4 crossings weekly.

Three main operators offer passenger ferry routes from the Republic of Ireland. Brittany Ferries offer weekly sailings from Cork to Roscoff and from Rosslare to Roscoff, Bilbao and Cherbourg. Irish Ferries offer 5 weekly sailings from Dublin to Cherbourg. The Stena Line offers one route from Rosslare to Cherbourg which it runs 3 times weekly. 

Scotland

CANCELLED

What should be happening?

There’s a need for a maritime strategy for Scotland overall and that would link Scotland to its Europeanmarkets as well as allowing for tourist travel in both directions. However, there’s an urgent need for Scots imports and exports to be able to access Europe. Action as in Ireland needs taken.  

Reopening a route from Rosyth is the immediate step that should be taken, as the cost of fuel increases and driver shortages continue the cost-effective benefit of sea freight soars. Infrastructure is in place and even signage still exists on the road network for it. Supporting the restoration of a service or services to Europe is therefore essential. Longer term consideration should be given to other options such as Cockenzie which has an existing rail connection, as well as other ports. 

In the interim though the restoration of a service from Rosyth is essential and the Scottish Government must take act to provide a maritime link for Scottish exporters to Europe. EU Motorway of the Sea funds are no longer available to Scotland, though they would be available to a continental port to apply for to support a Scottish link. The UK Government has a duty to provide funds to support a route that previously would have been available to receive aid from Europe. The Scottish Government currently support road and rail transport in a variety of ways and with direct subsidies in respect of the latter. But if Irish Government can take action to protect its exporters, so must Scotland’s.    

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73 thoughts on “GREENS NEED TO GET REAL SAYS ALBA.

  1. Scotland and Ireland are indeed island nations. But there the similarity stops. Ireland has absolutely hugely more port capacity than Scotland.

    So why is that. Scotland is moreover a Northern European nation and a link to Zeebruge or Amsterdam. makes much sense.

    Mind you remaining in Europe made much sense, but we’re all Brititish Brexiteers now!

    And that includes Sturgeon and her Green Team.

    Alba are absolutely correct when they say Scotland needs this link, and maybe Alf Baird could comment a little further

    Liked by 17 people

    1. On the eve of the Union Fletcher of Saltoun argued that the Union would not advance Scotland’s interest. As a point in fact he highlighted Wales which although having the best natural ports and being in a Union with England for centuries was the most underdeveloped area of the union with England.

      The Tories are on the point of repudiating the good Friday agreement. If they do so Sturgeon should call for the immediate secession of Scotland from England.

      This would be the abrogation of an international treaty that has serious consequences for Scotland and it is no longer satisfactory that Sturgeon and the SNP leadership remain silent.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. This is brilliant. Neale Hanvey and Kenny McAskill are really putting the SNP/Green(ish) parties to shame. Two, just two, party representatives doing the job the umpteen useless MPs and MSPs haven’t been doing since 2015. In case any careerists happen to read this article, it’s called holding parties and their election promises to account. To any unionist minded folks who might stray into this foreign territory, it’s termed opposition. You wouldn’t recognise it because all the unionist parties can do is call Scotland down, not attempt to improve our lot. More power to these two strong voices for Scotland.

    Liked by 21 people

  3. If the devolutionists don’t use the limited power at their disposal to the benefit of people and their businesses in this country then exactly why do they exist?

    Liked by 9 people

  4. So long as London remains the centre of the universe for our pretendy government, it is impossible to envisage a day in the near future when joining up with the rest of the world might enter their colonised minds. Their rhetoric may be pro European, but their actions will remain pro-colonial.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. “The Scottish Government continue to insist that any ferry route from Rosyth to Europe could only proceed on a “commercial basis”

    Show me you are neo liberal without using the words neo liberal.

    Commercial basis – well it might help the Scottish seafood industry decimated by Brexit where their catch sits in SE England until it goes off. It might help Scottish supermarkets get food onto their shelves rather than being the bottom priority of haulage drivers (or lack thereof) who will fill London and the SE’s shelves first.

