Friday, August 29, 2008

The SNP are Delusional

The SNP are getting like some tired old broken record and they've only been in government for a year. The news that Zoom the Scottish airline has gone belly up with debts of, apparently, £50 + million was inevitable as the old, what goes up must come down theory. With just seven aircraft and a handful of routes the business model just doesn't stack up. It might just work in a booming economy but it has no chance in he current one. Falling demand, rapidly rising costs, fighting off high oil prices for months and an over-riding climate of difficulty mean that forward bookings would have been sliding for months.

However, when asked for a comment all the SNP government can say is "This is one more symptom of the damage being inflicted by soaring fuel prices, which is why the UK government must use its own energy tax windfall to help the economy." They use every opportunity to have a pop. If they seriously think that this wouldn't have happened in an independent Scotland under the SNP they are delusional.


Anonymous said...

Like the Labour Party don't have a pop at the SNP at every opportunity?

Richard Havers said...

Subtly different point Rab....this is not a party political jibe, more a unionist jibe. I'm against independence (for all sorts of reasons) and I think this constant carping gets in the way of the real job at hand. Check out Maxwell's comments yesterday about separate loan arrangements for a Scottish house market that isn't in the trouble that the UK market is....apparently. The fact is in the Borders the market is boosted by many English people moving North and paying silly money! By the way I moved WAY before the goldrush and Mrs. H. is a Fifer!!!

Jeff said...

Hi Richard, liking the design of your site.

To be fair though, the SNP didn't mention independence in their quote.

I often wonder who is more obsessed with the issue of independence, the SNP or its detractors.

Given that Zoom said that it was the price of fuel that was ultimately their undoing then I don't think the SNP can have too much said against them for repeating that reason.

Indeed, in this quote, it is a windfall tax, an actual Westminster policy, the SNP are pushing for to correct the problem rather than independence.

Richard Havers said...

Thanks Jeff!

I take the point but the fact is that everything that happens is turned into a criticism of the UK Government. It's a subtle form of mind games. Of course fuel is a factor but Zoom's problems are far more deep seated than that. As a business model for an airline it is just not going to work. I worked in the airline business for years and think I understand this stuff. Of course they are going to say that it's fuel because otherwise they are saying, in part, we're numpties.

Maybe I should have said not the Westminster government or an independent Scotland could have used the wind fall tax to save Zoom from demise.

Ken Dyer said...

Zooms press release blames both the increase in fuel and economic climate as the reasons. But their problems started many months ago. It had had to support its scheduled services last year with various charter programmes, which included basing an aircraft in Denmark. Had it not done so I wonder if Zoom would have lasted as long as it did?

As all the major carriers will tell you, low cost long haul just does not work in the long term. When the economy is good and fuel is cheap it can work, but once things start to go wrong, the weaknesses in the strategy begin to show. The main carrier’s rely heavily on the business class passengers to support the economy class. The simple reality is the economy fares being charged today do not cover the cost of the seats on the aircraft.

I’m struggling to understand what exactly the SNP expected the government to do about this. They can’t control aviation fuel prices…unlike petrol, it’s not taxed, so there’s no saving to be had. How helping the British economy would prevent, what is at the end of the day, a Canadian airline, from going under, is beyond me! This is not a political issue....unfortunately Zoom’s downfall is simply a product of trying to compete with the big boys in tough economic conditions. The result was, sadly, inevitable.

D Thomson said...

I was torn, initially, as to whether the SNP genuinely made that comment as support for the windfall task with a hidden agenda or not. Immediately you think 'Oh here we go again, any dig they can get!', but then I thought 'Hmm... what if they'd use their windfall tax'.

Then I thought, eh? What has the windfall tax got to do with fuel prices for airlines. Very, very little.

So it strikes me as, like Richard said, that it was simply another pop in a long line of silly pops that have no grounding behind them. It's the sort of thing that some idiots will read and think 'I wish we were independent because that wouldn't have happened!'

I suppose you've read Mr Eugenides article? He's hilarious sometimes. He starts off - with some grotesque language - just having a good old dig at the SNP. If you continue towards the end, he brings up the point that we all think about - independence by creep.

[A shame you can't use html quote in comments!]

"The Nats know, though, that their best bet is to play a long game; like smoking or binge drinking, the strategy is slowly to "denormalise" the Union, and to get people used to the idea of Scottish separateness in a hundred different ways - from pushing for a separate Scottish 6 o'clock news to renaming the Scottish Executive as the Scottish Government to rebranding trains with saltires on them. Individually, perfectly inoffensive and unexceptionable suggestions; collectively, a slow shifting of the cultural and political paradigm while claiming merely to be reflecting it, creating new "facts on the ground" that they can pray in aid when the end of Scotland's long walk to freedom (or whatever fundamentalist Tartanistas bellow as they're jerking off into the shortbread) is finally in sight."

Richard Havers said...

Spot on! Mr. T. That's exactly where I'm coming from on this, although all that is better articulated than my post.

The SNP's one problem is that they might over reach themselves. My sense is their supporters will be come more supportive and their detractors more disaffected.

Anonymous said...

When I was growing up, Scotland had one parliament. Now we have three. The SNP represents the best chance of reducing that to two. Although if there were a credible party proposing withdrawal from the EU it'd be a tougher choice. Too many politicians producing too many laws. It really is our biggest problem.

Richard Havers said...

Rab, we have three but then we also have local authorities too. I wonder whether we could streamline the whole lot?