GIVING IT AWAY…FOR FREE!

The start of the Great Glen.

A guest post from Willie Hutchison.

Power from the Glens, Power for the Glens was a tag line from the 50s and 60s and in essence it was true.

The state, or a state owned company or board, built power generating assets and the power was then sold to the populace at whatever price the politicians thought appropriate.And if the state decided to make an operating surplus or not then it did as it saw fit.

But in the 70s and 80s that all changed. Under the risible guise of people’s privatisations Thatcher sold off the state owned assets. Not to the people as was generally purported but to the corporates whose sole interest is corporate profit. And if you saw Sid, as one privatisation ad ran, you were to tell him. 

And look at it now, all of our natural assets sold off and corporate money making now the only agenda in town, and all wrapped up in corporate trading structures that mask the true wealth being extracted from a hapless populace now struggling to even heat and light their homes. Poverty in a land of plenty.

Oh how how how we should reflect. Our gas and oil was worth nothing. It delivered immense wealth for other countries but not for Scotland. And our hydro. Blessed with lochs, mountains and glens our natural environment was perfect for hydro generation, with additionally, the benefit of pump storage to store huge quantities of base load power from other sources when demand was low. Cheap electricity one would have thought. After the cost of the dam, the pipework and the turbine construction, it would certainly seem so. But no somehow it isn’t. Well not for the populace of Scotland.

And ditto gas. We were blessed with lots of that. They even piped it out of our waters direct to storage caverns constructed in the North of England. What benefit then from our gas. 

And now wind. Unlike our oil and gas that we were told was worth little, and was due to have run out around ten years ago, wind is in a different category again. We, or should I say the corporates might be building lots and lots of wind farms, but we should understand that wind energy is really no energy st all. No, we should realise that because the wind doesn’t blow all the time, it’s really in truth no good. And that sadly is the latest myth to be visited on poor poverty stricken Scotland. All that no good wind power, that will feed the national grid, inter-connectors, and allow power to be shared around, no good, no good at all. Why do they bother. Moreover, in Scotland, wind power, or any other source of power, can even be stored by pumping water up a mountain in times of surplus, to thereafter run it back down the mountain when needed, This of course bringing us back to Power from the Glens but not For the Glens, and why a start is just about ready to be made on the Coire Glas scheme in the Great Glen, and a scheme that will double the ENTIRE UK’s pump storage capacity. And this is only one scheme out of another half a dozen planned Scottish pump storage schemes waiting on the shelves of the corporates to be commenced.

Ah what value Scotland’s natural resources. None it would seem.Well not for most of us.Fuel poverty in a land blessed with resources. Gas has gone up because the wholesale price of gas has gone up. Priorly until about a year ago around half, or £500, was apparently the wholesale cost of a households heating and lighting bill. Now with the shortage of gas and the huge wholesale price surges, the average household bill predicted at over £4,000 a year by next spring will be composed of around £2,500 of wholesale costs. And so, with Scotland blessed with gas, oil, hydro and wind, who is making money, big money. We must ask Sid that if we can find him!

But let us turn away from gas, oil, wind and water. Let us turn to aggregates,and the little matter of Glensanda quarry near Oban. Hidden away from view unless you are a sailor, Glensanda is one of Europe’s biggest granite super queries. With coastal access, the quarry has over the last thirty years shipped nearly 300 million tonnes of granite to markets around the world. Texas USA, all over the EU, the channel tunnel, the HS2, it is a big export worth a lot of money. And, according to reports, there are another 760 million tonnes of identified reserves to go. And so, who may you ask owns this super quarry that is literally demolishing a Scottish mountain. Well not Scotland. 

Seems it was found by an English man some thirty years ago whilst on a sailing holiday. Mr Yeoman was his name, Foster Yeoman was his Company, prior to him selling out to the absolutely huge global Swiss registered Aggregstes Industries. Should we be surprised?

But there you have it, we’re dismantling a Scottish mountain, over a billion tonnes of it in fact. What benefit from it then. It’s a good question. Probably like the oil and the gas and the hydro and the wind, not a lot.

But one last thing, and this is maybe a huge question. Since the commencement of nuclear power generation a permanent site to store high level radioactive waste for the next hundred thousand years has never been identified. Still hasn’t but Scotland, although they will not say where, has always been a preferred choice. And so, with deep water coastal access, granite strata, could Glensanda or similar be the plan. It’s a secret, but with all that high level nuclear waste being temporarily stored waiting for a National ( Scottish or British ) and with England’s new fleet of reactors being built, I certainly would not bet against using a site like Glensanda for multi millennia nuclear waste storage.

