Tories Campaign Against Scottish Independence (Shock) 136

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 thoughts on “Tories Campaign Against Scottish Independence (Shock)

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  • fred

    “Another look at the Standard and Poors report.”

    That looks very promising, if you only read the Nationalist sites.

    Unfortunately “Independent Scotland could be AAA rated” on your site translates to “Scotland would struggle to match the UK’s AAA credit rating with Standard & Poor’s” in the Financial Times.

    And “Independent Scotland would face challenge, but not insurpassable – S&P” with Reuters.

    Still it’s good to know that Scotland may achieve the same rating they gave sub prime mortgages.

  • fred

    “It’s all about the oil, always was.”

    I agree. It’s obvious by how well the SNP did before the discovery of oil in the North Sea and how well they did after.

    The oil was used to stir negative emotions in the Scots, people who were perfectly happy before when told “that oil belongs to us and them bastards in England are stealing it” were suddenly nationalistic. Jealousy, greed and Nationalism are bad things to build a campaign on.

    There was a time before North Sea oil when Britain’s wealth was based on industry and coal, nobody said “that coal is ours, let’s cut the Scots out of it”, I don’t recall the people of South Yorkshire ever considering that coal belonged to them.

    There will be a time after North Sea oil.

  • N_

    It’s all about the oil, always was.

    I wish that could be stated in a less exaggerated way.

    Little-known fact, which some people might find useful: Alex Salmond used to be the chief oil economist of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

    Another fact is fairly widely known north of the border, but not so well known south of it: most people in Shetland do not consider that island group to be part of Scotland.

    (If you go to Shetland, you will see loads of Shetland flags – the white on blue Nordic cross – but you may see no Scottish flags whatsoever.)


    Shetland not viewed as part of Scotland…

    I won’t spell out where this is going! 🙂

    Imagine if a referendum were held in Shetland allowing voters to rank the following three options in order of preference:

    A) Shetland should be part of an independent Scotland

    B) Shetland should part of the UK (or rump UK)

    C) Shetland should be independent

    (Never mind the option of joining Norway, which would just be stupid. Enjoying Up Helly Aa doesn’t make a person Norwegian, any more than being a Morris dancer makes a person Moorish.)

    My guess is that by first preference votes the options would be ranked B, C, A.

    How the second preference votes by people who ranked A first would be distributed between B and C, I have no idea!

    If I were the ‘No’ camp, I would start stirring things up in Shetland pronto.

  • N_

    @Fred. Political Scottish nationalism was stirred up in 1974 as a move against the left, Red Clyde, workers’ solidarity, stuff like that.

    The same process was already well underway in South Wales, even English-speaking southeast Wales.

    Ditto in Northern Ireland, where in 1968 and 1969 many people involved in things like ‘Free Derry’ couldn’t have given a toss about the stupid old reactionary bastards of the IRA. They had a much more international outlook, and looked to places like Paris and Berlin and Prague. The Bloody Sunday massacre changed all that. It was planned and ordered from on high. The demonstrators were all unarmed. It would have been easy for the Brits to put in some snipers and fire at the troops (hello Budapest, hello Kiev), but they didn’t even bother. They wanted people to get the message: ‘we shot the shit out of you when you weren’t even armed’. That obscene act successfully drove thousands of people to waste their lives in the IRA. One up for the Brit psy-ops boys, eh? Bye-bye radical Ulster.

    But I digress.

    All nationalism pongs.

  • N_

    Interesting article here on oil, Scotland, and the ‘Shetland card’ – including on issues discussed in Whitehall in the 1970s concerning would-be maritime borders between Scotland and England and between Scotland and…’Shetland/Orkney’.

    UK “Treasury officials” are said to have encouraged independence feeling in Shetland and Orkney.

    “Treasury Officials” sounds like a funny way to pronounce “spooks”.

    The article also cites a 2013 poll in Shetland, in which there was a big majority for staying in Scotland. But they asked the wrong question, namely “Should Shetland/Orkney be independent countries, separate from Scotland“. (I don’t know the meaning of that slash there. I’ve always seen the slash as the moron’s favourite punctuation mark. Whether here it means “and”, or whether they asked people in Shetland about Shetland and people in Orkney about Orkney, I have no idea.)

    The big question is what proportions of the populations of Shetland and Orkney want the island group in which they live to be part of an independent Scotland.

  • nevermind

    Should Glasgow and Edinburgh not become Independent themselves? After all they are over an hour apart from each other….. anybody else? How about Rockall? or Aberdeen?

    Soon an Independent Scotland will be able to adopt the Queen and her vast Landholdings, adopt the pound as their new currency, wow, and develop its own citizens rights, adopt the British justice system and……
    carry on as usual, with the emphasis being on the carry on.

    This is not a big deal for anyone and the establishment is safe under the new socialist emperor, champagne anyone?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    ““If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)ownership.”

    This must be about the fifth time that A Node has quoted the above. Time, therefore, for some clarification:

    WHAT EXACTLY is meant by “The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people”?

    I’d assume that by “banks” Jefferson meant private banks and by “the people” some sort of Government central bank. Corrections welcome!

    Over to you, A Node!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!


    “…but the EU is trying hard to standardise VAT rates across Europe.”

    You make a lot of good points on Scottish independence, but the above needs a bit of clarification.

    As a concomittant to the private citizen being able to buy goods for personal use in any one EU member state and import them into another without paying any more taxes, the EU has fixed a fourchette for the so-called standard VAT rates, ie, standard VAT in all member states has to be at least x% and may not exceed y%. “Standardising” implies one standard VAT rate across the EU and this is not the case.

    And, btw, there is also a minimum rate for excise duties across the EU (based on quantity eg for motor vehicle fuel oils or weight eg for tobacco, but no maximum rate. So again, not standardisation within the normal meaning of the word.

  • Vronsky

    The unionist views expressed here and elsewhere are deeply puzzling. Of what possible interest is it to you if Scotland wishes to place itself in the hands of a fascist demagogue and remove itself from the nurturing bosom of England? Surely the Scots are the only possible casualties, and so Hell slap it into them (as my mother would have said). We’ll drown, we’ll starve, we’ll all murder each other – but what is that to you? Why of a sudden, such pious anxiety on our behalf? You never used to care.

  • craig Post author


    Absolute nonsense. There is no evidence whatsoever the people of Shetland want to leave Scotland, and a great deal of evidence they do not want to leave Scotland. The people of Shetland, incidentally, are not stupid. The poll you rightly quote in 2013 was taken at a time when they all understood perfectly well that being in Scotland includes the prospect of an independent Scotland, and they all understand perfectly well why they were being asked the poll questions.

    In fact despite decades of the unionist canard you are promoting, and numerous polls (many of which were not published because they gave the wrong answer) nobody has ever been able to produce any evidence for your ridiculous assertion that the Shetlands would want to leave an independent Scotland.

  • A Node

    Here’s a more detailed background to the auroracoin story. It seems reports of the death of the Icelandic króna have been greatly exaggerated.
    Yesterday’s reports claimed the auroracoin, based on the bitcoin, were set to replace the króna as Iceland’s currency. In actual fact, there is little or no official support for the auroracoin, mostly just a lot of enthusiasm by nerds.
    Still, if it does no more than raise awareness that there are alternatives to the central banking system, it will have done some good.
    Come on Iceland, you’ve already shown us how we should treat bankers, now sort out a currency and Scotland will adopt it when we ditch the pound. The Vik-coin?

  • fred

    Actually they could probably make a go of it. Lard arse in Edinburgh is all talk and no trousers, when the Inset Islanders say they’re going to do something you can bet it gets done and gets done right.

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