Tories Campaign Against Scottish Independence (Shock)

by craig on February 27, 2014 2:07 pm in Uncategorized

Keith Skeoch, Executive Director of Standard Life, is on the Board of Reform Scotland, the neo-conservative lobby group which wants to abolish the minimum wage,  privatize the NHS and pensions and restrict trade unions further.

It is difficult for Tories openly to campaign against Scottish Independence as everyone in Scotland hates them, so they do it with their corporate hats on.  This is most of the board of Standard Life:

Keith Skeoch, Executive Director, right wing political lobbyist

Crawford Gillies, Non Executive Director, Chairman of Control Risk Group, of London, the “security consultancy” of choice heavily peopled by ex MI5 and MI6 officers

Garry Grimstone, Chairman, “lead non-executive” at the Ministry of Defence, London

Noel Harwerth, non-executive Director, Director of “London First” – [Honestly, I am not making this up]

David Nish – Chief Executive, Member of the “UK Strategy Committee” of “TheCity UK”. “TheCity UK” being a body of the City of London.

John Paynter, non-executive Director, was vice chairman of JP Morgan Cazenove until the 2008 crash

Amazing that lot oppose independence, huh?

Standard Life also threatened to leave at the time of the devolution referendum and gave out no campaign materials to staff.  “Leave” of course is a relative concept – the above bunch just pop up from London from time to time to check on how the serfs are doing.

 

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136 Comments

  1. My comment on the earlier thread. My question was ironic!

    It was remiss of me not to have looked up the members of the board.

    Mary
    27 Feb, 2014 – 7:56 am
    They are like the animals coming in two by two.

    Now it’s Standard Life.

    Standard Life could quit Scotland
    Standard Life is the first major business to warn it could leave Scotland if it votes for independence
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26362321

    Is there some orchestration at work?

    A big beast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Life

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Life#Controversy

  2. As a wee South Saxon with republican leftie pretensions, it’s nice not to be the object of Craig’s ire for a change. 😉

  3. doug scorgie

    27 Feb, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    Come on Fred, what have you got to say?

  4. Craig great to have you back on form,funny that none of the BBC journalists assiduously spreading Standard Life’s message bothered to check who the people making these decisions about our economy were.Alec Salmond did a splendid job in knocking Lamentable Lamont round the chamber today,she tried to hijack the Proclaimers song ( hasn’t she noticed they are independence supporters!) to proclaim “Standard Life no more”! Alec responded with ” Labour no more”!

  5. Ref John Paynter, Director.

    Plundering Afghanistan and Kazakhstan

    With regard to Jan Kulczyk’s sizable investment in Afghan Gold last year, one should point out that JP Morgan Cazenove’s point-man in brokering this immensely lucrative deal was their then deputy chair (and head of capital markets) Ian Hannam – a former member of the SAS who counts Richard Williams among his close friends. Hannam is a key advisor for many of the world’s most powerful mining interests, and currently acts as an advisor for Kazak copper mining giant Kazakhmys.

    By way of a short interlude, Kazakhmys, it should be noted, is a particularly well-networked corporate oppressor, as their recent development director is a board member of Lonmin (David Munro); while one of Kazakhmys’ current board members is the omnipresent Lord Renwick. Thus it is more than fitting that Lord Renwick is presently the vice chairman of JPMorgan Cazenove; as is the fact that a former long-serving senior executive at first Cazenove and subsequently at JP Morgan Cazenove, John Paynter, /strong>has served (since 2008) with Oliver Stocken (Home Retail’s recent chairman) on the board of Standard Chartered. (Cazenove was merged with JP Morgan in 2005; a process that Ian Hannam is credited with leading.)

    This brief introduction to a few of the people behind Kazakhmys is especially vital for workers seeking to organize against the ruling class, as despite their managements outstanding ruling class connections Kazakhmys’s employees are winning important victories.

    Michael Barker
    27/09/2012

    Mining Argos’ Ruling Class
    http://leicestersocialists.org.uk/?p=1558

  6. I think the media has got completely the wrong idea. Standard Life are neutral. They have made a point that they have a plan in place if a currency union is not agreed. They have not stated that they would follow through, but it is a contingency plan. I assure you they will not be the only company in this line of business with this type of plan, but this doesn’t mean they are pro or anti independence. What this statement does is try to make either the UK government come to an agreement with the Yes campaign over a currency union, or tries to make (which I am yet to hear) the Yes campaign form a plan for if there is no currency union. It is naive to think the Tories of being selfish in this. Sure they may be thinking about the welfare of the remaining states (England, Wales and NI), but if Scotland leave, the Tories would almost be guaranteed power for at least the next couple of elections for the Westminster government.

  7. Noel Harwerth on the board of Standard Life and London First is also listed on Forbes..

    Noel Harwerth served as Chief Operating Officer of Citibank International PLC from 1998 to 2003. Prior to that, she served as Chief Tax Officer of Citigroup, Dun & Bradstreet Corporation and Kennecott Copper Corporation. She holds a Jurisdoctor degree from the University of Texas Law School. She currently serves on the board of directors of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance, Chairman of Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Europe and Chairman of GE Capital Bank Europe.

    Also on Alent
    http://www.alent.com/media/board-directors

    and was on the board of Anglo Irish Bank but resigned when it went belly up and was nationalized. This is the kind of thing that went on at that time. Board meetings without the presence of the company secretary.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/no-minutes-taken-at-six-board-meetings-says-former-anglo-irish-bank-secretary-1.1682630

    She likes horses too! Was a director of the Tote.
    http://www.womeninracing.co.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=7ra8t-XTDcY%3D&tabid=77

    As the song goes, ‘I’ve been everywhere man…’ Hard to keep up.

