Three Cheers for Us!

Can I drag you away from the sight of Gordon and Alistair acting like old mates to point you in the direction of the latest dire warnings of our imminent national demise should we join the world community as a sovereign state? (Doesn’t seeing the old comrades arm in arm bring back memories of the time they were in power together building up the British economy and securing prosperity for working class people…how did that all end?)

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I refer of course to the long list of business types who have signed a letter warning of the implications of independence – and quite right too. I welcome all contributions no matter how self interested and nutty. For instance if they haven’t worked out how Scotland will remain in the EU by now, they need to replace their internal comms department. That is now laid to rest and only the utterly ill-informed still wring their hands over it. The argument has moved on – as the foreign banks are now showing – into the very real fear that the UK will vote to come out voluntarily. Wake up in Business Class…

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Currency, their other concern, is descending into farce and makes me wonder if these people agreed their letter maybe six months ago when this stuff was hot. More than a handful of these signatories are from global firms who have offices around the world and who trade in every conceivable currency. It seems they also trade in overblown bullshit because that’s what the thick jocks will fall for. Wouldn’t it have shown a capitalist’s courage if they’d stated their own currency option instead of the nakedly political ruse of asking questions that their own research people could answer inside an hour?

Anyway, I took them at face value and looked at the first handful identified by the BBC…and googled.

Let’s start with HSBC. Take a bow, boys…

 Failure after failure at HSBC led to the London-based bank being used as a conduit for “drug kingpins and rogue nations”, a 300-page report compiled for a US Senate committee and has found. The July 2012 report and investigations by US authorities led to the UK-based bank being fined almost $2bn for failing to stop criminals using its banking systems to launder money. Mexican drug barons – the bank’s subsidiary had drug traffickers as clients and processed millions in suspicious bulk travellers cheques and resisted closing doubtful account. “In an age of international terrorism, drug violence in our streets and on our borders, and organized crime, stopping illicit money flows that support those atrocities is a national security imperative” – Senator Carl Levin. US laws prevent banks doing business with what it regards as the most dangerous individuals and countries. HSBC frequently circumvented the rules designed to prevent dealings with Iran, Burma, North Korea and Iran. (Friendly countries all)

Actions taken to get around these safeguards in the system “may have facilitated transactions on half of terrorists, drug traffickers or other wrongdoers”, it said.

Nearly $20 billion work of transactions involved Iran but information was changed to avoid disclosing that.

Terrorist financing links

HSBC did business with Saudi Arabia’s biggest financial institution, Al Rajhi Bank. The report claims that after the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, evidence emerged that Al Rajhi and some of its owners had links to financial organisations associated with terrorism. HSBC Middle East was one of a number of affiliates which continued to work with the bank.HBUS closed the accounts it provided to Al Rajhi, before resuming some ties with them in 2006. The report claimed it had done this after pressure from HSBC, after Al Rajhi threatened to withdraw all of its business from HSBC globally. (Nice. After all that hand wringing about the horrors of the Twin Towers the bank went right on dealing with terrorists. Must make you Labour voters proud of your Better Together backers, no?)

Suspicious travellers’ cheques

Between 2005 and 2008, HBUS cleared $290m worth of US dollar travellers’ cheques which were being presented at a Japanese bank. The daily transactions were worth up to half a million dollars, with large blocks of sequentially numbered cheques being handed over. After prompting from US regulators, HBUS found out that the travellers’ cheques were being bought in Russia – a country at high-risk of money laundering. Three cheers for HSBC and its support of the Union!

Next comes BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, which “has been dragged into an Iraqi corruption scandal amid revelations that United Nations contracts were inflated by $8m (£4.5m) to recover a debt the previous Iraqi regime owed the London-listed group. An Australian inquiry into local involvement in the abuse of the UN’s oil-for-food programme has revealed that BHP provided $5m worth of wheat on credit to Iraq in the 1990s to secure oil exploration rights. The Australian Wheat Board admitted to the inquiry last week that in 2002 it inflated the price of a 1m tonne shipment to Iraq to recover the money owed to BHP. This was to hide the payments from the UN. AWB has admitted it paid $A300m (£140m) worth of kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime under the oil-for-food programme, in breach of UN sanctions.

