UK split won’t stop Grangemouth unity

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A curious anomaly arose in Brian Wilson’s reflections on the recent Grangemouth crisis, pollution in China and its worldwide investment ambitions (Perspective, 30 October).

On the one hand, he is upbeat about the need for co-operation between the United Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom to help tackle an approaching environmental crisis there.

Yet he seems to be so pessimistic about the prospect of liaison between an independent Scotland and the rest of Britain over oil refinery.

The problems at Grangemouth were of concern to both the Holyrood and Westminster governments because the prospect of closure would have affected the economies north and south of the Border.

In the short term, petrol shortages would have stretched from Nairn to Newcastle.

In the longer term, closure would impact on the social and economic fabric in Scotland but to a lesser extent in the rest of the United Kingdom too.

Thus the need for united and effective action to resolve the situation. It does not automatically follow that post-independence there would be a fierce level of competition over oil between rival parts of these islands.

It all depends on what is negotiated after a Yes vote.

The issues are the portion of the North Sea that will fall within Scotland’s remit, the level of inward investment (including that from China), and the existing level of regional aid and loan guarantees in the existing facilities.

With the necessary goodwill these complex matters can be resolved. Brian Wilson’s mistake is to assume that the healthy co-operation shown between governments recently over Grangemouth could not be replicated in an autonomous Scotland.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court


Brian Wilson’s article about China and its pollution problem should offer a wake-up call to our politicians. If one takes a more lateral but logical look at world pollution and climate change it is blatantly obvious that it is no use us sacrificing our industries to save a few drops of soot or buckets of CO2.

The problem lies in China and India but especially China at this time.

If the UK spent the money wasted trying to implement our politicians’ daft CO2 reduction plans, on developing carbon capture and other ways to cut the emissions from using coal, the whole world could be better off in a single stroke.

Anything we do to reduce our emissions is immediately and almost permanently negated by the increases made by China.

They have coal and so do we, so why do we not try to find a solution that benefits us both, without crucifying all our own industry and pricing it out of the world market with ludicrous policies that only work against our benefit.

Perhaps the same type of solution could also be applied to immigration by giving incentives for people to stay at home, by making life better and helping them develop and raise their living standards so they do not feel such a need to come to Europe where they are not needed as we have enough problems here already and it is far from a land of opportunity.

If people only looked at the initial cause of the problem on a global scale then solutions which are more palatable and universal can be found.

We all live on the same planet and in the end breathe the same air.

Ian Ross

Eden Lane


Eddie Barnes’s report on Scottish finance secretary John Swinney’s approval of employee representation on boards of industrial directors (30 October) shows how naive some politicians are.

If John Swinney imagines that a placeman from the shop floor at Grangemouth would have helped solve the failing fortunes of Ineos then he needs sharpening up.

From the word go, any employee representation on industrial boards of directors will be filled from that class of trade union activists which has oozed a destructive element into Scottish industrial relations over the last century in the shape of Marxist extremists in their varying guises.

Marxism fundamentally opposes the interests of the nation state and private enterprise and its activists hypocritically parading the interests of employees sabotage the fortunes of private industry whose collapse will result in the corporate control of the successor enterprises which they calculate they can then achieve. Such was the classic case of Ineos Grangemouth.

The advent of cheap American shale gas and oil feedstock offers the chance of profit, not only to redress the daunting losses but to upgrade the rust bucket which Grangemouth had become.

The last thing that any Scot wants to see is the approach of a McCluskey-type union spanner near the works of a reviving Grangemouth.

Alastair Harper


by Dunfermline