​Scotland better in the UK? I don’t think so - Christine Grahame

​​First may I wish you well for 2024. That said, as we enter this shiny new year, energy bills rise yet again, just in time for winter’s onslaught.

Indeed, energy costs more in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, which is ironic given we are a major producer of energy.

Of course, the energy produced here does not “belong” to Scotland or indeed to the UK but to commercial energy producers and sold on to the international markets and then sold back to us at bumper prices. Talk about rubbing our noses in it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So Scotland does not benefit from this “harvest”, unlike Norway where there is the energy company Statoil, with the government of Norway as the largest shareholder. It may be history but that’s worth remembering.

Successive UK governments have overseen this rip-off. Result? Well, I’ve told you the result for us, but Norway? It has put those profits in a Pension Fund worth more than a trillion. It is a major international investor and has used that fund to diversify for example into green energy.

That fund, which grows in value has future-proofed Norway’s economy. By way of contrast I should add that UK debt is roundabout £2.5 trillion. Yes, debt, not savings. Interest is of course payable on that debt and it runs at billions per annum. So much for the UK economy being safe in the hands of Westminster governments.

Then there is the Boris Brexit which Scotland rejected 62 per cent and has been an export disaster for us where exports to the EU have fallen by 25 per cent. It has also caused shortages in both the care and health sectors as well as putting the cost of imports through the roof.

But just when I thought Boris, with his covid parties and Covid contracts for pals (Michelle Mone anyone?) was the worst we could have, along came Truss who within hours sank the economy even further.

After 44 disastrous days in office she has a grand pension and sent her pals to the House of Lords, the most expensive retirement home in the UK with currently over 800 Lords.

The overall cost in 2023 was over £104 million, £21 million for those unelected members. Did you know it sold £90,000 worth of champagne there last year. How the unelected live! Some retirement home.

The list of failures, of profligacy under this UK system is substantial. Now comes Sir Keir Starmer with his battle cry for change.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What change? I have lived through many Labour governments: Wilson( I voted for him, twice), Callaghan, Blair, Brown and there was no change.

Our energy production continued to be ripped-off, the rich got richer and the poor poorer, the UK national debt was the only growth area and Labour added its own tally to the House of Lords.

We went into wars when we should not have: the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan. Labour, Liberal and Tories are silent about a ceasefire in Gaza while millions suffer, thousands die.

So when I am challenged as to whether Scotland could do better on its own, internationally, economically, with social justice at its centre I ask you simply to consider the record of UK governments over a few decades and then tell me that has been a success, that they speak for you.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.