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The SNP government has invested in excess of £3Bn into the private sector building industry. Hedge funds based offshore are gaining control of the build and rent and affordable house purchase and rental housing market through their subsidiary companies and this cannot be good for Scotland since profits are being siphoned off into offshore accounts and effective controls are impossible to sustain.

Sturgeon in row over donor cash

Nicola Sturgeon was at the centre of a £3 million cronyism row over links between her Government Ministers and SNP donors.

Property tycoon Alexander Adam and his firm, Springfield Properties, donated over £100,000 to the SNP£100,000 in 2014 referendum campaign.

In that same period, the company was advanced a Government loan of nearly £1 million and has been selected to take part in a lucrative construction scheme where mortgages for new-build houses are guaranteed by the Scottish government.

The 3000 new rental homes in Stirling a mile away from the city centre is something that really should have been soundly recorded and openly discussed.

I am hoping readers of my blog will be able to glean from the article the underlying intent behind the hedge fund financed introduction of new villages on the outskirts of amenity and new housing deprived established cities and larger towns throughout Scotland.

Politicians live in the moment since their tenure in office is subject to the foibles of the voter, this being the case they are not able to plan ahead with any certainty.

Hedge fund and offshore businesses are able to take the long term view and commit large amounts of finance to projects which may take up to 30 years to complete.

Councils are not building houses but finance is available from central government for house building through the private sector. This money will be provided to the building industry to provide subsidised Build to Rent, Build to Buy and Buy to Rent housing and the new villages will be expanded to town status, (up to 30,000) including all necessary amenities.

None of which will be under the control of local councils. Towns en-bloc will be owned and run by the hedge funds. This is what the SNP are putting in place.

The increasing profile of hedge funds in the Scottish property market

PineBridge Investments is a private, global asset manager with $150.0 billion in assets under management. It draws its success from decades of investment across a number of asset classes operating through a network of global offices with talented and highly rated investment teams and a world-class infrastructure. Clients include pension plans, insurance companies, official institutions, private banks, advisors and intermediaries.

PineBridge Benson Elliot, owned by Pinebridge Investments, is a UK-based, FCA-regulated fund manager with $3.2 billion of managed equity and holds a diversified real estate portfolio, currently comprised of office, retail, hotel and residential assets in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Central Europe.

Sigma Capital Group, owned by Pinebridge Benson Elliot is an Edinburgh-based residential development and urban regeneration specialist with a value of £188.4 million. Having delivered 5,400 homes to date it is investing heavily into the UK private rental sector with the intention of growing the business through the formation of new long term house builder partnerships, expanding additional capital towards new Private Rent Supply (PRS) opportunities into new regional markets further widening its rental product offering.

Comment: The SNP government has invested in excess of £2Bn into the private sector building industry. Hedge funds based offshore are gaining control of the build and rent and affordable house purchase and rental housing market through their subsidiary companies and this cannot be good for Scotland since profits are being siphoned off into offshore accounts and effective controls are impossible to sustain.

Agent P🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧 on Twitter: "WOW! Another secret Sturgeon  meeting. A blank page in Sturgeon's diary. A property company donates £100K  to the SNP. Same property company gets awarded a £650m contract. Why

About Springfield Properties

The Elgin-based company which became housing developer Springfield Properties was founded as a market garden in 1956. By the late 1970s, the company retained just 10 acres, all of which had been zoned for housing. But in 1989 having failed to sell the land to a developer, the company was turned into a housebuilding business and built around 100 houses. The success provided finance allowing the purchase of 130 plots of land in Forres on which it built houses. The venture was profitable and by the mid-2000s it was turning over about £20m.

2006-2008 brought a bubble in the housing market. The company sold around a third of its landbank and moved its operations to build affordable housing taking on much-reduced risk. This protected the company from the property market crash and the upturn in the market saw it in a strong position, with no bank loans, and a contract for a 438 house development in Morayshire. The change also provided the opportunity to expand operations into Central Scotland where there were many unfinished blocks of flats where developments had gone into liquidation. In 2011 the company cemented its place in Central Scotland when it acquired the Scottish business of listed builder Redrow. This allowed the company to continue its growth pushing past the £100m mark in the year ending March 2017.

The company built 75 family rental homes (rental value around £0.85m per annum) for Sigma Capital Group, the residential development and urban regeneration specialist. The site was the first development of single-family homes for the private rented sector in Scotland and is part of a substantial, new standalone village development of around 3,000 homes already well underway by Springfield at Bertha Park, outside Perth on the Ruthvenfield Road and marks the launch of Sigma’s rental brand, “Simple Life” in Scotland.

Anger as £650m contract for SNP donor approved after Nicola Sturgeon  meeting she failed to declare - Daily Record

Springfield Properties New villages/towns

The company formed partnerships with local councils committing it to the creation of 5 new villages in Dundee, Edinburgh, Perth, Elgin and Stirling with an expected population of around 3,000 each. They are at various stages of planning and/or building at the start of 2022.

Perth and Kinross Council approved the construction of 75 houses for families to rent privately. Bertha Park Village also includes a convenience store, play park and secondary school and was the Scottish housebuilding company’s first development under a private rental sector partnership, which it entered into with Sigma Capital in September last year.

Springfield said the development of the PRS housing will provide it with a further revenue stream, strong cash flow visibility and will increase the build-out rate of its villages. Chief Executive Innes Smith said: “These high-quality, professionally-managed homes will be an asset to the community and attract those who might not yet be ready to buy but want to benefit from everything our villages have to offer. The development of PRS housing will also further diversify our revenue streams and provide additional visibility over future sales.”

Springfield Properties recently received consent to build a 3,042-home village over 20 years at Durieshill, Stirling. The project will create an entirely new community served by a range of amenities such as shops, a play park and a library, answering some of the concerns expressed in a recent survey on what homebuyers want from new developments. It is Springfield’s largest development to receive planning permission and management believes it is one of the biggest to have been approved in Scotland. The new village is less than a mile south of Stirling and covers an area of 593 acres. With a gross development value of approximately £650 million

The new Elgin South Village proposed by Springfield Properties has been approved by Moray Council and the build of the first 870 new homes, two new schools and the state of the art Moray Sports Centre was approved. With ample green space, communal areas and the option for retail units, the plans will transform the south side of Elgin and are part of a wider 2,500 home masterplan. Springfield Properties worked closely with the Council to design the new village covering 204 hectares – roughly the size of 167 football pitches. The first phase will also help Moray Council meet affordable housing targets with 220 allocated for social housing.