In 1995 BHP, which owns gas fields in the North Sea, provided $5m worth of wheat to Iraq, in what it has described as a “humanitarian gesture”. At the time BHP was negotiating with Iraqi oil ministry officials for rights to develop oil fields in southern Iraq once sanctions were lifted. Andrew Lindberg, the managing director of the Australian Wheat Board, told the inquiry: “BHP had paid AWB for the wheat on behalf of Iraq in exchange for the grant of oil exploration rights in Iraq.”

Hey…this is the kind of Scotland we want to build together, isn’t it? Immoral behavior, bribery and corruption and lying to hide the truth. Three cheers for BHP and the Union.

Something strange must have happened at the next company on the pro-Union list, BG Group, because this is what Bill Campbell, former auditor, wrote about the CEO. “It appears that not just individuals but organisations have selective memory.  LK Hyman, BG Group, and others should bear in mind the facts that criminal neglect of maintenance over a prolonged period 1999 to 2003 caused the deaths of two men in Sept 2003 after the release of over 6000 m3 of gas into an enclosed space – that is what the Inquiry found and he needs to be reminded that ChrisFinlayson and Malcolm Brinded were responsible in Law for the well being of 1000′s of employees over that prolonged period. As stated in writing by the then Lord Advocate in a parliamentary reply the haphazard management of safety over a prolonged period contributed directly to the deaths and the Director of these offshore activities during this period was Finlayson. He had been forewarned in 1999 that a serious accident event was inevitable if actions were not taken and he failed, failed totally, to heed these warnings. We got lucky in a sense that the gas did not ignite which as a consequence could have led to a Piper or Deepwater type of catastrophe.  Hyman et al should be reminded that Shell pled guilty on behalf of its Directors to all charges placed before them. So whatever gloss you paint over the turd, Finlayson and Brinded failed as Directors in their principal duty to comply with the Law so that risks to those persons exposed to these risks offshore were minimised, as was their legal responsibility.” Bill Campbell

Blimey…this sounds murky and scary. (He was right – Finlayson was forced to resign) Never mind, the previous boss of BG Group was Frank Chapman and he’s not remotely controversial…is he?

“The furore over executive pay was ratcheted up over the weekend as it emerged that Frank Chapman, the chief executive of BG group – formerly known as British Gas – took home £28m in cash, shares and pension contributions last year.” Oops.

It is also interesting that I count 12 distillers or drinks interests on the list. These are the same people who are fighting not only minimum pricing which they regard as a global issue if Scotland is successful in its legal case, but the Scotch Whisky Association contests our parliament’s right to legislate…the neo liberal anti democracy lobby in action.

Here’s something else I found as the likes of Edrington try to tell Scots how to vote. Alcohol firms are adopting contentious tactics pioneered by the tobacco industry by funding charities in order to gain influence inside government, researchers claim in a new study. Drink manufacturers, retailers and grant-making trusts have given five alcohol charities donations of up to £1m each in recent years as they have deliberately “used corporate philanthropy as a political device”, according to research by academics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Mentor UK, a charity, said it had not received any money from the alcohol industry since 2012 and denied that the Robertson Trust and Gannochy Trust, themselves charities, were industry bodies. Robertson has a close relationship with the Edrington Group, which makes well-known whisky brands including Famous Grouse. Gannochy is funded by the profits from sales of Bell’s whisky. The two trusts jointly fund Mentor UK’s work in Polmont young offenders institution in Scotland. Prof John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, said: “The health messages and policies that the alcohol industry favours are frequently without an evidence base. Such policies are unlikely to have any real impact on the tens of thousands of deaths, or hundreds of thousands of hospital admissions, that alcohol causes ever year.” Keep up the good work, guys.

