Not just about oil

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I share the sentiments of Raymond Paul (Letters, 13 December) and Brian Wilson in his excellent piece on the same day, that an explanation of the fiction regarding oil revenues contained in the SNP white paper on independence, and constantly repeated by the party in the face of many authoritative reports warning of the volatility of the oil industry, is long overdue.

The global situation in the oil market just a few short weeks after the referendum is disastrous, with the North Sea one of the worst-affected areas because of the difficult nature of extraction in that environment. We are facing oil prices in the region of $50 a barrel and thousands of job losses over the next few years. An independent Scotland would have faced a funding black hole of many billions of pounds.

I long for forensic interviews of John Swinney and his cabinet colleagues by the Scottish television companies of the sort that senior Westminster ministers are regularly subjected to by Nick Robinson and John ­Humphreys.

These are carried out by the aforementioned without fear or favour. However, following the clever, orchestrated demonstration by the SNP outside the BBC offices in Glasgow during the referendum the BBC have trodden very carefully around the SNP.

The SNP’s attitude to the reporting of its affairs was highlighted when the Telegraph and the Financial Times were barred from attending Alex Salmond’s resignation speech event and the Guardian was told who to send. In the event it chose not to attend as it could not choose its own reporter.

We have seen Mr Robinson being attacked by Mr Salmond for persisting in asking a question that he consistently refused to answer. On exiting the hall after his resignation speech, Alex Salmond, for all to see on camera, singled out the BBC’s chief Scottish political reporter, Brian Taylor, and gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder.

Any chance of our SNP ministers being held to account by commentators in Scotland? I won’t hold my breath.

Donald Lewis

Beech Hill

Gifford, East Lothian