Comment posted The eurozone crisis and the Independence referendum: time for proactive postponement? by HansBlix.
The problem with this “we can do better on our own” is that serious financial failures are recurring at about a 10 year frequency and we would have less than 5 after independence to prepare a firewall of sufficient size to survive the next; getting rid of RBS and BoS would be a priority and the same might apply to the Scottish insurance companies. I doubt that we could or would want to do it.
Whereas it seems to suit some to blame London for these failures, those that do should remember that greed triggered them all and, mostly, except for Goodwin who unfortunately is a Scot, from overseas. We were once proud of the fact that Scots were running almost every major bank in the world at one time; look at the Canadian banks.
HansBlix also commented
- You’ve forgotten the Darien Scheme? Nothing to do with London and it did cost us our independence when England bailed us out.
This happens regularly and the smaller you are, the more dangerous it is?
Recent comments by HansBlix
- Cameron correct not to enter into personal debate on Scottish independence
Scottish pensions and life companies would have to consider moving to England after independence to avoid the “absolute nightmare” created by cross-Border red tape, the president of the Insurance Society of Edinburgh has said.
I’ve known for some time that we could not tolerate a pension or assurance dispute arising in England being determined under Scottish law (especially given Salmond’s contempt for the Scottish judiciary) and was surprised why no Scottish cpy seemed able to voice such an opinion.
It’s game over for Salmond.
- The Galley of Lorne and the terrorism of serial planning applications
Would I be the only one who has eaten there and over many years? It appears with a few exceptions, I might be. The standard of food there has improved since the new owners took over of which I had no idea. The Craignish view isn’t so wonderful but if ever the standard of food preparation was to drop, then they would have a problem. I just hope that the owners put this aside and continue to do the things they have been doing so well.
- Landowners’ failure to sign off on community wind farm brings disappointment to Rosneath peninsula west
In England a railway preservation society has been operating with visitor limitations. That is, with the expenditure of some money they could increase the attractiveness of the site and thus footfall but they don’t own the site and the owner Network Rail has refused to increase the tenure from annual to 50 years until recently. With 50 year tenure the banks will lend and the lottery have agreed to consider funding the project. They now easily pump over £0.5m into the local economy.
So, how is it that this Trust was given £0.25m without control of the land? I know we want to do things differently but this is the sort of elementary mistake that should never have been allowed to happen. The consequences for the Trust are serious and unlikely ever to be forgotten or forgiven particularly as they provided the legal advice to the land owners.
- Davids strike Goliaths in the battle of wind at all costs
Pat Swords deserves praise, far more than I can offer.
Here is a post by Pat Swords in the bishophill blog “Hearing rules against UK renewables programme”. She has won the consultation issue and had accepted that there is a case regarding CO2 emissions.
The ruling on the failure of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) to comply with Article 7 of the Convention was directed at both the UK and the EU.
There are some complex and emerging legal issues here, but essentially one can have strategies, planning policies, etc, which are somewhat instruments of soft law. However, a plan with defined objectives to be delivered in terms of infrastructure is a different matter, in particular as the NREAP was adopted through the provisions of Article 4 of Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy without the necessary provisions for public participation being implemented by the EU and other Member States, such as the UK.
One could certainly point out that planning consent of any further developments to implement the content of the NREAP would be legally invalid, until such time as the NREAP is fully compliant with the requirements defined under National and Community law and International Treaty Arrangements with regard to environmental democracy and public participation.
In reality the planners will continue to seek to ignore this and plough on regardless, a failing of the planning process I will highlight in a later post. This would leave one with having to seek an injunction to stop the further continuation of the plan, e.g. planning consents, funding arrangements, until the necessary provisions of public participation are complied with for the adoption of the NREAP. These include not only Article 7 of the Convention, but also the more specific Community Law provision of Strategic Environmental Assessment. Currently I’m embroiled in this in the Irish High Court with regard to the Irish NREAP.
However, I would recommend that readers do actually have a look at the UK NREAP.
On pages 152 and 153, is the expected installed capacity of renewable generation, which by 2020 reaches 34,150 MW of installed onshore wind energy and 44,120 MW of offshore wind energy. As regards the rest of the document, the NREAP decided what was to be built to achieve the 15% target and then in its own words provided the financial and administrative model to deliver it.
In times to come (if not now), people will wonder what the hell the people who came up with this were smoking. At no stage was it worked out where all of this stuff (some 30,000 wind turbines) was to be built, what were the impacts on the environment, such as landscape, human beings, biodiversity, etc. What were the protection measures. What exactly were the objectives in terms of real CO2 savings given the horrendous inefficiencies on the grid? What were the alternatives to achieve those objectives and what was the likely evolution of the environment without implementation of the plan? All of these are key aspects of the Strategic Environmental Assessment process before such a plan can be adopted.
In fact these issued were never assessed prior to the adoption of the NREAP, as the clear philosophy was that the plan would be adopted first, there being no time to do otherwise, and these environmental assessment would be completed at a later phase. However, the Convention is quite clear, in that environmental considerations have to be incorporated into decision-making and as such public authorities have to be in possession of accurate, comprehensive and up-to date environmental information. Furthermore, public participation is mandatory under Article 7 of the Convention for such plans and programmes related to the environment and also has to take place when all options are open. In this process the public has to be provided with the necessary information to enable them to participate effectively in the decision-making, as to what is to be built around them.
Not only was this necessary information for the public not available, but the legally required public participation step on the National Renewable Energy Action Plan was by-passed. As a result a deluge of planning policies and planning consents resulted to deliver the targeted infrastructure in the plan, without the plan itself ever being subjected to the legally required environmental assessment and public participation.
Neither, for that matter, did the Renewable Energy Strategy which predated the NREAP even attempt to assess those impacts on landscape, population, etc. So was the UK public provided with the necessary information? The answer is No. Neither did the NREAP itself undergo a formal public participation step.
Instead, it was all rushed through and set in motion, which, as can be seen in a multitude of cases, has lead to real problems, which will become increasingly apparent and inevitably result that people will have to turn to the Courts.
- Vintage tractor mechanic wanted by Auchindrain for 1950s Fergie
Puzzled … The National Museum of Scotland runs the Museum of Rural Life at Kittochside which is a preserved farm run almost exactly as it would have been 70 years ago. The museum attached to the farm has a comprehensive collection of farm equipment of that period and I can tell you that there are some very experienced mechanics (particularly the one who got the Glasgow Single Sleeve valve engine working) who have salvaged this equipment. I would have thought that Auchindrain must know of Kittochside’s existence?
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