"Choice for Scotland”
The following article appeared in the Sunday Express Scotland on 22 December 2013:
Following an historic vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday 10 December, the complete reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been finalised with unanimous approval. The four crucial elements of the reform involved ending discards; devolving day-to-day management to Member States; blocking any move towards internationally transferable fishing concessions and introducing the concept of Maximum sustainable Yields for future long-term sustainable stock management.
The following article appeared in the Stirling Observer on 4 December 2013:
The following article appeared in Scotland on Sunday on 24 November 2013:
Just over a year ago, Michael Moore, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, told the BBC that 16 and 17 year-olds should not be allowed to vote in the referendum on independence. A week is a long time in politics and a year is an epoch, but in that time the Edinburgh Agreement has been signed giving 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote for the first time ever and Michael Moore has been sent to the back-benches to ponder his future.
Whether you believe in man-made climate change or not, the general consensus is that a move towards low-carbon energy generation is crucial. Pumping out excessive CO2 is bad for the environment from any perspective. That is why I welcome the proposed plans for new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.
Predictably, the mere mention of 'nuclear' sparked fervent green scaremongering about rises in energy bills and claims that the money would be better spent on renewables, even though Government estimates show that energy bills will be £77 lower by 2030 with new nuclear plants.
It is a sad fact that scientists reckon we are currently suffering the worst biodiversity loss that the world has ever known. They believe that between 150 and 200 species are being lost every 24 hours. Many of those losses can be attributed to climate change. We need to teach the public that biodiversity is valuable; it has an economic, social, aesthetic and practical value from which every one of us individually benefits. Biodiversity services purify the air we breathe, act as a global air conditioning system, provide us with rainfall and oxygen and fertilise plants.
As more and more EU Member States begin to realise that the race for renewables is one that they cannot win, national governments are scrambling for ways to get off the green energy juggernaut without losing face.
With Germany opening new coal-burning plants, while the UK bristles with stationary wind turbines, policymakers lament that their once laudable, voter-friendly plans for clean, 'free' energy have not only failed to achieve energy security, but continue to force more and more citizens into crippling fuel poverty.
The following article appeared in the Sunday Times on 11 August 2013.
OFGEM, the energy regulator, has warned that the UK’s current surplus generating capacity of 14% will sink to a wafer-thin 2% by 2015 as we continue to shut our old, coal-fired power stations to meet EU CO2 emission targets. A 2% surplus would place Britain on a knife-edge. Any surge in energy consumption during a severe cold snap would plunge the country into blackouts.