  8. Forgive me for being slightly confused. Craig, in response to Neil’s post in the ‘Why Should Ukraine Not Split’ thread, you seem to be in favour of the neoliberal EU economic prescription pertaining to trickle down, the very model you appear to be critical of in relation to the bunch of tories whose outlook and policies you rightly deride in this thread. Would I be correct in pointed out a contradiction in your position, or is it the case that you agree with the EU in principle rather than the flawed economic model it has adopted?

  9. This is a nice find, especially the Control Risks connection.

    I’ve just been reading the Scottish government’s ‘Scotland’s Future’ document, including the sections on intelligence and security.

    They answer several hundred questions, but unfortunately they also choose which questions to ask in the first place. So the questions don’t include “Will you allow MI6 and MI5 to operate in Scotland?” I’d like a clear answer to that one.

    It contains statements such as this:

    Scotland will need significant independent security and
    intelligence capacity to ensure its security. Independence offers an opportunity to build a new model for such work, that is fit for the 21st century and provides a proportionate means of ensuring Scotland’s national security. On independence, the Scottish Government will set up a single security and intelligence agency for Scotland. The purpose of the agency will be set out in legislation, and will include the
    requirement to work with partners to ensure Scotland’s national
    security

    But practically every serious regime in the world has separate security and intelligence agencies, and for good reason.

    I’m afraid they do make themselves sound like local councillors. You could argue that that’s because of the market they’re trying to communicate to, but still.

    Here they go again:

    We do not propose to replicate the current UK security and
    intelligence agencies (the Security Service, or MI5; the Secret
    Intelligence Service, or MI6; and GCHQ), although Scotland will
    continue to work very closely with them to ensure the security of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    One might reasonably ask whether it’s independence they are supposed to be in favour of, or something else.

    Why are they promising, in the main document they’ve written about what it will mean to be independent, to work very closely with a foreign country’s spooks?

    Here’s another statement they make:

    Scotland has invested, as part of the UK, in significant
    intelligence-gathering capabilities and would expect that
    investment to be recognised in the arrangements that will
    be developed.

    What??? So they want a share in GCHQ facilities in Cyprus or on Ascension Island, then,…or in England?

    Maybe they want the same intelligence relation to rUK as the UK currently has to the US? (joke!)

    And here’s another question for them:

    Do they want to receive (and pay for) information received by MI6 as a result of torture?

    They are also extremely mealy-mouthed on the issue of being ‘nuclear-free’.

    I strongly welcome their promise to ensure that nuclear weapons are removed from the Clyde.

    But just read the following!

    329. Would an independent Scotland continue to allow Faslane
    to host non-nuclear armed Royal Navy submarines, such
    as the Astute and Trafalgar, which are nuclear-powered?

    They answer:

    Our priority for Faslane will be to ensure the speediest and
    safest possible transition to its future as a conventional naval
    base serving the defence needs of an independent Scotland.
    This transition will require detailed discussion with the
    Government of the rest of the UK on a range of issues.

    The Scottish Government strongly favours a conventional
    approach to Scotland’s defence, with Faslane being Scotland’s
    main conventional naval base. We do not see the continued
    basing of the Astute or Trafalgar fleets at Faslane, beyond the
    necessary transition period, to be in Scotland’s interests.
    The Westminster Government has signalled its intention to
    locate all of the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet at a single base.
    The current proposal is for this to be HMNB Clyde. In the event
    of independence, it would be for the rest of the UK to decide
    whether to relocate its submarine fleet to the Royal Navy
    submarine base at HMNB Devonport or to another location.

    Why can’t they just say “No“?

    The reason is because they don’t mean “no”. Take a look at this:

    282. Will NATO members with nuclear-armed vessels be allowed
    to enter Scottish waters or dock at Scottish ports?
    It is our firm position that an independent Scotland should not
    host nuclear weapons and we would only join NATO on that
    basis.

    To which they answer:

    While the presence of nuclear weapons on a particular vessel is never confirmed by any country, we would expect any visiting vessel to respect the rules that are laid down by the government of an independent Scotland.

    That is pathetic!

    For a time, Denmark and New Zealand refused to allow US vessels into their ports unless the US confirmed unequivocally that they were not carrying nuclear weapons.

    Scotland could do the same.

    Unfortunately, both Denmark and New Zealand reversed their policy. Scotland could get the ball rolling in the right direction again.

    But oh no. This is what the Scottish government has the gall to say:

    While they are both strong advocates for nuclear disarmament, both Norway and Denmark allow NATO vessels to visit their ports without confirming or denying whether they carry nuclear weapons. We intend that Scotland will adopt a similar approach as Denmark and Norway in this respect.”

    Norway and Denmark – “advocates for nuclear disarmament”? You might as well say the US is an advocate of nuclear disarmament!

    If the Scottish government actually grew a pair, I might feel more inclined to support them!

  10. Ireland, Austria, Sweden, and Switzerland are “neutral”. Why couldn’t Scotland be? How about stopping referring only to NATO members such as Denmark and Norway?

    Here’s what I would like to see:

    1) “We will not enter into any defence alliances with any other country

    2) “We will not allow any vessel to enter a Scottish port unless we receive an explicit prior assurance that it is not carrying nuclear, chemical or biological weapons

    3) “We will not allow any other country to keep military or intelligence bases in Scotland

    Frankly, what kind of ‘security’ is it to allow another country to bring its nukes into your ports?

  11. A cynic might think this ‘attack’ was designed to bury the excellent Standard and Poors report released today. Seems like an indy Scotland might be quite wealthy.

  12. Craig,

    Nice to see you mention Reform Scotland and describe them as they really are, a ‘neo-conservative lobby group’.

