By 2030 when Scotland should be able to power all its homes and industry with renewables energy, all of the fossil-fuel job losses could be replaced there.

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A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) suggests there were already 9.8 million people employed in the renewable energy sector in 2016. There is no Scottish breakdown. At the moment, there seem to be around 58 000 jobs in the low-carbon and renewable sector so there’s some way to go to replace the even the jobs lost by Scottish citizens in the fossil-fuel sector. The total is around 120 000 though we don’t know how many of these were paying taxes attributed to Scotland or even to the UK.

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Facts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-36491937

According to IRENA:

‘Jobs in renewable energy could cancel out fossil fuel-job losses and become an economic driver by 2030, ..the organisation’s annual report showed more than 9.8 million people were employed in the renewable energy sector….renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives, with employment creation increasingly recognised as a central component of the global energy transition……As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world.

Is it hard to imagine that, out of 24 million globally, Scotland would not be able expect 100 000 or more? Surely our current progress, physical potential and expertise place us well to do so? See:

Scotland’s energy 100% renewable by 2030?

Taiwan comes to Scotland for offshore renewables inspiration

Once more Scottish energy expertise can be highly significant

I see no reason to be pessimistic.

http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_RE_Jobs_Annual_Review_2016.pdf

Scotland and Terrorism: Are we safer?

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ‎‎

I’m still not sure if I should be writing this.  I’m not going to tempt fate and say we won’t see anything like the Manchester attack here. I’m just going to present some information which I think we should all be aware of and let you form your own opinion.

Before, I do that, I know we have lots of racists and Islamophobes in Scotland. I know there was an attack on Glasgow Airport in 2007. That was ten years ago, it’s worth remembering. I know two young Scots went to join ISIS. It was only two though out of 600 Britons. I know a Glasgow Muslim shopkeeper was murdered but that was by an English Muslim. If I’ve missed something out, please add it below.

First, see this extract from a Scottish Government research survey in 2011

‘In addition, Hussain and Miller (2004) argue that Muslims in Scotland are more likely to identify themselves as Scottish than Muslims in England are to identify as English (Hussain and Miller 2004, 2006). In their study, comparing experiences of Islamophobia and Anglophobia in Scotland, Hussain and Miller established that the Muslims interviewed found it very easy to identify with Scotland. They suggest this could be explained partly because their religious identity is seen as cultural and not territorial. This finding is supported by research conducted by Masud (2005) into the experiences of Muslims across Britain after the London bombings in 2005. In this research conducted across Scotland 27“it was widely acknowledged and appreciated that compared with other parts of the country, especially England, Scotland was a tolerant place” (Masud 2005).’

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2011/03/08091838/4

Second, remember the Glasgow Celtic, Green Brigade protest against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the crowdfunding which raised thousands to pay for sporting facilities in Palestine? I gave £20 and one of my uncles was in the Orange Lodge! People in the Arab world and Islamic people in England know about this.

Third, 100 000 people marched in Glasgow in 2003 against the Iraq war. Glasgow’s Islamic population saw this. The Herald newspaper exposed many of the atrocities committed by the Coalition there.

Fourth, 1.8% of the prison population in Scotland is Muslim. This is broadly in proportion to the 1.45% of Scottish population which is Muslim, and in significant contrast to the very large figure of 13% for Muslim prisoners in England and Wales.

Fifth, notably, although Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are still over-represented in more deprived areas of Scotland, they are less likely to be living in such areas in Scotland than they are in England.

Sixth, Muslims in Scotland are fast becoming a highly-educated population – currently exceeding the total population figure for ‘degree level and above’ education by 10 percentage points.

Seventh, almost 1 in 3 (31%) of the Muslim population is ‘economically active’ full-time – whether as an employee, or self-employed. For the population as-a-whole, the figure is 51%. It is notable that both of these percentages are higher than the corresponding figures for England and Wales which are 19.8% for Muslims and 34.9% for the overall population

Eighth, comparisons with the Muslim population in England and Wales suggest that Muslims in Scotland are somewhat socio-economically better off.

http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/scottish_muslims_in_numbers_web.pdf

Ninth, ‘there are no radical preachers in Scottish mosques who are urging Muslims to commit violence abroad or at home.’

