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Wings Over Scotland

Holding back

Posted on December 17, 2013 by

Here’s the Secretary Of State For Portsmouth, legendary bruiser Alistair “Crybaby” Carmichael, in this morning’s Herald on the subject of the dastardly SNP Scottish Government intimidating businesses out of speaking up for the Union:

“Asked if there was a fear factor, Mr Carmichael replied: ‘There is very much. This is what business people tell me; they are scared of the consequences for their business of getting on the wrong side of the Scottish Government.’

Without naming names, he noted: ‘I see it in the media sector. I have seen media outlets feel constrained in their coverage.'”


A random sample from the front page of our “PressReader” newspaper app, there, covering just a single month (March 2013). Heaven help us all if the media suddenly breaks free of these draconian constraints and tells us what it REALLY thinks.

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    74 to “Holding back”

    1. Paul Kirkwood says:

      What alot of rubbish that man talks.

    2. Horacesaysyes says:

      Now to be fair, they have been constrained. We haven’t seen the “plague of locusts” or “slaughter of the first born” scare stories yet!

      But on a serious note, this sort of rubbish from Carmichael is easy to get away with as you can’t disprove it – he’ll just say that people don’t wish to be named as they are too afraid. But I do have to say, I haven’t seen much evidence of folk being backward at coming forward with their opinions on the referendum.

    3. Douglas Guy says:

      This is what business people tell me; they are scared of the consequences for their business of getting on the wrong side of the Scottish Government.’

      How can he possibly think this is bad news?  Businesses who operate in Scotland scared to piss off the Scottish Government?  Seriously?  This is GREAT news.  If businesses operating in the rest of the UK were scared to piss off the UK Government, maybe we’d get some of them to pay some flippin’ tax.

    4. sneddon says:

      He’s really doing his best to look like a mockery of a man isn’t he?

    5. Craig Dalzell says:

      BfS put up their take on the disparity in public opinion within the business sphere. One would hope that they knew a thing or two about such things.

    6. desimond says:

      I dont think those covers are correct, Kate Middleton only appears on 2. 

      My daughter works in Oil and amazingly, her bosses tell her that they and none of their rivals are bothered one iota about a YES vote. Strangely, the Papers always seem to see it differently.

    7. Illy says:

      @Douglas Guy:
      Companies (primarily banks) scared of governments, governments scared of their people.
      Where have I seen that before?  Iceland?  Or some fiction about England?

    8. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Psychological Projection
      I wonder who gave Carmichael that wee wheeze to trot out. He couldn’t have thought it out all on his own.

    9. Doug Daniel says:

      I think Alistair has a point. None of those headlines says what the Daily Mail really wants to say (which is “ALEX SALMOND IS A FAT PIE-EATING NAZI WHO WANTS TO EAT YOUR CHILDREN AND BLOW UP GOOD OLD BLIGHTY AND HE IS DEFINITELY WORSE THAN HITLER, WHO WE ACTUALLY RATHER LIKED IN THE 1930S”)

    10. Murray McCallum says:

      “He [Carmichael] says firms are reluctant to enter into the independence debate for fear of being punished.”
      “Punished”! What on earth does he mean by that – imprisonment, asset seizure, physical violence, …? To suggest a FTSE 100 boss is easily intimidated by any government is utter crap (just look at the bonuses handed out at state owned banks). Is Carmichael saying that the Scottish Government does not respect the rule of law?

    11. alexicon says:

      Tesco wasn’t intimidated when they recently announced several hundred banking jobs for Scotland.
      Made this comment in the Herald hours ago and it still hasn’t surfaced.

    12. Morag says:

      Of course it’s utter crap, and any respectable journalist should be pulling him up on it.
      Wait, what am I saying here!

    13. Training Day says:

      I seem to recall Willie Bain (remember him?) disclosing that in many, many boardrooms in Scotland there was a fear of independence coupled with a reluctance to say so.  Willie of course was the first name on the list on invitees when companies hold board meetings.
      Now ‘Please help me’ Carmichael tells us the media feel constrained.  We really are through the looking glass here, people.  Anyone else think BT are on the verge of cracking?