    Somehow they have managed to get themselves recognised as a charity under the heading of ‘Education’. Quite how they fit into this category is a puzzle. Every single report they publish recommends one thing consistently, the need for public money to be spent in privatising the welfare state, be that schools or hospitals. They accuse the SNP government of being ‘afraid of competition’, especially when it comes to public spending.

    Until recently they would publish their donors on the website, that has now disappeared. For some years they were heavily funded by Skanska, a firm that, among other things, builds hospital and school infrastructure – that coincided nicely with a report from Reform recommending that new GP’s surgeries and buildings were required.

    The short story is they are a business lobby group – how that qualifies them as a charity I don’t know.

    The other interesting thing about them, they supported the ‘Devo Plus’ option, more powers for the Scottish Government but short of independence. However, the couple of times I’ve heard their chairman, Ben Thomson, on Radio 4 and on BBC Scotland TV – he’s always refused to answer when asked directly if he supports independence or not.

    Clearly, by taking a promotional role behind a ‘devo plus’ stance, they don’t support independence.

    I know there are some rules under which charitable status can be affected by political advocacy, and it seems clear that Reform Scotland to, are aware that any charitable status (which gives them a raft of tax benefits) may be withdrawn if a group is promoting a political stance. It seems clear that their support of ‘devo-plus’ is precisely that.

    In a nutshell, big business lobby group funded by big business to produce investor friendly reports to see £millions of taxpayers money go to their industry led sponsors is recognised as a ‘charity’.

    Quite unbelievable.

  13. Why would the Tories want Scotland to stay?-without Scotland there would never be Labour a government in London ever again!
    Standard Life will go where it suits them.

  14. I’ve just received an email from 38 degrees stating ….

    “Tomorrow MPs will be debating the possibility of re-naming the August bank holiday as “Margaret Thatcher Day”. But 38 Degrees member Louise has started a petition against the idea, and it already has over 75,000 signatures.”

    ….. and asking me to sign the petition.
    I don’t know about that. I like the idea of having a Margaret Thatcher Day a couple of weeks before the referendum.

  15. @Geoffrey
    without Scotland there would never be Labour a government in London ever again!

    Well I don’t know what lies in the future and perhaps you’re right, but I think you may have been misled on the facts from the past.

    Someone here went through all the UK general election results since 1945 and looked at what the results would have been if the Scottish seats were removed. Here are the stats:

    1945 Labour govt (Attlee) NO CHANGE
    1950 Labour govt (Attlee) NO CHANGE
    1951 Conservative govt (Churchill/Eden) NO CHANGE
    1955 Conservative govt (Eden/Macmillan) NO CHANGE
    1959 Conservative govt (Macmillan/Douglas-Home) NO CHANGE
    1964 Labour govt (Wilson) CHANGE: LAB MAJ 4 TO CON MAJ OF 1
    1966 Labour govt (Wilson =) NO CHANGE
    1970 Conservative govt (Heath) NO CHANGE
    1974 Minority Labour govt (Wilson) POSSIBLE CHANGE – LAB MINORITY TO CON MINORITY
    1974b Labour govt (Wilson/Callaghan) CHANGE: LAB MAJORITY TO LAB MINORITY
    1979 Conservative govt (Thatcher) NO CHANGE
    1983 Conservative govt (Thatcher) NO CHANGE
    1987 Conservative govt (Thatcher/Major) NO CHANGE
    1992 Conservative govt (Major) NO CHANGE
    1997 Labour govt (Blair) NO CHANGE
    2001 Labour govt (Blair) NO CHANGE
    2005 Labour govt (Blair/Brown) NO CHANGE
    2010 Coalition govt (Cameron) CHANGE: CON-LIB COALITION TO CON MAJORITY

  16. @Geoffrey.
    More info on the myth that Labour needs Scotland.
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/why-labour-doesnt-need-scotland/

  17. If Reform Scotland is indeed “a neo-conservative lobby group which wants to abolish the minimum wage, privatize the NHS and pensions and restrict trade unions further” why was their last event in the Scottish Parliament sponsored and hosted by left-wing SNP MSP Joan McAlpine?

  18. “without Scotland there would never be Labour a government in London ever again!

    Don’t worry about England having a Conservative government in perpetuity if Scotland gets independence. The point of a democracy is to give the illusion of choice, to make it seem like the people are in charge.

    If/When Scotland’s Labour voters are subtracted from the UK electorate, the propaganda will be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the two party your-turn-our-turn system continues uninterrupted.

  19. Less 52 Labour and Libdem MPs in the last two General Elections,with the added bonus of a few less SNP MPs! and only one less Tory.
    Enough I’d have thought to make a Tory ambivalent.

  20. And we woulçd’nt have had the financial catastrophe that was Brown!

  21. David Moynagh

    27 Feb, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    No Matter how many directorships that a right wing “Reformer” might have, my single YES vote for independence is greater in effect .

  22. The largest part of Standard Life is its UK business, employing around 6,000 people in Edinburgh.It is also one of the world’s leading sustainability-driven publicly listed companies.The board has eight men and four women.- Wikipedia

  23. Geoffrey – wait until you get a real financial catastrophe. That can’t be far off. Get your bug-out bag ready.

  24. That reminds me N_ a financial crisis caused by RBS and HBOS (amongst others)egged on by Brown….thanks Scotland!
    With the consequences delayed by Darling!

  25. Geoffrey, the (worldwide) financial disaster was not caused by Brown. Not unless you think he was somehow responsible for the massive sub-prime meltdown, plus accompanying credit default swaps, in the US which precipitated it.

  26. N_ 6:36pm:

    A bit OTT with the survivalist stuff there, N_, though I don’t doubt that in common with other Murrayistas, hardly a day passes in which you don’t pray for a catastrophe.