Nicola Sturgeon proves that when you're hot, you're hot | Marina Hyde | The  Guardian

3 Oct 2015: Fraud probe MP in a row over cronyism

Mortgage fraud probe MP Michelle Thomson was at the centre of a cronyism row after it emerged she accepted a £5,000 donation from property developer Springfield Properties. She then endorsed the company in an election leaflet while photographed alongside its chairman, Alexander Adam. He and his company have given the SNP and pro-independence campaign nearly £100,000 in the past three years. Over the same period, Springfield Properties received a government loan of nearly £1million and was selected to take part in a lucrative construction scheme whereby mortgages for new-build houses are guaranteed by the Scottish Government. Nicola Sturgeon distanced herself from the matter.

Coronavirus in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon forced to defend decision to ban  construction | Scotland | The Times

31 Jan 2016: Major SNP donor at the centre of tax haven row

Sandy Adam, who has given nearly £100,000 to the SNP through his companies and private wealth is a major shareholder in five companies: Springfield Commercial Investments Ltd, Heather ltd, Carnoustie Limited, Portobello Apartments Limited and Flower of Scotland Limited. all are registered in the Isle of Man tax haven which provides an appealing way for international business people to legitimately minimise their international tax liabilities. It is a secure and stable offshore jurisdiction, with strong confidentiality laws and an attractive tax regime. Companies registered in the Isle of Man do not have to file accounts for the public record.

Springfield Commercial Investments Ltd, set up in 2010 owns properties across Scotland, including parts of the Winston Barracks estate in Lanark, South Lanarkshire. It also has properties in Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway, and Edinburgh. In 2012 the company bought 2 sections of Aberdeen’s main shopping thoroughfare, Union Street, for around £1m. The Isle of Man is one of 38 jurisdictions that were ordered to clean up their tax affairs by the Operation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

At present, the use of offshore companies as vehicles for property ownership and development is not illegal. However, the Scottish Greens pressed for it to be restricted to companies registered in the EU in a bid to exclude tax havens, such as the Isle of Man, and improve transparency. A proposal thrown out by SNP Land Reform Minister Aileen McLeod.

Nicola Sturgeon has described tax avoidance as “obscene, immoral and downright wrong” amid a growing row over offshore firms and her MPs have criticised the so-called “sweetheart” deal between Google and the UK Government, which will see it pay just £130 million to cover a decade of back taxes.

Speaking about the agreement last week the party’s deputy leader, Stewart Hosie, said: “Working people and small businesses do not have the luxury of negotiating down the amount of tax they have to pay.”

The foregoing disclosures became public knowledge an inconvenient few weeks after SNP MP Phil Boswell was accused of using a tax loophole for his own benefit while demanding a clampdown on tax dodgers. Lib Dem peer Jeremy Purvis accused the SNP of double standards over the issue saying: “Cracking down on tax avoidance was a major plank of the SNP’s 2015 manifesto. But Boswell’s admission that he used a tax avoidance scheme passed without comment from the First Minister whose response to this issue has been very weak.”

Note: Springfield Commercial Investments operates only in the rental sector.

Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland's economy on 'right trajectory' despite £13.4  billion debt - Daily Record

4 Apr 2021: Planning application approved after Nicola Sturgeon meeting she failed to declare

In Dec 2019 the £650m planning application to construct the 3000-home Durieshill village in Stirlingshire was approved after a meeting between Senior Springfield staff and Nicola Sturgeon which she failed to declare. Senior Springfield staff also lobbied the First Minister in Perth in January 2019 but there is no mention of the talks in her official diary. And several other appointments between Springfield and senior SNP ministers were also not recorded.
This despite the Holyrood code of conduct stating: “Private Offices should arrange for the basic facts of formal meetings between ministers and outside interest groups to be recorded, setting out the reasons for the meeting, the names of those attending and the interests represented.” Sturgeon was previously accused of cronyism in 2015 after announcing an overhaul of the planning system following a campaign by multi-millionaire Adam.

On the day of Sturgeon’s January 2019 meeting with Springfield, her diary simply states: “Announcement, Cities Deal – Perth.” which was a reference to the wider public event she attended in the town where the discussions took place. Springfield made clarified in its submission to the lobbying register that managing director Peter Matthews had held a “face-to-face meeting” with Sturgeon.

Former finance minister Derek Mackay was also lobbied by Adam in July 2018. While the businessman recorded the meeting in Holyrood’s lobbying register, the talks did not appear in Mackay’s own diary. Senior Springfield employees also met Housing Minister Kevin Stewart twice in 2019 but the firm wasn’t mentioned on either occasion in his records.

It has been discovered that SNP ministers intervened or planned to intervene to overturn seven local authority planning decisions since 2014 which went against Springfield, involving more than 400 houses.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay whose research staff uncovered the undocumented meetings said: “There are serious questions to be asked with reference to the ministerial code. This smacks of cronyism. A large-scale SNP donor meets with the First Minister and other cabinet members but none of it is registered in their ministerial diaries. All of this is against a backdrop of the social housing budget being cut by £100million.”

In 2016 Springfield also received approval for a 3000-home development at Bertha Park in Perth in 2015 after Adam lobbied Sturgeon to reform the planning system which he said was blocking housing development. Her response was to pledge a “root and branch review”.

Is this the best Private Eye lookalike EVER? | Metro News

2 Jul 2021 unrecorded meetings expose a culture of sleaze within the SNP government

Investigative journal the Ferret reported that “hundreds” of meetings were undertaken by Scottish Government officials, but were not reported to the register. The journal analysed Scottish ministers’ engagements in 2020 and found some met with companies awarded contracts to supply the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. It also noted lobbyists met with Scottish Government representatives 179 times since March 2018. The Scottish Government insisted it was “committed to transparency”, adding that “all ministerial engagements are recorded and published, including meetings held via phone calls”.