    14. Macart says:

      Every UK title has spent the past two years misrepresenting the SNP Government, SNP voters, the varied electorate of the YES campaign and sometimes even the entire Scottish populace (both unionist and independence supporter) as Braveheart addled, xenophobic, bigoted, subsidy junkies. 
      Just where was the effing constraint as they peddled this socially divisive, racist horseshit to the world? Just where was our protection from this abuse? Where was the Secretary of State for Scotland in all of this (both of them)? That’s right, ably aiding and abetting in these malicious lies. HELPING to spread this division within his own electorate. This hypocrite who once campaigned to end the post he now enjoys.
      Scotland’s voice in Westminster? Don’t make me laugh. He has protected nothing and no one. Through both his actions and inaction he has brought yet more pain and misery upon the Scottish electorate.
      In short…
      … and the horse he rode in on.

    15. desimond says:

      I believe Mr Carmichael may have a point,

      Just the other day I was reading about how pro-Union comedienne Susan Calman was being intimi…..ohhhhh wait a sec….

    16. HandandShrimp says:

      What complete and utter bull the Yes side talk. I’m sure we all remember that these same paragons of veracity assured us that business leaders were telling them that the uncertainty of the independence vote was prteventing them from investing in Scotland. What happened? In thefigures for the last year Scotland achieved its highest inward investment since the nineties.
      One merely has to look at the press and media to see that Alistair Carmichaelmoore is talking nonsense. The press could not be any more hostile if it tried. As to wider business being unwilling to say anything that might upset its customers? Why would they choose to upset customers?

    17. Holebender says:

      Alistair Crymichaelmoore. 😀

    18. balgayboy says:

      Yup…their shitting themselves with the prospect of lower corporation tax, more investment in job creation, infrastructure projects and oil & gas plus renewable energy investment.

    19. john king says:

      Will somebody tell him if he doesnt stop bumping his gum we’ll se Joanne on him?

    20. john king says:

      Will somebody tell him if he doesnt stop bumping his gum we’ll set Joanne on him?

    21. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Christ I never realised what an ogre Alex Salmond must be……
      Richard Desmond, Rupert Murdoch, Johnson Press and Trinity Mirror are all holding back on what they really think……
      And FTSE 100 company Chairman tremble at what is (to date) a Provinicial/Regional Govt !!!!
      And all because all they fear Alex Salmond !!!….Bagsie what ever Ali Crymichaelmoore is smoking 😉
      On the old ‘heavy influence’….well that sounds awfully like intimidation and coercion both of which are criminal offences…..
      Obviously being a responsible politician he will clearly have informed Police Scotland of these heinous crimes…..
      So I’m sure that any day now we will see Salmond, Sturgeon and Swinney doing a ‘Perp Walk’ in front of the camera’s with an old blanket over their heads.

    22. MochaChoca says:

      A while back Better Together / Project Fear were going strong on the headline of a survey of business owners which showed only around 25% were backing a YES vote.

      Obviously pretty bad news for the YES side, until further figures in the same survey showed that only about 25% of those surveyed had begun to consider the consequences of independence.

      I’m sure it would be over-simplifying things to state that 100% of those who had considered the consequences had opted to vote YES, but it does kind of point to that.

    23. Doug Daniel says:

      I thought the point of the Big Lie propaganda technique was that you told a lie so big that nobody would believe you’d have the audacity to make it up, but I believe Alistair Carcrashmichaelmoorecrybabyhelpmerona has found the exception to the rule.

    24. balgayboy says:

      I knew all along that Gordon Brewer, Glen Campbell and the rest of the BBC Scotland team along with their fragile mates in the Hootsman, Herald, Sun, Daily Retard and the stalwart Daily Mail were all holding back their impartial views because of this constraint and fear of the  incumbent Scottish Government.

    25. PRJ says:

      All the no campaign needs to do is spread doubt. That is the easiest thing to do. It doesn’t matter how doubt is spread whether it’s through truth or lies it is effective. Now to counteract doubt is hard, it has to be beaten by facts, facts that the public can understand any technacality or detail in facts makes it easy for doubt to manifest. Other way to beat doubt is show the No campaign for what it is, Liars! To do that we would need media exposure, is that ever going to happen? 

    26. The Man in the Jar says:

      The mans a halfwit!