Scotland the land that just keeps giving – away!

MY COMMENTS

Willie issues a warning at the end of this article about spent nuclear fuel that we should all be very aware of. There is a reason Trident is stored on the Clyde rather than anywhere in England. It would be politically impossible to suggest a suitable site for spent nuclear fuel storage in England. Under the current supine Scottish Government our country becomes more attractive every passing day. Any suggestions how we can change that?

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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35 thoughts on “GIVING IT AWAY…FOR FREE!

  1. Just a reminder about The Fund, https://www.nbim.no/. It’s taken a bit of a beating in the past year but it’s still worth 1.1 Trillion Pounds.

    For people who get their “B’s” and “T’s” mixed up. Here’s what a trillion dollars looks like, http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

    It’s not too late. Renewables are for all intents and purposes limitless. The amount of money they could generate for Scotland is limitless too.

    Liked by 12 people

  2. “Under the current supine Scottish Government our country becomes more attractive every passing day. Any suggestions how we can change that?”

    Achieve independence! Probably need to change the supine government though!

    Excellent piece by Willie. Of course it’s obvious what’s going on here. Asset stripping of a colony. The same modus operandi they used in India which was a poor country during the Raj. I’m sure this poverty had nothing to do with the estimated £1 TRILLION Westminster extracted from the place, no sirree!

    Anyway the GERS is due next week, let’s prepare to find out how the most asset rich country in Europe is actually an impoverished drain on the magnanimous UK. /sarc

    Liked by 16 people

      1. Aye I’d actually already corrected myself below and added a link! Astonishing plunder of a nations wealth and probably not much less has been stolen from Scotland over the years (and indeed Wales and Ireland).

        Liked by 6 people

  3. Willie’s comment about nuclear energy and the submarine base brings to mind the building of the first nuclear power stations in the world – Calder Hall in west Cumbria and Chapelcross near to my home town of Annan. Calder Hall was commissioned in 1956 and Chapelcross in 1959.

    Both were deprived areas desperate for employers to provide jobs and that muted most opposition.
    The purpose of these 2 nuclear power plants was to produce weapons-grade plutonium and as a by-product produced electricity for the grid.

    Is it just a coincidence that both sites are far away from areas with dense populations and well away from southeast England? Likwise, the submarine base at Faslane. If it was to be attacked, the fallout would be nowhere near London.

    There is no doubt that Chapelcross was a huge financial benefit to the local community for 45 years and provided around 500 jobs but the original reasons for building at those sites is questionable!

    Chapelcross began decommissioning in 2004 and it is now recognised that one of its functions was to provide electricity for export to England.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. That was the exact reason for Dounreay, 6 experimental reactors to speed production of weapons grade plutonium. Huge accident in 1977 letting sea water pour into a shaft they had long since been using to dump highly radioactive sodium and potassium metals used as a liquid coolant. From secondary school most of us will remember the bang when experiment done in lab. Especially potassium becomes a bomb when introduced to water. Anyway the explosion means that even after being decommissioned, Dounreay can’t even be classed brownfield land until 2333. Fishing is banned for miles from it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dounreay

      Liked by 9 people

  4. Independence remains Scotland’s only means of escape from the unbounded evil of the English Colonial prison system.
    Scotland is raped every day by the English Ruling Class, for whom no amount of exploited stolen wealth is ever enough, particularly from Scotland.
    And all made possible by constant daily propaganda and its brainwashing effect on Scotland’s population. Has ever a country believed England’s lies quite like Scotland?
    And still it goes on, with each new day a day of business-as-usual Rape, with Scotland’s legs wide open and arms outstretched to embrace it’s Imperial Master in one more enforced act of Union. One more day spent oblivious to the massive theft of Scotland’s resources, with help from the BBC and the Daily Mail etc..

    Liked by 7 people

    1. You missed out Scotland elite. politics, land, media, finance allied. They are allied to the leadership of the Civil Service, Crown office and the police. They are the agents of this system, a neo-‘liberal’ system, in Scotland. That’s where the transformation has to take place. If not before Independence then certainly immediately on gaining it.

      Liked by 9 people

  5. …but you must be polite says Sturgeon.
    ….you must not shout at people.
    …you must obey the agents of your betters.
    It sounds very like the Ministers of the Kirk during the Clearances. As the roofs of crofts were burned with with the elderly inside. While the evictions took place. While they were herded onto ships on which huge numbers died before even reaching their unknown destination.

