Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Scottish independence: CBI Director Iain McMillian is attacked by two ‘dead sheep’ at Holyrood Committee, two SNP MSPs lost the plot as they hear facts about their disastrous independence plans, should the crèche be available to Murdo Fraser to drop them off?

Dear All

In this point in time if you are poor, come the independence vote chances are you will still be poor.

In the highly unlikely event of independence, the Scottish National Party is promising a land of ‘milk and honey’, Nirvana for everyone!

It is of course a 'big lie'.

There is no ‘milk and honey’ coming and the nirvana isn't going to come anytime soon.

Business leaders in Scotland are repeatedly clashing with SNP politicians at Holyrood because they are refusing to sign up to the nonsense spouted by Alex Salmond and unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

And it is nonsense, only yesterday; Finance secretary John Swinney announced an extra £1bn worth of investment in building projects including schools, hospitals and transport projects.

If you are a regular reader to the blog, then you will know that when unpopular Nicola Sturgeon took over Alex Neil’s brief, I said that other departments would see their budgets cut as the SNP try to buy the vote.

George Laird right again.

You see, Ms. Sturgeon is unlikeable, as such she requires vast amounts of money to sell herself to the Scottish public.

Since the money already allocated to her hasn’t worked, an extra £1bn has been moved, and that means cuts to budgets and services elsewhere.

Remember the SNP attack line is that Scotland is being starved of funds. If it is being starved, where did the ‘extra’ £1bn come from?

Did it come from the land of ‘milk and honey’?

If so, that land must be Westminster.

As the disastrous independence campaign rolls on, the Nationalists are attacking anyone who doesn’t toe the party line and dogma, the latest person to experience the heat is CBI director Iain McMillan.

Things got so bad that a member of the parliament's Economy Committee had to be told to stop "badgering" CBI director Iain McMillan.

Another MSP was also pulled up for accusing him of engaging in a "polemic" against independence.

So, that is the Nationalists at Holyrood.

The ‘rumble in the jungle’ came at the start of a committee hearing into Scotland's economic future.

Under independence that will be bleak, no Scottish Government reform and no local Government reform either.

The first panel to jump into the bear pit was representatives of organisations which have raised concerns about independence.

Mr McMillan ran through a list of key issues which Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have been shown to be totally out of their depth, including currency, EU membership, plus the deficit.

He said:

"In terms of an independent Scotland, there would be every bit as much need to attack the deficit and deal with fiscal consolidation going forward and that of course would result in many difficult decisions about tax and spend. This would not be a land of milk and honey. It would be extremely difficult with many painful decisions to be taken. Of course in the future that may well change, and one would hope that it would."

Convenor of the Committee is Murdo Fraser.

McMillian accepts the UK Government position that there will be no currency union, so given there is no plan B, Scotland is screwed.

No central bank!

No lender of last resort!

No Scottish currency.

McMillian added:

"The reality is that if Scotland votes to leave the UK, and that's a vote that in the CBI we will respect, but by virtue of the vote we will leave the pound sterling. I don't see any way that an independent Scotland can force its way into a currency union with the rest of the UK. I just don't see how that can happen."

So as he was happily laying out the facts, the SNP members started getting steamed up and fizzing in their seats.

First to attack McMillian was SNP member Mike MacKenzie.

He is a yokel from the provinces, In May 2011 MacKenzie was chastised by a sheriff for going to a "pre-induction" meeting for new SNP MSPs instead of appearing in court to face allegations that he has failed to pay a £4,000 electricians bill while director of Mike MacKenzie builders. In July 2011 MacKenzie lost the court case.

McKenzie cut McMillian off while speaking, asking:

"Have you any idea how long this polemic is going to continue for, because we do have questions."

Failing to rise to the bait, McMillan decided to continue for another couple of minutes, only to have SNP member Chic Brodie butt in.

Chic Brodie isn’t the smartest tack in the box.

His tack was McMillian’s position previously on devolution.

Brodie said:

"You were wrong then, weren't you?"


By then sensing that the meeting was going off course, Committee convener Murdo Fraser stepped in.

Murdo said:

"Please don't badger the witness, let the witness answer the question."

Laughingly, the Nationalists then embarked on a series of questions along the lines of who put the words into your mouth!

MSPs next had the opportunity to meet the pro independence Jimmy Reid Foundation.

They are ‘everything will be okay on the night’ delusionists.

The risks of independence have probably been overstated and are "largely temporary".

How did they come to this conclusion?

They just made it up!

Mr Kelly, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise added his bit which appears to be straight forward when he said devolution and independence cannot be compared.
Responding to Brodie, he said:

"I think you're comparing apples and pears. Most of the issues affecting our industry are reserved to Westminster. It's a completely different proposition."


Brodie is a dud, and basically an empty chair for the SNP.

Gary Clarke, head of policy at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the main issues for his members are taxation, EU membership, currency and regulation.

No real surprises there.

Clarke said:

"It's fair to say there are risks attached to most of those areas, but it's also fair to say there are risks attached to most of those areas irrespective of whether Scotland becomes independent or remains part of the United Kingdom."

Obviously at that point going for a neutral stance following McMillian being attacked!

Interestingly Stephen Boyd, assistant secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) said later that constitutional change would help achieve a "rebalancing" of the economy.

Remember how I said that public sector reform was needed, however, this cannot be achieved now, it’s too late for that bunny!

He said "to a certain extent" such work could take place just now, under Holyrood's existing powers, try next year but don’t hold your breath for anything radical.

Robin McAlpine, director of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, also argued for more powers to come to Holyrood.

He is seen by some people as nothing more than an SNP patsy.

McAlpine added:

"If we really want to create a manufacturing, low inequality, high wage economy we need to be able to integrate housing policy, welfare policy, industrial policy, procurement and so on and so on.


Does he have a 5 years plan in mind to build tractors?

On fly in the SNP ointment was when someone blurted out that taxation would need to rise for Scotland to achieve a more Scandinavian society, with greater levels of public services.

The SNP is downplaying the 70% tax in an independent Scotland.

His take is straight forward; if you want Nordic welfare then you have to pay Nordic tax.

There is no mystery to that concept, unless of course Jihn Swinney keeps finding magical £1 billion pounds under a bushel!

Stephen Boyd, assistant secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress added:

"I don't think you can seriously contend that in the short to medium, even going into the longer term, that Scotland under any constitutional scenario can create a Nordic society on current models of taxation."

People won’t sign up to 70% minimum tax.

On the issue of corporation tax, the STUC and the Jimmy Reid Foundation spoke out against SNP plans.

Boyd described it as a "bad policy" and Mr McAlpine told MSPs:

"The corporation tax cut is not a good proposal. Three pence off corporation tax, that encourages the kind of corporation which has low margins. High value, high productivity companies are looking for other things if they want to be attracted to an economy."

As I said previously, there is a real lack of talent in the SNP.

McAlpine welcomed the bribe of free childcare after independence.

Buying the vote using public money!

Rather than get into ‘details’ the SNP MSPs sensing they couldn’t win decided to attack, attack, attack!

 Chic Brodie is as I said an empty chair his ‘big’ idea previously was a chewing gum levy!

Brodie, who represents the South of Scotland at the time said:

"I've asked for a 10 pence levy on non bio-degradable chewing gum”.

McKenzie is just a provincial minded yokel; to get ‘noticed’ they have to keep making an arse of themselves in public!

They should learn to listen before speaking!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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