Neil Bibby, Scottish Labour business manager, on 4 February 2020, in the lobby of the Scottish Parliament, said: “These reports raise serious questions about whether Scotland’s lobbying laws are fit for purpose. With countless key meetings going unrecorded, it is clear that the SNP are exploiting loopholes to avoid scrutiny. These shameless attempts to undermine the spirit of the lobbying act are all too typical from a government constantly avoiding any and all transparency. The laws need to be looked at, but legislation can only do so much as long as there is this culture of sleaze and secrecy at the heart of the SNP.”

Comment: Sleaze, secrecy and complete lack of transparency have been the hallmarks of the SNP government whose leadership of narcissistic sociopaths have gathered unfettered power to the centre.

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SNP politicians have a vested interest in ensuring the union between England and Scotland is retained which is the reason Scots remain in bondage after 300 years of colonial rule

The colonisation of Scotland by England was signed up to against the wishes of Scots by our unelected politicians for a one off lump sum payment of £398,085 10s.

(The irony is that the English borrowed the money and added it to their National Debt before giving it to the Scottish politicians.) Double whammy!!!!

A contract rider included a commitment for Scots to accept a recurring commitment to a share of the English National Debt, which at the time was £18 million.

When the treaty was signed Scotland had no national debt so the lump sum payment was shared between the politicians who signed up to the treaty enabling them to purchase estates in England and permanent seats in Westminster.

315 years later the scam continues:

Scottish politicians extract to themselves and their families/associates upwards of £70 million annually from the public purse (SNP-£50 Million).

National debt at 2022 is £2,440 trillion of which Scotland’s liability is around £190 trillion.

Conclusion: SNP politicians have a vested interest in ensuring the union between England and Scotland is retained which is the reason Scots remain in bondage after 300 years of colonial rule.

Lines of effective communication with bodies, such as the UN need to be established if Scotland is to be freed from the illegal “Treaty of Union”.

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Control of broadcasting policy would be returned to Scotland. Axed without explanation, on the final day, at the instigation of Unionist parties

The Smith Commission

There were nine cross-party meetings over seven weeks prior to the publication of an agreed draft of “Heads of Agreement” proposals on 21 November 2014.

It emerged that Unionist panel members and MSPs of political parties incorporated in Scotland and allegedly independent of Westminster were frequently on the phone taking instructions from their Party leaders in London.

The Unionist backing Commission chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, also gave the impression he added weight to the views of the three main Westminster parties over panel members.

A source said: “The position that Lord Smith took was that if the parties who were either in the current UK government or might be in the next refused to budge on something, he went with it. The Unionist votes counted for more.”

The BBC propaganda machine : Scotland

Nov 2014Devolution deal for Scotland

Lord Smith of Kelvin, praised Scottish political leaders for coming together after a “bruising” referendum, with a reminder that the cross-party commission had been set up after the unionist parties promised greater powers for Scotland in the event of a no vote in the independence referendum, in a pledge known as “The Vow”.

The deal was promoted by Unionist “no” campaigners as the greatest transfer of powers to Scotland since the Scottish Parliament was set up 15 years before.

Drawn up in little over two months it included the transfer to the Scottish Parliament of broadcasting:

Control of broadcasting policy remitted to Scotland for near 70 years before being taken away in 1991 by the government in Westminster, without consultation would be returned to Scotland. The “Broadcasting Council for Scotland” would be established providing Scotland with the longstanding broadcasting governance arrangements which had been in place between 1946-1991.

But the foregoing new arrangements were axed without explanation, on the final day, at the instigation of Unionist parties in London and in Scotland and replaced with:

“Scottish Government is to have a role in reviewing the BBC’s charter and the BBC management in Scotland will be expected to report to the Scottish Parliament’s committees”.

Alex Salmond compares BBC's Scottish independence coverage to propaganda in  Communist Russia - Mirror Online

Up Yours – BBC Scotland senior managers refuse to meet with the MSP committee

Ken MacQuarrie, Head of BBC Scotland and his enforcer, Head of News and Current Affairs and Labour Party supporter bully boy Boothman refused to appear before the Scottish Education and Culture Committee at Holyrood stating that BBC management in Scotland was not accountable to the Scottish Government.

They were subsequently ordered to appear by the Chairman of the BBC Trust and finally did so but stonewalled every question put to them. Boothman, (later exposed as a bully left the BBC soon after and transferred his employment to the private

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 The imposition of the BBC on Scots breeches the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The BBC in Scotland

The dictatorial powers of the BBC decide the daily agenda for the Queen’s subjects, how they talk to each other and what about but Scots are unable to trust the output of the BBC and feel they have no personal investment in it.

It was only a matter of time. The truth about the Establishments dept. of  propaganda - Scottish Branch Office. inform-scotland-… | Scotland,  Propaganda, Go fund me

BBC Bias against Scottish Independence

Before, during and after the 2014 independence referendum the public perception was and still is that there was/is an ongoing agenda within BBC Scotland providing support to Unionist ideals and policies to the exclusion of other political opinions in Scotland.

The evidence was the huge number of unresolved complaints and public demonstrations all voicing concern and anger about the blatant lack of impartiality of the news and current affairs division based in Glasgow.

Scottish opinion was marginalised by the very media that Scots were compelled to pay an annual subscription for. And that is an insult added to injury.

Unfairness in Early 2016? BBC Reporting Scotland and perceptions of  propaganda - Newsnet.scot

Protection of the Scottish Culture

In denying Scots their right to the active promotion of cultural diversity through broadcasting the government in Westminster and its Whitehall controlled BBC is in breach of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – Article 11 – Freedom of expression and information. 

Indeed a well respected and truly impartial BBC journalist was asked if the perception that BBC Scotland was anti-nationalist was, in his view, justified said: “Put it this way, it probably comes more naturally to them to attack the nationalists than to attack the union.”

BBC map of the UK mainland | Michael Rawlins
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The English belief in their nations racial and ethnic superiority and purity provided the excuse to forcibly evict hundreds of thousands of Scots from their homes and country by “bayonet, bullet and fire

The Ethnic Cleansing of Scotland

Ethnic cleansing enacted by the political policies of Westminster governments commenced not long after the Treaty of Union of 1707 was signed and over the past 300 years it has been implemented first through the ruthless efficiency of a standing English Army garrison and after by political programmes put in place designed to asset strip Scotland of industry and commerce transferring control of all aspects of society and the environment to England ensuring the perpetual subservience of Scots to their divine masters in England. Informed commentators interpret the actions as ethnic cleansing.

