Time to get real

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What are the global “economic realities” that informed the Scottish Government’s stance on the Grangemouth crisis (Perspective, 29 October)?

Could it be they are the same as those which led to China’s reluctance to invest?

As Adam Smith put it: “If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we can ourselves make it, better buy it off them.”

This was subsequently, of course, known from Ricardo’s political economy as the “law of comparative advantage”.

One economic reality is that petrochemical commodities can be produced much cheaper in the global economy than at Grangemouth.

Isn’t it interesting how a supposed “economic law” of free market global capitalism leads to opposite economic strategies?

Arguably, the meaning of each can only be understood in the context of different political ideologies.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk


Peter Jones praises Alex Salmond for doing well at Grangemouth (Perspective, 29 October). Would that he had produced evidence.

A “sensible Salmond” is hard to identify there. What did he actually do apart from trying to find another owner? The First Minister pursues unreliable onshore wind farms obsessively in the face of increasingly hostile public rejection of them.

He rejects nuclear power as the best long-term way to generate our electricity; tries to ignore the reality of our frequently identified long-term likely increasing fiscal deficit as the oil revenues decline, and never gives any credit for Barnett’s giving us some leeway in our current public expenditures.

Not a word to acknowledge the £125 million from Westminster to save, if only temporarily, the Grangemouth plants from closure. A hardline politician indeed.

Joe Darby