    Obey the Laws that turned the land of Clans into the estates of the elite. Drive a stake in the ground in the middle of a Glen and have your lawyers register your ownership in Edinburgh. “The Poor had no Lawyers”

    Why do we have to be polite to muggers?

    Why are Thiefs in suits with a lawyer treated differently from a thug with a knife?

    We elected a Party and MPs to be our voice and they are told not to clap in Westminster…so they don’t clap. They are told they cannot call an Honourable Gentleman a liar so they withdraw the remark.

    We all condemn violence but this pathetic, weak, apologetic approach means only one thing….OUR assets will continue to be stripped. OUR Children will be robbed of their potential. OUR future will be dictated by a London Elite based on the Roman Empire model of letting the Colonies run their affairs providing the Cash flowed to Rome. The Roman model rewarded loyal natives with “Citizenship of Rome”. We have the House of Lords. Knighthoods and UK nominations to the UN for Sturgeon.

    Be angry and stay angry until we have representatives who are angry for US.

    Liked by 17 people

  6. Scotland has no power of any description, it would appear. Therefore: Scotland must re-empower itself or forever remain as the English colony that all objective evidence clearly indicates it is. And yet, there are the many who refuse to acknowledge this incontrovertible evidence. National leadership, Scotland’s yet lingering, historical deficit, is sorely required if we are to 1: commonly acknowledge the truth of our subjugation, 2: smash the chains constricting our national consciousness, 3: take back the power, in all its conceivable manifestations, stolen from us. Seen in that light: SNP 1 & 2 wasn’t so much a political confidence trick as it was a gross insult to the collective national intelligence.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. But so many folk are unaware of how the proportional representative vote works – and they certainly were not educated by either the media or the SNP . Maybe the SNP haven’t bothered to learn how it works nor how ‘both votes for the SNP’ plays straight into unionist hands , but I doubt it. It becomes more and more apparent that the SNP are not interested in Scotland.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. And there was me last week joking about Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, coming up with a plan to steal Scotland’s mountains, and we’d all celebrate Scotland joining the “mountain export business”, while Scotland actually gained nothing.

    Along comes Willie Hutchison to confirm my over the top fiction is out of date, and already a stark reality.

    I am getting so angry now. Not the flash in the pan anger that passes momentarily, but the deeper, spiritual anger that something abominable must be brought to an end. Scotland MUST rise and take back control of what happens in our own Nation.

    In 2014 every Unionist I met was merely a fool, drunk on indoctrination.

    In 2022, I’m finding it hard to suppress the anger that every Unionist is an enemy of my nation. They are party to it’s ongoing exploitation and destruction, and the whole ugly edifice of Unionism is a racket from cover to cover, without a damned thing to redeem itself, not one.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. British Unionism is British Nationalism.
      British Nationalism is British Imperialism.
      British Imperialism is British Colonialism.
      British Colonialism is British Racism.

      Liked by 11 people

  8. Our current utility ownership model (Scottish Water excepted) devised by the Ayn Rand obsessed ghouls that surrounded Thatcher is carefully constructed. It isn’t laissez-faire as such, the State retains responsibility for procuring generating capacity to feed the grid. Hence the ridiculous, tax payer guaranteed generating tariff agreed for Hinckley Point C. The power companies get the profits with none of the risk.
    As with many things, this “AngloSaxon” arrangement is something of an aberration. Even in the supposedly capitalism on steroids US of A, nationalised utilities are fairly common in rural states (they use the term Cooperative).
    State ownership of utilities is the international default condition because utilities are a strategic asset.
    I’m not advocating for a Marxist position of State ownership of all substantial enterprises here, utilities are the exception. Frankly, I widnae leave oor current Civil Service tae mind ma stall at a car-boot sale while I nipped aff for a coffee and a roll ‘n square.
    I’ve had dealings with senior managers at Scottish Water and they were very reasonable, very business orientated without being greedy. I’ve had dealings with a senior manager at Thames Water, they were an accountant (nae surprise), eager to squeeze a quick profit with little thought (that I could discern) for the long term health of the business (the Thames Water project engineers referred to him behind his back as “dodgy Nick”, kinda says it all).
    As I see it, managers at the nationalised utilities were “custodians”. Managers at the privatised utilities are all out for mega salaries and mega bonuses. I don’t apportion blame as such, thanks to the Thatcherite “revolution” we live in a society where the Deil taks the hindmost.