  27. I can’t access statcounter.com to see how many people are reading this. Is statcounter down, or am I blocked? Can anyone else access http://www.statcounter.com?

  28. Statcounter does appear to be down right now – I’ve just tried from a number of locations

  29. “Geoffrey, the (worldwide) financial disaster was not caused by Brown”

    Good to see you commenting here, Gordon. Nothing to do with your ten years as Chancellor, then?

    I really need to find that YouTube compilation showing the number of times you have used the word “glorbal” in relation to the collapse that happened entirely under your watch.

  30. I think there will be a catastrophe, yes. I don’t pray for one – I’m not religious. But I do hope it will be sooner rather than later.

    With regard to ‘subprime’, or the lending of money to people who have little chance of being able to pay it back, that continues to be done in the UK on a very very large and increasing scale.

    ‘Subprime’ is by no means only a feature of the past, of the ‘noughties’. It is very big now, and it’s growing.

    I wish the Scottish Government would give a cast-iron guarantee that in the event of a ‘yes’ result, people’s bank deposits would be protected up to a figure of £85000 per account, as they currently are by the UK government…theoretically.

    If they want to dispel the fear caused by the UK Treasury when it said last year that Scotland might have difficulty matching the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, they should do so – as soon as possible, and as clearly as possible.

    But will they?

    They do say something about the issue in the ‘Scotland’s Future’ document, but it falls a long way short of a promise.

    They should say outright that they give the guarantee no matter what any other party, such as the rUK or the EU, might say or do.

    Instead, they link what they say to ‘EU rules’ (which are irrelevant if Scotland isn’t allowed into the EU), and they say that

    (m)any of these questions have straightforward, factual
    answers. The answers to some others will depend on the
    outcome of negotiations with the Westminster Government,
    and here we set out what we consider to be the reasonable
    and common sense position, based on the interests of both
    the rest of the UK and of Scotland. Where the answer to a
    question depends on the policy decisions of a future
    government of an independent Scotland, we give the view
    of the current Scottish Government.

    Whether people support independence, oppose it, or couldn’t care less about it, they should pressurise the Scottish government to come up with a proper promise on this.

  31. He may not have caused it,but he certainly exacerbated it. Don’t you remember “no more boom and bust”,he went for “boom “boom” “boom” encouraging the Scottish banks (amongst others) to lend so much that by 2008 RBS’s lending was equivalent to the entire GDP of the UK.
    Incidentally,nobody forced the UK banks to get involved with US sub prime etc,they chose to.

  32. “Come on Fred, what have you got to say?”

    All I can do is state the obvious. For a life assurance company to have their head office in a different country and under a different currency to the majority of their customers would seriously impact on their profits. I expect there will be other companies in the financial sector in the same position, the financial sector runs on greed.

    Should Scotland become independent there will be a lot of companies looking at their balance sheets and deciding on their most profitable options taking into account many factors. A country can’t go independent and expect everything to just stay the same.

  33. The state broadcaster weighs in with the aid of the infantry Peston and Cook and Brian ‘Big Bertha’ Taylor.

    27 February 2014 Last updated at 15:46
    Scottish independence: Standard Life draws up ‘Yes’ contingency plan
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26364418

    They have changed it seven times.

    The original version http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/745770/diff/1/2
    The final version http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/745770/diff/6/7

    Highlighted red is what was deleted and green, the replacement or addition. That is how the message/propaganda is refined.

    The commentaries by Peston, Cook and Taylor in the side bars are not shown on News Sniffer.

  34. ” encouraging the Scottish banks (amongst others) to lend so much that by 2008 RBS’s lending was equivalent to the entire GDP of the UK. ”

    Let’s not forget that Wee Eck was cheering RBS on and promising to free Scottish banks from Westminster’s “Gold Plated” regulations. Now he’s trying to kid everyone that an independent Scotland would’ve done the reverse.

  35. I get this for Statcounter.com

    Error 522 Ray ID……..
    Connection timed out

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    Working

    statcounter.com
    Host
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    What happened?

    The initial connection between CloudFlare’s network and the origin web server timed out. As a result, the web page can not be displayed.

    What can I do?

    If you’re a visitor of this website:

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    If you’re the owner of this website:

    Contact your hosting provider letting them know your web server is not completing requests. An Error 522 means that the request was able to connect to your web server, but that the request didn’t finish. The most likely cause is that something on your server is hogging resources. Additional troubleshooting information here.

    ~~~
    Not much help. Sorry.

  36. Statcounter is experiencing a DDoS attack

    https://twitter.com/statcounter

  37. Not everyone in Scotland hates the tories. Get your facts right. Believe it or not, Standard Life is a business, owned by it’s shareholders. The business will do what’s best for it’s shareholders, not for it’s customers. I’m not saying that’s right but that is the way capitalism works, it’s nothing to do with independence.

  38. I have been banned from your blog? Please do see my earlier contributions which were respectful, polite, did not engage in trolling or attack any individual commenting. I wanted to raise genuine concerns over a number of deleted comments and used robust, fair and reasoned arguments. I stayed on topic. I don’t mind if you want to ban me. But a more justified reason would help. Thanks. JM

    [craigmurray.org.uk – sorry, mistaken identity. No, you are not banned]

  39. All I can do is state the obvious. For a life assurance company to have their head office in a different country and under a different currency to the majority of their customers would seriously impact on their profits.

    Zurich seems to manage it.

  40. Geoffrey: The exposure of US & UK’s banks to the derivative markets alone, is over a order of magnitude greater than the GDP of the entire world. Surely you’re not going to lay all than on Gordon Brown too?

