Oil tycoon Jim Ratcliffe just became one of the most powerful figures in Scottish industry.
And if fears are correct, it will allow him to wield a great deal of power over the Scottish Government.
That’s what one astonished insider made of the deal which makes Ineos the fourth largest petrochemical firm on the planet.
This still has to be ratified by the UK Government, but Ineos have already popped the champagne corks.
The scale of the stranglehold Ratcliffe will have on oil is not to be underestimated.
Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos owns the Grangemouth Refinery
He owns the Forties Pipeline System – sold by BP – with control over more than a million barrels a day.
He also has the Kenneil terminal in
Grangemouth with a system that delivers close to 40 per cent of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas.
This pro-fracking billionaire has already proved he’s not afraid of ruffling feathers.
He closed his Grangemouth plant in an almighty huff in a dispute over the
suspension of a shop steward.
Ratcliffe now has massive influence over the Government and the Scottish economy.
It’s essential that a deal of this magnitude is given the scrutiny it clearly deserves from the regulator and MPs.
A man with his track record needs to be treated with caution.
Alex Neil MSP
Alex Neil is probably not flavour of the month at SNP headquarters in Edinburgh right now.
The former health secretary has been a thorn in the Government’s side since resigning from the Cabinet last year.
He’s flouted the party line on Brexit, asked extremely awkward questions on the Public Audit Committee and kept his beady eye on the NHS.
In short, he’s acted like an experienced backbencher should.
And putting aside the internal SNP politics, there’s much food for thought to be found in the veteran nationalist’s discussion paper on the health service.
His proposal for a specific new tax to
fund the NHS will certainly be controversial – but it could also kick-start a long overdue discussion.
Eventually Scots will have to decide what type of NHS they want and whether they are willing to pay for it.
Back of the net
An SPFL footballer popped the big question in a unique way at Wishaw General Hospitals maternity unit. Hamilton Accies Greek centre-back, Georgios Sarris, asked staff to dress his new-born baby daughter in a baby grow with mummy will you marry my daddy? written on the front. Georgios said: I had been planning on how I would ask Maria to marry me for ages and I eventually come up with the idea of putting the question on our daughters first baby grow. But not long after Maria had given birth to Nancy, she was taken to the neonatal unit for observation. We had a nervous wait while Nancy was in the neonatal unit and I was already anxious because of the birth and my planned proposal. I thought that the moment had gone. Once Nancy was given the all clear, I spoke with the staff and they were only too happy to help me out. I was so happy that the nurses and midwives were prepared to go the extra length to make sure my proposal could work out as planned. Neonatal staff dressed baby Nancy, who weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, in her special first outfit. They then placed her in an incubator and wheeled her round to the maternity unit where she was reunited with her mum and dad. It was then that Georgios got down on one knee and asked the big question in front of maternity staff. Ann Brockett, maternity care assistant who witnessed the proposal, said: It was so romantic. In all my years in the maternity unit I have never seen anything like it. It was a very emotional time for both Georgios and Maria and a few of us shed a tear too. They are a lovely family. The couple have been together for six years and moved to Scotland in 2016 following Georgios move to the Lanarkshire club. Maria said: I was really emotional. To know my daughter was okay and in my arms was a wonderful feeling, I was on top of the world. Then I noticed the writing on the baby grow. I looked over and Georgios was on one knee with a ring in his hand. I started to cry all over again but I managed to say yes. I will never forget that day as long as I live and I will never forget the staff who helped bring Nancy into the world and make the proposal possible. The couple have previously been married in a registry office back in Greece ahead of the birth of Nancy. They now plan on a much grander affair in a Greek Orthodox Church, surrounded by friends and family and one special little bridesmaid. Senior charge midwife, Susan Clements, said: We were very happy to help Georgios make his extraordinary proposal to Maria. In my 34 years as a midwife, I havent seen any dad propose to the mother on the ward. It was lovely that our midwives and neonatal staff got a chance to be involved in such a special moment for the new family. ENDS
Big congratulations to Scottish Premiership star Georgios Sarris and his partner Maria.
The happy couple have cause for double celebration after getting engaged within hours of their baby being born.
The Hamilton Accies player proposed in the maternity ward by dressing daughter Nancy in an outfit with, “Marry my daddy?” on the front.
It really was a labour of love.
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