Standard Life Far Right Board 401

Standard Life’s Far Right Board needs exposing:

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 still further restrict trade unions.

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:

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

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 for ex MI5 and MI6 officers

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.

I published this information on 27 February when they last tried to influence the independence debate. Standard Life is again trying today to influence the referendum campaign by a press release claiming it will move key departments to London in the event of independence, enthusiastically amplified by the BBC, Guardian and all the other reactionary media.

Well, here is an opposing press release, from me. If anybody thinks that an Independent Scotland will be a place where major strategic companies can still be controlled by swivel-eyed right wing ideologues, they may get a very nasty shock from the people of Scotland.

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401 thoughts on “Standard Life Far Right Board

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  • Ben

    ” but folk on twitter are saying if that is so it makes Putin as bad as Obama in terms of suppressing progressive movements.”

    It’s not about supporting Putin, Peacewisher.

    It’s not about Obama either. It relates to the transmission of accurate info on a timely basis. The difference is perhaps that Putin is better at chess, even though he has some warts. Surely Putin will use us for his purposes, but that doesn’t mean the opposition doesn’t use us for the same reasons.

  • mark golding

    At 0100 GMT President Obama will make public his ‘Shock & Awe’ intent to destroy Syria and cut the throat of President Bashar al-Assad.

    The secret love-child of American imperialism cooked up in the stew of jihadi proxy fighters the UK/US/IS and its allies have been serving up since the its holy war in Afghanistan, will be the instrument of justified death, the deceptive visage that will target and degrade the Syrian government military, and destroy the Syrian state’s capacity to resist the final onslaught of jihadi terrorists.

    America has sold us another instrument of lies, the reverse of the Vietnam rule: We have to bomb the jihadis in order to save them.

    The American axis of evil shall play out the penultimate curtain raiser to ensure it’s forward operating base, Israel, has dominion in the Middle East.

  • fred

    “NATO seem to be upset about it, though, Fred.”

    Those submarines on the Clyde don’t just protect Britain. Promising to get rid of them might get Salmond the tree hugger vote but it would mean a new country starting out having made a lot of enemies.

    That is the big problem with the SNP, they are a one policy party. The policy is get independence at all costs. Even if it kills us so to speak.

  • Snivel

    “a lot of enemies… even if it kills us”

    Goodness, you’re dreadfully afraid of the free world

  • Tony_0pmoc

    To get slightly back on topic, my nearest Grammar School to where I lived in Werneth Oldham was Hulme Grammar(<5 mins walk away)..but I was brought up as a Catholic..and if I scored top marks in my 11+ when I was 10..after being sent to Upholland a few moths earlier – and demanding to come back home the same day – cos there were no girls there..shit I don't mind being trained to be a Catholic Priest so long as I can come with My Girlfriend…

    No Son That is Not Allowed.

    I tried to do my best – no I didn't walk out..I finished it…and I was crap…They said you have come Borderline…

    I said Fuck Me..That Means I don't Have To Go To The Same Insane College St. Bedes That My older Brother's Went To…?????

    Yeh Yeh You are Stupid You Didn't Quite Make The Standard..

    They said ..You Need To Go To Cardingley Langley in Middleton Instead..

    I said Don't You Understand…

    I Want To Go To The Same School as My Girlfriends

    I did, and I got a Better Education than Both My Brother-In-Law and Brian Cox who did go to Hulme Grammar

    I went To Secondary Modern in Royton actually it was called Our Lady's

    I would never have got away that at Hulme Grammar

    On the last day..I convinced The Science Master – I had made NiroGycerine and showed him all the evidence..He believed me..went through his books and I said Sir..shouldn't we phone the fire brigade…all I had done was burn a massive great hole in a piece of wood with a bunsen burner..and mix a beaker of glycerine and water together and said Sir..I just dropped one drop of this and it did that…that is why we burst into the Staff Room to Drag You Out.

    Hook Line and Sinker.

    We smiled at him – my mate and me…We had never seen anyone so relieved…

    We are having you on Sir…and I showed him how we Faked it (Drama too) it was a bloody Good School

    We Beat The POSH

    and went on

    I was only 15


  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “Those submarines on the Clyde don’t just protect Britain.”

    Who are they protecting Britain from, Fred?

  • fred

    “Fred – they can small the volcano in Iceland now…”

    I know what you are saying Squonk.

    High pressure over Britain, I won’t need the gas mask just yet.

  • Peeacewisher

    @Mark: Maybe I’m being naïve, but shouldn’t Assad be going to the UNSC if the outcome is an intention to violate Syria’s airspace without Syria’s permission, without a UN security resolution. Doesn’t that go to the heart of what the UN is about.