    Absolutely, nobody forced the banks to loan to anybody (or get involved with US sub-prime). They did that all by themselves. Are you finally back-peddling against your assertion that it was all Brown’s fault? Or are you still buying into that tabloid-ready slogan the Tories ran on at the last election?

  41. Anon: You make as much sense as usual. But it appears that tired old accusation that The Left just wants everything to go to hell, and welcomes every disaster that befalls humanity, is a well that apparently never runs dry for you.

  42. “Zurich seems to manage it.”

    Zurich is an international group of companies with subsidiaries in countries all over the world. Including several in the UK.

  43. “Absolutely, nobody forced the banks to loan to anybody (or get involved with US sub-prime). ”

    Lending money is a bank’s core business. A major problem was that the sub-prime loans were bundled up with secure loans and sold in complex packages. None of the banks who bought these packages knew for sure how much bad debt they were exposed to.

    Reckless.

  44. Politics makes for strange bedfellows. Rory Stewart (who thinks he owns the North Sea) and others MI5, MI6, BT, Ex Special Forces “Advisors” Mining Companies with “reputations” and monopolies controlling prices to diamonds, Labour, LibDem, Tory, backroom deals for contracts and support for licenses, bids for jobs in NATO, cuts in sales to overseas clients etc. Independence could cause a house of cards to tumble for some, they may well be taking necessary actions but most of these will not be the kind of thing you could make public

  45. YES

    6m population only

    50b overhang of North Sea cleanup due in ADDITION to the existing oil industry

    Only 40% £2trillion North Sea oil extracted so far, renowned Scots ingenuity plus new tech, salt water injection of night time electricity, to target the remaining 60% – the holes are already there on the sea bed. Plus off-shore fracking too.

    World class offshore oil industry

    Overseas Scots remittances – this could be a new phenomenon that has the potential to be more powerful than ALL the rest of the arguments for independence combined!!

    [Racist content removed]

    Scots share of the £1.5trillion British Swiss deposits. Osbourne already has a deal with the Swiss to receive £500m annually being WHT of 5% on the 1% interest on the undeclared deposits

    No £100b wasted on trident

    No £20b on wasted on F35

    No Scottish cannon fodder for wars [Racist content removed]

    Freedom from 300 years of colonisation

    NO

    An ever more rotund Salmond may come down with heart disease!

    Pound and share of the national debt?

    A 300 year marriage lost

    Scots oil-sheikhs running riot in Knightbridge showing off commando kilts whilst alighting from their lamborghinis

    [Black Jelly, this is your warning.]

  46. On topic. I once had an online discussion about Scotland’s oill. I thought I made a rather obvious, and not very interesting, point: that oil will be a huge issue in the lead up to any referenda. Weirdly, I got a bit of an internet biffing. I was actually perplexed, but most posters thought I was talking nonsense. Very strange, and it appears I was correct. It’s all about the oil, always was. These suits don’t care especially about the union, or Scotland’s future, they care about maintaining the status quo; an independent Scotland will cause headache and complication, and thus must be avoided. As stated before, I don’t especially care either way, and think he vote will be rigged anyways.

    Off topic. Apparently the director of Galloway inspired ‘The Blair Doc’ has been arrested by The Met. I always thought securitat were going to crack down on that particular documentary. If Blair doesn’t have skeletons in his closet, I’m Harold Pinter.

  47. “Only 40% £2trillion North Sea oil extracted so far, renowned Scots ingenuity plus new tech, salt water injection of night time electricity, to target the remaining 60% – the holes are already there on the sea bed. ”

    Dream on. The 40% is all that can be economically extracted using salt water injection, steam and every other enhanced technique. Drill holes of redundant platforms already cut off 3m below sea level and capped with concrete. That 60% is never coming out.

    “Scots share of the £1.5trillion British Swiss deposits. Osbourne already has a deal with the Swiss to receive £500m annually being WHT of 5% on the 1% interest on the undeclared deposits ”

    What?

  48. Blair’s a bit of a grinning skull himself, and Brendan is probably not Harold Pinter. Scroll past the arresting headline and see where the Faith Foundation gets its cash…

    http://gawker.com/rupert-murdoch-gave-tony-blair-100-000-then-blair-fuc-1531707995

    Never mind Rupert for the moment; Haim Saban is the interesting one here. For those unfamiliar, here’s his Wiki –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban

    “Saban says his greatest concern is to protect Israel. At a conference in Israel, Saban described his formula. His three ways to influence American politics were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. (continues)”

    Tony Blair, if we are ever likely to be allowed to forget, is the Quartet’s Envoy to the Middle East. And has stated for the record that he has no business interests in Israel or Occupied Palestine. Doesn’t need them, does he?

    Sorry for the off-topic, but earlier comments invited it.

  49. Is there any significance in the fact that Queenie will name the new aircraft carrier in Rosyth on July 4th, American Independence Day?

    Queen to name new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26292274

    ‘The estimated cost of the aircraft carrier and its sister ship is £6.2bn. The initial projected cost was £3.65bn.’

    There used to be a game show on TV called Double Your Money.

    LOL

  50. Brendan – “Apparently the director of Galloway inspired ‘The Blair Doc’ has been arrested by The Met.”

    Source? Can’t find a report. GG is going to sue the Stirling Macrobert Centre for cancelling his gig, though;

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/galloway-sues-venue-after-event-cancelled.23348537

    Nothing offered in explanation by the Macrobert, and they don’t have the Local Government Act to hide behind either. Still, if they aren’t giving a platform the Yes vote either , they can’t really be accused of bias. Pity in a way. Galloway is an entertainer if nothing else, and it would have been a lively show.

