Scottish Industry represents less than 10% of membership of the CBI. Are it’s machinations with the Electoral Commission relevant. Well in one way no as we are lead to believe that this was a matter of compliance enacted by an officer with no reference to the committee. Certainly their CEO knew of it and supported it but that may prove to have been an error of judgement. In every large body such as this you will now find compliance officers, usually ‘wet behind the ears’ young solicitors scrabbling around for jobs in the corporate maze. The mass of legislation over the last twenty years has proved good pickings for well paid jobs in the corporate sphere, not always backed by knowledge or ability. The financial figure of £150k is an irrelevance as that is the most any such organisation can spend and the CBI clearly stated that no funds had been allocated. That would have been a board decision although compliance would be through the legal department. What the whole fiasco, and my opinion was that they had no need to register, exposed is that such Quango’s as Visit Scotland and a number of Universities are not as independent of Scottish Ministers as they may like us to believe. They had no need to resign. It should be remembered that this is the Confederation of British Industry. Should Scotland vote for independence the Scottish members would no longer be eligible to be members. It is in the CBI’s interest to keep the status quo.
I have however become aware of a mindset in the corridors of power, often written into contracts, that civil servants and employees of quangos are reminded that they work for the Scottish Ministers and must support their policies. In this I read that to mean the body politic but in Scotland and under Salmond that has evolved into personal and political support. That is an anathema to any professional civil servant surely.
These bodies could simply have declared that they did not support either side. I suspect that the CBI is not the only body they are members of and many others may have views that differ from support for independence. Interestingly many of the student bodies have supported the Union side.
The casualty of all this is Free Speech! As those bodies in Scotland bow down before their SNP masters it suggests that a future independent Scotland under an SNP administration will prove more difficult to oppose wind and renewables as planning and policy concentrates in a few nationalist hands and controlled even more so by central government. In this we are reminded that the SNP started as a socialist body and remains so today. Socialism has proved historically the concentration of power in a few hands rather than the devolution or localism that we crave.
As to mis-direction, the Yes Campaign are making a meal of this and yet it has no relevance. It does however play well to the Nationalist body of hatred of all things English and Conservative. And that will be the legacy of the Independence debate as with the Wind issue. Division of the populace of Scotland and tacit approval of racism and hatred which will take another two decades to heal. And that is driven by the triumvirate in Holyrood: Salmond, Sturgeon and Swinney!