Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Scottish independence: unions claim SNP has ignoring Rosyth shipyard for five years, SNP MP Defence spokesman Angus Robertson says Scotland will be like Norway and on their fleet numbers: “I’m not actually sure but they’ve got a good website’.” Fuck me that’s research?

Dear All

If Scotland becomes independent there will be winners and losers.

It is almost a racing certainty that when it comes to some of the key industries such as ship building their future is uncertain if not entirely bleak.

Scotland cannot support shipbuilding at the present scale without military shipbuilding orders from Westminster.

Although in the past ‘Britannia ruled the waves’, Alba won’t, we would be a force however patrolling a bathtub.

The reality is the Scottish surface fleet will be relatively small and mainly concentrate on coastal duties and the defence of the oil fields in the North Sea plus coastguard work.

So, who loses?

Well, workers on the Clyde in Govan and Scotstoun and also workers at Rosyth.

Such is the concern of the lack of a future that industrial trade union Chairman Raymond Duguid said he believe independence would be “catastrophic” for the 1,700 employees.

Do his concerns stack up?

Well, there isn’t a plan for independence not by the Scottish National Party and neither by the SNP Government run by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

The work hasn’t been done and at present the talk by Salmond and Sturgeon is simply bizarre, they want people to imagine a future Scotland while singly failing to deal with the realities.

They seem to think that they could run a campaign without any substance; work or preparation and people would simply go along with it because of the supposed popularity of Alex Salmond.

That notion has been burnt to the ground.

Plan McB?

Plan McB, I would hazard a guess is that in 2013, there will be a lot of talk as Salmond and Sturgeon try to dominate the news agenda with as much spin as possible.

2013 will not be a year of change, no; I suspect the start of the ‘real’ campaign will be early 2014.

At that time Salmond and Sturgeon will try and run the independence campaign much like an SNP by-election in the hope that people will rally to their cause.

The fact is they are short of people, money and resources and are probably banking on putting all their eggs in one basket for a spring offensive that year.

To return to Mr. Duguid, he says that Rosyth workers haven’t seen the SNP since defence spokesman Angus Robertson visited five years ago.

Military shipbuilding is a key industry and absolutely treated as an afterthought, it also highlights something I blog on, what have the SNP leadership been doing with their time? We know they haven’t been planning for an independent Scotland and given reports of incompetence in several devolved areas, we know they haven’t been doing well in their jobs either.

Time for a quote by Alex Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.

Anyone read the recent story about Fergus Ewing and the 5% of government buildings that have met the SNP Govt target on?

 Time for a quote again by Alex Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.


So by not doing the work, the SNP have left the door open for Alistair Darling, chairman of the pro-UK Better Together campaign, he was in Rosyth yesterday as part of a “listening tour” of Scotland.

Ticking the right boxes at the right time, it is because at Westminster there is a higher sense of evolved politics that currently resides at Holyrood.

If Scotland became independent there would be closures and cuts, because the credit rating would be prioritised over people such as the Roysth workers. Mr Duguid  is right to believe Rosyth would be “sacrificed.”

Faslane is too important militarily and politically to be closed, Rosyth would be seen as just another business closing down.

Duguid said:
“As the trade unions in the yard, we have got a fear that, if independence was to go through, it would be quite catastrophic. The foundation of our work is refitting Royal Navy ships and building these two [aircraft] carriers, and, without these foundations, we couldn’t support the core workforce that we have got. A Scottish navy wouldn’t be able to support that. Funnily enough, the SNP has not come forward to speak to us. They’ve never asked to speak to us yet. They’ve not taken on board our views”.

He added:

“The only person we spoke to, and that was about five years ago, was Angus Robertson, and he made a fool of himself. We asked him how big a Scottish navy would be, and he said, ‘About the size of Norway’. I asked how big that was and how many ships there would be, and he said, ‘I’m not actually sure but they’ve got a good website’.”

“they’ve got a good website”.

Yes, there is nothing like doing proper research Angus!

During the SNP conference last October, Mr Robertson said he had visited neighbouring countries on fact-finding trips to discover how an independent Scotland could contribute to defence in the North Sea.

I think they call it naval patrols coupled with joint exercises.

Alastair Darling said:

“The size of the navy of any country largely depends on its wealth”.

10 points but to be fair that is obvious, well at least among people who think about the future.

Darling added:

“The fact that we have the UK, which is a very large economy and country, means that we have a navy. Now, even in these hard times, we actually would need far more ships that would be built and maintained in Scotland than we ever would if you are a much smaller country like Scotland. Ireland has a navy, but it’s a very small navy. Scotland would need a navy, but nothing like the size of the Royal Navy. My argument isn’t that Scotland couldn’t afford to go it alone. Any country could go it alone, but you would have to make choices.”

So far, the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon is trying to present a ‘positive’ vision, sadly she doesn’t get that the failure of Yes Scotland and the campaign generally is because it is little more than a marketing campaign coupled with spinning.

Latest poll of 2013, massive support against independence by Scots, it seems that Ms. Sturgeon, the face of the independence campaign hasn’t made a dent, quite the obvious, opinion against indy is hardening.

Nicola Sturgeon, the granddaughter of an Englishwoman will go down in history as the ‘SNP woman who saved the union’.

2013 isn’t a year to watch, not unless you have time to watch people making fools of themselves by spinning and standing at Yes Scotland stalls unable to answer basic questions.

Time for a quote by Alex Salmond:

“My problem is that I have too many talented people and not enough Cabinet positions”.

Dream on!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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