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.|
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|
* 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.