  51. Symptomatic of the divide between Labour and the SNP. More orchestration.

    Row as Glasgow is latest council to quit Cosla
    Friday 28 February 2014

    SCOTLAND’S largest local authority has formally signalled its intent to quit the body representing all 32 councils, claiming it will “stagger zombie-like” before winding up.

    Glasgow City Council’s ruling Labour administration said it has left Cosla, which it says is being used as a “human shield” by the Scottish Government and exists solely in the interests of a “stultifying and artificial unity”.

    Several councils, Dumfries and Galloway, Aberdeen, Refrewshire and Inverclyde, all Labour-led, have applied to leave Cosla, with South Lanarkshire signalling its intention to quit yesterday too.’

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/wider-political-news/row-as-glasgow-is-latest-council-to-quit-cosla.23551885

  52. Tellingly –

    http://bettertogether.net/press/entry/better-together-publishes-donor-details

    There’s a link to the list. Wow. *Click*. Not Found. LOL.

    Still, the Hootsmon has some of the big names –

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-pro-union-donors-revealed-1-3234090

  53. Ah. According to Galloway on Twitter, the ‘Killing of Tony Blair’ director was pulled in at this fundraiser at Chingford (formerly the lair of N. Tebbitt, ironically) –

    http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/chingford/11033466.Protests_planned_for_Alastair_Campbell_s__curry_spin__visit/

    …suggesting that maybe the anti-Iraq war protest had more to do with it than the content of the film.

  54. @ Ba’al Zevul

    I agree, I’m no Pinter.

    “…suggesting that maybe the anti-Iraq war protest had more to do with it than the content of the film.”

    I’m also no mug, nor do I think you are. Not convinced this suggests any such thing, tbh. I believe we all know the word ‘pretext’. Could be wrong, of course.

  55. Brendan, 6:09 am

    “…the director of Galloway inspired ‘The Blair Doc’ has been arrested by The Met.”

    Do you have any links for that please?

  56. This is an eye-opener. I wondered why a private company would want to interfere with the Scottish referendum – wouldn’t it be wiser to make sure to be on excellent terms with all sides? But a politically committed group dominating a board of directors would be another matter.

  57. I see the Nationalists have got the SDL picketing the Galloway events.

  58. Good post Craig
    Enlightening.
    It comes as no surprise to see the names and backgrounds of these people.
    It does raise the spectre of a shadow power and the strings being pulled from the shadows…..
    The NO campaign have real problems in presenting any good argument against Independence.
    It’s all Fear in Lothian.
    MSM are totally onside with the No’s.
    And most surprisingly , Labour have swung so far right in their Anti SNP rhetoric they are now beginning to block traditionally socialist policy to thwart Alex Salmond.
    It’s amazing that the Yes crowd are actually growing in the midst of all the mis and dis information that British Govt supported by all MSM is putting out.I voted in 1979 for devolution only to see Thatcher turn every non vote into a vote against by using the 40% rule. In other words, making a yes vote impossible.
    This time around there are no pre-conditions, but if Scotland does say Yes, you can be sure that Westminster will not allow it.
    Why else is there no discussions taking place at the moment in case of Independence ?
    Surely it would be in London’s interest to have continuity in some area’s.
    At the moment it’s Bush’s old mantra, your either with us or without us, and by the way the 46″ flat screen is mine.

  59. “The NO campaign have real problems in presenting any good argument against Independence.”

    I know, they keep getting their bookings cancelled.

  60. People who have read my comments know that I have been a robust supporter of keeping the United Kingdom as the United Kingdom. Yesterday, with Standard Life’s announcement on behalf of David Cameron, all that changed. I have never seen such a shabby political trick, and realise now Scotland would be better off on its own, without the dickheads at Westminster. It might take a little while for an independent Scotland to establish itself but wish it luck. I just hope Alex Salmond will call for a public inquiry into who was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing. Up to now he has supported Cameron and Miliband on not seeking one, and unless he has changed his mind – as I have over Scottish independence – he still believes that al-Megrahi was responsible, which of course is utter nonsense.

  61. “he still believes that al-Megrahi was responsible, which of course is utter nonsense.”

    http://www.firmmagazine.com/?s=al-Megrahi

  62. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 11:13 am

    ‘I see the Nationalists have got the SDL picketing the Galloway events.’

    Please inform us which Nationalists have any influence at all on what the moronic SDL does. Do you mean the SNP, perhaps? If so say so, and attract a libel suit, I would guess.

    Smear….underhand tactics, eh, Fred?

  63. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 11:18 am

    ‘I know, they keep getting their bookings cancelled.’
    No, Galloway keeps getting his bookings cancelled. Possibly because a lot of Socialist Scots would want to lynch him, and it’s for his own protection.

  64. @ Clark

    “…the director of Galloway inspired ‘The Blair Doc’ has been arrested by The Met.”

    Should note, I mistakenly referenced the website: theblairdoc.com. My mistake. The film is called The Killing of Tony Blair. The website references the film.

    Galloway’s twitter feed is my source. I know, Galloway is he who is he, but can’t deny it’s a perfect source for this story. I’ve thought for a while that this film would be stopped, because Blair is … who he is. Surprised it took so long.

  65. “Smear….underhand tactics, eh, Fred?”

    So what has this thread been but muck raking through the people who support the No campaign?

    I mean some of them might be Capitalists but at least they aren’t Fascists.

  66. “No, Galloway keeps getting his bookings cancelled. Possibly because a lot of Socialist Scots would want to lynch him, and it’s for his own protection.”

    Those aren’t Socialists who have been picketing his events.