    27. Bertie K says:

      I note this is not the first time AC has mentioned businesses beng bullied into silence by the SNP, but who’s bullying now and what’s he trying to pull here?

      Seems obvious he’s trying to get businesses to takes sides and unsurprisingly they’re not going to be drawn as most companies would prefer to stay away from politics at the moment (discounting Donald Trumpet of course).

      It was a bad move during the Aberdeen Union Terrace Gardens referendum to get businesses involved in the local politic where some dodgy business interests put question marks over referendum and may have invalidited the result, which was reversed from yes to no.

      I’m not sure but I beleive there was no right of appeal so the Yes remains a No.

      It seems Mr Carmichael is playing the long game and getting his bids in early.

    28. msean says:

      I think a no vote might bring on an economic slump in Scotland,but businesses must know that a yes vote would bring probably the biggest economic bounce possible with international interest in Scottish businesses at an all time high.The only uncertainty until then for Scottish business is the ugly economic spectre of a no result.Since when were companies afraid anyway,putting up energy prices relentlessly or banking bonus awards and the like say they are afraid of naught.

    29. balgayboy says:

      To do that we would need media exposure, is that ever going to happen? 

      @ PRJ…Nae chance my friend, we’ve got what we have got unfortunately. As many and better commentators than myself have stated before, the only way for these lies to be counteracted is on the streets, door to door and face to face. Sad but true in this democratic UK.

    30. Ananurhing says:

      There are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scottish LibDem making for the House of Lords.
      The man is more of a grubber than a bruiser. Although as Sturgeon demonstrated, he does seem to bruise quite easily.

    31. Xander says:

      Imho there is most certainly pressure being applied. The pressure however is not political coming from ScotGov above, but instead is being exercised by the consumer from below by way of market forces. Individual consumers have little power however they do have the ability to choose between suppliers of goods and services. If a particular business feels that stating an opinion can only alienate some of it’s customers, why would they want to do it? Different businesses will assess any risks of “stating an opinion”/”not stating an opinion” based on their own unique circumstances and commercial self interest.

    32. Illy says:

      Hopefully this will backfire on AC, with business coming out in favour of Yes.
      Just imagine if that RBYeS campaign had stuck around (I think someone may have gotten into trouble with how fast it dissapeared)?  Or if something else comes along similar?
      Yes being normalised, seen as a perfectly reasonable option, is probably still Westminster’s biggest worry.
      What’s the phrase that gets thrown around?  “Tipping Point”?

    33. creigs1707repeal says:

      I’m a businessman. Have been for many, many years. Have never been leaned on or influenced by any political party or campaigning group. I’ll be voting YES.
      There. Happy now, Mr Carmichael?

      And here is the reason why many other business people are supporting YES:

    34. gordoz says:

      Damn that Scottish Government for giving us an elective say in our future and the opportunity to make an informed decision about our countries direction and future dynamic destiny.
      Damn them and that evil ‘falkenhoof’ tactician Alex Salmond for providing us with a cruel dilemma of such a fork in the road, as Scotlands Mystery Call referendum – go left and the road may take you towards opportunity, aspiration, transformational change and political direction of your choosing.
      Or … go right and head up the road to .. eh, just a wee bit further, past the punitive measures of a NO vote sign, … keep going past the ‘Oil has run out sign and into the cul-de-sac / swamp that is Team GB that will suck the life out of you and your grandchildren.
      Yeah; Salmond and the YES campaign with all the Media and the BBC / STV in their pockets, the repetetive Westminster Scottish affairs commitee reports backing YES, God it makes you sick really.
      Seriously though  –  the only ‘Sleep Walking’ being done here, is by the dogmatic NO sayers and the wishy washy gullable undecideds, how much more information from YES do they need ? And just what has been presented by  the NO side to date other than Project fear ?

    35. Bertie K says:

      Aslo, businesses like Ineos didn’t have a problem standing up to the Scot Gov just recently and look how much that cost us. We pay 9 mil and London issues a “loan”.

      A shrewd businessman, who took advantage of an opportunity too good to miss and won! A grand folly if ever there was one. 

      Scotland took big hits there in terms of monies and workers rights and this “loophole?” if indeed it is a loophole needs to be slammed shut.

