Know Who Your Friends Are

I thought it was a spoof at first until I read it myself but the list of donors to Better Together should be published as an ironic joke book (The Bumper Book of Greasy Palms). Is it too late for Christmas?

Its mixture of Bertie Woosters and rapacious financiers and bankers, dodgy military types and corporate traitors should be available on my Kindle under Humour any day now. You only have to add in the Ian Taylor money linked to Vitol to complete the picture of a miniscule moneyed elite up to all sorts of dubious activities sanctimoniously bleating about the threat to our mighty country. The threat is surely to their money and status and that’s what this ragbag of grotesques are really worried about. This is vested-interest Britain doing what it does best, stuffing dirty fivers in an envelope to defeat the people. “Can you fix it for me, governor? Know what I mean?” Then drop a bundle in his Lucy Locket. Sorted.

I was one of those who prickled at suggestions after the Radical Scotland conference claim that the No’s were the rich Yes were the poor. On this evidence I’m wrong. No is funded by the wealthy, the greedy, the seedy and the undemocratic. I loved the statement from Donald Houston who more or less own Ardnamurchan, an iconic peninsula in our country’s history. It’s the location of Castle Tioram, symbol of windswept resistance, which was burned down deliberately by the Macdonalds in 1715 to prevent it falling again into British Hanovarian hands. Sadly Donald is made of softer stuff. “We have spent 300 years building up a Union between our countries that has achieved so much”, he says. You can almost hear his incomprehension.  It certainly has achieved much for him since he can afford to give £100,000 and half a million via his companies. The killer line though is: “I hope that other people in the same position as myself are also willing to contribute whatever they can.” I’m sure that Labour voters all over Scotland with their 50,000 acre estates and castle hotels, deer herds and distilleries will even now be calling their broker to sell some blue chip shares  in the morning and release some readies. “Maybe convert it into dollars at the preferential rate, Rupert. Now excuse me, I’ve a Food Bank to open with Johann.”

There’s is inevitably a stockbroker in there (with £200,000) as befits this squalid self-interested cartel of Brit-nats, and he’s a major Tory donor (over £1m, joining Ian Taylor as another one of Labour’s new social democratic friends). Apparently this individual ignored warnings about the activities of Nick Leeson while at Barings Bank where Leeson lost over £800m. Better Together should feel really comfortable in such typically Unionist company.

One of the big donors is Alan Savage of a recruitment company, adding £150,000 to his previous £100,000. (Is he getting nervous?) He already has plans to move his business out of the country if there’s a Yes vote. Now there’s the kind of patriotism that made Britain what it is today.  “If I don’t get my way, I’m leaving.” To be honest, Alan, while I feel for you employees, you’re exactly the kind of corporate cut-throat  we don’t want in our new country. Anybody so devoid of patriotism and care for his own people that he would ditch it to save a few quid, I don’t regard as a proper Scotsman let alone an individual with personal dignity. I think there will be new Scottish companies and others from elsewhere who will have the foresight and the business balls to back Scotland. You have given me yet another reason for voting Yes. I do truly hope you have wasted your money. (What does Labour make of the fact that all the big donors are Tory donors? Comfortable, Johann? What about the unions…happy with your new pals, comrades?)

Then there is the “private intelligence company” owner, a former solider who may or may not be involved in spying. Could you get a more pantomime bunch of self-serving nincompoops with more money than sense? Only if you were remaking the Wild Geese with cartoon business types and land owners bankrolling a dodgy enterprise in a foreign country with rich mineral assets led by ex military types without scruples. Oh, hang on…that really is it. This is a plot to land an expeditionary force and take over control of Scottish assets with an elite squad of cigar-chomping marines bursting into Holyrood and spraying them with lead.

Well, maybe not. But if you’d told me two years ago that our constitutional debate would involved Labour getting into bed with this motley crew of millionaires and military cowboys, I wouldn’t have believed it. Whoever wins next year, the battle honours of Scottish Labour, once the proud vanguard of the working Scot, will be hung for ever with the names of these carpetbaggers and charlatans to whom the working class are mere commodities.

PS Blair McDougall is going into psychosis mode believing his own propaganda. “Alex Salmond has shown he is willing to spend hundreds and thousands of pounds of taxpayers money on propaganda for his campaign”, he says. Who’s paying for the 30 reports of the British Government and parliamentary reports of every single Committee at Westminster and the Secretary of State’s department, I wonder?

