How to get useful information relating to the Scottish oil industry’s ‘tax haul gush’: try a right-wing English newspaper?

February 6, 2018

By John Robertson - Scotland


In the FT today:

‘North Sea oil tax haul gushes to £1bn as crude recovers. Higher prices, increased production and lower costs drive revenue turn-round’

Pretty much ignored by the Scottish media other than reporting on BP profits, the Financial Times, free from a constant obsession with Scottish independence offers us useful evidence. They had more to say:

‘A £1bn boost to the Treasury will be good news for the Philip Hammond, the chancellor, who will give an update on the government’s budget in the spring statement in mid-March. HMRC declined to comment…. Production in the North Sea is also bucking the recent decline. Wood Mackenzie, the energy consultancy, expects it to average 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2018, its highest since 2010. BP last week announced two new discoveries in the North Sea and reiterated its ambition to double production from the region to 200,000 barrels a day by 2020….’

Will Hammond trumpet this good news? Will HMRC comment? Will Reporting Scotland mention it all or think it’s not in their remit as it’s clearly UK oil? See this evidence that it’s nearly all Scotland’s oil even after the sneaky shifting of the maritime border by Blair and Brown:


(c) Map: Location of UK gas and oil fields with Scottish territorial waters shown in dark blue.

I’ve written before on a related thought when the Guardian enthused about Scotland’s new independent commission on social security. See this for more:

How to get fair coverage of Scottish politics. Read a slightly left-of-centre English newspaper

There have also been times when you could only hear about how well NHS Scotland was doing by reading the website or by watching the ‘national news’ on BBC at 6 before Reporting Scotland at 6.30 went on to either ignore it or distort it into a negative. See:

SNP Gooood report on BBC Scotland News website is unbalanced without comment from Murdo Fraser

A Scottish 6 run by the Reporting Scotland staff? No, thanks!

Footnote: I’m not suggesting you can always trust the English press but Scottish independence is not the first thing on their minds as they worry about Brexit, Theresa and Jeremy and many other issues, so they often report unwittingly in ways supportive of our cause. Only the Scottish Unionist media are relentless in their anti-SNP propaganda.

You can read more from  John Robertson at

featured image (c)


1 Comment

  1. Jea Slessor

    Since MSM don’t inform, we will use Social Media to get the message out!


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