    Scotland is the only net exporter of the four nations, maybe it would be helpful to ensure it remains that way.

    Tell you what, maybe the route could self identify as commercial and we could offer the government Ferry points every time they tweet in support.

    Anyway I’m sure Alf will be along to better explain why this is needed given his maritime expertise. I’ve no maritime expertise and it’s bleeding obvious to me though!

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Yes, an article by Alf Baird on this subject would be very useful for those of us with no wide knowledge in this but feel that there has been general malaise by the SG in the area of transport hubs. Even without a depth of knowledge of the maritime infrastructure it seems obvious that as a maritime nation, Scotland, with medieval trade networks with Northern Europe and the Baltic ports has suffered from recent neglect in its use of Scottish ports. Alf Baird’s expertise on this would be welcome.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. In 1947 the majority of civilian aircraft were based at Prestwick. They were rapidly moved to London and the Heathrow Hub followed. As regards weather and great circle tracks Prestwick would have been a far better hub. You only change planes at a hub! All transatlantic flights from London pass over Prestwick to follow the shortest route.

    Scapa Flow is in the perfect position as a container distribution hub. The “Great Circle” distribution from that point is remarkable ( shortest distance between points on a globe). The position and natural harbour are why it was the RN base through two world Wars. The poorly positioned Rotterdam took the prize while London slept.

    It is difficult to keep telling a Nation that they are too wee and too poor if you allow obvious signs that they have great potential. The lack of investment in projects are all part of the mind games

    The SNP and Greens merged to form a Company driven by self interest, not to benefit the People of Scotland.

    …………………………………………………………………………..

    As for our glorious Union dominated by two Parties look at the debate from each in the current conference season, the usual policy lines summed up in the quote below

    “Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.”
    Oscar Ameringer

    Liked by 14 people

      1. ? late 1950s Prestwick had one flight a week in each direction to North America by KLM and SAS. These airlines then asked for daily flights as they wished to make Prestwick the hub for flights between Europe and North America. UK authorities refused as they wanted the business for London and UK airlines [BEA and BOAC at that time, later merged into BA]. KLM and SAS then made own hubs in Netherlands and Denmark – which both now flourish!

        Liked by 6 people

  7. Alba the only party fighting for Scotland. The opportunities being totally ignored by the joint useless party’s running Scotland are there for the taking. Unionists in disguise that’s the government Scotland has had thrust on her by the both votes brigade.

    Liked by 11 people

  8. These are the nut n bolts – and absolutely vital – issues NSNP/Pale GreenGov are failing miserably to address . The comparison with the foresight , financial commitment and political savvy of ROI and the navel-gazing , laughably insubstantial ScotGov couldn’t be more stark .

    If only the last H.E had resulted in some ALBA ( y’know that REAL Independence Party ) candidates being elected , rather than 43 overt unionist seat-warmers ( taking their places beside their , alleged , pro-Independence equivalents ) we would have MSPs confronting the ruling junta with it’s failures on a daily basis .

    I supposed we’re obliged to concede that the genius Both Votes SNP strategy worked to perfection : allowing the serial failures to continue failing

    Liked by 11 people

  9. Wonderful to see that someone has good ideas to progress Scotland. Thank you Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill. This farce that laughingly calls itself the Scottish Government don’t seem to have one good idea among them. They don’t appear to have a voice either, there they a’ sit, struck dumb. Feart to open their mouths in case it does not comply with the dear leaderene and the clique from hell that are unleashed on anyone who steps out of line. Pitiful, just pitiful.

    On the other hand I see that great numpty Douglas Ross is blawin his ain trumpet again about destroying the yellow wall in Scotland. Aye Douglas, the yellow wall will probably crumble, but it’ll no be your doin son, it’ll be the SNP themselves who will destroy it. There appear to be some rumbles starting and parents especially are beginning to wake up to what they are trying to do to their children via the GRA, pushed through by that other useless specimen Shirley Ann Sommerville. How the hell does the likes of that get into these positions, certainly not through ability or qualifications. Deary me Carol, dinna e be sae stipit, they’re pals of the wicked witch of Bute House.

