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Just transition... or just a transition?

Probably hinkin I’ve chucked it since the turn of the year wi a title like that eh. No heard fae you in weeks and here he is writing headlines like a dyslexic on speed.

Scottish politics was dominated by covid discussions over the xmas period. A seemingly never-ending debate over whether Sturgeon’s being too cautious. Nightclub owners fuming having been bent over backwards for what is now years, not even just months, of restrictions. The debate between health and wealth. On the one hand she’s being sensible, learning from past mistakes of being reactive as opposed to proactive. She’s thinking about the amount of people phoning an ambulance which has literally doubled. On the other, folk are saying quit the patter and just get on wi it. It’s just starting to feel like we’re back to normal and yer shutting us down cos of something that feels like a common cold to most people.

Douglas Ross has been rammin it down her throat that England’s no even been much worse, and they’ve been able to go up the dancing and attend football matches. Yousaf’s going well aye but if you asked people whether we should be cautious of a potentially raj variant a hink folk would support it. The Welsh FM’s saying Johnson got lucky cos he completely ignored the science. Lib Dems are saying forget him, Sturgeon’s been putting the fear ae death in us by making statistics seem worse than they are. So much so that Willie Rennie has reported her to a statistics watchdog. Scottish Government spokespeople have told him where to go, saying she was bang on.

Regardless, we’re aw seek ae it.

But naw, these writings come after the ‘ScotWind’ auction has put plots of seabed in Scottish Waters available for private investment. As in, private energy companies buying bits ae Scottish water to create offshore wind farm sites in the hope of really pressing on with the renewable energy revolution.

It’ll put Scotland well ahead of the rest of the UK in beginning to power millions of homes and raise loads of dosh in the process. If all went to plan, winning bidders could power around 17 million homes which is well above Scotland’s use. Off-shore wind can also produce electricity and hydrogen (a clean-burning gas that doesny produce CO2). A huge win for the environment.

Pretty exciting, eh?

In fact, so exciting that Kenny McAskill (Alba) has went what on earth are we doing selling it off to foreign companies? He called it “selling off the family silver cheap.”

Think Tank ‘Common Weal’ says we’re “reaping the mistakes” of historically selling off our oil. They’re sayin aye that’s aw well and gid but why doesny the state manage the generating and supply? We’d be in for even mare dosh surely?

Craig Dalzell, head of policy research at Common Weal said: “Had Scotland launched a national energy company capable of owning ScotWind, it would have been well placed to deliver billions in profits to Scotland every year that will now instead be shipped overseas to private shareholders or invested in the public services of those countries who have deployed their own nationalised companies in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government have said aye ats a great idea, but you need the borrowing powers to be able to invest that kindae money. Business for Scotland estimate you’d need to be borrowing £15-20bn to create a national energy company, something that would only be possible if Scotland oversaw economic decision-making anaw.

Anas Swar pointed out that its no only a judas to Scottish folk, we’ve also sold it to companies wi questionable track records on human rights.

One ae the auction winners were fined 54 million US dollars for bribing Nigerian officials and 88 million doing the same wi Indonesian officials. Another yin was found guilty of human rights abuse, destroying villages in Myanmar.

We arguably dinnae have the expertise in the experimental technology ats required for a project ae this scale… so folk might say our hands are tied in terms ae selling off to foreign companies. Either way, this is hardly a great look for a government gawn on about “fair and just” transition to renewable energy.

Bit of a Pablo Escobar vibe tae it eh. Absolutely adored by the Colombian people by funding social programs and housing projects to benefit the poor… even though he was obviously a total bampot.

Aye, we need to save the planet but are we gonnae rely on the human rights abusers to dae it?

Would you chore a loaf ae bread to feed yer starving bairn? Maybe we should ask Sue Gray…


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