Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Up above the trees and houses...

Alistair Carmichael has been bumping his gums about Scottish business' that support the union not being able to say so for fear of reprisals from the Scottish Government and hordes of wild-eyed nationalist shoppers. I would provide a link, but the interview due to be published tomorrow is in The Herald which on the internet exists behind a pay wall - its one of those papers that doesn't blush when it prints a lot of half truths, misrepresentations and outright lies then charges people for the privilege of reading it.

Alistair Carmichael (centre) before embarking upon a career in politics.
In the article, Carmichael will be muttering:
Earlier this month, the boss of a FTSE 100 company reportedly told Scottish Government representatives he could not make investment decisions in Scotland because of the uncertainty about the tax regime and claimed "the mood of the meeting immediately became very dark; they became very aggressive".
Mr Carmichael said: "We hear increasingly about people, business voices in particular, being disinclined to enter the debate because they think they will be punished as a result."
Asked if he was saying they were being intimidated by the Scottish Government to keep quiet, he replied: "Intimidation is a strong word but there is certainly heavy influence. And you can imagine a situation as the campaign progresses the heaviness of that influence does become inappropriate."
Mr Carmichael said the experience of the FTSE 100 boss was not an isolated incident. "I hear of it time and again. It's always told to me in terms, 'But we don't want you to talk about this publicly'. So people are not yet willing to stick their head above the parapet."
Asked if there was a fear factor, Mr Carmichael replied: "There is very much. This is what business people tell me; that they are scared of the consequences for their business of getting on the wrong side of the Scottish Government."
Without naming names, he noted: "I see it in the media sector. I have seen media outlets feel constrained in their coverage."

My emboldening there, I dare say he's not naming names because Nicola Sturgeon might find out.

Carmichael thinks business people don't want to speak out for fear of intimidation or being punished. Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp from Business for Scotland was on Newsnight Scotland on the 12th of December talking about the cost of food in an independent Scotland with a plummy chap called Daniel Johnston, described as a 'businessman who runs a group of shops' in Edinburgh and supports Better Together.

Toward the end of the interview MacIntyre-Kemp makes an amusing and pretty incisive parting comment. I did try to download the video from iplayer but began to lose the will to live after spending thirty minutes trying to figure the stupid thing out, (isn't it annoying when you are instructed to 'simply click the download button' when no such thing exists? There's even a picture showing you where it would have been if Newsnight Scotland weren't so nervous about having their lies & misrepresentations repeated and highlighted... But I digress...*)

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp and Daniel Johnston.

Here's a transcript instead, it starts just after they've finished discussing the 'story' about food prices going up if Scotland becomes independent:

Gordon Brewer: There have been allegations, not least by our esteemed economics editor Robert Peston this week that some business' have been, not just in Scotland but some big companies are afraid to speak out on this issue because they might get lambasted by the Scottish Government or boycotted by people at the shops, can you both agree it would be a very good thing if the maximum number of business' involved in Scotland actually said exactly what they think about these things?
Daniel Johnston: I mean, definitely, its why I'm very pleased to be talking on the program ton-
Gordon Brewer: Right thought you would be, are you?
Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp: Eh yes absolutely, and in fact, eh, I can tell you that Business for Scotland  now has over 1000 members-
GB: - but you'd like all business' to speak out... 
GMK: ...all business, but the thing is that business' are coming forward, they are willing to speak out about, in favour of independence, but the trouble, the reason-
GB: *garbled* about the ones not in favour to speak out as well?
GMK: well I would encourage them to do so but the reason they won't do so is because they're usually not willing to go on television and back up ridiculous scare stories like this.
Daniel Johnston: Hahaha. 
GB: Ok don't go away...

I am no expert but I think this is a pretty good example of someone being 'owned' on the telly. Kudos must go to Mr MacIntyre-Kemp.

We also know the story about supermarkets raising prices was more 'might' than 'will' - as the Financial Times and The Herald would have preferred us to believe.