  67. The No Campaign called their strategy “Project Fear”. It spectacularly backfired on them and now nobody believes the scare stories anymore, even the odd one that might just have some validity.
    Now it’s time for the heavy bombers, folks with some skin in the game…they’re calling it the “Dambuster Stategy” . http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/fears-more-firms-will-follow-standard-life-threat-to-quit.23554839

  68. Would an an independent Scotland stop this ?.

    “Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.”

    http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11043378.Man_starved_after_benefits_were_cut/

  69. I used to believe that getting rid of flags and borders would be in everybody’s interest. No war. Mutual understanding. Humanity together.Cloud Loo Loo Land! Must have been smoking too much of the rock’nroll tobak.The people do not benefit. Corporations do!
    When the borders disappear then so does the freedom.Suddenly someone else farther away is making up the rules for the game of life.
    The UK is proof it doesn’t work in peoples interests.For the very few maybe ?
    Scotland needs to leave this Union and avoid the next without big changes.The EEC is as far as Europe should’ve got.
    Countries rarely give up territory willingly.I smell big shenannigans ahead. Standard Life is one over the bow.

  70. At 28 Feb, 2014 – 5:23 am, MOD/Craig writes:

    “[Black Jelly, this is your warning.]”

    everybody who wishes this blog well should ignore him/her and leave it to the mod to deal with.

    [Including you A Node.]

  71. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 1:24 pm

    ‘So what has this thread been but muck raking through the people who support the No campaign?’

    I know the answer to that. A fair amount of intelligent commentary. And yours: entirely unsubstantiated negative allegations regarding the Yes campaign.

    ‘I mean some of them might be Capitalists but at least they aren’t Fascists.’

    No?

    http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/national/better-together-campaign-needs-more-positives

    lol

  72. @someone

    Your link to the Oxford Mail is a sad reflection of our egalitarian society.
    Those who are in need require more help and reassurance than others.
    It seems from early on the safety net that lifts up people into an established society is not good enough.

    Basic human rights and family rights are necessary and in this case opportunities of care and education have failed.

  73. “I know the answer to that. A fair amount of intelligent commentary. And yours: entirely unsubstantiated negative allegations regarding the Yes campaign.”

    Actually I was the one who stated the facts. Should Scotland become independent those companies who see it as more profitable to relocate south of the border will relocate south of the border.

    That is the reality, it’s plain economic sense.

  74. Can the Scottish Government give a cast-iron guarantee that

    in the event of a ‘yes’ result, people’s bank deposits will be protected up to a figure of £85000 per account, as they currently are by the UK government, regardless of any position which might be taken by the rump UK government or the EU?

    ?

    Read my comment above for details as to why the mealy-mouthed statements by the Scottish Government so far fall a long way short of such a guarantee.

    It is completely reasonable for people to ask this question.

    It is unreasonable for anyone to say otherwise. So please can no-one say I’m in the same category as Standard Life and Control Risks – thanks! :-)

  75. “in the event of a ‘yes’ result, people’s bank deposits will be protected up to a figure of £85000 per account, as they currently are by the UK government, regardless of any position which might be taken by the rump UK government or the EU?”

    Yes N_ a reasonable question. However what would that £85000 be worth in real terms if there was a run on the banks? Confetti. The UK government (rather taxpayer) can only bail out one or two more banks the size of the RBS before the economy collapses. Yes they will give you your £85000 but what will be its purchasing power?

  76. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    ‘Should Scotland become independent those companies who see it as more profitable to relocate south of the border will relocate south of the border.’

    Someone else was disputing that. I wasn’t. Looks like a statement of the bleeding obvious to me. Is that what it takes to qualify as a fact?

    BNP, lol.

  77. “BNP, lol.”

    Something else obvious, everyone is entitled to an opinion, even BNP members.

    Let me know when the BNP are standing outside the Yes campaign meetings with banners.

  78. The latest on tomorrow’s protest for the release of Moazzam Begg here where it should be,

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/02/moazzam-begg-a-political-prisoner-again/#comment-443002

  79. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 3:03 pm

  80. @Fred, Thanks for some much needed sanity.

  81. “Just like that. Out loud.”

    So no evidence of the BNP outside meetings with banners. Cheers.

  82. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    The sash my father wore…

    http://www.britishtogether.co.uk/

    Well, naturally. Might be some confusion there, though. Anglo-Catholics have their own Better Together, but it is curiously vague about Scottish independence….

    http://inthisvaleoftears.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/the-church-of-england-better-together/

  83. As UKIP are meeting this weekend, thought I would look for any recent links to them and Scotland under ‘news’.

    This is basically anti EU and Barroso in particular

    Nigel Farage: Surprise, surprise, Brussels is weighing into the Scottish debate
    The EC president, José Manuel Barroso, revelled in the attention he received
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/nigel-farage-surprise-surprise-brussels-is-weighing-into-the-scottish-debate-9136833.html

    This where both Salmond and Farage are dissed.

    Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage are both blowing up at the same time http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/iainmartin1/100260108/alex-salmond-and-nigel-farage-are-both-blowing-up-at-the-same-time/

    and the usual Tory scare stuff from Grieve

    Dominic Grieve: Tories Must Ditch ‘Odd Obsessions’ To Win Election http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/27/ukip-dominic-grieve-conservative-party_n_4869610.html

    ~~

    Wee Willy Walsh is not bothered by Scottish independence.

    Scottish independence: BA boss Willie Walsh ‘positive’ about impact
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26383990

  84. Ba'al Zevul (Ça Plane Pour Moi)

    28 Feb, 2014 - 3:18 pm

    ‘So no evidence of the BNP outside meetings with banners.’

    Yet. Meanwhile here’s a picture of some Orangemen with banners, outside a Catholic church.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My5cf2zlkpo

    Makes you proud to be British, dunnit?