    Oh dear… maybe an answer to my own question… surely they aren’t going to try to argue it by reviving previous resolutions, as they tried to with Saddam Hussein? If so, I’m sure there’ll be at least one veto… or am I being even more naïve?

  • Squonk

    Levels in occupied parts of Iceland are already at hazardous to health levels (fatal in uninhabited immediate vicinity). So far it is just a “bad smell” in Norway. Hopefully it doesn’t get any worse. Precedent says it can occasionally though and that’s the worrying bit as I’m sure you know.

  • Squonk

    Ben – Don’t want to derail Craig’s topic but briefly the subsidence issued summed up well by official statements at:

    “Gravely concerned” about Bardarbunga

    “But the third scenario is that the subsidence in the floor of the caldera causes an eruption within Bardarbunga. Such an eruption could melt a large volume of glacial ice, and could end up as a powerful explosive eruption, with ashfall,” says Dr. Gudmundsson. “The meltwater would perhaps not be released immediately, due to the contour of the caldera, but eventually it would come out as a powerful flood. Obviously, we are worried about this possibility.”

    This scenario is regarded as very serious, not least because of the potential for a flood, which could cause extensive damage, says the director of the Civil Protection Agency in Iceland, Vidir Reynisson. “We are gravely concerned about this scenario. If we study the history of the Bardarbunga volcano, we see large and powerful eruptions in or near the caldera; we are bound to take this very seriously, especially after the subsidence was observed.”

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Node

    3.3 million Iraqis were killed in your name using your taxes.

    Want to help kill more? Vote NO.

    Want no further part of it? Vote YES.

    But Craig says no one knows what the policy of an independent Scotland would be and no one should ask. So how come you know? Why assume that an independent Scotland won’t send troops and weapons to, for example, Ukraine or neighboring states (as Canada and other countries are doing) to help crush the separatists, I mean terrorists?

    10 Sep, 2014 – 11:02 pm
    Latest news: BBC ten o’clock news, Royal Bank of Scotland will take HQ out of Scotland

    LOL. In future the bank will be known as the Royal Bank of Not Scotland

    George Robertson on Newsnight saying NATO wouldn’t let Scotland in

    In connection with George Robertson, does the name Dunblane mean nothing to you?

    I’d advise waiting until after the vote before drawing any conclusion about Scotland in NATO, the EU or anything else.

    and that there is nowhere in the UK that nuclear deterrent can be located at the moment.

    Oh, so you think they’ll just take Trident out to sea and sink it?

    There is an astounding naivete among those of the “yes” side that makes me think about the mentality of those who launched the children’s crusade.

    Why would anyone expect things to be better in an independent Scotland than in the UK when no one has offered any reason why?

    Of course the UK elite is mostly comprised of self-serving shits, many of them Scotch, who don’t give a damn about the ordinary people. But no elite anywhere ever gave a damn about the ordinary people and it will be exactly the same in an independent Scotland.

    The only concern the elite anywhere have for ordinary people depends on what the ordinary people can do for, or to, the elite. In times past, the church placed some restrictions on the exploitation of ordinary folks and the elite paid some attention because they feared for their immortal souls.

    But now we’re all liberals and have a contempt for Christianity.

    Moreover, ordinary folk matter much less to the elite now than in the 19th and early twentieth century. Then millions might be called upon to lay down their lives in wars among national elites — the Napoleonic wars, the World Wars. But not now. A mass of ill-trained men with cheap rifles is no use in war today. Modern armies consist of a relatively small number of professionals using complex equipment requiring well-trained specialists to operate. It’s easy to buy the loyalty of such elite troops while pissing on the masses. American troops, it has been said, are required to confirm their willingness, if ordered, to fire on the own compatriots.

    Then there was industry: it needed a mass army of relatively unskilled ill-educated workers to create the profits that filled the pockets of the owners. This meant workers had to be humored or they could strike, or worse, raise a rebellion. But automation, computerization and global outsourcing has vastly diminished the value of the common man’s labor. Moreover, the technology of crowd control, domestic spying, and mind control have virtually eliminated the risk of revolution in a modern state.

    Thus it was that the political parties, each led by members of the elite, vied with one another for the common man’s vote with offers of pensions, better work conditions, free schools, etc. But not now. Promises are mostly false (“immigration has to be “gripped” — Cameron before the election, LOL) and, who cares? What are the plebs gonna do about it?