    Liked by 14 people

  9. Just an aside, much though I hated the idea I actively engaged in the idea of the public share purchases, not with the intent of short term speculation but to retain some ownership of the former public assets. All of those shares were taken off me through involuntary buy backs as companies merged or were gobbled up by large foreign companies. We desperately need to repossess these assets that are all natural monopolies. Re-nationalisation is the only way to run these businesses for the benefit of the nation and the people. This can only realistically happen in an Independent Scotland.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. SAXSHAW has the right idea about “renationalising” our energy (and other extractive industries). But, private businesses generally operate more efficiently than state-operated ones!

      Tony Benn (whom I don’t often agree with on other issues) had the right idea in the 1970s, at UK level, setting up the British National Oil Corporation (BNOC), later renamed Britoil, to control oil and gas business at WHOLESALE level. Sadly, Britoil was sold off to BP in 1988 in the splurge of Conservative Government “privatisations”, to join other businesses in large private corporate hands, previously owned by the general public.

      Now, we are subject to global wholesale prices in international markets for oil, gas and electricity. This is outrageous for such an energy-rich country as Scotland. Extending the ideas of SAXSHAW and others I propose the following:

      1. Have a programme to, at least, 51% renationalise the “upstream” wholesale operations of the energy companies, with the 1% (or more) providing the “golden share” of control in the interests of the Scottish population and domestic businesses etc. These wholesale businesses would be run along market forces lines, with private investment permitted but never to eliminate the “golden share”.

      2. The wholesalers would then sell to Scottish energy RETAILERS at a price controlled by a democratically-elected Scottish Government. “Surplus” energy could then be released to international markets, or friendly countries on a “quid pro quo” basis. (It works in other countries.)

      3. This model could be extended to other monopolistic business and/or considered strategic in the national interest.

      Of course, this requires Independence, as no Westminster Government would ever consider it. No Scottish Government following the Sturgeon philosophy of super-caution (or supreme economic ignorance?) would also ever follow the “golden share” rule. It would require vision and political courage.

      I await other contributors’ comments with interest!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, I like this hybrid model of partial State ownership and management of key, strategic utilities. Partially because for the State to reintroduce itself into management of utilities, it’ll need professional, degree (and beyond) qualified, technocratic Civil Servants (economists, accountants, scientists & engineers). These individuals will have to come from somewhere and I doubt that is our current Civil Service.
        The Civil Service will have to resume substantial recruitment of these technocratic functions (in competition with the private sector). This may require a two tier pay structure within the Civil Service. The upper echelons of the Civil Service comprised exclusively of humanities graduates will buck at this concept. Overcoming this resistance would require concerted impetus from the Legislature. Big problem; our elected politicians these days are basically also drawn exclusively from the ranks of humanities graduates.
        Never vote for an MP or MSP unless they have real world qualifications and experience. We have been reduced to our current sorry state by a self sustaining Mafia of Politics Graduates that leave university and glide seamlessly to comfortable sinecures leaching off the state for life.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. The YES movement is in a good position to start disseminating information like this. There is so much information of how Scotland is being robbed blind on so many fronts. They can decide what would strike a cord with the people in their area.
    My own YES group did a leaflet drop with the message that Scotland pays to connect to the National Grid while identical English companies get paid to connect. I handed that leaflet to a few people instead of putting it through their door. The feedback was anger at this situation – and this in a fairly well-off middle class area.
    The media, and I include The National in that, reinforce the lies being pushed by Westminster and run a mile from putting anything that puts Scotland in a good light. The SNP government, despite its much heralded Refutation Unit, is silent.
    It is important, therefore, that YES groups remain independent and attached to no political party . YES groups should not take direction from any outside group about what they do and how they do it. Local YES groups have, as far as I am aware, behaved in a responsible and respectful way. We do not need direction from any third party. We must remain independent in order to work in the local community pushing the messages that suit our local community.

    Liked by 14 people

  11. Iain is right we need to be concerned about Nuclear waste that has a half life of thousands of years,
    { i e lethal to human life.} In the early 80s friends spent some time in Glen Etive, as the search for a suitable site to deposit the waste was ongoing. Scientists would be brought in by helicopter to blast and test the ground for a suitable depositary, the helicopters used to service the off shore lighthouses. Our friends would harass those taking the samples as it was against the wishes of the land owner who was asked about the sampling, and although he refused permission, they went ahead anyway. They eventually gave up, but be assured that as the nuclear waste being stored above ground increases, the need to find a final resting place becomes more necessary. We know that Scotland and only Scotland will be where they want to finally store it. For that reason and a thousand others, we need to become Independent before all the plunder of our resource of energy become completed. The time is ticking, we need to act now.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. These Working Groups have started the process of exploring the potential benefits of hosting a GDF in their areas. These Working Groups are a critical step in the process to find a willing community and a suitable, feasible and acceptable site for a GDF.