It is a fact that there are more descendants of Scots living outside Scotland than there are inside and the population north of the central belt and some places in the lowlands were forced off the land which provided their homes for thousands of years, only to be permitted permanent residence in villages and towns near to the east coast with result that the area denied Scots, larger than Holland or Belgium, is the most sparsely populated in Europe.

The land, viewed as one of Europe’s last great natural wilderness areas was given over to sporting estates becoming the playgrounds of English aristocracy and nouveau riche and became one of Europe’s great human wastelands.

The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (December 1948) Article II

The background of the Convention was the Nazi genocide of the 1930s and 40s and was expressly intended to address historical crimes, depending not on mere written law, but on the universality of Natural Law in which certain acts are seen as so repugnant to reason that the conscience along serves to condemn the perpetrator.

Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group.
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

What happened in Scotland in the past 300 years constitutes acts of genocide as defined by the Convention.

English politicians conditioned by a belief in Scots racial and ethnic inferiority and impurity evicted tens of thousands by “bayonet, truncheon or fire.”

A historical reality that meets the first three of the five conditions of genocide (bearing in mind the 1948 Convention stipulates that when “any” of the conditions are met genocide has been committed).

The sham devolution of powers to a Scottish Parliament is being dismantled and the colonisation of Scotland by England is being reinstated in response to the determination of Scots to re-establish Scotland’s independence. (summarised from: randompublicjournal)

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Exposed- the background of the arty clientele of the Dovecot Foundation in attendance at Sturgeons address

October 1992: Daily Mail – Musings of a Scottish lady

Many of my English and European friends and acquaintances are landowners in Scotland. In recent times they have been able to buy and sell many Scottish estates at reasonable prices ensuring the continued growth of our society.

Lord Kimball left Altnaharra in Sutherland. Billy Whitbread sold Kinlochewe. Algie Cluff disposed of Clova. The Forsyth family put Ballathie in Perthshire on the market.

Amazingly Mark and Sandy Diks, the Dutch couple who bought Ben Alder, near Fort William, for £1.5m only a few months ago have decided to sell because Mrs Diks disliked the Scottish climate! Understandable if she was Australian or Italian, but the Dutch who shoot up the highlands are out in all weathers.

Peter de Savery, the English yachting enthusiast bought Glenborrodale Castle on Loch Sunart and now runs it as a hotel.

Derek Holt, the Ayrshire businessman, who built the Kip Marina, bought the Island of Gigha from the receivers of the financially beleaguered Malcolm Poitier.

Lord Laing, the biscuit tycoon, who lives at Dunphail, near Forres, resides virtually next door to his brother Fergus, at Relugas, in Morayshire (some locals call the county Laingshire). Hector Laing set his sons up in neighbouring estates. Anthony and his wife Fof, at Culmony. Robert and his wife Fiona, at Bantrach.

Then there are the Ivory and the Gammell families who have been leading lights in Glenisla in Angus for decades. James and Felicity Ivory at Hole of Ruthven at Kirriemuir. Ian and Johanna Ivory down the road at Ruthven House, near Meigle. Brian and Oonagh Ivory at Brewlands. and their Gammell cousins, Jamie and Jimmy, at Alrick and Craig. Between them, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. the Keswicks. the Landales. and the Jardine Patersons all from the Jardine Matheson Hong Kong dynasty, account for a lot of Dumfriesshire.

Alistair and Elizabeth Salvesen bought the Whitburgh estate near Pathhead, in Midlothian. With brother Robin Salveson already in residence at Eaglescairnie in East Lothian. Evelyn Salverson, with husband Ian Crombie, at Rankeilour in Fife. Cousin Andrew Salveson at Findrack in Aberdeenshire and Nephew Jeremy at Cardrona, near Peebles. The Salveson’s further increased the family share of ownwership of Scotland.

And what of my own family?

When Torquil, The Master of Camperdown, has finally finished at Eton and Cirencester, we fully expect him to instal himself nearby, most likely in the dower house used by my mother-in-law before we packed her off on the world tour.

Last evening, I arranged for Fiona, our daughter who is at university in Glasgow, to take a party of her chums to the Childline Ball being held at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. I do wish I could have gone along myself since I used to simply adore waltzing under those magnificent chandeliers in the great ballroom. Mind you, that was in the days before the local council turned the old place into a multi-purpose community centre; as far as I know, there hasn’t been a really smart dance there for well over a decade. So maybe things are getting back to normal at last!

Anyway, the guest-of-honour last night was Esther Rantzen who presents that amusing television programme about life, and although I have not, as yet, heard from Fiona, with Mike D’Abo’s Band from London (he was the one who took over from the good-looking chap who sang Pretty Flamingo with that Manfred Mann pop group in the 60s), a jazz band, and Scottish country dancing into the bargain, it must have been just like the old days.

Sheriff Neil Gow has written in to chastise me about my bad spelling for which I feel suitably humbled. Alas, I am not a journalist, I am only a woman! I should say, however, that when Camperdown and I were stalking on Arran, we visited Sannox Lodge at the north-east end, not Strabane, where Lady Jean (as a Duke’s daughter, a lady in her own right) has done wonderful things to what I understand was formerly the old factor’s house, next to Brodick Castle. (Summarised from the original)

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Any international court would declare the 1707 Treaty of Union null and void since it was signed under duress and threat of overwhelming military and economic force

The English government’s Navigation Acts of 1660/61

The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, were a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies

The laws prevented Scotland from trading with England’s colonies in India and the Caribbean and denied Scots the chance to profit from the trade opportunities that English merchants enjoyed cutting off sources of wealth for Scots. Unlike England and some other European countries, Scotland had no colonies of its own so it continued to fall behind in terms of trade.

The scope of the act was surreptitiously extended in 1689, to include France, the low countries and any colony of England or Holland and was enforced by English and Dutch warships patrolling, controlling the high seas, the North Sea and the English Channel.

Scottish ships carrying fish and or other cargo would be stopped and boarded, the cargo confiscated, ships sunk and the crews press-ganged into the English navy.