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13199694.Revealed__how_Scotland_s_Muslims_are_fighting_the_rise_of_radical_Islam_at_home/

Tenth, earlier this year, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, first took his oath of allegiance in English and then in Urdu in the Scottish Parliament. Not something you can imagine in France.

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/9147/yvonne-ridley-french-police-could-take-lessons-scotlands-cops-after-burkiniban

Finally, see this:

‘Good community relations mean young Muslims in Scotland eschew extremism Unlike in England, there is mutual respect between the Scottish government, the Muslim communities and the police’

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/14/good-community-relations-young-muslims-scotland-eschew-extremism

As-salāmu ʿalaykum. Peace be upon you.

 

‘Record high for foreign investment in Scotland’

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That’s a BBC Scotland headline from yesterday! Have they forgotten their role in keeping our spirits down? The headline writer does seem to have but the main body of the text has lots of wee ifs and buts to keep your feet on the Union ground. They call it balance. I call it subtle propaganda. I’ve just ignored the negatives. Here IS the news:

Scotland won a record number of investments from overseas in 2016,

There were 122 foreign direct investment deals done over the course of last year, up from 119 in 2015.

The EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey showed Scotland was the second most popular part of the UK to invest in behind London.

This is the fifth year in a row that the country has been in that position.

Three Scottish cities were in the UK’s top 10 for attracting FDI in 2016, according to the research, with Glasgow fifth after a 27% increase in the number of such projects in 2016.

Scotland’s attractiveness in the eyes of investors is more in line with previous years.

Scotland has firmly secured its position as an attractive destination for FDI in the UK, with a further increase of projects from the record-breaking surge of inward investment in 2015.

For the second year in a row we have attracted more projects than ever before – with 2016 up 2.5% on 2015’s previous record – and Scotland has been the top UK region outside London in every one of the past five years.

We enjoy resources few nations can match, including one of the most highly-educated work-forces in Europe, a long-standing reputation for innovation and an internationally-regarded brand.

Today’s attractiveness survey indicates these assets continue to be recognised on the world stage, with a substantial number of projects from the US, France and Germany.

In fact, more than one in 50 of the investment projects across the whole of Europe are located in Scotland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-40003117

Scottish Oil to hit $60 per barrel

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According to investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald Europe Oil could hit $60 a barrel by the year end if the OPEC pact to curb oil output is extended. The OPEC pact has already been agreed to end 2017 with signs it might be expected to hold up into 2018 and even exceed that figure to £70. These are well above profitability levels. See:

Prices for Scottish oil hold up as the glut begins to shrink

According to Energy Voice yesterday:

‘It was hoped that by curbing output across OPEC nations, with the support of other major producers such as Russia, the oil price could be rallied back up to more profitable levels. In recent weeks several countries including Saudi Arabia and Russia have come out in support of extending the cuts in 2018 to support of market rebalancing….it’s also worth noting that the Saudi’s are in the process of listing Aramco, and therefore will require a stable oil price to support their $2trillion valuation of the company, and so it is in their interests to continue with a production cut to do so.’

Add to this the fact that Asian demand is fast outstripping production and Scottish oil is heading there by the tanker-load. See:

Scottish oil in new and much increased demand from Asia ‘like never before!’

https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/140105/oil-hit-60-opec-cuts-extended-analyst-claims/

Scotland leads the way with living wage

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More employers per head of population pay the living wage in Scotland than in any other UK region. Only London comes close. Here are the figures from The Living Wage foundation dated 22nd May:

Employers by region

East of England: 131
East Midlands: 94
London: 951
North East England: 53
Northern Ireland: 10
North West England: 237
South East England: 243
South West England: 156
Scotland: 646
Wales: 79
West Midlands: 115
Yorkshire and the Humber: 147 

https://www.livingwage.org.uk/employers/region

The figures seem out-of-date as the Scottish Government website has just announced that Gorgie City Farm has become the 800th in Scotland and that their target for Autumn 2017 is 1 000. However, if we accept the first set of figures, then the per capita figure for Scotland’s 5 million population is 1 for every 8 204 people while the figure for London’s 8.6 million population is 1 for every 9 043 people. This is impressive when you consider London’s enormous economy and shortages of workers. When you take any of the other regions , Scotland’s performance is more than impressive. The relatively prosperous East Midlands, for example has a population of 4.5 million yet only 94 Living Wage employers giving a figure of 1 per 47 872 people! Most of the others are little better.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Keith Brown said:

‘This is a significant step in our drive to promote fairer working environments for Scottish employees and ensures people’s basic wage continues to meet the real cost of living. Paying the Real Living Wage makes sense for businesses. It’s an investment in people and all the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absence, while sending a strong signal to customers about fairness.’

https://news.gov.scot/news/living-wage-1

Good News: UKIP’s Paul Nut-them-all to become agent provocateur in England and help the Yes Campaign.

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© liverpoolecho.co.uk

You might remember hearing about agent provocateurs in school history classes. If not, they were sneaky government guys who joined anti-establishment groups like the early trades unions and the pro-democracy groups like the Chartists. There were probably female ones too in the Suffragette and Suffragist movements. Basically, they joined these movements and tried to stir them up into taking illegal actions so the government of the day could self-righteously repress them and the media demonise them as extremists.

Here’s part of the Daily Excretion’s report on what Paul said yesterday:

‘PAUL Nuttall has demanded that the next Government must end the system which means that English taxpayers’ cash is used to fund freebies in Scotland which are denied to people in England….On a trip to the target seat of Dagenham and Rainham, the Ukip leader told the Daily Express that the Tory plan to means test the £200 winter fuel allowance in England but keep it as a universal benefit in Scotland was “the last straw”….Already Scots get free tuition fees, do not have to pay prescription charges and have social care for the elderly paid for by the taxpayer…..It’s a complete disgrace that Scots get all these freebies on the back of English taxpayers. The excuse offered by Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson for allowing Scotland to not means test winter fuel payments is that “it is colder in Scotland”.’

He’s actually correct that the colder weather thing is an excuse. See:

Why Ruth Davidson should be campaigning to keep the Winter Fuel Allowance for many of England’s old folk too

However, back to the point. Nuttall’s outburst extensively reported will fuel English Nationalism and anti-Scottish sentiment south of the border. Tory politicians will join in making ill-judged tweets. Before you know it, we’ll all be told to fuck off and shut up and soon after, new laws will be passed to seriously weaken the SNP’s progressive policies.

This is good. To get independence, we need the pull of a creating a better country but judging by the polls it’s clearly not enough. Too many Scots don’t get it and need something more direct – ‘push.’ By that I mean the English wanting us to leave whether we want to or not. Already a lot do. If Paul and anti-Scottish Tory MPs, even ministers, can push Theresa into more and more anti-Scottish actions, the No campaign will wither under their murderous fire.

PS – I know my metaphor’s a bit muddled.

The North Sea’s Third Wave of Wealth Generation: Further evidence from BP as they start production from ‘one of the largest field redevelopments in North Sea history’

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If you’re a regular here you probably don’t need any more evidence that Scotland’s oil resources are massive and in demand as Asian consumption exceeds global output. However, we need to keep hammering home these facts to the Unionist politicians and media who are still rejoicing in the one-year slump of 2016. See:

LAST YEAR’S NEWS! Scottish oil tax receipts go into red for first and last time in 2016 after decades of subsidising London and as a ‘Third Wave’ of prosperity begins

 ‘North Sea oil output boost on horizon’ according to Reuters, only three months after we spotted it

 Now, in Energy Voice, as often recently, more good news:

Oil major BP is celebrating the start of production from Quad 204, one of the largest field redevelopments in North Sea history. Operator BP and partners Shell and Siccar Point Energy expect the mega-project to deliver 450million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) from the Schiehallion and Loyal fields through to 2035 and beyond. BP initially set a budget of £3billion for Quad 204 but later chose to invest an additional £1.4billion to widen the subsea work scope, a BP spokeswoman said.’

See the phrase I highlighted? Ignore the word ‘Loyal’. It’ll be ours soon.

https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/139623/video-bp-hails-quad-204-start-oil-major-returns-north-sea-growth-articleisfree/