NICOLA Sturgeon frequently exhorts us to decide and articulate what kind of country we want Scotland to be and other influential voices have told us that we should be leading and behaving in ways that show we are already an independent country – like our decision to ban fracking in Scotland. Aye.

Well before COP26 happens as of now, we need to tell the World that we want the exploration and development of The Campbell Oil and Gas Field to be stopped. Scotland needs to make a stand now and for the future as regards earnestly tackling global warming and the destructive effects of fossil fuels. We also need to expose Boris and co for any cant they exhibit in dealing with these matters.

On August 8, in responding to points raised in the IPCC report Boris Johnson told us on BBC news that “human beings are causing catastrophic climate change”. Um, sounds like the kind of situation in which one would pull the emergency chord and stop all quests for fossil fuels.

In another interview, Boris told us that, “we just can’t go and tear up contracts” for projects like the Campbell field because it’s been in planning for some time. By implication, he and his cronies are again telling us and the rest of the world that they will decide what’s to happen and that the people of Scotland will have no say in the matter.

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For decades Westminster Unionist Governments saw to it that Scotland’s Oil was exploited in ways that most benefitted capitalist investors and the UK Treasury and least benefitted Scotland.

Unionist politicians wanted the dollars earned from oil as fast as they could get their sticky fingers on them and they had no other future concerns about environmental consequences, save the occasional Unionist voice that broadcast to the few souls that were willing to listen that the oil revenues would not last forever.

In the first oil boom Shetland did its own deal with the Westminster Government of the day for money to spend in improving facilities on Shetland and the SNP were ignored when they suggested that in the long term it was in everyone’s interest for Scotland to have an oil transition fund to ease our path away from fossil fuels when that time came.

This proposition was good for Scotland and made good sense for the UK. In spite of persistent efforts by the SNP, Westminster took no notice, (not much has changed then!). Just like Brexit, our suggestions to ease our fraught transition away from the EU, our transition away fossil fuels would be further advanced if we had control of the powers to do it.

In 2021 in these new explorations and construction activities there’s even more at stake for our planet as regards harmful consequences.

We need to lead and to help others to turn away from further damaging our planet. Our first task is to address and deal with environmental damage in our own back yards and not to compound it by causing further damage.

Now, as the water flows down Edinburgh’s Balcarres Street and other locations it is destroying homes and other property in its wake. Vast uncontrollable fires, starvation, droughts and flooding ravage many other parts of the world and Boris needs to sit up and pay attention to the catastrophes of climate change. He should NOT be planning to add to the chaos.

Time and again the words “we must work together” have tripped off the lips of Boris however, time and again no meaningful action has followed.

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For the Conservative Party to have any credibility both at home and abroad they need to cancel both the new coal mine proposed for Cumbria and the exploitation of the Campbell oil fields off Shetland. They are both very bad environmental news.

Boris Johnson totally excluded and ignored Scotland’s voice in matters relating to Brexit after he had stressed the importance of the need for all four of the UK administrations to be working together.

When he refused to meet Scotland’s First Minister to discuss Covid recovery he was asked why he did this by one of the BBC’s Scottish Political Correspondents – as usual he was unable to give a straight answer but blustered away until he played his get out of jail card and said there was a need for all parts of the UK to work together and that he would be happy to see Nicola. I have never witnessed a less convincing performance.

Since he came to office, his “policies”, inaction and ineptitude reinforce the often view that he is a hopeless, inept Prime Minister and a nasty piece of work that is hell bent in trying to beggar Scotland for his own political ends.

Anne Thomson