There will be no fracking in Scotland, despite Tory dreams

Fracking would not be acceptable in Berkshire but, it could be explored in “somewhere like the North of Scotland”. That seems to be the latest dream from Westminster.

The most disturbing, yet telling, thing about this outrageous comment from, Berkshire Tory MP, Laura Farris was how casual it was, how expendable Scotland, especially the North was to her.

The comment glided out, without thought, pause, reflection or later retraction. Is this shocking? Yes. Is it surprising? No.

Let’s face it, if Westminster and, especially, but not exclusively, the Tories, want to try something that is controversial, that the public will detest, then, in their minds, where better than Scotland? More specifically, the North of Scotland, they think nothing really matters up there, it is just far away.

Of course, it is not clever, but it is in no way new. There are many examples, but a few stoaters must include Thatcher’s hated poll tax, trialled in Scotland first, to the misery of many, before its demise when eventually rolled out to the rest of the UK.

In the Highlands, many will remember John Major robbing funds from vital Highland projects just to prop up Tory support in the Southeast of England. Labour don’t get a free pass either, for it was their own George Cunningham MP, who introduced, for Scotland only, folks, the democracy defying “40% rule in the 1979 Scottish Assembly referendum, meaning even the dead would effectively cast a “No” vote.

When Brexit reared its ugly head, 62% of voters in Scotland voted to remain, but not only were we dragged out of the EU against our will, we were completely ignored over pleas to – at least – do it in the least damaging way. There was no consideration of our social or business needs. Those issues were simply expendable.

Worse still, they went on to strip powers from Holyrood for environmental and regulatory safeguards through the Internal Market act. It is only a matter of time before they start sniffing around the licensing powers that the Scottish Government use to, mercifully, protect us from the damage of fracking.

Not only is it geologically impractical for the North of Scotland, but it is also not needed, nor is the other energy ideology that Westminster would love to impose, new nuclear.

We are a net energy exporter; we produce the equivalent of about all of Scotland’s electricity needs every year – and that is increasing. New figures, out this month, show that Scotland generated a record amount of renewable energy in April, May, and June of this year, 36% up on the same period last year.

Naturally, in spite of years of campaigning for change, Westminster is happy to see the Highlands lumbered with the highest electricity charges in the UK.

Scotland doesn’t need or want new nuclear; it doesn’t need or want Fracking and it certainly doesn’t need the casual disdain and toxic policies generated at Westminster.

What it does need is to protect our people to plot a swift and just transition to a green. economy to stop the creeping, now galloping, UK inequality and poverty and to create the conditions for a healthier and happier country.

We cannot do that with Westminster in charge. We can with Independence.