Of course this is in the Scottish Politics section of the BBC website, so naturally comments are disabled.
The week that was.
A victory was claimed by the everyday person as the CBI finally withdraw their application to support a No vote in September’s referendum.
The decision, which was made in confidence that the “vast majority” of its membership agreed with its stance. This may be true, given that the “vast majority” of its membership are members outside of Scotland. Its only natural that they want their docile cash cow to stay in their union which allows Westminster to keep subsidies flowing to these companies, and by that I mean keeping wages low and of course keeping those zero hour contracts the Westminster elite are awfully fond of.
That being said, how can the CBI say they had a mandate to register? Especially given that its own members say they were not consulted on the decision.
Many members resigned, most claiming a duty to impartiality on the subject like the broadcaster STV, a private company. On the other hand, the supposed public owned and funded by the Licence fee BBC took several days to come to the conclusion that as a public owned broadcaster it has to be impartial. We know of course this is not true. It has not only been found guilty of showing pro-union bias by academics, it was found guilty by its own BBC trust. Not to mention that it only suspended its membership after sustained pressure by pro-independence groups looking for clarity on its official stance in the debate.
The CBI boasted that the decision was taken at board level, then when members started dropping off this view changed. It tweeted that a lower level employee took the decision. Now I’m no expert but a decision that would affect the entire organisation would not be taken and anything other that board level. The decision to back a No vote was taken at the very top. Coincidentally the man in charge (Director General John Cridland ) has a small business interest involved in housing Trident at Faslane. An independent Scotland sees no value in WMDs and particularly the obscene amounts of funding they need to build and maintain while thousands of her citizens choose between heating or eating. Apparently the very idea that the most vulnerable in society should be helped when they need it (after all everyone needs help every now and again) upsets his personal business interests and how could he survive on only the meagre fortune he already has?
The legal advice the CBI has now undertaken (is it just me or should that not have been sought 1st?) states that the application “should never have been made”. It has been branded an “honest mistake” yet given the aggressive nature of the entire No campaign I doubt this very much.
The CBI backed No officially as it has several engagements in Scotland in the coming months and it did not wish to fall foul of the electoral commission while performing its duties of speaking on behalf of business and how it will be managed in an Independent Scotland. Fair enough if you look at it like that, though it could have spent upto £10,000 without registering to campaign during the official campaign from 30 May to 18th September. By registering, it would be allowed to spend £150,000 as a non party participant. Seems a bit fishy, “We have always said that the referendum is a decision for the Scottish people and we’re not telling people how to vote.” – That is a direct quote.
So they’re not telling people how to vote, so best to register and get the legal permission to spend 15 times what you could spend while doing what you were actually set up to do if that really is the case.
Another irregularity concerning CBI is, how many Scottish Members do they actually have? The CBI have previously claimed they represent 24,000 Scottish businesses, this BBC article states 1,200. Not exactly what you would call slight human error. A miscalculation of 20 is human error, 20 times is downright dishonest.
So now John is going, disgraced ex director general of the CBI is taking that long lonely walk. His attempt to join the official No campaign, and use their underhand tactics which can easily and reasonably described as scaremongering and bulling, has failed. A victory for the people and perhaps a sign of things to come? Here’s hoping …