Letting the numbers speak for themselves

Renewables film to help sell positives of green energy

by Jul 25, 2014 No Comments
In the bid for cleaner, greener energy, the renewables industry often seems like it is fighting an uphill battle. While it is an industry that has built up from a fringe concern to a major employer in the last decade or so, it still suffers from an image problem. Scan the headlines and the letters pages on any given day and likely as not there will be questions about the costs, or the efficiency of renewable energy. And even when a real scare story – such as the Imperial College London report into fires in wind turbines – turns out to be a huge exaggeration, the initial damage has already been done. The industry does still have to prove itself, particularly on those energy resources like wave and tidal where the technology is not yet at a commercial scale, but there often seems to be...
Question of numbers

Full picture on numbers during Commonwealth Games will not become any clearer

by Jul 23, 2014 No Comments
Written parliamentary questions often see MSPs given the run-around, waiting up to a month for a minister to offer up a vague answer that, in a number of cases, scarcely constitutes an answer at all. Richard Baker’s latest request is unlikely to be any different. The North East Scotland MSP this week submitted a question asking the Scottish Government to detail how many police officers will police the Commonwealth Games, broken down by each of Police Scotland’s 14 divisions. It comes amid concerns that officers are being diverted from all parts of the country to provide security at the Glasgow showpiece. Here’s how the process has worked. Police Scotland has adopted a model tested in London two years ago known as ARCHI testing. The objective is clear: inform police planners...
Talking point: Beyond 2020

by Jul 15, 2014 No Comments
It might be a slightly terrifying thought but 2020, the D-Day for what seems like all government targets, is only six years away. By that time in Scotland, carbon emissions should be cut by 42 per cent, the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity supply should be coming from renewable energy and actions to improve biodiversity should have seen the development of a more diverse and stronger environment. Yes, the old cliché of a week being a long time in politics still rings true and all manner of unseen events will have happened by 2020 – in that time, we will have had one Olympics with another on the way and another Football World Cup. But, at the same time, the politicians elected in the next couple of years, whether for the UK or Scottish Parliaments, will be coming to the end of...
Another revolving door

Westminster reshuffle brings more changes at DECC

by Jul 15, 2014 No Comments
DECC During the 2010 election campaign I interviewed David Cameron as he toured the country in one of his last appeals for Scottish votes. In a boardroom near Aberdeen and flanked by a panel of local Tories, one of the main topics of conversation was his party’s policy on energy. There were laughs around the table as he ridiculed the frequency with which the Labour government under Blair and Brown had gone through energy ministers – what he could offer was a bit more stability. The latest reshuffle has seen wholesale changes for both cabinet and junior ministers, with William Hague, Ken Clarke and Owen Paterson all leaving the government – and Michael Gove moving from Education Secretary to chief whip. But with with just under a year to go until the next General Election, DECC has yet...
Talking point: Unhealthy debate

How Scotland's NHS is being used as a misinformation punchbag

by Jul 11, 2014 No Comments
HealthBordersIllustration The NHS is dominating the independence debate today, but there are not a lot of facts flying around. Firstly the former UK health minister Sam Galbraith is interviewed in the Record about his life saving specialist surgery in Newcastle. “I was just another British person in Newcastle. There were other Scots folk there and we were all treated the same. There were no forms to fill in, no money to be considered. It was all just done because people needed it done,” he tells the paper. Better Together took to twitter to post a link to the story with the quote “The British NHS saved my life”. However the notion of a ‘British NHS’ is just that – a notion. In reality the NHS has always been separate in Scotland. As the health system in England has been subject to recent root and...
1 2 3 4 5 75