England effectively placed an embargo on Scotland and enforced it by blackmailing other countries dependent on England’s support at sea and in Europe and the new colonies.

What was particularly galling was that at a time when their families starved at home in Scotland (due to the adverse impact of the embargo) tens of thousands of Scots were forcibly conscripted into and died fighting for the recently formed United Kingdom in Europe under the command of incompetent English generals.

But the ever resilient Scots refused to give up their sovereignty and retained their freedom denying England’s attempts at colonising the country.

The English Alien Act of 1705

The continued resistance of Scots to colonial rule frustrated English politicians whose attentions were increasingly given over to developing its North American interests. Something need to be done to bring the Scots to heel.

The English Parliament’s Alien Act of 1705 speeded up the process of a Union with Scotland with the explicit threat to confiscate all Scottish held estates held in England by non-residents unless the Scottish Parliament entered into treaty negotiations by Christmas Day 1705.

An added threat was that an embargo would be placed on Scottish products being imported into England.

Darien – Money talks

At the time the Treaty of Union was signed in 1707 Scotland had no debt whilst England’s national debt was £18 million.

Article XV of the Treaty granted £398,085 and ten shillings sterling to Scotland – a sum known as “The Equivalent” – to offset future liability towards the English national debt.

But most of the money was used to compensate the investors in the Darien scheme, many of whom were in the Scottish Parliament and then persuaded to support the Union.

A “parcel of rogues” as described by Robert Burns.

It was hardly a voluntary union as it was opposed by all the churches and burghs in Scotland and widespread rioting followed news that the Treaty of Union had been signed.

Article XIX of the treaty contains the words “…that no causes in Scotland be cognizable by the Courts of Chancery… or any other Court in Westminster Hall”. Therefore, it can be argued that the UK Supreme Court breaches the Treaty of Union (Fraser Grant)

The 1707 Treaty of Union

The Union of Scotland and England was achieved by the signing of the Treaty of Union in which the members of the Scottish and English Parliaments (neither democratically elected) agreed to form a new “British” Parliament.

This did not happen as English politicians at Westminster decided that, contrary to the agreement, there would be no new joint Parliament but “the English Parliament continuing” which would incorporate (absorb) the Scottish Parliament.

Since it was the members of the Scottish Parliament that signed the Treaty it is they, now democratically elected who have the right to express the will of the people of Scotland about such matters as whether they wish to withdraw from a Treaty in which almost every clause has been broken. Self-determination is a right under all international laws.

It is of note that the people of Scotland were torn out of Europe despite their vote to remain, and their being told in the 2014 Independence Referendum campaign that only a no vote in 2014 would ensure their remaining in Europe (Susan FG Forde)

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Westminster the end of the Empire is near

The end of Queen Victoria’s reign brought with it the slow but relentless and agonising dissolution and dismemberment of the British Empire since it was unable to sustain its existence being founded through the conquest of many formerly free independent nations.

It was also thinly spread across the world and this encouraged the regimes of the appointed governors to practice widespread institutional abuse on the populations of the colonies.

The Royal Navy, which had policed the Empire using gunboat diplomacy lost its power, influence and ability to control affairs and this encouraged the long suffering residents of many colonies to rebel and demand that the British leave.

In some instances the requested withdrawals were achieved peacefully but in many examples the British had to be thrown out of former colonies by force of arms.

In 2022 the Empire is a pale shadow of what it used to be and yet its leaders in Westminster continue to strut the world stage like a punch drunk fighter boasting of its continued influence on world affairs.

The Empire includes just two colonies (Scotland and Wales) attached to Westminster by oppression and abuse and held captive by force.

The weakness of their situations being attributed to the land attachment and the death and banishment of many millions of their residents who fought against overwhelming odds for many years.

It is time Westminster acknowledged the rights of Scotland and Wales and declared an end to the Empire.

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The ups and downs of ultra successful entrepreneur Baroness Michelle Mone OBE 

Michelle Money & the Ups & Downs of her Business Life.

2014: Recurring threats by Mone to transfer her business to England should Scotland become independent are simply, “hot air” since she no longer has a controlling stake in her new company, (Ultimo Brands International) which incidentally is registered for business in London.

Her company, MJM International morphed into, “Ultimo Brands International” in January 2014 and is registered with Companies House in London.

It has Mone, Anthony Caplan, Poleg and Amalean as its directors.

Caplan is Mone’s lawyer with Poleg and Amalean both board directors at MAS Holdings a (Sri Lanka based company) which holds 51% ownership of UBI leaving Mone in control of 49%.

Poleg, chairman of UBI, said, “We are delighted that we will soon be operating under a new company name, “Ultimo Brands International” a name change reflecting the resurgence of the brand and our ambitions for growth beyond the UK.”

A spokeswoman for UBI said the Ultimo range was being overhauled and relaunched in early 2014 .

Mone, the new poster girl for British Airways

Boldly modelling a swimsuit of her own design, is yet another eye-catching twist in the career of one of Scotland’s best known business figures who said: “I have absolutely no problem with people expressing an opinion, but if you are going to be disrespectful, I don’t want to hear it. I’ve been called a “****”, a cow, a slut, as well as being told “I’m going to get it”, “we’ll come and get you” and they’re “going to throw me across the border”.

“I’m not a murderer, a thief or a rapist. I’m a good person who employs a lot of people in Scotland, both Yes and No supporters, and we all get on. We should all be able to live in a country where you can express views and not be vilified for it.”

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/michelle-mone-bas-poster-girl-in-an-ultimo-swimsuit.1395878309

Kate Hopkins, in her column for the, “Sun” labelled the Scottish lingerie tycoon an, “asylum seeker” after Mone pledged to move to England if Scotland became independent. Hopkins said, “If you are part of Scotland and have the opportunity to vote, you should remain in the country where you exercised your democratic right. “The last thing we need is more asylum seekers in England. She went on, “Even if they are wealthy and have norks like Marilyn Monroe.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/504797/Katie-Hopkins-lays-into-Michelle-Mone-for-moaning-about-Scottish-independence

Mone has revealed she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. In general, sufferers experience repetitive, intrusive and unwelcome thoughts, images, impulses and doubts which they find hard to ignore. The thoughts push them to perform repetitive acts as a way to alleviate the symptoms.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/i-m-obsessive-sufferer-admits-bra-tycoon-1-1037728

Mone has been criticised for fronting a campaign backing Scottish manufacturing when her own products were being made overseas in China.

http://www.scotsman.com/business/transport-industry/mone-hits-back-at-chinese-whispers-1-1393283
http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/underwear-tycoon-denies-sweat-shop-reports-1-523506

Mone got into another ruck with the press over claims that her business would be worth 100m when only months previously it had to be rescued from bankruptcy by entrepreneur Tom Hunter.

