Prospect is an often intelligent source but like the Guardian, blinkered when Scottish independence comes up. As in the Scotsman , the Herald and on BBC Scotland, partisan Unionist affiliations are never mentioned for the likes of Brian Wilson (Labour), John MacLellan (Con), Brian Monteith (Brexit) and Hugh Pennington (Better Together).
Three days ago, Nick Butler was able to write the above ill-informed piece. Butler is long-time VP of the Fabian Society and former special adviser to Gordon Brown. That should be mentioned.
Most of the piece is all-too-predictable and not up-to-date on the growth in Scotland’s onshore economy but the section on renewables-based power is remarkable:
Why, post-independence, should the rest of the UK pay the added costs of transporting power from Scotland when wind farms could be built in different parts of the UK, including the north east of England, an area to which the current UK government owes its parliamentary majority? Why should the new clusters designed to establish the next low-carbon advances—in hydrogen and in energy storage—be based in an independent Scotland when they can be located in Teeside or Ellesmere Port or at Harwell in Oxfordshire? Why should the European Union—which last week announced a radical post-coronavirus recovery plan costing €750bn, including major investments to support low-carbon production and infrastructure—rely on power supplies from a country which is no longer a member when Italy, Spain and many others badly need the jobs that investment will bring?
Does he really think a right-wing, Tory or New New Labour Starmer-led government will invest in massive wind-farm development, fighting local voters to do so, rather than just do what is cheapest and most-convenient?
Does he really think Scotland will stay a non-member of the EU for long. Has he read nothing?