Courtesy of www.wingsoverscotland.com
Alistair Carmichael said:  "... And you can imagine a situation as the campaign progresses the heaviness of that influence does become inappropriate." The only thing inappropriate is his tortured use of language. I also imagine the business leaders Carmichael alludes to are a figment of his imagination.

* I now need to uninstall all the freeware I downloaded in an attempt to provide you with a permanent link to the 12th of December's edition of Newsnight Scotland. GMK must have no ego because there isn't anything on the Business for Scotland website - or none of them could figure it out either.


  1. Poor old Alistair Bear Pit Carmichael the cage fighter.

    Another day, another faux pas. I'm sure the next time Nicola gets him on the telly she'll ask him to name names. As he made it up he won't be able to, and he'll get all flustered again.

    Ok, I'll be honest, if I found out a company was threatening to leave Scotland if we became independent, I would boycott them now, and encourage anyone I knew to boycott them so that they could leave earlier than independence.

    If I thought that my cash was going to UKOK, I'd be furious, so I won't fork out money to provide unionist supporters with any spare profit to throw at McDougall.

    I suspect however, that there are people in the No campaign who, if they thought that a company was all fired Scottish independence supporting, they might boycott it too.

    You tend to shop where you feel comfortable spending your money.

    So for example, as Tesco use slave labour I don't shop there. If people use slave labour in India or Thailand, I don't buy their products either.

    I'm trying to imagine some of the businessmen in today's world being so timid that they would be afraid of speaking up...and i have to be honest, I'm struggling...

  2. Its an interesting point about campaign support and boycotts. Like you, I wouldn't knowing spend my cash at a business if it donated to or supported Better Together either (although I'm currently stuck with The Cooperative, but then, no bank is decent these days...)

    I would have thought though, there are far more active yes people than there are active no people, by which I mean, most no folk are default no's - in that - they just haven't thought about it as yet and say they're voting no because that's how its always been.

    Thinking about it, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp makes no secret of the business' he runs, the other guy (Daniel Johnston) in that interview made no mention of the 'shops' he runs.

    One wonders why? Is he just another Better Together stooge entirely lacking the courage of his convictions, or is it that he fears for his business in the disastrous aftermath of a no vote?

    I must do some more digging, find out what shops he runs in Edinburgh.

  3. Yes, I imagine that you're right.

    I suspect that there are people who are firmly and actively pro independence, whereas many of the no's are probably yes's waiting to be convinced..

    But all they have seen, read and heard is the negativity of the press and the BBC.

    They probably aren't that bothered one way or the other, they just haven't REALLY thought about it.

    And if they haven't REALLY thought about it, they won't know or care whom contributes what to whom.

    If you find out any information on who is supporting the No campaign, big business wise, please share it.

    I would happily not only boycott these businesses, but share it round and encourage other people to boycott them.

    After all, I seem to recall that that sort of thing worked with companies which had signed up to Duncan Smith's slave labour schemes.

  4. Mmm...

    Daniel Johnston, according to the Business for Scotland website is an Edinburgh businessman who bought into his dad's shop/s called Studio One.

    They sell arty stuff, gifts etc since I don't spend much money on 'gifts' (bah humbug) with-holding my custom would be ineffective.

    DJ (he lets me call him that) is the Creative Designer responsible for commercial development and buying.

    Studio One is a trading named of a company registered at companies house as Aspidistra Trading Ltd but has recently been renamed Stripe Retail Ltd.

    Daniel and his Dad John are directors. Daniel owns all of 25,001 shares at a pound a shot.

    Currently they seem to be in the black with a net worth of £66k or so. I don't think its a huge business.

    As far as I can tell from Company House info, Stripe own and run Studio One and Paper Tiger - both arty gift shop type things.

    I have no info on DJ pre-2008 which is when he bought into his Dad's business. He's not on Linkdin or anything.

  5. Wow... detail!

    I wonder if they think that tourists with money would be banned from Scotland in the event of independence...

    It sounds the sort of place I wouldn't buy out of even if the window was covered in Yes stickers...


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?