Having dispensed with Jordan’s services after a single day, firing Peaches Geldof for alleged drug taking and insisting she only hired Penny Lancaster because she was cheap, Mone has finally found a model she was able to work with: herself.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/ultimo-run-by-ms-mone-appoints-a-fantastic-new-model-er-ms-mone-1-806942

Mone clenched her fist and spat venom about lingerie models who refused to stalk the catwalk in her skimpy thongs.

“F***ing neurotics,” says Mone, creator of the Ultimo bra, which has boosted cleavages worldwide with its stitched-in sacs of silicone gel. “I think they’re bloody prima donnas. They’re getting paid fortunes, and they’re in there moaning their arse off. I feel like punching every one of them.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/the-ultimo-sacrifice-1-605796
http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/bra-queen-mone-gets-it-off-her-chest-for-bbc-1-1360771
http://www.scotsman.com/news/undies-with-a-capital-u-1-1357321
http://www.scotsman.com/business/finance/beauty-business-under-her-skin-1-524960

Mone: “The number of tribunals, and the amount of protection available to workers, has “gone way over the score”.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/mone-hits-out-at-workers-rights-after-start-of-tribunal-1-719678

Former employee, (at a tribunal)

Miss Woods claimed, “ Mone asked women at job interviews if they planned to start a family and did not seem to appreciate staff taking time off for family reasons.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/i-was-forced-out-of-job-by-bra-tycoon-1-716430

Mone, the bra tycoon, pledges her support to Labour’s election campaign.

Mone extolled Labour’s economic and jobs record, yesterday, when the party outlined its plans for workers.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/mone-lift-for-labour-1-705286

Mone brands Chancellor Alistair Darling’s 50p rate “a disgrace” and likened it to “Monopoly money”.

Mone confessed she might also now be considering a move to Hong Kong to continue her successful Ultimo business.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/97173/Darling-s-Budget-tax-hike-may-force-Michelle-Mone-to-uproot-for-Hong-Kong

Mone branded a, “manipulative cow” by Rod Stewart

Mone’s decision to drop his 34-year-old girlfriend, Penny Lancaster, deeming her not well enough known angered the 60-year-old rocker who said “I hope she [Mone] chokes on her profits.”

Mone, also received offensive e-mails over the move. But the real reason why Mone and Lancaster went their separate ways appeared to be the usual culprit: money.

It has since been revealed that Lancaster’s £200k contract to promote Ultimo was nearing its end and Mone had asked if she could continue using the model’s image for another five months for free. An ‘offer’ rejected as “ludicrous.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/bra-firm-thanks-ditched-model-rachel-hunter-for-her-support-1-1110684
http://www.scotsman.com/news/storm-in-a-d-cup-1-1298380
http://www.scotsman.com/news/not-a-penny-more-1-507786

Mone buy’s out investors

Mone has bought out Sir Tom Hunter and Ian Grabiner in a deal understood to be worth £800,000.

The Scots billionaire and the chief operating officer of fashion group Arcadia had invested in Mone’s lingerie company, Ultimo, when the business nearly collapsed after its launch in 1999. The firm has since prospered.

http://www.scotsman.com/business/mone-buys-out-ultimo-investors-1-1079065

Mone considering moving to the United States to further her television career.

A regular guest on, “The Apprentice – You’re Fired” she revealed on social networking site, “Facebook” that she was torn between staying in Scotland and uprooting her children, to live in the US. “Decisions to make, offered a huge opportunity in LA but have to live there for a lot of the time,” she wrote. “Don’t think I can leave my home … wish I wasn’t such a home bird. “It would initially be for a year but huge decision as I would have to take kids out of school.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/celebrity/lingerie-tycoon-michelle-mone-unveils-her-ultimo-dream-house-1-799642

She may only have been two thirds of the way through her contract, but it seems that Abbey Clancy is no longer the face of Ultimo.

The 28-year-old WAG has been sacked by Mone after the two fell out following another campaign which Abbey has recently fronted wearing next to nothing.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/478227/Michelle-Mone-terminates-Abbey-Clancy-s-Ultimo-contract-after-model-stripped-off-for-Veet

Revealed: Tory peer Mone secretly received £29m from ‘VIP lane’ PPE firm

The Conservative peer and her children secretly received £29m originating from the profits of a PPE business that was awarded large government contracts after she recommended it to ministers.

Mone’s support helped the company, PPE Medpro, secure a place in a “VIP lane” the government used during the coronavirus pandemic to prioritise companies that had political connections. It then secured contracts worth more than £200m.

Michelle Mone on her yacht Lady M

Document indicate tens of millions of pounds of PPE Medpro’s profits were later transferred to a secret offshore trust of which Mone and her adult children were the beneficiaries.

Asked why she did not include PPE Medpro in her House of Lords register of financial interests, her lawyer replied: “She did not declare any interest as she did not benefit financially and was not connected to PPE Medpro in any capacity.”

The leaked documents, which were produced by the bank HSBC, appear to contradict that statement. They state that Mone’s husband, the Isle of Man-based financier Douglas Barrowman, was paid at least £65m in profits from PPE Medpro, and then distributed the funds through a series of offshore accounts, trusts and companies.

The ultimate recipients of the funds, the documents indicate, include the Isle of Man trust that was set up to benefit Mone, who was Barrowman’s fiancee at the time, and her children.

In October 2020, the documents add, Barrowman transferred to the trust £28.8m originating from PPE Medpro profits.

Michelle Mone being sworn into the House of Lords as Baroness Mone of Mayfair in 2015.
Michelle Mone being sworn into the House of Lords as Baroness Mone of Mayfair in 2015. Photograph: PA

That was just five months after Mone helped PPE Medpro secure contracts to supply masks and sterile gowns for use in the NHS.