      And lessons need to be learned.

      Scotland cannot afford to ignore this problem and Carmichael must be challnged.

      Businesses would do themselves and the rest of us a big favour if they stayed neutral according to the rules of a “democratic vote” for the Scottish people, but that’s just my perspective, skewed as it may be, sorry to ramble on.

    36. velofello says:

      Well said balgayboy, and I ain’t paying to read and to listen to lies and drivel from MSM and the BBC.And if I could I’d opt out of paying my share of Carmichael’s earnings.

    37. Patrick Roden says:

      This ‘fairy tale’ has been re-hashed about four times now, by four different liars from BT.

      I think George Osborne started it with the claim that he was told of companies who would not invest in Scotland because they feared Independence.

      Of course Osborne refused to name this anonymous person who had only told him in confidence as he feared a backlash.

      Willie Bain, Margaret Curran, Now Alistair Carcrasheal!
      It’s interesting how all these BT people are being told this stuff that is political dynamite, yet not one of them has leaked the names to the press.
      Just shows how trustworthy they are……unless they have been lying to us.

    38. HandandShrimp says:

      I’m pretty sure most CEOs would say Willie who? The notion that he would have the foggiest as to what was being discussed in the board room is laughable…he is far too busy checking SNP policy so he can be sure he is opposing it.
      O/T I noticed that I got a Facebook Timeline thing asking me to volunteer for Better Together. I noticed in the comments people were talking about Likes and how Better Together are automatically garnering Likes from visitors. I have never Liked that page and I am in fact banned from that page but sure enough the Like box was ticked. I have unticked it. They are absolute are fibbers and scoundrels. :/ 

    39. Ian Brotherhood says:

      ‘We haven’t seen the “plague of locusts” or “slaughter of the first born” scare stories yet…’
      Does anyone remember when Paisley had a ‘plague’ of flies? I’m as sure as I can be that it was within the past decade, but can’t find anything online.
      Millions of bluebottles all over the place, the good folk of the town were forced indoors. But it wasn’t punishment from God for unspeakable depravity or anything like that – it was a freezer in a fishing tackle shop had broken down over a bank holiday week-end, so when the owner opened up they were all waiting to get out.
      Did I just imagine it?

    40. Ken500 says:

      Scotland has lost £2Billion+ in Oil tax revenues a year, since Osbourne/Alexander increased Oil tax revenues 11% in the 2010 Budget (now 60% to 80%). The Oil companies stopped investing and cut Projects. It will take 5 years to get back – £10Billion+.

      Many entrepreneurs in Scotland support the SNP gov in Holyrood. Unionists like David Murray support Alex Salmond as the best FM for Scotland. Business people can read a balance sheet and know Scotland is defrauded by Westminster.

      UK companies are put at a disadvantage by (foreign) multinationals tax evading through the City of London.

    41. Gillie says:

      Alistair Carmichael is probably the most hapless Scottish Secretary of all time, and hopefully will be the last.
      This man couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag.

    42. Brotyboy says:

      O/T I noticed that I got a Facebook Timeline thing asking me to volunteer for Better Together. I noticed in the comments people were talking about Likes and how Better Together are automatically garnering Likes from visitors. I have never Liked that page and I am in fact banned from that page but sure enough the Like box was ticked. I have unticked it. They are absolute are fibbers and scoundrels. :/ 
      I’ve just visited my Facebook page and discovered the same; I have ‘liked’ BT.  Shurely shome mishtake.

    43. Brotyboy says:

      Sorry Rev.

    44. HandandShrimp says:

      It is probably worth mentioning twice though as I think a few of us might be in that boat 🙂

    45. Macart says:

      I don’t think I’ve paid for a paper in two or three years now. Last to go was the Herald, which even today I only look at through the odd link from indy sites. Frankly I’m ashamed of the press now. What few honest journos are left aren’t worth salvaging the entire industry for. When they go I’ll maybe have the odd regret at what should have been, but that would be it really. The past few years have well and truly permanently soured my view of the press.