Also in there, as you’d expect from people who want to punch above their weight is Thales, the French arms manufacturer, firmly planted on British soil and indeed soil everywhere else…they can arm you to the teeth with all kinds of equipment which you little Scots might need when those jihadists arrive at John O’Groats to threaten the Bed and Breakfast business.

Oh, I almost forgot, our old friends at Weirs, your neighbourhood engineers, convicted of breaching UN sanctions… “The engineering firm Weir Group has been fined £3m after it admitted bribing allies of Saddam Hussein to win lucrative contracts in Iraq, in breach of tough UN sanctions against the Iraqi ruler’s regime. The Glasgow-based company, one of Scotland’s best known engineering firms, pleaded guilty this week to two charges of paying kickbacks of more than £3m to win contracts to supply £35m worth of pumps under the UN oil for food programme.”

Isn’t it fantastic to know such moral, upstanding and honest corporate entities have bosses desperate to look after our interests and worried we might make a mistake? I know all you Labour voters will feel a kindred spirit with the millionaires and boardroom executives who so clearly understand your needs and aspirations. Gives you a warm glow, doesn’t it?

I don’t have time to run through the rest on the list. I’m sure they’re the normal businesses we all know and good luck to them. But it’s sometimes worth asking a very business kind of question – Who are you and what do you really want? – before you buy. Caveat emptor.

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60 thoughts on “Three Cheers for Us!

  1. If you look closely enough at yon photo, you can see the outline of the wee book in their inside pockets. It’s a security blanket. They keep it there for fond memories.
    Did I see Mrs Baxter’s signature on the letter? I stopped buying their stuff, after doing so for a lifetime, when I heard she had made a big donation to the Better Together thing.

  2. But, but, but … the morals of the international financiers will never stoop so low as to buy Scottish Government Bonds given they walked away from a debt they never legally had.

  3. Big business fear the people being sovereign….at the moment parliament is sovereign..MP’s can and are easily nobbled by big business…the people will only be influenced if big business gains their respect….pay their staff a wage they can life on, not just exist on

    • To misquote Thomas Jefferson:-

      When the people fear Better Together you have tyranny, when Better Together fear the people you have liberty.

      Since drug dealers must be the prime example of neoliberalism, maybe they can send the film crews out to interview them as well

  4. Patronage and power is the game.

  5. I am reminded of Paxman’s (I think) famous quote which I will adapt, “Why are these Unionist supporting corrupt businessmen, supporting a corrupt Union?”

    ps. Delete if you feel it’s too defamatory. I think Paxman might be litigious!

  6. A price of greed merchants, rUK can keep the whole shebang we Donna want them. btw received my voting paper today, big X in box for YES assassins…… waited my whole life for this day, wonderful. Thanks Derek

  7. Crooks and liars. The Scottish people won’t be fooled by a bunch of venal self-servers. To paraphrase someone, I regard them as lower than vermin. And they know an independent Scotland will sort them out, via the people.

  8. HSBC

    Is also in a bit of a bind, exposed to the European, N American and of course the Chinese property bubble.

    • The following is a little gem of information I found when reading about HSBC and Mexican Drug Cartels in an American magazine a few years ago.
      HSBC branches in Mexico have metal grills, between the teller and the customer, with a hole in the grill for items to be passed through. To make money laundering more efficient for both the Cartel and HSBC, Cartels had special bags made that were an exact fit for the hole in the grill. When pushing through the hole the special bags full of money to be laundered, the bags did not get snagged but slip easily through the hole in the teller’s grill.
      Now you know why Mexican Drug Cartels as so successful. They get the details right, no matter how small, and know how to select an obliging banks that will provide the unique services they require. As HSBC say “HSBC is the World’s local bank and they do not underestimate local knowledge”.

  9. If there is a god, please grant me one wish. I’ll go to any church of your choice if you can get Tony to come up here and share a platform with Darling and Broon.