    What that all means is (a) the game’s the same in Scotland as in England, or any other part of the developed world; and (b) “independence” for Scotland, which means being a smaller fish in a global sea of sharks, is not likely to improve things. Indeed, placing Scotland largely at the mercy not of their own capitalists and political manipulators but of psychos in Brussels and Washington, DC will surely make things worse.

  • Ben

    The saving grace of Kilauea has been slow eruptions which serves to increase the landmass of the island of Hawaii. The pace of lava entering the water is a curiosity more than a danger, except for those poor souls who bought property downside the volcano.

    This is different. The ratio of water to lava is probably reversed. i suspect the reverse of slow and growth is quick and disruptive destruction.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I do not have the courage of any of you guys writing under your own names..and even turning up on stage and trying to get your message across..even if you have the skills to do that – or do a good TV scene like that cunt from years ago…you know who I mean…His Videos were Brilliant -and I agreed with some of them..but his Racism..His Hatred For Muslims…and his complete lack of understanding…he had already received his programming..but his production and popularity …well so strong and powerful…that I get a quy quoting him to me when totally wasted and trying to roll the very last joint..and it takes him about an hour…now what was the cunt called…You Know who I am talking about without mentioning his name..

    Well I am much Better Looking and Have Been On The Presentation Courses…

    But I won’t Do it

    Try This Jewish Guy Instead…

    This Guy is a Lot More Polite Than Chris Spivey…

    Well I guess he’s called 108Morris108

    This guy went to Woolwich After It Had Been Faked..and Examined and Photographed The Evidence.

    I Was Throwing Up…Cos I KNEW It Was Faked..The Moment I heard it..I thought You Wouldn’t Dare..but they Did and Nearly Everyone Believed it except Morris, Me and Chris Spivey

    The Analytical Quality is Awesome -But Chris Spivey comes from Essex, Has Tatoos and He Swears a Lot

    Top Bloke..well he is so far in The Top 10..Top 5 So Far..

    I’ve already recommended him to The Queen for a Knighthood – she replied…what about a CBE?


    Spivey is tops on his Research and breaking nearly all the rules and remaining within the law of this land..and yet he still gets arrested in his home at 1:30am…but the Essex Cops were relatively nice to him…And they let him go after about 15 hours and said don’t do it again.

    So he wrote up all the details on his website..and we all chimed in….well you would wouldn’t you..look at the guy…he might look a complete…but look at his daughter and her kid..sure the bloke seems to like dogs instead of cats…but he seems O.K. to me…


    He is doing His Best – and some of his Research and Photographic Analysis is Grounbreakingly Awesome he has a most unusual eye for detail..probably cos he’s a tattoo artist and if you are tattoing some copper’s girlfriend’s vaginal lips you don’t want to make a mistake


  • karel


    Your claim that “Parts of Glasgow have a lower life expectancy than the Gaza strip.” sounds very convincing. Perhaps Cameron should donate a half of Gaza to these Glawegians to settle there. This benevolent act will undoubtedly increase their longevity. Once settled there they could, apart from the sun and vibrant sewage, also enjoy regular firework displays provided free of charge by the most humane army in the world ( The occasional sprinkling with white phosphorus may strengthen the bones of these impoverished Glaswegians settlers thus allowing them to walk upright again.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    His name is Pat Condell.

    I would like to meet him and have a Debate With Him Live on TV

    I Need No Preperation Whatsoever


  • Peeacewisher

    Regarding Syria, a former congressman said Obama is exceeding his authority:

    “If the president orders acts of war in the absence of congressional approval, he risks impeachment by the House of Representatives for usurping a power the Constitution reserves exclusively to the Congress. If Obama wishes lawfully to order airstrikes in the territory of Iraq or Syria, he must first secure a resolution of approval from Congress,”

    It would be ironic that US “due process” might be more effective than the UN in slowing the latest rush to war.

  • Ben

    PW; Paul Findley was a Republican. Can you believe it?

    “A year after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Findley published an article saying that this attack would never have occurred were it not for the United States’ uncritical support of Israel.[8] Findley claimed that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was launched primarily to benefit Israel, at the behest of the Israel lobby in the United States.[9]

    Findley is a frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy regarding Israel. Findley is the author of They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby in which he states that the pro-Israel lobby, notably AIPAC, has undue influence over the United States Congress. He refers to the lobby as “the 700-pound gorilla in Washington”.[10]

    A review of the book in the Washington Post stated: “Stripped of all the maudlin martyrdom, former congressman Paul Findley’s message is straightforward and valid: Israeli influence in the United States, including in the inner sanctums of government, is very strong.” [11] The New York Times review by Adam Clymer, described the book as “an angry, one-sided book that seems often to be little more than a stringing together of stray incidents … [it] does not really accept the idea that people of any political point of view are entitled to organize, support their friends and try to defeat the people they think are their enemies”.[12]

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Look My Brother and I Worked in Oldham..and..well it is up to you

    The Computer

    The Internet

    Use It To Communicate

    But most of all use it to make Real Meetings…..and throw the Computers and Mobile Phones…over There into that kind f bin over of course you want your mobile on you…to show…but it is really not that important….

