Media Watch: by recognising Scotland is an "energy goldmine", the Daily Express boosts case for independence

The right-wing, ultra British nationalist Daily Express is not normally the first to make the case for Scottish independence - but an article calling Scotland “an energy goldmine” can only strengthen support for the country to run its own affairs. The headline  “UK handed energy 'jackpot' as Scotland's huge goldmine could export £25bn a year to EU” was an own goal for the Unionist propaganda sheet.

It seems the cat is out of the Unionist bag. Scotland is hugely rich in energy resources boats the Express - although in truth Scots currently see little benefit. In fact, thanks to a combination of UK government privatisation, poor regulation and general mismanagement, Scots pay some of the highest energy bills in the world and that is fuelling support for independence. As an independent country, Scotland could manage its own resources and achieve levels of prosperity similar to other energy-rich countries like Norway. 

“Scotland could soon lead the way in developing hydrogen”

The Daily Express reported that Scotland’s hydrogen exports will be worth a huge sum:

“The UK is set for a major energy boost, as Scotland's green hydrogen plans are set to be worth £25billion a year in exports alone by 2045. As the UK looks for ways to reach its legally binding commitment of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while also ensuring its energy security, many have pointed to hydrogen as an answer. 

“The gas - which can be split out of water by electrolysis - can be used for cooking and heating and when burnt only produces water as a byproduct, rather than fossil fuels. According to Angus Robertson, the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary, Scotland could soon lead the way in developing hydrogen.”

“Scotland gifted with abundant energy resources”

The newspaper admits for once that Scotland is exceptionally rich in energy - although the country has little to show for the huge reserves of oil and gas that have been harvested from its waters.

“Scotland has been historically gifted with abundant energy reserves in the form of North Sea fossil fuels and is regarded to be the largest producer of oil and the second largest producer of gas in Europe.”

Now Scotland is embarking on a new era of potential energy wealth, the Daily Express reports.

“But as the world shifts away from dirty fossil fuels, the region has also been developing renewable energy potential, which Mr Robertson notes is enough to "satisfy our own domestic requirements and also be exported".

“Given the vast potential for offshore wind, Scotland recently launched the world's biggest licensing round for floating offshore wind energy with the potential to deliver 27.6 gigawatts (GW). “He wrote in the Edinburgh Evening News: "The 'ScotWind' project opens up the exciting prospect of making Scotland a world leader in hydrogen production, which can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity or power and heat buildings."

Yet the Daily Express constantly paints Scotland as “too poor” to be independent

Despite reporting in Scotland’s vast potential energy wealth, the Scottish Daily Express frequently carries articles suggesting that Scotland is too poor to be an independent country

For example, in October under the headline “Nicola Sturgeon 'insulting our intelligence' say Scottish Express readers who'll not 'vote for poverty' with the SNP”, the Express was scathing about the Scottish government’s report detailing economic plans for an independent Scotland Building a New Scotland: A stronger economy with independence

“Nicola Sturgeon claims it is a “careful and responsible phased approach” but a Scottish Daily Express reader said: "Careful and responsible - That's Sturgy-speak for careless and irresponsible". That was just one in a series of articles similarly scoffing at Scotland’s ability to run its own affairs. 

So why has this good news story about Scotland's renewable potential been published? Well, we wonder if the holiday season has meant that the political editor wasn't around to spike the economics editor's factual reporting and os the truth has slipped through the paper's propaganda firewall.

Scotland will be a prosperous independent country

Scotland has little to show for the huge fossil fuel resources harvested from the North Sea. Now that the renewable energy potential of Scotland is clear, many Scots see that as a second chance they do not want to see squandered by a UK government Scotland didn’t vote for. 

Even the Daily Express admits that Scotland is an energy goldmine. Many Scots will question why, although some can look out of their windows at oil rigs and wind turbines, they can’t afford to heat their homes. Scotland has no ability to regulate, tax or otherwise manage the country’s vast energy resources at the moment.

Independence can’t come soon enough. 

By Jackie Kemp