    Liked by 15 people

  10. Excellent initiative by ALBA, Kenny, Neale and nae doot Alex an aw.

    I proposed and worked as advisor on the original Sottish Enterprise-run tender which selected Superfast Ferries and secured their investment in 2 x €100m world class ferries to connect Scotland directly with the continent. That service which began in May 2002 was also then well supported by Kenny MacAskill in the new Scottish Parliament.

    However the Superfast service was chased away through Forth Ports raising port fees and the lack of storage space at Rosyth for freight and trade car traffic. There was also a need to provide a little more UK state support for the service, which was allowed by the EU ‘Motorways of the Sea’ policy, but UK civil servants and UK transport policy for maritime services blocked that intervention and still do. Superfast also preferred a port on the Forth nearer the open sea to avoid the extra hours and cost steaming in and out of Rosyth further upriver, with bridge airdraft constraints another factor for large boats.

    What is needed? Yes, a simple tender to select another operator. This can be even for a fixed period initially of say 6-8 years based on an agreed level of annual state support, which need not be high cost as the operator would provide the ships themselves. Rosyth’s structural weaknesses obviously need addressed, and this is made more difficult by the fact the Tories sold Scotland’s ports (and the port authority regulatory powers!) on Forth, Clyde and Tay to offshore private equity groups, which the latter exploit via high charges, which actually chases away trade and shipping, as was the case with Superfast (and others). A lack of investment in new port infrastructure is another legacy and feature of this irregular (described as ‘Anglo Saxon’ as opposed to ‘Latin’) port ownership ‘model’.

    Rosyth may therefore be an initial startup option but my research suggests Cockenzie/Preston Links on the site of the former power station closer to the open sea and avoiding navigation problems and other constraints would make an excellent modern European Gateway Seaport for Scotland, and which can be developed and needs to be developed rapidly in the Scottish national interest (if managed and planned correctly), for handling ferries and cruise ships.

    A Cockenzie Cruise & ferry port has been proposed now by various organisations including Prestonpans Community Council, though has been subject to hold ups/inertia by East Lothian Council (who now own the site), whilst Scottish Government civil servants continue to adopt the UK’s ‘no intervention in maritime’ line, and seek to protect the private equity port owner/regulators exploitative monopoly. So that is where the real blockage for this is – i.e. Scottish Government’s UK civil servants and the local council, as well as the responsible SNP Ministers such as Matheson (Transport), McKee (Trade) and Dey (Ferries) et al who really should act on this, and fast.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Thank you Alf, there is nothing that scares the SNP more than expert contributors to this blog explaining clearly where the blockages lie and who is responsible for them. Another example of the colonial weakness of Scotland which is being controlled by Westminster enablers rather than committed freedom fighters.

      Liked by 14 people

    2. That’s good to know Alf. Aint it strange that we ordinary mortals can come up with ideas about progressing our country. yet the SG can’t, not a scooby of an idea from any of them, including wee Patrick and co. Well my,my my,you would think that they are doing it deliberately.

      Liked by 9 people

  11. Good for Kenny McAskill and Neale Hanvey to urge some action on ferries to Europe. As Scotland is a net-exporter (for how much linger given the current situation), we need action on this quickly and Rosyth could be started up again without too much difficulty.
    In the longer term we need to look at container ports as driver down time was one of the factors that caused problems for the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry as a commercial success. I think we should make a start to developing one in the Cockenzie area as I believe the water is deep enought and there are already transport links which could be improved. They could run to Zeebrugge or Rotterdam and we cou;d also have a link to Denmark to get a route on to Scandinavia, Germany and Poland. They were our traditional trading partners at the time of the Hanseatic League and no reason why these should not be reinstated. Such a move would also show our determination to keep or links wirth Europe and pave the way to entry to EFTA or the EU.

