Scottish referendum: CBI boss Sir Mike Rake raises independence doubts
Let me give you a wee clue: The Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG or LG,) The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT or LT,) The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB, KCB/GCB or CB,) The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG, KCMG/DCMG or CMG,) The Distinguished Service Order (DSO,) The Royal Victorian Order (GCVO, KCVO/DCVO and CVO, LVO or MVO,) The Order of Merit (OM,) The Imperial Service Order (ISO,) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE or KBE/DBE, CBE [Commander] OBE, [Officer] or MBE [Member]) and The Order of the Companions of Honour (CH.)
So one tiny word ('sir' if you haven't guessed yet) completely undermines the entire headline and the article it describes. I dare say Mike Rake is a blast at dinner parties, but in his role as President of the CBI - he's a tiresome old parrot. If you see a headline, report or comment relating to the Scottish Independence referendum and the author's name is preceded by any of the acronyms listed above - you can pretty much ignore it because its going to be partisan. I don't know (meaning I don't really care) what flavour of knighthood Mike Rake has but its safe to say, anyone who's been so awarded by the British establishment will be a pretty firm supporter of it. Another example of the British Establishment ridiculously asking for its own opinion in favour of itself can be found here.
|Sir Mike Rake KPMG*|
|An old parrot.|
The Scottish CBI also has form, its about as fair and non-partisan as its current Director is, which is to say, not very. Here he is - Iain McMillan...
|Even more tiresome than Mike|
... has been caught out more than once misrepresenting both the CBI's scope in Scotland and the views of its members. This from the beginning of last year is just one example of the type of porkies Iain likes to spout:
Iain McMillan, the director of CBI Scotland, last week said that a meeting of 16 of its members was ''at one'' with support for an early ballot after meeting Scottish Secretary Michael Moore in Edinburgh.Eh no Iain:
However, four of the firms present have since told the Sunday Herald that was not their view. One businessman said it was "absolutely not the case" that all the firms wanted an early vote, and that there had been a broad range of opinions.
McMillan was also criticised for exaggerating opposition in the business community during the 1997 referendum on devolution. He claimed all 54 CBI council members had agreed a new Scottish Parliament with tax-raising powers would "damage business north of the border" despite only 24 attending the relevant meeting.
The CBI (Confederation of British Industry - another clue right there) in Scotland claims to have a mandate to represent Scottish business, but does it? I'm no flinty-eyed conspiracy theorist but for an organisation to make such a claim to not then give some details of that mandate - to me - seems suspicious. There are no details of membership on their website and while there was a business directory up a couple years ago, it has since disappeared, possibly because of this. The information there is old (more than two years) but since CBI Scotland still won't say what their membership is, its all we've got to go on.
Scotland has something in the region of 300,000 business enterprises (as of 2011,) according to CBI's business directory at the time - interrogated at length by Calum Cashley - only around 90 had Scottish addresses. Drilling further down into the numbers, taking into consideration only Scottish owned & headquartered, medium to large business - at that time out of 2,695 the CBI had as members only 62 of them - equating to 2.3%, a thumping mandate according to Mssr's McMillan and Rake. (Hat tip to Calum Cashley for these figures)
I'll insert the caveat (if I can put it like that) here, those figures are from the beginning of 2011 but even so, CBI Scotland would've required an astounding increase in membership to possess what it could call 'a mandate to represent Scottish business'.
So Mike Rake will have his tea this weekend at the Glasgow Hilton (City Centre.) He'll give a speech about how crap gaining independence would be for Scotland - but really mean how crap it'll be for the CBI and it's Scottish subsidiary. And as if to underline just how irrelevant the CBI is north of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Nick Clegg will also be there to say something deeply meaningful about how splendid Scotland is as part of the UK - but really meaning how splendid it is for the UK treasury.
The BBC love this sort of thing, they get to stick another article on their website putting the boot into the Yes Scotland campaign. But, all it ends up being is the jabberings of yet another London-fed establishment personality on a topic he knows fuck all about - and that's just Nick Clegg.
The only other thing worthy of mention about Sir Mike Rake is, that he's also Chairman of BT Group, although not the fear-mongering bunch of scaredy-cats who work from 5 Blythswood Square in Glasgow. See when your internet goes down and the Broadband provider tells you its not them but BT's line? Well, Mike Rake is responsible for the hours you will spend speaking to faultlessly polite but ultimately useless Indians on the other side of the planet.
* KPMG is not a British honour, its a company that Mike Rake used to work for, in fact, he may still do. The truth is - I care as much about that as I do about the BBC article containing his entirely predictable opinions on Scottish independence.