Too Late Now

It maybe 33 months too late but at last Tom Hunter has got the message. The tycoon has launched a website where he hopes to provide impartial, evidence-based information on referendum issues because he thinks the politicians are not providing it.

Welcome to the club. I tried in vain to make contact with Tom Hunter soon after the SNP victory in 2011 to suggest just such an idea and couldn’t get through his wall of privacy. If only his lieutenants hadn’t been so dismissive of a ground-breaking idea, Sir Tom could have been informing the debate from the outset two-and-a-half years ago and helped to set a positive and fact-based agenda – the same thing he is trying to create now when it may be too late to influence enough voters who have been fed a diet of propaganda and assertion.

I have written before how it was immediately clear to me what would happen after the SNP victory…the referendum could not be avoided and as soon as it was announced, the tribes and factions would turn it into a war, the same demonic charge and counter-charge we get in elections. It was obvious that Scotland needed what it didn’t already have – a think tank focussed not on dictating what we should think but assessing the relevant information and arriving at educated, well-informed guesses about the implications.

It is true that I envisaged a website with information which simply by examining the issue of independence would remove much of the fear from the topic. Laying out how it works in other countries and how the rest of the world – and London – would react seemed a necessary first step to normalising the concept of Scottish independence. So you could say I wasn’t totally neutral but I do understand the ethos of journalistic impartiality and could have helped produce balanced and sourced information acting along with others including an advisory board of experts and academics with a range of political outlooks.

No one would back me. In the weeks after May 2011 I contacted a number of Scotland’s much-lauded entrepreneurs who have charitable outlets and public-spirited attitudes without success. I found a number for Sir Tom’s representative, the person who handles media inquiries about the businessman and his commercial interests and explained the plan. I was promised a response – he was between meetings and very busy and would get back – but the call never came. And right there died the idea that Hunter has resurrected.

I know it doesn’t seem a big deal now but it shows how it’s always worth listening no matter how unlikely it seems and it for me it represents a missed opportunity for an informed go-to place which would be accessed by journalists and voters and whose evidence would have made it much harder to write ill-informed and misleading stories because everyone could cross-check against the data on the website. If it had been up and running then it would long before now have become a respected source of enlightenment  and information. It would have been name-checked every day across the media and would have cemented Tom Hunter’s name as a key player in our historic decision. Too late now, I think.

(Anyway I’ve moved on without him as Bateman Broadcasting goes global)

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0 thoughts on “Too Late Now

  1. His loss Derek !

  2. You’re doing a grand job without him, along with Wings. Thanks. A great future, when we vote Yes.

  3. 19th September. Bateman Broadcasting does go global.

  4. He has indeed lost the initiative, we are more likely to look to Wings, Bella and yourself for info now. He will just seem like someone jumping on the bandwagon. Better to have given you all a large donation to continue your work.

  5. Derek, you seem to be on a bit of a downer. Bad time to go there man. Snap out of it smartish. We need you and all the other pro Indy influencers in positive mode all through the run in to the big day. Agree fully about the rugby but come on, it’s only a game. Gavin Hastings interview on Sky really pissed me off but who cares about a few guys who get to play for the British Lions! Scotland has too much to lose , we need to keep positivity, real change and the goal in full focus. We are going to do it, don’t lose sight of that incredible feeling when we hear the YES, we are going independent!

    • I agree with Ian Kirkwood on this Derek. I am an ardent follower of your blogs and share them everywhere I can, but I feel on this occasion, and on your “RUGBY” blog, that you seem to be losing focus and are personalising things. I hope you get back to your usual upbeat self soon, or Grahamski and co will have a field day attacking you. We will, of course, stand up to them. Keep up the GOOD work.

  6. Now there’s and idea for an independent Scotland. Bugger the BBC; we are going to have our very own Scottish Bateman Broadcasting Company. You’re doing a grand job now and will do an even greater one then. Keep up the good work.

  7. Too late for what? Persuading the undecided to vote Yes? Don’t be ridiculous. Most people haven’t been paying attention to anything up to now.

    • Also, I’m not convinced most journalists want facts, figures or ‘the truth’. Most are only interested in a few choice pickings that can be spun and twisted to suit their own purposes. Neither can I see anyone from Better Together using such a site for the same reasons. I suspect what your are engaged in now is of far more importance, so keep it up.

  8. Better late than never, you have been a catalyst so sit back and enjoy when people jump on……we all know where the steering and motivation has come from. Hang in, you are playing a blinder.

  9. You’re doing great Derek and he’s trying to play catch-up. Probably his problem was it was you’re idea ( Guys like him are burdened by the weight of their own ego) and now he’s realised he’s getting left behind as the polls start to swing. I think he’s a fence sitter really and didn’t want to risk his reputation.

    • Totally agree. Derek wasn’t afraid to put his head above the parapet. Look at the support he has engendered! Loyal support. We won’t forget the tremendous amount of work he contributes towards our push for independence. Derek, we need your valuable knowledge and intelligent overview. As Teri says, here’s to the Bateman Broadcasting Company – our own BBC!

  10. Well Derek, it looks like the big boys are being left behind and the people are running most of the show now.

    You’re one of the people now!

  11. Sorry to go off topic (a bit) but is anyone else watching the Better-Together-fest shite on BBC2 just now? Stuffed with their usual No staffers and the occasional expert – none of whose loyalties are given. God, BBC Scotland is garbage.

    • Absolutely the worst program I could ever imagine. A full one hour BT propaganda political broadcast by the BBC.

      • For a stupidly bemused few days I’ve been thinking the BBC had at last seen the error of its ways and we were now on a heading toward something like fairness and impartiality as we approach these last seven months to the referendum. But, the atrocious BBC2 program broadcast tonight has certainly dispelled that line of thought.

        I try to steer clear of sensationalist remarks, but do we UK citizens, have a ‘Minister of Propaganda’ on the payroll?

        I frankly do not know how to counter the broadcast material put out tonight.

    • The voice-over said that Scotland had more pensioners than the rest of the UK! Yes, they probably meant as a percentage of the population but that wasn’t what was said.
      Keep up the good work, Derek. I still miss your insightful comments on Radio Scotalnd of a weekend :o(

  12. If I am looking for any facts around the economic case for independence, I tend to go to:

    That was the site that Tom Hunter might have set up, but didn’t.

    Ivan McKee seems to have the role that Tom Hunter hadn’t the enthusiasm to embrace.

  13. It’s a good idea and I don’t believe it is too late at all. There’s plenty of undecided voters out there yet to play for and going by the recent polls a significant portion of the No vote is ‘soft’ and still open to persuasion.
    Also, reading through your article again Derek I note that you took your idea to Tom Hunter but you don’t mention whether you took this idea to your then employers at Pacific Quay?

  14. Having just watched, with warranted trepidation, Scotland’s big 10 on BBC2 I’ve just used your link to add Tom Hunter’s site to my list – he’s no 6. You’re no 2, but only because WoS seems not to sleep !

  15. Tom, you are too Late with all your Ramblings. You were playing a waiting game to see what side is best for your greedy ambitions (just like the lords/earls etc in 1707). Bad choice. Most normal Scots will not listen to you anymore. Go and enjoy your Millions and leave us Scots to elect our own government for Scotland.

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