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RAF on standby as Scotland is revealed to have oil reserves

Issue No. 2417

Politicians were shocked to learn there were oil rigs in the North Sea

Politicians were shocked to learn there was oil in the North Sea (Pic: Erik Christensen)

The humanitarian case for bombing Scotland if it gains independence became more urgent than ever, with figures suggesting it has far more oil than previously thought.

Leaders of both Yes and No campaigns have decided that oil and gas bosses are the key constituency to win over.

A pro-independence business thinktank argued that North Sea reserves could bring in £365 billion—almost six times what George Osborne’s chums had predicted. This would require moving control of the industry to Scotland and slashing corporate taxes. 

Coincidentally, this is what Scottish first minister Alex Salmond wants too.

The doom-mongers of the No campaign pointed to a drop in North Sea revenues, and argued that only Westminster could pay for more investment.

Strangely neither side tried to offer the people of Scotland—and indeed the world—a better chance to survive the changing climate by leaving the oil where it is.

It may still be a bit premature to add Scotland to the “Axis of Evil”. But some politicians are getting their lines ready just in case.

How else are we to make sense of Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s bizarre rant that independence supporters “are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom”?

And how long will it take MI6 to notice that if made-up weapons were fired from Scotland they would take far less than 45 minutes to reach the rest of Britain?

Tories are too chicken to talk about food safety inspections...

The government’s food safety watchdog admitted that it had wrongly cleared one of Britain’s biggest abattoirs of using chicken that had fallen on the floor.

This might have caused some people to worry.

After all, the plant in Scunthorpe still supplies supermarkets and fast food chains. Its owners, 2 Sisters Food Group, has taken over many others.

And chickens across Britain are being sold with food poisoning bug campylobacter.

So it’s a good thing the government has made sure not to give us anything else to fret about.

New environment secretary Liz Truss has blocked the publication of a report into last year’s horsemeat scandal. Due to come out last month, it will now stay under wraps for months more at least.

The report was set to reveal the gruesome effect of cuts to food inspections. 

Its author Chris Elliot says he was warned that the government would try to bury it rather than face the public outcry.

... And eating doesn’t get tougher than this for MasterClegg

Thousands went away disappointed when tickets to eat food cooked by MasterChef winners quickly sold out.

But Nick Clegg wasn’t one of them. When he failed to get tickets the normal way, the deputy prime minister simply got his office to call up the organisers.

Freebies for fag packets

There was outrage last week when Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris said it would sue the government for up to £11 billion if it brings in new restrictions on tobacco packets.

Its rival Japan Tobacco International has been trying a gentler approach—showering MPs with freebies.

Some 34 MPs—29 of them Tories—accepted £50,000 worth of gifts since 2010, including tickets and hospitality at top events such as Wimbledon men’s final.

Eight Tory MPs and one Labour MP got £12,000 between them this year alone.

A super scandal for a superhead

Unexpected Ofsted inspections are a constant source of fear for many teachers. But schools run by “superhead” Rachel De Souza always seemed to “outperform the rest”.

She was made a Dame and an Ofsted associate inspector earlier this year. 

So what was her secret?

Tory favourite De Souza got days or even weeks notice for inspections, whistleblowers claim. 

Schools became a “hive of activity” in preparation, even drafting in extra teachers.

By law schools only get half a day’s notice—and former education secretary Michael Gove said even that was too much.

The minister of making things up strikes again

Hated Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith is trying to defend his bedroom tax by casting doubt on the claim that two thirds of those affected are disabled.

The figure comes from an equality assessment by his own department.

But don’t worry too much about Duncan Smith’s grasp of numbers. 

The costs and deadlines of his pet project Universal Credit continue to spiral.

And he was found by the UK Statistics Authority to be using false figures about people who claim Disability Living Allowance in May. It was the fifth row over his dodgy statistics in just over a year.

You're never too old to be exploited...

More than a million over 65s are now in work—an increase of more than a third. Attacks on the state pension have left many with no other option.

These overworked old folks now make up 3.6 percent of all workers. 

Perhaps if we gave them a chance to enjoy their hard-earned retirement it might also help the more than two million people who are unemployed?

... unless you're a top executive

Bosses of the scandal-hit Care Quality Commission were warned in 2012 that they might lose not just their jobs but their executive pensions too.

But that seemed to have been forgotten by the time its old leadership team had been cleared out. Top boss Cynthia Bower led the pack with a £1.25 million pension pot.

The things they say

‘Russia should not intervene in Ukraine under the guise of humanitarian convoys or any other pretext of “peacekeeping”’

The US state department doesn’t like being copied

‘The easy bit has happened. Now we are coming to the tougher part’

Warning from Bank of England boss Mark Carney that he will bring in higher interest rates as real wages continue to fall 

‘As much as I dislike Dave, he has presence’

The most positive thing a Tory focus group could find to say about David Cameron

‘That’s the last face my grandfather saw. Jesus, he’s some bastard’

TV comic Brendan O’Carroll discovers that his grandfather was assassinated by a British spy in 1920 in Dublin

‘Women are more amenable and leadable and less objectionable’

Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell claims all-women shortlists will leave Labour unprepared for “hairy-arsed” politics


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The Troublemaker
Tue 19 Aug 2014, 19:36 BST
Issue No. 2417
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