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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hot air

The situation with SSE and Storas over the provision of a cable connection to a community wind power project in Uist is despicable, and SSE require to be taken to task over the whole episode.

Except, there is more to this than meets the eye. Much more, and potentially a scandalous amount more.

Just why were Storas so up in arms about the offer to another small energy generator, that they threw around accusation of lack of planning permission, unfairness and general malfeasance on the part of everyone else?

Senior levels of SSE management have been lobbied by senior (now ex-)Government Ministers including Jim Murphy, apparently through contacts arranged by former Energy Minister and now advisor to Storas, Brian Wilson.

I am led to believe that a director of Storas has been in active negotiations with a merchant bank about the possibility of funding his own private windfarm, and that the award of capacity to the third party meant that the director's scheme was not going to progress (at least not until the technical constraints in Skye were resolved).

No doubt these negotiations were fully disclosed, as a potential conflict of interest, to the other directors of Storas so that there was no suggestion that the position of director was being (mis)used to obtain information that could give him benefit.

But the interesting, intriguing, elements don't end there.

One of the principal partners in Warburgs, who is involved (on the periphery or perhaps closer?) of the director's planned deal was none other than one of the former shareholders in South Uist Estates who did so well from the buy-out deal. I might have the name wrong, but it may be Mr Racine (sp?) appears to be Mr David Ruck Kenne Esq.*, but I have no doubt that others can clarify this.

Anyone who acts as a director or any company knows there is a huge responsibility to ensure probity in all one's dealings. everyone who deals with public money knows there is an equal, if not greater, onus.

A director of a company funded by public money has a double responsibility and must deal with public scrutiny to ensure that their actions are above any hint of impropriety. The ball is firmly in their court to substantively refute any suggestions to the contrary.

* Thanks to anon for the correction and update.


Unknown said...

For the record David Ruck Keene retired from Warburgs in 2005.
Would it not be helpful to name who is supposed to be planning their own windfarm rather than let endless speculation spiral out of control?

Anonymous said...

Just logged onto the latest post to make a general observation.

There are an awful lot of sad, hurt, displaced, disappointed, and hostile people commenting on issues, especially visible in the land buyout area, but also clearly visible at any point where personal enterprise shows its face.

Rather than express originality and dissention, they actually show a remarkable level of similarity.

Come on! Some original and stimulating views, not petty backstabbing cameos from South Lochs or South Uist or Stornoway, please, please.

The opportunity of the blogosphere - thank you, Angus - is to enlighten the rest of us; not to extend bar room boredom beyond the level of reasonable tolerance.

Anonymous said...


Hi Tim

Are you packing your bags for a return foray to the Uists?

Once upon a time there was an administrator in charge of the IDP programe in Uist (budget £20m) who was renowned for being untidy in the office. Things got so bad that one day he misplaced an award for capital funding for an entire fish farm. Fortunately, once the programe had run out of money and closed down, it turned up...under his own control!

The lesson of history is that history repeats itself.

Anonymous said...

6:40PM Thanks for clarifying to us all what the point of 'the blogosphere' is. I wasn't aware there was some kind of mission statement for this particular media.

If you don't like what you read, or the style of writing, content or approach, then the solution is simple. Put the effort in and start your own blog, laying down controls and rules against 'backstabbing cameos' and in favour of postings and comments that personally 'enlighten' you alone.

Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

What is this IDP that is regularly mentioned? Clearly some kind of fund, grant set up (Island Developement Program?)

Did it work, and should it be raised from the ashes?