    • ‘Georgeous’ George Galloway has tweeted that the No campaign should be given over to himself, John Reid, Helen Liddle and Gordon ‘Clunking Fist’ Brown.

      Oh please god, if you exist, make it so. Please.

      More seriously it shows just how out of touch with modern Scotland Galloway is that he thinks this. He is in the past, fighting the battles of the past, while the world moves on around him. He should be a Tory.

      On the doorsteps earlier this week we chapped the door of an elderly gent who was confused about the vote. He kept saying he was a Labour man and always voted Labour. We gently reminded him Labour were not on the ballot in this vote. He had been a shop steward, union man all his life, been to training courses all over the UK. He will vote No, if he can tear his mind away from the past to get to the polling station. I hope he is not too confused when presented with a single ballot without Labour on it. I think sadly, we were asking him to dissolve his sense of identity. I should have pointed out that after Indy there is nothing to stop trades unions from running cross border training courses, if they want to. That is the Social Union the FM is right can continue after Indy. If we wish to maintain them and can find folk elsewhere similarly minded.

      It won’t be like Ireland which had to fight for Independence. We will have no martyrs, not even Margo counts there, to keep warm the enmity. But even with Ireland there is a Social Union of sorts. The British-Irish Council, the All Ireland rugby union, Dave Allen, Father Ted, they get the BBC fwiw.

  10. No surprise that the NO backers are all dodgy scoundrels,what else would it be-honest upright servants for the greater good!Not a chance .
    But what is starting to niggle at me a wee bit is the total lack of any preperation for a Yes vote from Westminster and all the parties down south.As if it’ s all been decided already.Can they rig the results on the day??
    Call me paranoid,but after 1979’s Yes vote that somehow was made to be a NO vote’ i don’t trust anything about The NO crew,whose desperation to hang on to power is as strong as it ever will be.
    What needs scrutinised are the so called ‘opinion polls’ that keep coming up NO NO NO.all i can see about me is change to Yes and there’s not a flicker of the real scottish feelings being registered.
    The same political groups who can agree on nothing can come together in a united condemnation of all matters Scottish.
    . Are they so positive that a NO will be the result that its not considered necessary to have any plan whatsoever for the eventuality of a Yes vote .Do they know something we don’t.It seems to me the next body that needs a check under the magnifying glass is the DODGY Pollsters,who are obviously weighting the poll results with NO PEOPLE. followed the media and BBC/STV in particular who have been shown to be distinctly tarnishing the SNP and Alec Salmond’s Yes campaign with psychological put downs and negative broadcasts that are designed to implant fear and worry in the electorate before we even get to vote on the referendum.and thats daily on your news programmes.Sad but true.

    • Way ahead of you & entirely agree, Trainspotter..haven’t ever believed for a moment we’ll get a fair vote..700,000 postal votes?? And Labour have already been convicted of postal vote rigging. Do any of us actually believe that, given the amount of time energy & our money they’ve spent on a dirty, mendacious & undemocratic ‘campaign’, that the vote is going to be any different? As someone pointed out last night on a fb post..mmmh, sold off the Post Office to their dodgy mates for pennies within the last six months…700,000 postal votes….mmmh…joining the dots doesn’t take too much imagination. I mean it’s not as is they’d lie to us, is it?? We all now know just how precarious their whole house of cards is..they can’t afford to lose..democracy hasn’t been alive & well in this country for a very long time!