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0 thoughts on “Know Who Your Friends Are

  1. I don’t know whether there is time to get a Kindle edition out, but you can always do an Easter Golden Egg edition but, it would certainly make a great big billposter and a an even better election handout.
    Yes donors for a better more equal Scotland and No donors for a continuation of an unequal Scotland.
    Blair McDougal felt humbled.

  2. apposite as always. NewLab fast becoming an agent acting against the best interests of Scotland, and for the best interests of Scots Mps’ and Scots Lords’ and the London City/Parliament. Perhaps, this will be seen as their last strategic mistake on their pilgrimage to oblivion. A great shame for those who have travelled and would have continued to travel with them. Labour RIP.

  3. Just read the Herald article on these yahoos. Reckon you’ve got them bang to rights- another bunch of old boys who are representative of about 1% Of society, if that. Scotland’s just a place to have their country pile or shoot game – “so I’ll keep my pad here if there’s a Yes but of course I’ll have to move the business over the border – can’t be seen supporting these socialist types, don’t you know!”

  4. cynicalHighlander

    That’s the new year honours list sorted then.

  5. British Labour continuing Blair’s fixation with money and those who have lots of it.
    The donations to the BT No campaign are not from people who want to save the union as such but to prevent the formation of a modern social democratic state which would threaten their interests.
    Just another example of how “democracy” functions in the UK and why we must separate ourselves from the Westminster cesspit.
    Thanks Derek.

  6. Labour have fallen so far from their traditional roots, that I’d be surprised whether they were still sure they should be wearing red and not blue these days. The red tories have sold their soul to try and placate middle England, and why more of their automatic Scottish voters can’t see it baffles me. The 2011 Scottish election was decided by Lib Dem voters and some Labour voters moving to the SNP, I hold out some hope that many Labour voters will see sense and vote YES next September. The referendum will be decided by the Labour working class vote. This is why BT doesn’t work on the ground, it is a company of misfits, not akin to putting Rangers and Celtic supporters together in the same organisation and assuming they will all work happily together. They have a crap grass roots campaign, intellectually bankrupt arguments, they are funded by the Tories, and yet they are still ahead in the opinion polls. Where would they be without their media lackeys to spin out their scare stories? Paddle, creek and chocolate teapot come to mind.

  7. Great article Derek.

  8. Excellent Derek… But forgive my tinfoil hat. I honestly expect the ex-MI6 donations are from their marketing budget. I will bet they have current contracts with HMG. And I will bet the current ones are North of the Border.

    Does anyone think this is paranoia?

  9. Excellent article Derek… how do I tweet the thing?

  10. Think they’ll be a collection of parked cars in the highlands with their drivers face down at the wheel in the next nine months…HMG…never!!

  11. I am so glad that you left the BBC. What an asset.

  12. Excellent Derek,
    I was told by an old lady that she and her two middle aged offspring will definitely be voting NO because they are frightened of independence.

    After reading your article and listening to the repeated lies and deceit being peddled by the unionist cabal (or should it be rabble) I am frightened too, but by these gangsters in the Betters Together gang.

    Who is offering protection from this bunch of unionist mobsters, SLAB? Don’t be stupid that is west minsters enforcers in jock land staunch defenders of BT. It just keeps getting more bizarre day by day and the ones who are creating the fear and uncertainty are going to collect the jackpot. Scotland can go and F*** itself and SLAB can go back to running its fiefdom. No sweat to the Tory money men down London way!

    The loon-antics have taken over the asylum. If we don’t sort this joke out then we deserve all we get! There will be a lot of it and it will be very very nasty, put your money on that!

  13. Its a pity that Alec Guinness or Peter Sellers are not around anymore. I’m sure they would have a great time playing all the cranks and odd balls that have lined up to pitch their money into the BT coffers in a Ealing style film- Union or bust. Seriously who needs satire when you have real life. Scary as hell…..

  14. Another great article, Derek. I believe the true Labour supporters will turn their backs on Darling and his like. It just takes time.

    • I hope you are right Jan but I am not holding my breath – Scottish Labour are motivated by self preservation and hatred of the SNP

  15. Strong stuff Mr Bateman. I do detect a glimmer that you now think there is some bias out there. Do you have a twitter address I can retweet and if not why not? Reports like yours should be disseminated as widely as possible.

  16. What surprise me is that the NO “campaign” think that revealing the names of these donors is a PR coup! Are we meant to conclude that with these chaps on the NO side the battle is won? Or is it simply that the article will go down well in Milngavie and reinforce their awful prejudices.