Contacted about the new disclosures, HSBC said it was unable to comment, even to confirm if the couple had been clients.

A lawyer for Mone said: “There are a number of reasons why our client cannot comment on these issues and she is under no duty to do so.”

A lawyer who represents both Barrowman and PPE Medpro said that a continuing investigation limited what his clients were able to say on these matters. He added: “For the time being we are also instructed to say that there is much inaccuracy in the portrayal of the alleged ‘facts’ and a number of them are completely wrong.”

Mone, 51, and Barrowman, 57, have over the last two years insisted they had no “involvement” in PPE Medpro, and “no role” in the process through which the company was awarded its government contracts.

PPE Medpro has repeatedly refused to identify its mystery backers, but denied it was awarded contracts because of “company or personal connections” to the UK government or Conservative party.

Their claims are at odds with documents appearing to show the couple were secretly involved in PPE Medpro’s business, and emails suggesting Mone repeatedly lobbied the government on its behalf during the nine-month period after she helped secure its place in the VIP lane.

Michelle Mone and her husband, Douglas Barrowman

However, the Guardian’s latest revelation – that the peer and her husband secretly amassed an offshore fortune on the back of PPE Medpro profits – could prove the most consequential for Mone, who has already been placed under investigation by the House of Lords commissioner for standards.

Separately, PPE Medpro has become the subject of a potential fraud investigation by the National Crime Agency.

In April this year, NCA officers searched several addresses, including the mansion Mone and Barrowman occupy in the Isle of Man. At the time, lawyers for PPE Medpro declined to comment on the NCA investigation.

The controversy over Mone and PPE Medpro threatens to embroil the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who has pledged to make “integrity and accountability” pillars of his leadership.

David Cameron, who was himself embroiled in a lobbying scandal last year, was the Conservative leader who appointed Mone the baroness of Mayfair in 2015.

The former owner of a lingerie business, she has proven to be one of the party’s most high-profile and controversial peers.

Michelle Mone founded the lingerie brand Ultimo.
Michelle Mone founded the lingerie brand Ultimo. Photograph: SWNS.com

HSBC investigation

The leaked documents setting out HSBC’s understanding of the offshore distribution of PPE Medpro’s profits were produced by the bank, which held several accounts linked to the Tory peer, her husband and children.

HSBC launched its own investigation following media reports about Mone’s apparent links to PPE Medpro, which raised potential concerns for the bank.

A report produced by HSBC on the couple and their links to PPE Medpro stated that it did “not manage to corroborate” those concerns.

Michelle Mone and Douglas Barrowman attending an event at Guildhall in London in 2017.
Michelle Mone and Douglas Barrowman attending an event at Guildhall in London in 2017. Photograph: Jeff Moore/Alamy

In the process of investigating the couple, however, HSBC pieced together a money trail showing that Barrowman had transferred tens of millions in PPE Medpro profits through a network of offshore entities. About £29m ended up in the trust benefiting Mone and her children, the report indicates.

The bank’s investigation noted that “large value inter-account transfers” originating from PPE Medpro were being routed through Barrowman’s offshore accounts, often crediting and debiting within minutes of each other.

The internal bank report described the money flows as “unusual activity”, noting a concern that Barrowman “may be attempting to conceal the true origins of the funds through multiple layers of transactions creating a distance between the receipt of PPE funds and the final beneficiaries”.

Referring to Mone, it concluded that the transfers “suggest a UK peer in the House of Lords has benefited from a contract with the UK government”. Barrowman is understood to have told HSBC that his wife had “no involvement” in the business activities of PPE Medpro, and the onward transfer of its profits via his personal bank account had been made “in his personal capacity”.

HSBC was unable to corroborate any concerns of wrongdoing by the couple, but it did identify a number of “risks” related to retaining Barrowman and Mone as clients – including what it saw as potential reputational damage to the bank. Multiple sources have told the Guardian that HSBC then decided to drop the couple as clients.

Message and money trails

Mone and Barrowman have long denied any involvement in PPE Medpro, or any role in the process through which it was awarded government contracts. However, over the last two years the Guardian has ascertained multiple instances in which the couple appear to have been involved in the business.

The Tory peer first approached ministers in May 2020, before PPE Medpro had even been incorporated as a company. She contacted Michael Gove, who was then a Cabinet Office minister, and Theodore Agnew, then a minister for procurement, using their personal email addresses.

Mone told her fellow Conservative politicians that large quantities of PPE could be procured via “my team in Hong Kong”.

Cabinet Office officials then added PPE Medpro to the VIP lane, which was used by the government early in the pandemic to prioritise referrals from politically connected companies.

The government has consistently defended the VIP process; spokespeople have maintained that contracts were awarded “in line with procurement regulations and transparency guidelines, and there are robust rules and processes in place to prevent conflicts of interest”.

However the VIP procurement process has been ruled unlawful by the high court.

Within weeks of Mone’s referral, which led to PPE Medpro being added to the high-priority channel, the company had received two government contracts worth a total of £203m to supply millions of face masks and sterile surgical gowns.

Around that time, Mone and her then fiancé appear to have been secretly involved in PPE Medpro’s business, according to previously leaked documents. Barrowman appears to have been personally involved in setting up PPE Medpro’s deals with a supply chain partner, Loudwater Trade and Finance, in which PPE Medpro committed to using its “extensive network” to seek contracts with the UK government. Barrowman also participated in a meeting between the Cabinet Office, PPE Medpro and Loudwater.

Meanwhile, Mone appears to have sent a WhatsApp message from a private jet in which she discussed specific details relating to PPE Medpro’s contract for sterile gowns. The message was sent to a person in PPE Medpro’s supply chain who referred to her as “Lady Michelle”. The couple were also included in correspondence between PPE Medpro’s suppliers about the cost price of gowns.

Masks in the PPE Medpro product catalogue.
Masks in the PPE Medpro product catalogue. Photograph: PPE Medpro

When the Guardian reported on their apparent secret involvement in the company, Mone’s lawyers said its reporting was “grounded entirely on supposition and speculation and not based on accuracy”, while lawyers for Barrowman said the Guardian’s reporting amounted to “clutching at straws” and was “largely incorrect”.