    • YES, but likewise what have we put in place to help our neighbours in the plight they will experience on the return of the YES vote?
      On the sale of Tate and Lyle – ‘The new (American) owners immediately pledged there would be no job losses at either of the Tate & Lyle refineries in Silvertown, in the East End of London, which have been operating for more than 130 years. A spokesman for the New York-based company said: “We will be keeping them open. There will be no job losses as a result of this transaction. This is not like Kraft and Cadbury. We need these operations, and Tate & Lyle’s refinery in Lisbon.” ‘ (Guardian 01/07/10) We then move forward three years and we have ‘Tate & Lyle Sugars lost £38 million last year, and the company told MPs that unless something changes in Brussels the “inevitable conclusion” will be “the closure of the refinery and the loss of all the jobs”.’ (Telegraph 02/03/13) Just a small jump of ten months.. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership should include a toxic mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement. Where this has been forced into other trade agreements, it has allowed big corporations to sue governments before secretive arbitration panels composed of corporate lawyers, which bypass domestic courts and override the will of parliaments.’ (Guardian 02/12/13) The loss of jobs is unacceptable, especially since this is one of our oldest surviving companies (since 1869) and the promises made by the American Suger Refiner. Since the company has already threatened MPs with the closure and loss of jobs, the loss of profit to this company will allow them under the TTIP to sue the government for loss of earnings in this country. They may also be able to sue the French for loss as well because the EU in their wisdom have favoured sugar refining in France. Were the workers at the refinery consulted? No! Were the people of Britain consulted? No! Are people even being made aware of the TTIP and the what could happen as a result if we allow this to carry on? NO! All of these questions to which there is only one answer effects all who would not vote YES to an independent Scotland where we get to make the decision to tell the EU and America exactly what they can do with their TTIP! If anyone has missed the point that means, after independence we will have to support our neighbours through the hardships they will face as they disappear further down the TTIP matrix (you’ve all seen the movie). Is there anyone who has heard Salmond talk of plans to rescue our neighbours from this matrix? After all we have looked after them for all this time without being asked, will we offer help from our freedom? It also means we cannot be part of a Europe that would favour business profit above any member country while hiding behind TTIP. The bad press we are getting makes you wonder if we would be allowed to succeed within the EU. Lets take independence as a literal term and leave the EU.

  11. Haha…its unbelieveable what the big boys will pull out for their own means

  12. Derek, I have often wondered where all the £4.6 million allegedly raised for the No campaign is going, because I certainly don’t see it popping through my door as leaflets. I wonder if it is going on astroturf campaigns and buying compliance to sign letters like these?

  13. Thank you, Derek, for exposing these unsavoury characters. There had to be an explanation for their late arrival on the scene.

    The members of Business for Scotland have been working diligently for some time now with their presentation of a positive approach towards independence for Scotland. They are offering the real deal, the honest picture. How dare these crooks attempt to sweep them aside!

  14. Diaggio have been awarded huge NHS contracts to teach the dangers of Alcohol
    You couldn’t make it up
    Labour are targeting pensioners here to tell them they won’t get a pension.

    And it turns out Darling has spoken and been payed to talk at private health care companies Dinners
    Labour folk please please wake up
    Claim your party back fulfill Kiers wish of a parliament with not 7 percent
    Not 15 but 100 per cent control

    Craig Murray s recent speech in which as a former ambassador says Blair knew there was no weapons of mass destruction it was about oil is a must hear he was speaking for English Scots for Yes its damming

    • Craig’s speech is certainly very powerful and worth watching. “No decent person could vote no.”

      • Oops, sorry. didn’t mean to embed. Forgot about cutting off the http bit on wordpress.

      • Powerful doesn’t begin to describe it.

      • Thank you, Capella, for this very compelling message from a man of principal and honour. I wish there were some way of allowing this clip to be available to all Scottish voters on/in the mainstream media and broadcasters, but I guess that’s never going to happen.
        Craig Murray is certainly more deserving of a place on the post-referendum team than hopeless failure Darling.

    • ‘Claim your party back fulfill Kiers wish of a parliament’ I don’t trust a party who have decided to throw in their lot with ‘the better together campaign. I do agree we cannot leave SNP ‘in power’ I believe we the people must take power of our own parliament so we can set up our parliament with no more dog-fights. Why can’t we as a people sit around a table and discuss our issues and solve our problems with a lot more clarity than exists at the moment. Off to work so I can pay illegal income tax and of course the big horrible for all Scots the illegal council tax!