    Liked by 12 people

  12. Long overdue, and what about opening up Prestwick airport as a cargo airport once move, it was once a fee port, and trade was brisk – Only closed down because the EU did not like the idea of a free port, fast delivery service from Scotland to Europe and America would be a big boost to our economy, fresh crab, langoustine, and lobster could be shipped our from Prestwich and medicines along with fresh fruit and vegetables shipped in. – no more long road trips to the south of England and queues for ferries, also the exports would be from Scotland and show up on Scotland’s books not as now UK (meaning England) exports, let’s get it done.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Yes, Prestwick, being on the great circle route, has always been considered by transport geographers as an ideal intercontinental aviation hub location, but prevented from doing so by UK aviation policy which insists on transport hub concentration in the south-east of England.

      In Scotland, the other major intercontinental transport hub opportunity is a container transhipment terminal at Scapa Flow, which is a project I worked on, as advisor to Orkney Harbours Director. That initiative was again blocked by UK transport/port policy favouring development in the south of England, and with a compliant civil service in Scotland.
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263181225_The_Economics_of_Container_Transhipment_in_Northern_Europe

      Whether in global aviation or shipping, transport hubs offer an opportunity for the host nation to develop a competitive advantage in terms of global connectivity and provides an opportunity then to intercept significant global trade and foreign direct investment. Without the strategic transport hubs that task is made much more difficult. The bottom line here is that a UK Government will always act to restrict economic development in Scotland and we therefore need to be independent in order to develop our economy and people properly.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Anytime you have the time to write an article on this Alf Yours for Scotland would happily publish your article (s). This is a topic I am very interested as I recognise the huge economic and business benefits that could flow.

        Liked by 8 people

      2. I think there might be a parallel with Iceland as an international hub. We went several times to North America , New York and Halifax NS, between about mid 90s to 2000s via Iceland and saw all these flights coming in from across Europe with passengers permuting outbound to the US and Canada. It worked well and, while no great fan of changing planes between 2 and 4am on the return leg, if I have to do so, then Rekjavic was no bad place to do that: good coffee, friendly staff. clean facilities etc.
        I think it stopped after the bank crash but don’t know if working again yet.
        If Prestwick has the potential, why not do it. My motto when flying is to avoid LHR at all costs.

        Liked by 9 people

      3. arayner1936

        Yes, same principle with Iceland acting as ‘mid Atlantic load centre’ for aviation: ‘zero deviation’ and ‘intermediacy’ being the main geographic advantages, plus lower costs, with independence allowing them to develop their own international policies. No accident that the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs also took a close interest in the Scapa Flow proposal for container transhipment, and in view of the rapid opening/extended season of the Trans-Arctic Northern Sea Route to the Pacific. They even organised a conference on that called ‘Breaking the Ice’. However for shipping I would say Scapa Flow is in a superior position to Iceland, and with shipping already passing through the Pentland Firth, hence zero deviation.

        Another option I studied was Hunterston, close to Prestwick, which also benefits from natural deep water access. Hunterston after sale of Clydeport, new owner Peel Ports decided to dredge the Mersey instead and create a new container port there in very shallow water, helped by significant UK Gov grants. So the Clyde lost out on that.

        Parallels for Scotland here with rapid development of many other liberated ex colonies now independent states creating regional transport hub capabilities, incl. Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, Colombo, Malta, Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama, Egypt etc.

        The key factor is sovereignty.

        Liked by 11 people

      4. Alf.

        Correct me if I’m wrong but I read years ago that Prestwick airports geographical position was so well thought out that climatic conditions in the area very seldom see the airport suffer closure due to fog. Prestwick airport is stifled as part of this union it could be fantastic hub in an independent Scotland.

        Liked by 4 people

      5. RoS – as Scott says, Prestwick is one of the best airports weather-wise in N. Europe, as well as shortest TransAtlantic route, and possibly also good for some trans-polar options. Just to note that ‘remote’ Anchorage in Alaska is the third biggest air cargo hub in the US and 4th biggest in the world, due to its strategic location on the Pacific great circle route. Its a main hub for FedEx, UPS and others. The US Gov allows transfers there for foreign carriers, which is what the UK Gov refuses to do for Prestwick, and it is this which has limited Prestwick’s real traffic potential as a European hub.