    46. Macart says:

      As much as a half? 😉

    47. Papadocx says:

      This apology for a man I believe was a procurator fiscal! That is terrifying and if this is the standard of evidence he presented to a Sheriff in court, then that raises even more serious questions.
      HMG, BT, MSM are all in this up to their necks, A propaganda campaign of lies, deceit, and invention.
      This crew would accuse, try and convict a shopkeeper who was robbed of aiding and abetting in the crime.
      The depths this unionist mob will sink to is apparently bottomless nothing is sacred. It is so obvious and the “decent” Scottish population are FRIGHTENED OF THE SNP AND THAT NICE ALEC SALMOND.  is that the good living, church going, middle classes, honest folk?

    48. HandandShrimp says:

      I’m the same. I used to take the Scotsman every day until Neil took it rightwards and I moved to the Herald but became disenchanted as it too took a strident political position and ditched a bucket load of its journalists.
      As for the hacking scandals, the BBC scandals and cover ups and all the rest…the UK media is not worth supporting. The Guardian has moments over things like the NSA/GCHQ but even it is shockingly biased against Scottish independence….although I have noticed a wee bit more balance recently.

    49. Peter A Bell says:

      Like all the smears and scare-stories we get from Project Fear, this nonsense from Carmichael does not stand up to scrutiny.

    50. Hetty says:

      Papadocx says
      This apology for a man I believe was a procurator fiscal! That is terrifying and if this is the standard of evidence he presented to a Sheriff in court, then that raises even more serious questions.

      My thoughts entirely. He makes quite an accusation here without any evidence, the stuff of school children in a playground. Time this guy started to make intelligent mature statements about what the union has to offer Scotland, oh I forgot, it is about attacking your opponent even with downright lies and more lies. What will the next instalment be, bt are becoming even more tedious and boring. 

    51. muttley79 says:

      This has become a standard tactic of the No campaign: claim that businesses are scared to support BT because of the chilling Scottish nationalists.  Margaret Curran regularly comes out with this as well.  Of course no evidence is given.  It is a yet another smear from the No campaign.  In normal circumstances you would expect the media to scrutinise these claims, and hold the No campaign to account.  Sadly we know that they have no intention of doing this, regardless of the damage it does to the democratic process here. 

    52. muttley79 says:

      The past few years have well and truly permanently soured my view of the press.
      The sad thing is I don’t think they even care that a significant number of people in Scotland now feel this way about the mainstream press.  They are so determined to protect the British state.

    53. Macart says:

      “although I have noticed a wee bit more balance recently.”
      Could be they’re beginning to see what we’re seeing coming through the various sites. I’ll keep my powder dry till I see a real trend forming though. Severin hasn’t carpet bombed in a while, so I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
      I reckon the sell out response from the WP has raised a few eyebrows regardless of the crap in the press. Must be the fastest selling title to hit the shelves in some time. 😀

    54. balgayboy says:

      @papadocx: Wait till 2014 comes round when WOS, NNS and the rest of the pro-indepence upstarts start getting periodically lengthy access shutdowns for no explicable reasons.
      There might even be some contrived but false scandal involving an SNP MSP or MP…be prepared!

    55. The Man in the Jar says:

      I am in a generous mood today. 😉

    56. Macart says:

      As you know I used to go out of my way to be reasonable in defence of print jobs especially. Well I’m no hypocrite Muttley, just beaten and disappointed. I had hoped that there would be at least one of the big titles who would buck the system or say ‘hang on a minute’, but not one, not a sodding one.
      Sod them.
      If they stand in defence of a system of government which has caused and is causing so much pain, then hell mend them. Sympathy free zone here.

    57. Macandroid says:

      PRJ @ 11:24
      How much to buy the Scotsman? Could we crowd fund it? 🙂

    58. Macart says:

      It’s the samaritan in you. 😀

    59. Robert McDonald says:

      Of course, that explains these figures form Ernst & Young’s “UK Attractiveness survey” Well worth a read to see what’s going on with external investment:

      Scotland’s ranking (excl. London) by number of projects

      2003 4th
      2004 2nd
      2005 5th
      2006 2nd
      2007 2nd
      2008 2nd
      2009 2nd
      2010 1st
      2011 2nd
      2012 1st

    60. HandandShrimp says:

      I am sure Severin is fuelling his B52 in readiness. I expect nothing less. I was just encouraged that the Guardian has let other rather more sympathetic voices loose. However, you are right, it could be a flash in the pan. I shall watch with interest (and make comments where appropriate 🙂  )

    61. The Man in the Jar says:

      It seems like a long, long time ago in a far distant place that I used to think that you had to be reasonably bright to be a politician. Not any  more, not since Better Together came on the scene thats for sure. 

