Diageo checks out of Gleneagles

Gleaneagles is seen as being one of the traditional Crown Jewels of Scottish tourism

Gleneagles occupies a sizeable chunk of Perthshire, and uneven terrain between private opulence and national institution.

Others vie with it to be the best hotel in Scotland. None of them can touch it for being the best known.

Without a coastal links golf course, it's not on the circuit for the Open. But hosting the Ryder Cup last year was the kerrching factor that seems to have persuaded its owner to sell.

Diageo, with its predecessor companies, has owned Gleneagles for 31 years. It is currently investing heavily in its Scotch whisky assets, and fighting to boost its drink brands around the world.

That's a task which has become significantly tougher in the past couple of years. When it says that running a hotel is not its core business, it's not kidding. It tried to sell before, but failed to get the price it wanted. But post-Ryder, with the valuation seemingly running high, Diageo is checking out.

Summitry to gun dogs

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Reality checking the oil gauge

Scotland's oil and gas industry

There are many ways to look at the oil and gas accounts from a Holyrood perspective. Throw in enough numbers, ideally counted in the billions, take five different scenarios, publish it as MSPs are about to head off on their summer holidays, and, well, to borrow a phrase, this was a good day to bury bad news.

Except that it wasn't news. The Scottish government's take on the oil and gas industry had very little new to say that hadn't already been picked over by others.

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Gogarburned: Little guys put the heat under RBS bosses

Sir Philip Hampton
Sir Philip Hampton's final RBS annual general meeting was one of the stormiest he has faced

For around two hours a year, the captains of industry are adrift, rudderless, out of control. They are at their annual general meetings, and at the mercy of their shareholders.

The votes are all sewn up, of course. Institutional investors have been courted, lobbied, reassured and sometimes even listened to. That's all behind closed doors.

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Subdued anniversary for offshore oil

Oil rig

It will be 40 years tomorrow since the first North Sea oil came ashore in Britain. It was from the Argyll field, and landed by tanker at the Isle of Grain refinery in Kent.

The trickle became a torrent later that year, 1975, when the Queen pushed the button on the Forties pipeline.

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Deficits: good or bad?

Fading £20 note

For those of you who fondly remember last year, we're back in familiar territory, with talk of the deficits Holyrood might face if it had full control of Scotland's taxation.

Short of independence, the Scottish government and 56 SNP MSPs would like full fiscal autonomy - that is, all tax-raising powers, while paying a fee to Westminster for shared roles, such as defence and foreign affairs. Or even funding the UK's £1.5tn debt interest payments.

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Royal Bank of Scotland: A new chapter

Royal Bank of Scotland sign

George Osborne told his City of London audience this week that he's not dogmatic about private being good, and public bad.

But there's not much doubt that he thinks private banks are preferable. And he can say it more clearly now that he's unshackled from coalition with the Lib Dems.

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Scotland's growth engine lacks oil

Oil installation

Nearly a year since the oil price began to fall and five months since it bottomed out, the benchmark barrel of Brent Crude remains volatile and we're still not clear what impact it will have on the Scottish economy.

The latest analysis from the Scottish ITEM Club - economists who independently apply the Treasury's economic model - point to the downsides.

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The road to Paris and beyond oil

OPEc seminar in Vienna
The world's big oil exporters are due to attend the Opec meeting on Friday

The world's big oil exporters meet every six months in Vienna. Last November, as prices slid, Venezuela pushed for a tightening of supply to push prices up again. Its public finances badly needed that.

The Saudi oil minister, who calls the shots in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), disagreed. He wanted to maintain market share, and intended to keep pumping.

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Imports to keep the lights on

Longannet Power Station
It has been warned that the closure of Longannet power station could make Scotland dependent on power from south of the border

The challenge of keeping the lights on has returned to Holyrood, with MSPs looking into the security of the nation's energy supply.

"The nation" is a flexible concept here, as this is a Scottish viewpoint, when everyone agrees that the energy market should remain British, if not expanding into a European single market, with the help of more sub-sea inter-connectors.

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From Indyref to Euroref: What's been learned?

referendum comp

A rifle through the attic recently turned up a memory of being 11 years old, newly taken by politics, and collecting stuff - the way boys do.

A tube of posters included campaign material from the 1975 referendum on British membership of what was then the European Economic Community.

Read full article From Indyref to Euroref: What's been learned?