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By Jason Michael

HOW THEY LAUGHED AT US back in 2014 when we claimed one of the greatest discoveries of North Sea oil was being hidden from us during the independence referendum. As the then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, shot a beeline for Shetland less than two months ahead of the vote – becoming the first Prime Minister to visit the islands in over three decades, the unionist media and political establishment was busy deriding what they described as the tinfoil hat conspiracy theories of the independence movement. Scotland is a small country, Shetland is smaller still, and the community of Scots oil workers is positively pokey – news travels fast.

“Expert confirms ‘there will be no oil bonanza,’” proclaimed the unionist campaign Better Together a week before referendum day. But no matter what Whitehall’s conjured-up experts were saying about the future of Scottish oil the people working on the rigs were saying something different. In mid-August 2014 those working west of Shetland were sent home on full pay, told not to come back until the end of September. They were aware of the rumours; that the Clair Ridge oilfield – known about since the 1970s – was “supposedly the biggest reservoir of oil in the world,” that the oil was premium grade, and that the most recent surveys had shown it to be three times larger than originally thought. This was the news they were sending home. Social media was abuzz with speculation, but the British mainstream media fell silent.

The news from the London newsrooms was that our oil was running out, its value had bottomed out and would continue to remain low. North Sea oil and gas, we were told – resources plundered by Westminster since they were discovered, were too risky a base on which to build the economy of a newly independent Scotland. The truth, according to the BBC and the entire unionist media and political machine, was that we were broke. Scotland, like every colony England has ever had, needed the broad shoulders of the union – that’s mother England’s charity – to survive.

On referendum day, 18 September 2014, the majority of Scottish voters – or so we are told – bought the spin. We opted to remain part of the United Kingdom, safe in the wider economic community of the European Union. We elected to play it safe, not to take the risk. Well, more fool us – we were lied to again! Tories like Murdo Fraser and Tories BBC “journalists” like Douglas Fraser’s Twitter pages were alive with mocking comments about “hidden oil fields” and the Scottish people’s suspicions they were being deliberately “hidden by Westminster and Tories.” But today it’s a different story. There were hidden oilfields and they were being hidden by Westminster and the Conservative political establishment. And when they said the price would never recover, it did. From January 2016, where crude oil hit bottom at under $40 a barrel, it had climbed to almost $75 a barrel by September this year. Oil prices fluctuate. We have always known that.

Days before the referendum The Scotsman newspaper published a poll which stated half of Scotland believed oil finds off Shetland were being kept secret. This was not an article intended to investigate the facts. Its purpose was to convey to its readership – the unionist half of Scotland – that the other half were motivated by fanaticism and fantasy. But that “newspaper” – as it goes out of business – is singing another tune today. In a now suspiciously cached article by Scott Reid it heralds an oil and gas “milestone” as Clair Ridge oilfield starts production, and is “expected to churn out 120,000 barrels of oil a day” – exactly as the recently released BP case study on the field said it would. That’s an estimated 640 million barrels over the next 40 years.

To put this is Texas terms: We’ve struck oil. We are rich. We are richer than our wildest dreams! But, wait, we’re not. We are not an independent country. We voted No to independence in 2014, believing we were broke, and that the oil was running it. We bought the lie that what oil we had left wouldn’t be worth a pittance. The same people who were laughing at us then are laughing at us now; that oil bonanza – which they knew was in the pipeline – will not be coming to us. It will be going right where it has always gone, to London. Our oil will be going south to fund the British government’s next big project – the Great British Brexit. We won’t be benefiting from the broad shoulders of the union. We will be torn out of the EU against our will and Britain will survive on the broad shoulders of Scotland’s massively rich oil and gas resources. We have been fucked.

In 2014, when we voted against our independence, it was obvious the road to freedom from that point on would be difficult, long, and painful. Another 40 years of oil guarantees that that road will be harder, longer, and even more painful. Cuts to the Scottish economy over the next four decades will fund the extraction and we won’t see the profits. Scotland will be made to pay for its own robbery. If we imagine now that another easy democratic referendum on independence will be handed to us on a plate – we have another thing coming. Westminster has spent the last 20 years systematically destroying the social, political, and economic fabric of the Middle East for oil. Millions of people have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen as a direct consequence of Britain’s insatiable and vampiric thirst for other people’s oil.