    • Speaking as someone who grew up in Milngavie but hasn’t lived there for many years… What are Milngavie’s prejudices? In my experience it’s a fairly open-minded place.

  17. Another great post. Unfortunately we need to get the Labour people to see the light. Johann is a disappointment to us all and we need to get the spear carriers to join the Yes Camaign; she is a lost cause. It’s no good slagging Labour, most of their people are ripe for change if we encourage rather than hector.



  18. The butler did it!

  19. […] we’re sure it’d be both appreciated and well used, especially in the context of the grisly collection of Tory millionaires, bankers and spooks who just handed “Better Together” a million […]

  20. That lead story in yesterday’s Sunday Herald has got you all worked up.

  21. Its always been disenfranchised poor against entitled rich, David against Goliath, the common five eight against the establishment, we’ve known this from the get go. The Labour voting, union supportive electorate are being bankrolled by an establishment they swore to tear down or radically change in times past.

    Apparently BTs leadership don’t do irony very well.

  22. […] Derek Bateman puts it well (‘Know who your friends are’): […]

  23. Among the universe of pro-indy writers you are worth taking notice of – good job, keep it coming

  24. I suspect that the Together groups don’t really care who the donars are or what anyone thinks. It’s possible a year or so ago they might have felt a little concern how it would be seen.
    But now they know possibly only one of the papers is going to raise any kind of questions. We know for certain the BBC won’t.
    The democratic concept of checks and balances from the media is now a rotting corpse. Cheques and balance sheets are all that count.

  25. “This is a plot to land an expeditionary force and take over control of Scottish assets with an elite squad of cigar-chomping marines bursting into Holyrood and spraying them with lead.”

    Sounds like a Scottish version of the Bay of Pigs!..Who would have thought it would have come to this? LoL

  26. An Duine Gruamach

    This comes back to a point made by Michael Greenwell and Andrew Tickell on their “For A’ That” podcast a couple of weeks back. The deal was always “Tory money, Labour activists”. Well, the Tory money’s there, all right – we can see that clearly enough; but where are the Labour activists? Their activist base has been moribund for years now, and there are swathes of Scotland that have no effective Labour organisation at all. Who’s going to make up the shortfall? The legions of chirpy young Tories, out to grind some serious shoe-leather for the cause? Both of the remaining Liberal Democrat activists? The lack of footsoldiers is obvious when you look at the turnout for their events.

  27. Found this in Wikipedia

    Useful idiots:
    In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

    I do not want to insult anyone but I wonder if this term applies to the the Labour foot soldiers working for BT?

  28. I started thinking will it be “Broadsword calling Danny Boy” or “Claymore calling Callum Beag” on 18 Sep 14? Then I got to considering the bunch of grotesques funding Project Fear and started thinking of The Name of The Rose; probably the ugliest cast of a film (barring the two heroes. one of whom happens to be our own Sean Connery) ever to grace the silver screen.

    Greg Moodie over at National Collective seems to be almost there with his characterisations of Osborne (real Head of Better Together) as a Bernardo Gui character and Tory Patsy Alistair Darling as The Gimp. We even have Blair McDougall as the obese Berengar.

  29. Nothing to surprise in this comment but some of you may wish to know that Inverness-based Alan Savage of Orion Recruitment pays a lot of money in advertising to Highland Newsgroup, which owns all the newspapers in the north of Scotland. Mr Savage is rarely out of any of their rags. Anti Independence letters proliferate while balance is virtually absent. They contain a constant diet of anti-wind farm propaganda, the latest manufactured disaster to befall the local NHS and the incompetence of the Scottish Government in not having dualled the A9 and A96, within 6 years. Welcome to Scotland, the colony.

  30. YES Scotland and the SNP have been saying for ages that Better Together is Tory financed. The First Minister points this out regularly at First Minister’s Questions.

    Now we have the proof of this.

  31. “Whoever wins next year, the battle honours of Scottish Labour, once the proud vanguard of the working Scot, will be hung for ever with the names of these carpetbaggers and charlatans to whom the working class are mere commodities.”

    Err, the majority of working Scots oppose separation for Scotland. As the party of working Scots we represent their views.

    No amount of smearing by association can change that.

    A wee bit surprised that the bitter recriminations from the separatists have started so soon…

  32. An Excellent description of the Better Together backers, they are the kind of folk who instigated the coup in the Wild geese, sleazy and charmless and Labour, like Gramhamski are only too happy to do their bidding because they wouldn’t know a Socialist impulse if they met it in the street

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