It’s Monday, there must be a scare story

Is anyone listening any more?  The independence debate is now a fixture in the traditional tale “The Little Chief Executive Who Cried Wolf”.  We got a few more half hearted scare stories today, courtesy of the usual suspects.  The construction of the scares is now so flimsy that you no longer require specialist demolition equipment to raze them to the ground, they fall apart as soon as you prod them with a 10 foot barge pole dipped in disinfectant.  But then shoddy standards are what we’ve come to expect from Westminster.

First up is Archie Norman, the chief executive of ITV.  Erchie has warned that the Scottish Government has no economic plan for an independent Scotland and has called on Scots to vote no.  He may or may not have threatened that he won’t let us watch Corrie if we’re independent, but I’d given up reading his scare by the first sentence in the report.  The first sentence being the one that mentioned, as an aside, that Erchie used to be the Tory MP for Tunbridge Wells.

So the content of this scare story can be summed up as “Outraged Tory from Tunbridge Wells thinks independence is a bad idea”.  Like that’s going to swing opinions in Easterhoose, especially when they find out that Erchie is also a former English public schoolboy who went to Cambridge University – because folk like that really have their fingers on the pulse of working class Scottish concerns.

Erchie’s impression of a green crayon letter writer to the Telegraph was quickly followed by a report from Labour’s favourite Scottish think tank, the Centre for Public Policy and the Regions (CPPR) based at Glasgow University.  The CPPR has published a study based on forecasts from George Osborne’s Office for Budget Responsibility which allegedly prove that the oil is going to run out next week and Scotland’s finances are facing a black hole bigger than the excavations for London Crossrail.  Oil forecasts from the OBR have now attained almost mythic status, up there with the record executive who refused to sign the Beatles saying there was no future in pop groups.  There’s a future for the OBR however, it will continue to Twist and Shout right up to September and won’t Let It Be no matter how much the oil industry dismisses their forecasts.

The two lead researchers for the CPPR are John McLaren and Jo Armstrong, both of whom were advisors to previous Labour / Lib Dem administrations at Holyrood.  McLaren was also previously a researcher for Labour.  Armstrong was an advisor to Jack McConnell, and is known as a proponent of privatisation.  Associates of the organisation include, or have included, Brian Ashcroft (husband of Wendy Alexander), and Jim Gallagher – the civil servant responsible for writing the Calman Commission report and recently appointed as an advisor to Better Together.

Three years back, before becoming an SNP MSP, Joan McAlpine listed numerous other connections between the Labour party and the CPPR in her blog.  It’s well worth a read, and kept in mind whenever another report from the organisation is published in the Scottish media as a “neutral” intervention in the independence debate – interventions which invariably consist of a sucking noise followed by the words “nae ye cannae”.  Despite Joan’s calls for greater transparency in links between think tanks and political parties, the BBC still cites them without a health warning.

So we can sum the latest warning from the CPPR, something about the oil running out next month or something (see, I’m no longer paying attention) as “Labour party advisors advise that independence will bring about your doom”.  Nope.  I’m still not scared.

And then we had a cherry picked report from the New York based financial company Blackrock.  Despite the headline from the BBC, helpfully pointing out that the company warns there are “risks” to independence.  The report also states financial companies are unlikely to flee south of the border after September but says that given the stance adopted by the Unionist parties, a currency union does not look feasible.  Guess which bit got prominence in the media?

Meanwhile Labour has announced that it will back Osborne’s plans for pension reform, which benefit better off pensioners but no one lese.  The party will also support the Tory plan to cap benefits payments at a total figure of £119.5 billion in 2015.  The cap will include Housing Benefit and disability payments.  So if you are unfortunate enough to have complex care needs and even worse you live in private rented accommodation, you can at least take comfort in the fact that Labour thinks you’re the best person to reduce the national debt.

Think of it as a back to work strategy from the caring UK.  Former Tory MPs, Labour think tanks, and financial companies want you to pay so they don’t have to.  It’s the redistributive Union in action, redistributing cash from poor to rich, redistributing facts from truth to lies.

0 thoughts on “It’s Monday, there must be a scare story

  1. The time has come for the Scottish government to ask the Organization for security and co-operation(E.U.) to monitor the lead up to the referendum including the 18/09/2014. The MSM are biased and organisations are telling untruths and scaremongering. This needs kept in check. DO IT NOW

  2. Entertaining, enlightening and rigorous as usual. But … I think you may have missed a trick today because you were fuming too much about the scare stories. You’ll have seen this Herald / Sunday Herald article on the Devolution Unit:


    But the clear implication if Westminster attempts to defend the Devo Unit as somehow neutral (which it must, despite the logical absurdities that result) is this: Comments from all perspectives about Scottish independence are welcome, and even urgent. and that they can be addressed to any British Embassy anywhere by citizens of any EU member state, the US, Canada, Australia, Russia, New Zealand and several more. All a citizen needs to do is rock up at a UK embassy and ask that their message be passed on.

    Ideally they’d do it with a nicely typed letter in hand on their company notepaper, saying that they are pulling out of their UK business interests because of the undiplomatic and incompetent conduct of the UK government vis-a-vis the devolved nations – but that they will reinvest in Scotland in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. And they’d get a receipt for that letter from the embassy staff. And they’d send the same letter to their local newspaper. Which would hopefully be the New York Times.

    And then they’d do it.

    Or whatever.

    I’m shite at specifics, don’t live in Scotland, and I’d rather be practicing my trumpet. But someone more motivated, more attentive to detail – and more Scottish – could maybe do something useful with it.

    Cheers for now.

      • Hope you dont mind I shared this on my FB, Sooner we get our Independance the better.

        So many scare stories, its like the bitter together brigade are having a tantrum, the proverbial dummy’s are being spat out, their teddy bears are all in the corner and project fear are takin the ball’s hom, cos they’re no playing anymore.

        If Scotland is such a drain on the rest of the UK, why are they being so petty and vindictive about us leaving?
        You’d think they’d at least want to help us pack.

  3. The English embassies worldwide are now (officially) in the front line attacking Scotland. Aye richt enough were better the gether. Mind you we will be excluded from any help from the English embassies if we vote yes.

    Think the oil ran oot 4 weeks ago according to A Darling’s projections 6 weeks ago.

  4. Pingback: It’s Monday, there must be a scare story | pictishbeastie

  5. Archie Norman, my ex local Royal Tunbridge Wells MP was formerly the Chief Exec of ASDA ( when it was said anything he touched turned to gold ). He gave up the politics fairly quickly when he was overlooked for a minister’s slot. Anyway wonder what he would have thought of the FMs reception in Perth last year being hosted by the same ASDA !!

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