In September 2020, Barrowman was paid at least £65m in “profits” from the PPE deal, the HSBC report states. It states that money was transferred in two instalments to the Warren Trust, one of Barrowman’s Isle of Man trusts, using the reference “Distribution”.

From there, transfers totalling £45.8m were made to Barrowman’s personal HSBC Isle of Man bank account. That account, in turn, transferred £28.8m in October 2020 to the Keristal Trust, the beneficiaries of which, bank records indicated, were Mone and her children, the report states.

The Keristal Trust’s “settlors” – a reference to the individuals who created or funded it – were Barrowman and another individual linked to PPE Medpro, the document indicates. The document adds that the Keristal Trust’s bank account was opened in May 2020. That was the same month Mone recommended PPE Medpro to Gove and Agnew.

The HSBC report states that smaller sums – ranging from £5,000 to £200,000 – originating from PPE Medpro profits were passed to some employees of the Knox Group, Barrowman’s financial services firm, who were involved in the PPE business. According to the report, one of those employees told the bank the transfers were “gifts”.

Honeymoon period

Like his wife, Barrowman has repeatedly distanced himself from PPE Medpro, although neither of them have explicitly denied that he benefited financially from it. Previously, his lawyers have also insisted that Barrowman was never an “investor” in PPE Medpro.

However the leaked HSBC report suggests that another Barrowman trust in the Isle of Man made an investment of £3m in PPE Medpro in June 2020, using the reference “PPE Transfer”. The £3m capital injection was later repaid into Barrowman’s trust by PPE Medpro, along with interest, the report states.

Contacted this week, PPE Medpro declined to comment about whether Barrowman had invested in the company, citing a continuing investigation. Barrowman also declined to offer further comment citing live investigations, but his lawyer said he disputes the Guardian’s “claims and accusations”.

Barrowman will now be under pressure to explain why he received at least £65m in PPE Medpro profits, and apparently passed on around half of that to his wife and her children, all via offshore payments.

Barrowman and Mone’s huge windfall from PPE Medpro’s profits appears to have landed at an auspicious time for the couple: a few weeks before their wedding in the Isle of Man and honeymoon in the Maldives.

Mone on a yacht at sunset.
An image of Mone posted on her Instagram account.

Their extraordinary enrichment from the profits of PPE Medpro may explain why Mone continued to lobby the government for further business for the company, months after it had been awarded £203m in PPE contracts.

Around the time Mone’s trust received tens of millions in profits originating from PPE Medpro, she appears to have lobbied another then Tory minister, James Bethell, this time promoting the company’s sale of Covid-19 tests, leaked emails suggest.

PPE Medpro ultimately failed to persuade the government to buy its antigen tests, despite Mone’s continued efforts to pull strings with her political contacts.

In February 2021, back from her honeymoon, Mone appears to have been lobbying again, according to an email sent by Jacqui Rock, the chief commercial officer for NHS test and trace.

The senior civil servant told colleagues that Mone was angry at the treatment of PPE Medpro, whose products were being subjected to tests. The Tory peer believed PPE Medpro had been “fobbed off”, Rock told colleagues. “Baroness Mone is going to Michael Gove and Matt Hancock today as she is incandescent with rage.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/23/revealed-tory-peer-michelle-mone-secretly-received-29m-from-vip-lane-ppe-firm

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Edward Heath -Its Scottish oil and the use of financial profits from it is for Scots to decide

quote-unemployment-is-of-vital-importance-particularly-to-the-unemployed-edward-heath-71-11-23

1972. The discovery of oil in the North Sea, stirred Prime Minister, Edward Heath’s concerns about the poor state of the Scottish economy and perceiving a need for change, he initiated a policy review.

His secretary wrote to Cabinet members;

“As you know, the point has recently been put to the Prime Minister that the benefits of oil production brought ashore in Scotland should accrue, and be seen to accrue, to the Scottish economy.

The Prime Minister sees considerable force in the arguments, believing it would be difficult to stress too highly the psychological gains which would come from the revival of the Scottish economy being seen to be something from which Scotland was achieving from its own resources, not just by the grace and favour of the Government at Westminster or of English industry.” Adding: “The Prime Minister understands that novel arrangements may be required to achieve this result.”

Heath’s proposals created alarm at Westminster and led to many “on and off the record” meetings and an outpouring of confidential minutes and memos between various factions within and outwith government and the civil service,

Primary contributors objectors were: Gordon Campbell, (later Baron Campbell of Croy) the Scottish Secretary of State and head of the Department of Trade and Industry and Anthony Barber, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,

by Walter Bird, bromide print, October 1959

Baron Campbell of Croy

In stating their opposition to Heath’s proposals, the Westminster establishment voiced concerns about taking oil revenues away from the Treasury.

A senior official at the Scottish Office, in London, wrote in a memo to Downing Street:

“The oil discoveries have raised speculation in Scotland on the financial aspects and will continue to do so. But, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr Campbell, would not wish to see direct payments from the oil revenues, as these would be too late to be really useful and would raise a new principal causing difficulties if applied in other contexts.

On the general question of the financial relationship of central Government with Scotland, the present has been evolved over many years and the types and amounts of grants, for example to local authorities for housing and education…follow formulae which recognize special circumstances and needs where they exist. Mr Campbell considers that to dismantle this system, besides being a Herculean task, would resurrect innumerable issues now mercifully dormant.”

In a memo, Treasury officials said they too were looking at aspects of the Prime Minister’s request and argued against it strongly, saying that Scotland took a markedly larger share of public spending than she contributed to public revenue.”

The same Treasury officials later said there could be: “no question of hypothecation” of oil revenue to finance Scottish expenditure.

Other Unionists in opposition to Heath’s proposals presented a uniform front, unanimously suggesting that aims would be better met by investment in infrastructure and the fostering of fabrication yards and supply companies.

Their strident opposition to Heath’s proposal garnered support, and culminated in the submission of an alternative proposal, transferring all revenue gathered from the oil bonanza to the Treasury in Westminster.

The Unionist consensus was that, “any change in the financial relationship between Westminster and Scotland would resurrect innumerable issues, (a veiled reference to Scottish Independence) now mercifully dormant”.

Edward Heath, blindsided, and out-voted in cabinet, accepted their proposal. Scotland has been ripped off since.