    Over the last 33 years or so…I have occasionally noticed my wife does not have her mobile phone or her keys or anything….

    But over the last 33 years…

    We…like My Son’s Business..He Promises and Achieve’s Over 99.5% Availabilty

    I could ask him if he his hosting whatever your website is..but I am much too polite to know anything abohis ISP – or it would be mine not his…He Does His Own far as I know he has no idea abot the stuff I write about..He is like a Plumber..all he is Interested in That The Data Gets Through an Enormous Pipe…and that at least most of his customer’s pay their Bills..

    Its Called Staying In Business.


  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node


    “Why assume that an independent Scotland won’t send troops and weapons to ….”

    The SNP was the only major party to oppose the Iraq wars and sanctions. If they won the first election in an independent Scotland, I can be confident that their foreign policy will be defensive rather than aggressive.

    The SNP are by no means guaranteed to win, though. The independence campaign has stimulated some radical political thinking and raised general political awareness. The first election is going to be incredibly exciting, it’s when Scotland really chooses it’s future, but nobody with neoliberal policies has a hope in hell, so I can also be confident that we will not join the rUK in supporting the USA’s empire building wars.

    The vast majority of people in the UK don’t want these wars and opposed what we did in Iraq. Now, finally, eleven years after Westminster ignored a million people saying “not in my name”, Scotland is on the verge of being able to make these choices for itself. If Scotland wins independence, it’s people are not going to vote for more of the same.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    My Missus is Fuckin Georgeous

    My Girlfriend Kept Trying To Email Me

    A Photo of Them Both My Girlfriend and My Wife From a Music Festival…

    I Couldn’t get My Phone to Do MMS at First…

    And I kept asking Her..To Resend The Photo of Herself and My Wife…

    I must have got incredibly boring so I apologised…

    So when I received it I just had to reply…

    Thanks.You two look gorgeous.xx


  • Peeacewisher

    @Ben: A number of British Tories were against the Iraq war, and many conservatives in the 1 million people march.

    Obama now speaking… doubt if he’ll mention the recent election in Syria, and which party won convincingly.

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Node:

    You say: (1) The vast majority of people in the UK don’t want these wars and opposed what we did in Iraq….

    and (2)

    If Scotland wins independence, it’s people are not going to vote for more of the same.

    Both statements are probably true. But if (1) is true, then it refutes the assumption that the truth of (2) has any bearing on what will actually happen.

    More directly, whoever is elected, the main points of government policy are pre-determined, or anyway determined without reference to public sentiment, and thus and have only an accidental relationship with what people think they are voting for.

    For a decade or more, the public in Britain have overwhelmingly (70% plus, including most immigrants) opposed mass immigration (for the obvious reasons that it increases competition for jobs — for every job there’s a potential immigrant better qualified than the best native applicant, lowers wages, increases competition for housing and hence housing costs, increases necessary tax spending on infrastructure, etc.) yet the flood continues.

    So what hope is there of the public will affecting anything at all.

  • Brendan

    At senior levels bankers have – to a man and woman – utterly disgraced themselves. Incompetence, fraud, corruption, troughing, influence peddling, you name it they have been found guilty. And at senior levels none of them are innocent – none. It’s only though their wealth and influence that many of them avoided jail. There are guys in prison for much, much less. So, no, I don’t especially care what the guy from standard life thinks. He’s probably lying anyway.

    Most boardrooms are the same, stuffed with hard-right ideolgues, some with links to the security services. I suspect this guys political views lean towards neoliberalism, and I suspect that at these levels, that’s normal. Neoliberalism, of course, is just another variant of fascism. Not the same, but with much in common. So, yeah, this guy can fuck off. Doubt many are listening anyway.

  • Peeacewisher

    @Ben2: On the contrary… Obama doesn’t even recognise Assad as the Syrian leader, but how does he work that one out?

  • Jives

    With that very spooky Standard Life board i’m just surprised they didn’t propose invading Scotland immediately with tanks and infantry.

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