      Anyone heard mention of these working groups?……me neither.
      Look at the sites identified and under construction in other countries and we have….”under discussion” but no info on WHO is discussing it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_geological_repository

      Liked by 3 people

  12. follwing on from my comments on English Water, taken from an article in the I newspaper, here’s some more information from today’s issue –

    The Chief Executive of South West Water, Susan Davy has been paid £1 million in bonus and benefits on top of her £456,000 salary despite overseeing the closure of more than a dozen beaches around Devon and Cornwall due to raw sewage being pumped into the sea.South West Water (SWW) has the worst environmental record of any UK (?) water supply company.

    The article makes no mention of the financial performance of SWW, but to pay our a bonus twice the person’s salary indicates that Susan Davy has pleased someone(s). Pick one from the three groups below that might support such a bonus being awarded.

    Local population
    Shareholders
    Customers

    Liked by 7 people

  13. It’s clear that the SNP and particularly Sturgeon will do nothing for us the Scottish people who put her in power. I dont believe she is that stupid or incompetent I believe she a quisling sleeper for the British state. We need a new strategy and create a party for independence encompassing all Patriots to stand on an end the Union ticket at the next election. Covid resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands, what’s coming, poverty, hunger and freezing to death ,will dwarf the death toll from Covid. Wellcome to UK ,Ok, a dystopian Tory hell on earth. The establishment are turning the clock back to the days of old .There will be no law but their law your role will be to work till you die or to fight in some foreign adventure to enrich those who are already rich.
    Millionaires will become billionaires in UK Ok. Dissolve the Union.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. An excellent article.
    Regarding the SNP two votes for them to the detriment of other independence parties. I have voted SNP at every opportunity since I was allowed to vote in 1961. I’ve supported them through the good times as well as the bad. At the last Scottish elections I decided (logically) not to vote for the SNP in the List seats as they never win any. So I picked ALBA. I voted for Pete Wishart in the constituency seat and for ALBA in the List seat. Unfortunately only one other guy voted with me so the unionists won every List seat in Perthshire. Can any SNP supporter please explain to me the logic of voting both times for the SNP? What does that achieve?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. And Willie Lawrie, did Mrs Murrell not know that by giving all the second votes to the SNP, as opposed to Alba, that she would be delivering a minority SNP with dozens of unionist seats that could have been Alba seats.

        Of course she knew. Her policy was to dupe the voters, prevent an independence super majority, and hobble the SNP to a minority of seats.

        Ah tell me now that Nicola Sturgeon is working for independence. No wonder the rumours are that she actually wants out, wants the big international job that was promised to her by her handlers if she kept her nose clean and played their game. But she’s supped with the devil, taken their protection and they still have work for her to do – or they could expose her yet.

        Liked by 4 people

  15. Excellent article by Willie which brings into stark relief the rapacious nature of colonialism and the Union. England has always coveted our land; the Scots are merely an inconvenience to be suppressed, removed or eliminated. Not only is the wealth of our nation being extracted and our resources exploited at an eye-watering rate (the comparison with India gives some idea of the scale), but our country is viewed by England as their “backyard” and a dumping ground for their unwanted waste – from the munitions and nuclear waste dumped at Beauford’s Dyke to the nuclear waste seeping into our waters from Faslane. Or, indeed, using Scottish islands for bombing practice!

    Unfortunately, with the contracting of the British Empire, Scotland is the last nation/colony which England can exploit to the hilt to keep themselves afloat and, as we can see from the rhetoric of the Tory leadership contenders, they are now turning both barrels on Scotland. And tragically for us, the SNP offer no resistance.

    We are indeed being robbed blind but that is the nature of colonialism and capitalism, the “hidden hand” which is invisible to immediate observation – in the same way that we cannot see a tree drink up water through its roots, so we cannot see the enormity of the wealth that is being stolen from us. However, we can observe the effects, and we must surely coalesce as a nation in pursuit of independence, the starker those effects become and the more keenly they are felt.

    Liked by 2 people

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