Ukraine-Russia crisis should see SNP to ditch their Scottish Green allies – John McLellan

When the histories of our era come to be written, 1989-2001 may go down as a golden age of peace and growing prosperity.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 4:55 am

No time is without trouble and that period was no different, with Yugoslavia disintegrating into a brutal civil war and what now looks like passing economic woes.

But with the collapse of communism, a lasting truce in Northern Ireland, the end of Apartheid in South Africa and a booming economy, the turn of the Century was a time of optimism.

When the biggest fear in 1999 was the mythical Millennium Bug, it just shows how little we had on our minds.

The world changed on September 11, 2001, setting in motion what feels like perpetual crisis: the invasion of Afghanistan, the disastrous occupation of Iraq, global banking collapse, climate change, and then, as we were about to emerge blinking into the post-Covid pandemic sunlight, war in Ukraine and the very real threat of nuclear war.

The events of the past week show how much security in all its guises matters, and even in the unlikely event that Vladimir Putin is ousted or assassinated, we will be living with the consequences of Russian aggression for years to come.

The so-called peace dividend is over. Savings from the disbandment of the British Army of the Rhine will need to be reinvested in a new Army of the East to defend the new Iron Curtain, and the need to maintain a nuclear deterrent has never had such a graphic illustration.

Read More

Read More
PMQs: Ian Blackford calls for UK Government to amend War Crimes Act and bring Vl...
Nicola Sturgeon with Scottish Green ministers Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

Security doesn’t just apply to military hardware. Europe’s increasing reliance on Russian oil and gas has been exposed as utter folly, as has the abandonment of nuclear power which threatens to leave Germany literally powerless.

The lesson of energy self-reliance should be learnt in Scotland too, with a new commitment to nuclear power before it’s too late, and investment in North Sea oil and gas so the lights stay on without bankrupting thousands of families.

Wind is unreliable and now Hunterston is being decommissioned, Torness assumes a far greater role in powering our homes than ever, yet it’s due to shut in eight years.

The maintenance of North Sea investment is essential for keeping a highly skilled workforce to encourage investment in new technologies like carbon capture, and the Ukraine war should give the Scottish Government the jolt it needs to end the ruinous association with the Green Party and drive forward the new programme of supporting key industries and entrepreneurship, working with businesses, not pandering to extreme climate posturing.

If anyone thinks a bankrupt Russia under a psychopathic dictator is going to help save the planet they are almost as deranged as he and, with his new friends in China, it’s pointless for a country contributing 0.1 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions to prioritise hugely costly and impractical policies like compulsory home insulation.

The rising cost of energy and the hit all economies will take from excluding Russia from global trade means the cost-of-living crisis has only just begun, and the prospect of the SNP launching a successful independence campaign which has currency upheaval at its heart is diminishing by the day.

So too, therefore, is the point of a coalition with a handful of extremists because of their half-hearted association with an independence cause going nowhere.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.