        Liked by 7 people

      6. We did have a container port at Leith for a while, they said it could not take the bigger container ships, but it could have been developed if the will had been there, or what about Cairnryan on the west coast, the water does not come much deeper than at the pier there, I remember they broke the Arc Royal there, so deep water aplenty. so many opportunities and all we get is the SNP standing up in the Commons and saying “We will not stand for it”, then it happens. a useless bunch of wankers. .

        Liked by 6 people

    1. I’m not knocking the idea, though it is further from the North Sea, but I agree we need to develop as many ports as possible in oder to bypass Brexit England as that is not going to change.
      It might be difficult for the Edinburgh bypass to be upgraded to motorway status, though not impossible with a bit of re-routing. Then it could continue as far as Cockenzie if that were to become a container port.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Motorway access to support Port services would of course be practicable however, none of the major maritime Ports on the East coast of England enjoy that facility. Felixstowe in particular is around 80 miles from the main motorway network serving the UK.

        What is lacking is a Government committed to serving the people of Scotland now and into the future. Alf Baird names Matheson, previously a community occupational therapist, McKee, a manufacturing consultant? Dey, a one time sports journalist as ministers responsible for key infrastructure development.

        If this ministerial trio is seen by the current SNP Government at Holyrood as being ‘best in class’ it immediately becomes obvious just why Scotland is so in thrall to a Government at Westminster for which we did not vote.

        Liked by 9 people

  13. Westminster and Holyrood are both determined to re-imagine Scotland’s constitutional identity in a manner that ignores both the Common law and our “Right to Development”, and will result in considerable harm to Scotland’s economy and democracy. So why the hell would anyone think either institution give a damn about the sustainability of Scotland’s political economy? Or lack of, to be precise.

    The Importance of Maritime Transport for Economic Growth in
    the European Union: A Panel Data Analysis
    https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/14/7961/pdf

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Btw, the Green obviously haven’t a skooby about how to achieve a sustainable society, as they can’t even protect the biology of women from the harmful effects of cultural patriarchy. THE ENVIRONMENT IS PRIMARILY BIOLOGICAL. So why would anyone think they can help secure a sustainable future for Scotland?

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228913307_The_Dialogical_Self_Toward_a_Theory_of_Personal_and_Cultural_Positioning

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “THE ENVIRONMENT IS PRIMARILY BIOLOGICAL”. Not a particularly accurate statement, but the link between our internal biology and the outside world, is what we call culture. Western culture tends to be harmful towards the biological components of nature, thereby undermining the potential health of our society. So it would help if western culture could overcome beliefs grounded in mind/body dualism, such as gender ideology and British nationalism, along with the belief that humanity is somehow separate from, and above, nature.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. A friend’s husband was a shipping agent in Grangemouth decades ago. At that time it was a busy port. Why can’t it be one again ?

    It is still a container port. It also has a rail connection.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. John, unfortunately Grangemouth is working to near maximum capacity already with practically no scope for expansion and lacks the critical infrastructure required to service high volume ocean going containerships by providing the swift turnaround time crucial to attracting shipping companies.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. Opening up these routes is a great idea and puts Scotland on the map again with its European neighbours, for that alone its worth implementing the idea, never mind the excellent boost it would give to trade and tourism for Scotland, so why is the Scottish government and their Green sidekicks not pushing ahead with this.

    Its insufferable to see good ideas that boosts Scotland in the EU, not be implemented by this government at Holyrood, when other nations and their governments such as Ireland have no qualms about pushing Irish interests.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes RoS, you would think the current SNP heid bummers had never heard of the phrase: ‘stop the world, Scotland wants to get on’ from Madame Ecosse hersel, Winnie Ewing.