    62. ronnie anderson says:

      ACs, had a heavy lunch with the Editors of the Scottish press, Hootsman / Telegraph / Herald, on their declining newspaper sales,. The real buisnessmen are getting on with their investments in Scotland quietly, ( its called getting the jump on your rivels ) Now I cant wait on Mr Comikeekle,s new year message, get your posters ready fur the new year partys, & show the world a positive Scotland, awe they TV camera,s fae Edin / Abdeen / Glasa / Dun / Ork Shet, UP your Helly AH Mr Comikeekle

    63. Papadocx says:

      Balgayboy 1:05
      For sure balgayboy! 
      All BT can come up with are lies and innuendo, they can find no defects in the YES program. 
      hopefully we are just absorbing their initial ferocious frontal attack, and once they have spent themselves, It’s then time to counter attack with the truth, facts and figures in good disciplined order.
      however at this point the “wild geese” crew will be thrown into the attack and at that point we will see how debauched dirty and corrupt this putrid Westminster system is!

      its not easy JUST HOLD YOUR NERVE!

    64. Gin says:

      I’d consider myself relatively internet-savy, but this issue of Facebook “auto-like” does resolve something which had puzzled me about members of my family having “Likes” promoted for the BT website.  One of which happened within 2 hours of them sending a “correction message” to say that they certainly DID NOT like THAT site !
      A couple of quotes I was not aware of, having done a quick Internet search:

      ‘But researcher Ashkan Soltani, writing in the Wall Street Journal, argued that inflating the numbers in this way raises the prospect of “like fraud”. ‘

      “Facebook auto-like scams have been commonplace on the world’s largest social network for some time now. Typical techniques that the “likejacking” fraudsters use include overlaying pictures, invisible ‘Like’ buttons, and so on.”
      Rev. – Might be worth some further investigation, after all, when you don’t need to pay the MSM for promotion of your message, a great deal of “dirty tricks” technology can be bought for £1.7M

    65. Macart says:

      As always. 😀
      Tally Ho!

    66. Macart says:

      Who needs intelligence when you have the media to translate bollox for you? 😉

    67. Les Wilson says:

      Carmichael will always be labelled ” The Secretary of State For Portsmouth ” in my mind. It has stuck in my mind. However, as he is going from bad to worse, I await to see a better one appear any moment.

    68. Derick Tulloch says:


      If I had a pound I would send it to you for that comment.  No, hang on, I would, and will, send it to the Reverend on the basis my previous pittance was the best money I have spent for some time.  Quite some time.

    69. HandandShrimp says:

      Weird thing is I think that my Like for the BT page is very recent (today possibly) and I haven’t been there for a while. I wonder if they are going through their banned list and adding them? That would pretty much treble their number of Likes 😉

    70. Albert Herring says:

      Just discovered I also “like” BT’s facebook page. I don’t think I’ve ever even posted on it. Might be worth checking now and then.

    71. mogabee says:

      Yep, just checked and I’m also on BT “liked”..bloody cheaters!

    72. Albert Herring says:

      Just reported this “like” fraud to Facebook. Doubt if they’ll do anything.

    73. Jamie Arriere says:

      Doesn’t Carcrashmichaelmoorehelpmeronablobfish not realise that all Scottish businesses are saying nothing because they are, as we speak, dismantling all their premises brick by brick so as to rebuild them in Newcastle?
      The useless article really needs to get on the right page of the Britnat hymnsheet!!

    74. fiona says:

      Those who support independence are also living in fear of speaking out in front of their bosses incase they get bullied. I for one can name the nhs as being a culprit. If your boss does not agree with your opinion then they can easily make it difficult for you. It has become acceptable in our society for people in power to bully like this. There is no transparency, so its difficult to prove a claim. For a fairer, more transparent Scotland, I will vote yes.

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