    • Thanks Capella I did not have a link
      Interesting to see labour commentators today run his character down truly gutter politics
      Am reminded of working at Prestwick and asking the hords of photographers if a star was flying in
      They were plane spotters waiting for a plane the CIA use
      Dont take a genius to figure why CIA using rendition

  15. And they both had the cheek to talk Alex Salmond and fat cats. With their record?

  16. Well,Little and Large pictured at the top,along with all the other Blairites bought into the TINA Thatcherite philosophy and fully embraced global corporatisation.
    This philosophy leaves no room for working people other than as cheap labour and consumers of corporate products (redolent of the clearances).
    This is what they mean when they say better together.
    Independent Scotland must encourage SME businesses in order to avoid becoming hostages to corporate board rooms.
    Let’s leave the sleeze and corruption with the Westminster establishment and have a state which tries to behave in a way that we would approve of in our personal lives.
    Scary stuff Derek.

    • Have you seen the stuff on the TTIP Someone reminded me yesterday that it is an EU led ‘partnership’ but this does not retract from the issue of Cameron trying to push the agreement through. This has led to Brits being laughed at in Europe because we are seemingly allowing this. As I say, this is embarrassing. The businesses who have signed this open letter are obviously entranced by the idea of the TTIP. Likewise down south where leading supermarkets have told us that we will not be able to afford to eat because it costs too much to transport goods to Scotland! Here’s me thinking that we grow an awful lot of food here that is sold in our local supermarkets. The whole idea that we are already treated like the other colonies in terms of the bigotry and racism we experience and now these businesses are trying to threaten the people who’s doorstep they do business on! BTW does anyone know Salmond’s position on TTIP?

    • “Independent Scotland must encourage SME businesses in order to avoid becoming hostages to corporate board rooms.”
      That will mean taking a hard look at decisions such as giving Amazon £6m for warehouse, and nothing back in tax as all profit is made abroad thanks to transfer pricing.
      Better to give £6000 each to 1000 locals to start/develop businesses.

  17. Agreed Thomaspotter2014.
    They have no plan ‘A’,’B’ or any other letter of the alphabet because even if they don’t rig the postal votes and we get a resounding YES,YES,YES.The house of lords will veto it anyway and I do not think we will EVER get independence.Look at what they are prepared to do for oil in a foreign country for gods’ sake…….I fully expect assassinations,all sorts in the next few months.

  18. I’m getting fair sick of gangsters in suits trying to intimidate the public, be they politicians or corporate heads. Here’s a suggestion. If they’re so damned convinced we’d be a basket case, they can pack their bags head for the border and take care not to let the door hit them on the arse on the way out. They’ve felt comfy stealing from the electorate. They’ve dealt with dictatorships, mobsters, committed theft on grand scale themselves and operated a closed shop with jobs for the boys (and that’s just the politicians). The result? Austerity Britain.

    And we’re supposed to take their advice now? We’re supposed to hold our hands up in horror and scream, ‘How could we have been so wrong’? Thousands of businesses and something like a hundred and odd say vote no or else.

    We’ll take their message under advisement and duly file under bin.

  19. Steve Bowers 74% win

    All I can say is…. oh for fuck sake….. hasn’t the world paid out enough for these arseholes, let’s be rid of them…………….. sorry everyone, I’m pissed and angry.

  20. I think the reson for this position is much more simple – After years of gritted teeth at awful charity dinners, hell !, even standing grinning with bloody prole kids in wheelchairs – they won’t get the well earned (and paid for) ‘gong’ if Scotland goes it’s own way !! Thier wives would kill them !!

  21. I hope that every person stepping into the booth on the 18th keep in their mind what this is fundamentally about.
    Who is best placed to make decisions about our future?
    The people of Scotland or unelected governments in England?
    Simples!

