Investing in Scotland

Can you imagine the headlines if our current Prime Minister had stood up in Westminster and advised the world not to invest in England because that was too risky?  Yet the man, who is paid, currently, to represent us all, feels that it is quite all right, his duty even, to make such a comment about Scotland.  Our media of course latch on to these comments, not to denigrate the integrity and wisdom of said PM, but to endorse his views, to try to put another spoke in the wheel rolling along the path to independence.

Cameron’s timing is questionable, coming as it does on the back of several high profile inward investments from multi-national companies, with another at the decision-making stage; immediately after BP has announced further North Sea investments to keep the oil flowing for another couple of generations; and whilst Scotland’s First Minister is in the Middle East securing yet more international agreements.

The source of Cameron’s pontificating is a report from a finance house, Citigroup, a company with a history of support for the nuclear industry taking the opportunity to have a pop at renewables.  The current affairs programmes jump on the bandwagon, with STV’s new and nightly Scotland Tonight trotting out a long-retired Scottish Power executive to talk down the current investment in green energy in these parts.  Renewables is a growth industry and indeed it is only to be with the importing of energy from Scotland’s future wind turbines, both on and off shore, tidal generators, wave turbines etc, that England will have any chance of reducing her reliance on nuclear fuel.

Citigroup have a checkered past.  Once the highest ranked global finance house they have slipped down to 10th spot.  They had a significant role in the collapse of Enron and Worldcom a few years back.  The organisation was fined $400m, and settled a total of $1.4bn for deceiving investors with biased research, with further fines of over $3bn for their role in the Enron collapse.  Further lawsuits followed with settlements of more than $6bn to add to their financial problems.  More recently they were rescued from liquidation with a US government package of aid worth tens of billions, but stock market value still fell by more than 90% from what once was $244bn.

I do wonder just why we are holding up reports from a body with this track record and using them to downplay confidence in one of our few growth opportunities.  Cameron telling those of us who have a stake, and a say, in Scotland’s future; that he knows best; that we cannot survive without him, probably adds more positive votes to the independence campaign.  As ever we have a unionist stance from our compliant media, the BBC in particular desperate to hold on to license fees from Scotland and thus reporting without any pretence at impartiality.

Meanwhile politics rolls on with Nicola Sturgeon to stand in for Salmond at FMQs today, Annabel Goldie’s last appearance before the blue tories elect a new leader.  The red tories have had their hustings with the London based candidates hoping to lead Scotland from Westminster seeming to be short on nominations.  Interestingly Ken Macintosh has said that he now supports the alcohol regulations, distancing himself from Labour’s previous oppositionism, though all the unionist parties are sticking by their collective oppositionist tactics both on minimum pricing and on sectarianism.  It seems that they may not yet have wakened up to the wishes of the Scottish people despite the events of last May.  Oh well, that’ll add more votes to the Yes campaign then.  Keep it up all of you, I know how I can invest in Scotland for the future of my children and grandchildren.

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