      Liked by 6 people

  17. Every time I fly into Dublin airport I see what Scotland could have had. It breaks my heart. An extremely busy hub with the national carrier flying all over the globe, Dublin now has expanded and has it’s 3rd runway.
    It makes perfect sense for Scotland to be reaching out to Europe at this time. It just takes political will – something which seems to be lacking.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I think we have all gotten the message now that the SNP is holding Scotland back, we need independence to move Scotland forward, on the BBC News today they were showing a wind turbine being erected at sea. it was, if memory serves 200m high, and produced enough electricity in one revolution to power the average household for a day, and bigger ones are being developed and will be installed all over the UK – we were told. What will Scotland get from all the turbines they intend to instal in Scottish waters, apart from the electric bill for the energy they supply into our homes? We need independence and our own national grid and power supply in public ownership, the turbines in Scottish waters should belong to the people of Scotland (and be built in Scottish workshops) not the big 6 energy companies. Sturgeon is letting golden opportunity after golden opportunity slips away from Scotland – the time is long past to kick her out of office, Use your vote in the council elections to kick the SNP out of the councils across the land, and watch how quickly the SNP start to sing from a different song sheet. and if they do not change, they will be out of office at the 2024 general elections and we will instal in their place a party that will march into Westminster with a demand for independence talked to start right away. We need a velvet divorce but it will not come to us on a plate, we have to fight and the ballot box is our weapon of choice, you can not get one more powerful.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Thanks for that information which is helpful as I am currently trying to find the best route to visit family in Nova Scotia over Christmas/New Year as student grandchildren will be at home then. Best so far loooks like Edinburgh – Dublin – Toronto – Halifax as prices and timings are ok.
      Just waiting for my renewed British passport, applied for under protest, to come through!

      Liked by 3 people

  18. I don’t want to comment on this any further, but the giant aircraft carriers managed to negotiate the River Forth without difficulty.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Alf Baird has the academic expertise and practical nous to help formulate and cost out the framework for Scotland to become a self supporting trading nation again. It is evidenced here and in Holyrood committees that he served on thanklessly. His proposals for ports and renewed infrastructure would create jobs on a scale akin to Roosevelts ‘NEW DEAL’. and release us from the top down reliance on the bloated S.E. of England.

    Yet despite his advice and expertise the traitorous dunces sitting draining our public money and patience deliberately in Holyrood ignore him and others with similar vision for Scotland ‘s future in the fields of economics and in land reform etc etc.

    The msm shunned his book ‘Doun Hauden’, while the joke mob running the SNP into the ground got on with the real job of Self IDing Scotland into a woke parody of an accounting unit. An aunt sally for Johnson and his leprous thieves to throw ordure and disdain at.

    The Scottish electorate now held back behind barricades at the Royal Mile gasworks in order for Betty Saxe Coburg to patronise the assembled quislings therein with a further demonstration of the ongoing surrender by the traitor Sturgeon. When will it end? When are we going to find the means to eject these imposters from our country?
    A serious attempt to approach the UN. must be made before Sturgeon throws us under another bus ( like the Brexit one?) with a bent rigged and losing Ref in collusion with her masters in England.

    Liked by 11 people

  20. The rapid increase in ferry services between Ireland and the EU mainland with both increase of frequency on existing routes and new routes, was due more to commercial decisions made by the very experienced operators, Irish Ferries, Stena and Brittany Ferries rather than Irish State direction.

    However Hanvey and MacAskill are right to call out the Greens on this but I would advise them to seek the advice of Mr Baird if they have not already done so – this is a very specialised field where a little knowledge can be dangerous.

    The main problem I feel would be EU competition law, it is very unlikely that Stena, DFDS and P&O would stand idly by while a heavily subsidised service into EU ports such as Amsterdam or Zeebrugge abstracts traffic from their commercial services from the Tyne, Tees and Humber. Mr Baird may be able to advise on this.