  22. Did they ask any of the employees?
    Were their opinions not worthy?
    Why is it always the bosses that are asked?
    Are they the experts?
    Experts like Fred Goodwin? Tom McKillop? What about Andy Hornby? Maybe the Lehman brothers boss? Gerald Ratner?
    I think Iceland learned a tough lesson by jailing the folks responsible for their crash, and decided to ask the people who they wanted to run things.
    And things are running better now.
    Derek, as always, you’re priceless. Don’t take any job offered by any government in our indy Scotland. get yer arse in gear for a job at a new SBC. Keep them on their toes mate.

  23. Wee caption for the second photo;

    “and after we’ve fucked Scotland you can give me a B J!”

  24. What the bankers are really saying when supporting the union: ‘thanks very much Westminster/Treasury/BoE for all that lovely quantative easing cash you’ve given us after we crashed the economy, keep it flowing thanks.

  25. I’m at the other end of the world so apologies for the late comment – long time supporter of independence and congratulating the Scottish people on the calm civilized way they have conducted this campaign. However listening to Crag Murray’s talk above I wonder what is in store for Scotland if a yes vote transpires. It appears to me that the global wars for oil began in the 1980’s, I cannot see England and the US letting us gain control over such a rich energy resource without a struggle.

  26. […] Yesterday big business was supposed to come riding to the rescue in the open letter in the Scotsman. Unfortunately including the likes of HSBC, BHP Billiton, arms manufacturers and others it opened itself up to ridicule. As Derek Bateman pointed out (‘Three Cheers for Us’): […]

  27. Derek, are you trying to rival Stu Campbell over on Wings for investigative reporting?

    If so, then more power to your elbow and keep digging.

  28. Where can I see a comprehensive list of these companies? I want to do everything I can to make sure they get as little business as possible from me. How dare they interfere in the democratic process in my country!

  29. alexander nicol

    Captains of industry? Captains of industry? if they can’t handle a political situation such as the independence Referendum then HOW are they going to handle the matter of England possibly withdrawing from the EU which is a lot more important than the Independence of Scotland from England

  30. I would like to point out that while HSBC has been caught happily to dealing with criminals of all kinds at the drop of a hat, using corporate accounts controlled at the head office, ALL the banks have instituted quite draconian controls on small accounts held at local branches.

    The local dance group, the bowling club, the local history and the community council are made to jump through hoops to do something as simple as change the cheque signatory when the Treasurer changes. It really is ridiculous that all officers are required to go to the bank with passports each and every time a committee member changes. Despite filling out massive 42 pages forms with the aid of the branch manager, the head office returns them time after time as being incorrectly completed. When you consider that some of these groups have been in existence for over half a century, and have never had more than a couple of thousand pounds in the account such excessive bureaucracy is a clear sign of the depths to which these organisations have sunk.

    I do hope that with Independence we do something about this.

  31. See my latest: “Ice Bucket Challenge” candiacomesclean.wordpress.com
    Alex cried, Dae it again! No doubt what he’ll be bleating after Scotland- hopefully-votes “No! Not on Your Nelly!

  32. Katrine Paterson

    Thank you for showing up these scumbags.
    I just hope the scottish people can give heart to the other citizens of the UK.
    Perhaps you had better get yourself a bodyguard Derek. You are a brave man exposing all this dirty dealing.
    Here is another to add to the list.
    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=441757362631830&fref=nf

  33. This is what we’re after.

    Let’s share and spread the word.

  34. Optimistic Till I Die

    I’m, glad Capella did embed the speech by Craig Murray . If it had not been there I would never have heard it.

    I used to be ambivalent about being labelled British when on holiday. But from now on, having heard his revelations relating to the Iraq war and torture, regardless of the fact I am Scottish, British, and European, I shall feel dirty if I refer to myself as British. The UK needs to change and the first step towards a more moral form of government responsive to the needs of the population instead of a self perpetuting elite set of citizens and amoral corporations, is an Independent Scotland.

  35. Steve Asaneilean

    Thanks for posting this Katrine – this needs to be seen by every single person of voting age living on these islands and shown to their children too.

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