  85. Is this relevant to Scotland’ forthcoming independence.I think so. How UKUSIS does things these days:
    http://canspeccy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/reaping-ukrainian-whirlwind-tyranny-in.html

  86. “[Including you A Node.]”

    You just deleted your insurance policy

  87. “27 February 2014
    Scottish referendum

    On 18 September 2014 a referendum will be held to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country. In recent months some of our customers have been in touch with us to ask what impact this would have on their savings and investments with Standard Life.

    Our key priority is to continue serving the needs of our 4 million UK customers, wherever they reside and regardless of any constitutional change. The same applies to our customers in other parts of the world.

    As a business we have a long-standing policy of strict political neutrality and at no time will we advise people on how they should vote, but we have a duty and a responsibility to understand the implications of independence for our customers and other stakeholders and to take whatever action may be necessary to protect their interests.

    In view of the uncertainty that is likely to remain around this issue, there are steps that we can and will take now based on our own analysis. For example, we have started work to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland, into which we could transfer parts of our operations if it was necessary to do so.

    This is a purely precautionary measure, and customers do not need to take any action. We are simply putting in place a mechanism which, in the event of constitutional change, allows us to provide continuity to customers and to continue serving them, wherever they live in the UK.

    Customers can find further details in our 2013 Annual Report and Accounts from our Chief Executive David Nish and Chairman Gerry Grimstone.”

  88. @John Goss, 2.05pm – Agreed; good point.

  89. The referendum question is very simple. “Should Scotland be an independent country.” Yes or No. On voting day, Scotland is de facto independent until the result is declared.
    ‘Yes’ means all decisions affecting Scotland are taken in Scotland, by the folk that live there. ‘No’ means that we hand all that power to another country that may have different priorities.
    Will the song be ‘Scotland the brave’. or ‘Scotland the slave’?

  90. “Just like that. Out loud.”

    So the Better Together crowd in Livingstone agree with one of the BNPs policies.

    Come to think of it I’m a bit peeved we are giving India money to buy arms with while we have sad stories as seen here, a young man starved to death because his benefits were stopped. I mean I don’t mind helping the needy in poorer countries but a quarter of a billion quid a year to a country with nuclear weapons and a space program is taking the piss.

  91. “Someone else was disputing that. I wasn’t. Looks like a statement of the bleeding obvious to me. Is that what it takes to qualify as a fact?”

    And don’t you think it’s sensible that people are informed of that fact before they vote?

  92. “Will the song be ‘Scotland the brave’. or ‘Scotland the slave’?”

    Actually slavery was legalised by the Scottish Parliament in 1606 with the Anent Coalyers and Salters act.

    This law was overturned by the British government in 1775 so since then slavery has been illegal in Scotland.

  93. “This law was overturned by the British government in 1775 so since then slavery has been illegal in Scotland.”

    The British State, through their agents ATOS, forces unemployed and vulnerable people to work for no pay. UKIP types love it.

  94. One of the reasons why I’m going to vote YES in September is in the (slight) hope that a Scottish government will be more responsive to a smaller electorate, and in the certainty that the Westminster one never will be. Part of my hope is based on the example of Iceland and the way they dealt with the bankers – jailed the ones they could catch before the rest hopped it. They aren’t resting on their laurels. I don’t know how viable this new currency will prove to be, but I applaud them for trying it, and once again think “If they can do it, maybe Scotland too”. At least they have the freedom of action to try it.

    “So, let me introduce to you the new cryptocurrency of Iceland, Auroracoin.

    Auroracoin is based on Litecoin, a descendant of the Bitcoin protocol, the foremost cryptocurrency in the world. However, it is started by an “Airdrop” of auroracoins to the Icelandic nation, designed to reach almost every Icelander. This one-time event will create the conditions for Icelanders to start using the currency, by providing them with a start and making them aware of the currency and its possibilities. After the Airdrop, the only way to acquire auroracoins will be through mining and transacting. Auroracoin will mirror the development of Bitcoin in the near to medium term.

    The Airdrop will start to take place on March 25th 2014. A national ID database, created by the government will be used for this purpose. Although the thorough registration of the entire Icelandic nation into one database is unfortunate, it creates opportunities to reach a large part of the public through various means. About 330,000 Icelanders will be made able to claim f 31.8 each over the following year.”

    http://auroracoin.org/

  95. “The British State, through their agents ATOS, forces unemployed and vulnerable people to work for no pay. UKIP types love it.”

    I don’t know what it says in your dictionary but in mine slavery is when one person is effectively owned by another.

    Should Scotland gain independence I would expect the present benefits system to continue for a while then get considerably worse. Considering the number of UKIP types there are around.

  96. A Node, Birgitta Jónsdóttir of Iceland was at the Bitcoin conference in London, er, a couple of years ago, I think. She’s interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgitta_jonsdottir

    Arbed had some worries about her visiting the US; thought she might be selling out Wikileaks and Julian Assange, but I don’t know what became of Arbed’s concerns.

  97. Clark,
    a Google search for “Birgitta Jónsdóttir auroracoin” comes up with zilch, but you would imagine she has some involvement in the new currency if she was checking out bitcoin.
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Iceland, but I don’t have high hopes. As I’ve explained in a previous discussion about bitcoin, I believe the bankers are too powerful and too protective of their monopoly to allow a serious alternative to develop.

  98. Fred,- 8:01 pm; that seems an unduly negative assessment. Your Scottish government is considerably more socialist than my Westminster government. You have free prescriptions, free education, and other such things that have been cut in England.

    A humane benefits system doesn’t have to be more expensive than a cruel system.

  99. A Node, technologically superior methods have a proven record of replacing outdated methods, even against the wishes of vested interests. The bankers can’t even properly run the the money systems they do have such influence over. People may just start voting with their wallets.

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