    Also, do not let Calmac anywhere near this, the aforementioned Stena, DFDS and P&O would make mincemeat of them!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Competition law has sometimes been raised as an issue in the UK. However, the EU Motorways of the Sea (MoS) policy, which I had a small role in helping to develop, allows for public bodies to tender for international ferry connections where there are environmental and other benefits, eg, modal shift road to sea, and improved connectivity; in light of Brexit and shortage of HGV drivers there are now added pressures. This policy allows member states and non-EU neighbouring countries to support ferry services. The likes of Stena, P&O, Brittany Ferries (which is part publicly owned) and other lines would all have an opportunity to bid to secure the contract to operate. MoS tenders and public support has been used extensively to develop new routes and also to improve existing ferry routes between Spain-Italy, France-Italy, Spain-Ireland, Spain-UK, Baltic States-Germany, Turkey-Italy, Norway-Belgium and more, all of which are run by private sector operators.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Thank you for that.

        It would perhaps be better to have one of the “big hitters” like DFDS or Stena onboard or what about Brittany? The advantage of Brittany Ferries would be that a North Sea route would not conflict with their present routes – unlike DFDS and Stena who are both heavily invested in routes from the Tyne, Tees and Humber.

        And to further offer an alternative to just going to Benelux ports like the rest, why not consider Hamburg – a major maritime hub and handy for emerging and increasingly important Eastern European markets?

        Liked by 6 people

  21. I live close to Prestwick airport – for close on 40 years, fog? Once or twice over that time.What is much much more frequent than fog at the airport are fighter aircraft, and big grey-painted turbo-engined transporter planes bearing the flags of several countries that frequent Prestwick airport. The airport is clearly of strategic military importance and so development to a busy civilian passenger facility would be an inconvenience whilst we are tied to the UK.

    Concerning East coast shipping ports to Europe. The SNP excuse that any proposition must be commercially viable is lame.

    Way back pre-2014 when I wasn’t spouting about grid charges to Scotland, grid bonuses to Southern England to the wide0eyed, I’d raise the issue of Scots salmon being driven to Heathrow for transit to the USA,bypassing Prestwick.

    The UK establishment doesn’t pursue efficiency, it pursues control, dominance, at whatever price.

    Liked by 8 people

  22. Glad to see challenge to the folly of the current Scottish Government. Toon cooncil mair like
    ________________________________

    Liked by 5 people

  23. whatever site is chosen it has to be something usable. Rosyth has navigation difficulties with three bridges and a difficult turn to the linkspan It is also around 3 hours up river.which delays voyage and uses fuel.

    Newcastle to Amsterdam is much quicker and cheaper. Transport companies go for cost and time. Having used both Newcastle was easier. Geography is against Scotland. It is more than 400 miles from europe and it is easier and more environmental to load a container on a train and use the ECML to send it to Europe through the tunnel 10 hours by train as against 18 hours from Rosyth. Using electricity from renewables as against oil . Ships weighing 40,000 Tonnes to move around 6000 tonnes of HGV.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Last time I looked it was around 360 miles from the Forth to Amsterdam, and 500 miles by land to the chunnel.

      Container trains use WCML and take more than 10 hrs to reach the continent.

      Container trains only carry containers and cannot carry road trailers, cars, vans, outsize objects, bikes or passengers.

      Very low emission fuels such as methanol are now being used on ferries, hydrogen not far off, and battery power when entering or leaving port, plus shoreside plug in electric power when ferry is berthed alongside.

      The ferry does not weigh 40,000 tonnes – that is the gross tonnage, which is a measure of the internal cubic capacity.

      A container train maybe carries 30 x 40′ units, whereas a standard large ferry will carry 5 times as much, 150+ 40′ units, plus cars, vans, bikes and passengers (up to perhaps 2000). So the ferry has far greater economies of scale.

      And like roads, a railtrack, which has limited capacity and is often congested, has to be built and maintained, whereas the sea is a natural highway.

      Liked by 4 people

  24. Really interesting conversations on this topic. Thanks to Kenny and Neale for raising it, Iain for publishing their thoughts, Alf’s expertise and all the other contributers. I’ve enjoyed reading all of it.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Unfortunately, town councils generally don’t have the legal authority to enable the legal erasure of you nation’s constitutional identity, along with the public’s right to legal rights. In much the same way they are enabling the erasure of any meaningful legal definition of womanhood.