Even as we speak, the narrative has been set. This is not – as far as the British media and political establishment is concerned – Scotland’s oil. This is the “UK’s oil,” and that is to say that it is Greater England’s oil. Exceptions will be made for the occupied six counties in Ireland and for Gibraltar. Britain is cutting its losses to get what it wants from Brexit. No exceptions will be made for Scotland. The only democracy that matters here is the decision of 55 per cent of our country to hand over sovereignty to London, our nation’s consent to be robbed and pillaged.

Independence is coming. This I believe more today than I have ever done in the past. Independence is coming because it now has to come. Without it the life of our nation will be bled dry, to the point that there is no life left in it – nothing worth fighting for, nothing worth dying for, and nothing worth living for. The union is not only dead, the continuance of the union is death to Scotland. These people are liars. They are the scum of the earth. Independence will be hard won, but it must now be won. Our failure to end this union now will be the end of the line for our country.

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12 thoughts on “Clair Ridge: Thieves and Gaslighters

  1. Let’s kick off indyref#2 with everything up to speed by taking all of the BT twitter comments from indyref#1, together with their social media pronouncements , referendum leaflets etc that we have collected, and repost the lot unedited and unvarnished.

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  2. As usual, sad but true. We must not let this robbery happen. Waken up, Scotland

    On Mon, 26 Nov 2018, 11:11 a.m. Random Public Journal Jeggit posted: ” Tweet By Jason Michael HOW THEY LAUGHED AT US back in > 2014 when we claimed one of the greatest discoveries of North Sea oil was > being hidden from us during the independence referendum. As the then > British Prime Minister, David Cameron, shot a beeline fo” >

    Like

  3. We’ve been ignoring warnings from climate scientists for decades and now we’re facing a genuine climate emergency. There is not a chance in hell that Scotland has another 40 years of oil wealth to look forward to. That ship has sailed. Whatever oil we have left must remain in the ground.

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    1. @Noel Darlow: Tell that to Norway. The USA. China. And the Middle East. And they’ll laugh in your face. Yet you’d beggar Scotland’s prospects in the first years of independence by making it the exception amongst oil producing nations by stopping production – something which by itself will have no measurable impact on climate change. Just to make you and your ilk feel morally superior. Ya eejit.

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    2. @orlando
      The Tragedy of the Commons isn’t supposed to be an example to follow. It’s supposed to show us the terrible consequences of shirking our responsibilities so we don’t get into this kind of mess in the first place.

      We’re not responsible for Norway, or China etc. We are responsible for our own oil and what we do with it. Leaving reserves in the ground is EXACTLY what will have a measurable impact on climate change.

      Given our abundant natural resources, there is a prosperous, successful future waiting for us based on renewable energy, if we choose to take it.

      Don’t be one of those guys who slips off to the toilet when it’s your round: “it won’t make any difference. They’ll get drunk anyway”. What a way to give birth to a new nation.

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    3. @cluthab

      You’re right: we can’t stop using oil immediately but we do have to stop just as soon as we possibly can.

      The big danger now is what’s going to happen to the global food supply? Once we break through the Paris agreement’s 1.5C, lots of bad things start to happen. Significant changes to local environments right across the planet mean that agricultural systems won’t work as well as they have – or not at all. Knowledge passed down through generations becomes redundant. Global output falls, food prices rise everywhere, and poorer countries which can’t afford to buy in food when crops fail will experience more frequent and more severe famines – plus associated armed conflict and mass migration.

      It’s already started, to some extent. The north European potato crop took a beating this year from an unusual hot and dry growing season and the influence of a changing climate on the jet stream was likely to blame. Northern hemisphere weather systems are defined by the transfer of energy between hot tropics and cold poles. Take away the cold pole (Arctic warming is racing ahead) and severe disruption is inevitable.

      This isn’t theoretical any more. We left it too late to avoid a warmer planet. Now we’re in damage limitation mode. The longer we delay, the worse it gets.

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  4. Don’t you know yet? You get independence and the Shetland Islanders have secretly made plans to make themselves independent from Scotland, they know how much money is at stake and they can make themselves a super rich state like the small gulf states. They prefer to be Vikings not Scottish……..Apparently they had a secret poll on the islands after it was discovered that Unst will be land grabbed by the UK due to the radar base being reopened on there and any successful referendum vote. That means the sea with most of the new fields and rigs in will be the UK’s and the Shetlands but not Scottish. That was the reason why the Prime Minister went up there, to open the radar base…..look it up and start to cry!!!

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  5. “The oil was running it” should be “the oil was running out”.

    “Another thing coming” should be “another think coming”.

    Just because I want to share this widely and I know typos put some people off.

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