    The Other Infrastructure Gap: Sustainability
    Human Rights and Environmental Perspectives
    https://www.ohchr.org/documents/Publications/TheOtherInfrastructureGap_FullLength(dot)pdf

    Like

  26. It’s very simple, along with independence the SNP has no strategy on commercial development Instead of wasting money on fanciful notions, spend it on connections to Europe. We are no longer in the EU so do it.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. No brainer for a haulage contractor: send your truck +400 miles to enter the Channel tunnel to the EU – fuel- vehicle wear and tear, or 50 miles to a Scottish East seaport.Do the sums SNP’ build the incentive.
    Prove me wrong, a ship, once underway will use much less fuel than how many trucks driving 400 miles to the channel tunnel?

    Liked by 5 people

  28. “The Scottish Government continue to insist that any ferry route from Rosyth to Europe could only proceed on a “commercial basis”

    First of all, Sturgeon and that gang that passes for cabinet ministers may have chosen to retain the name of “Scottish government”, but you cannot call “Scottish” to a political concoction that has been deliberately used to frustrate Scotland’s exercise in self determination, that has helped the British state at every turn since Sturgeon took over to transfer power, revenues and control of assets from Scotland to England, and that has helped England MPs to undermine Scotland’s expressed democratic will to remain in the EU. Sturgeon’s “government” is nothing but an extension of the secretary of state against Scotland.

    The “commercial basis” is another vacuous and meaningless two worded soundbite to add to the rather large collection Sturgeon and her handlers have been giving us for 7 years. Developing a port immediately is for “commercial basis”. It is “commercial basis” because it will immediately generate economic activity and generate revenue. A port attracts businesses, attracts jobs, attracts customers, attracts revenue. A port is an economic hub. It will no doubt stop a good chunk of the continuous business that Scotland is sending down to benefit England’s ports so you could argue that, once again, what Sturgeon and her gang have in mind is not “commercial basis” for Scotland, but rather for England.

    Scotland has a larger coastline than England, and that is a fact. That most ports are in England and not one in Scotland after so many years of allegedly nationalist governments in Scotland beggars belief and is frankly embarrassing. 7 years has this woman been in power and has nothing to show for it apart of the continuous betrayal of Scotland by using our pro independence votes to preserve the union against our will, to facilitate England the theft of Scotland’s powers, assets and revenues, to help british nationalists to continue sinking Scotland’s economy by maintaining it as a consumer rather than a producer, and of course to undermine Scotland’s expressed democratic will for the sake of, once again, England.

    Sturgeon’s political contraption may like to be called government. But their actions prove it is not that. It is just another part of the colonial administration unit of England in Scotland.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. There is absolutely no doubt that hauling a typical 32 tonne container on a single road lorry some 500 miles to the chunnel as opposed to sending a container by ship is the preferred environmental and economic option.

    To use an anology we most certainly don’t fly hundreds of thousands of aircraft carrying 32 tonne containers every day. Even the most lunatic of us would understand that.

    Maximising shipping to the extent possible and minimising road haulage to the extent possible makes so much sense.

    Maybe not so for the road haulage industry whose business is to haul and bugger le consequences.

    That said, road hauling is important. We know that. We can’t exactly sail supermarket deliveries from Glasgow to Edinburgh, albeit that over two hundred years ago there was a canal between the two and ports in every town and village.

    But the point is clear enough. Do we make enough use of the sea transport.

    Logistics, logistics, logistics, driven not by the greed of property developers like the now Forth Ports, Clyde Ports, and RHA, but logistics driven by national interest.

    Devil and detail I know but where is the debate. Not in our Scottish Parliament, not in Westminster.

    And for a final thought on a different track, what about trains. Much more efficient in energy usage per tonne per mile, albeit less so than ship.

    What are we doing to maximise that for haulage. That’s part of our logistics mix too in a world where we are talking about sending drones to deliver pizzas and French fries.

    Ah, such vision!!

    Liked by 1 person

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