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Manufacturing concern

Posted on March 01, 2013 by

(Apologies to Chomsky and Herman.)

A standard-issue scare story in the Scotsman today was cast in an interesting light following an email we received last night from an alert reader, who’d been contacted by “a business owner in Moray” after the latter received an unsolicited communication from the official “Better Together” campaign.

concern3

We’ll let the reader tell the rest of the story.

“This person was asked to complete a business survey.  The survey asked the following questions:

Does the prospect of Scotland separating from the UK raise concerns for your business? [Yes / No / Don’t Know]

Thinking about the impact of separation would have on your business, please select which three issues are most important to you.
[Defence / Taxation / Pensions / Currency / Employment Regulation / EU Membership]

Do you have a question for the Scottish Government on how separation will affect your business? Write it here and we’ll ask it for you.

Do any other aspects of separating from the rest of the UK concern you?

We would like to invite you to a live webchat to discuss your concerns and questions with Better Together Chair, Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP and Director Phil Anderton.  If yes, we will email you details. [Yes / No]

At the bottom was the icon for submitting the form.  This business owner filled their details at the top as requested, and completed every box faithfully.  They believed that ‘separation’ would have no impact on any of the issues listed, and left all six boxes (from Defence to EU membership) unchecked.

Unfortunately, the Better Together survey would not accept having this business owner’s belief that none of the issues listed would impact on their business, and demanded that at least one box was ticked.”

btsurvey

So we’ll be watching closely in the coming days and weeks for any press releases from the No camp – doubtless dutifully covered by the Scottish media – asserting that, say, “62% of Scottish business owners are concerned about pensions in an independent Scotland, according to a survey we conducted”.

Because if you ask people a compulsory question without allowing the answer “I am not concerned about any of these things in this context”, even when they’ve already chosen that option in a previous box, you’ll be able to create some handy statistics out of thin air which suggest something that in fact isn’t true, and that people are concerned about things they’re not concerned about.

And that wouldn’t really be on, would it?

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    53 to “Manufacturing concern”

    1. Eoin says:

      Ha, ha, I submitted the form and requested that they ask the Scottish Government to request that the Better Together campaign desists from using the word ‘separate’ and its derivatives as a form of naive scaremongering – not sure they’ll take me seriously tho!

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      When you fill it in, you get taken to the Donate page, which starts off with the following in bold:
       
      We love Scotland.
       
      The very fact they feel the need to state that speaks volumes. A bit like the old “I’m not a racist, but…” or “some of my best friends are black…”

    3. Bob Howie says:

      It is similar to companies who have leaving interviews that is full of loaded questions that make them appear to be little angels and there is nowhere for your actual feelings to be highlighted. The No campaign are aware they have nothing so they load questions so you cannot be positive, which is actually a novelty for them, as the only message they portray is negativity.
      You can tell me I was right if I am still here but if there is a No vote in 2014, it will be the death of Scotland because the Con-Dems will take a No vote to mean they have Carte Blanche to strip Scotland of everything possible and everyone will suffer!
       

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I’ve taken the survey too, in my capacity as a company director. I asked them to ask the Scottish Government on my behalf how many pies I’d be able to keep in the office fridge under ‘separation’. WHY WON’T SALMOND GIVE US ANSWERS?

    5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Man, now I really want a pie.

    6. Marcia says:

      They do like the words ‘separating’ and ‘separate’ in this push poll.

    7. beachthistle says:

      The ‘3rd sector’ ‘survey’ has the same ‘Catch 22’ (maybe we should call it Catch 14?) submitting system. I filled it out  (using ‘Other’) yesterday in my capacity as chair of a Scottish charity, saying I anticipate nothing but positive impacts.
      It is linked to a factless ‘we need facts’ blog by  Iain McGilla veteran of Scotland’s Third Sector”, who “has spent the last 15 years working in the 3rd Sector in Scotland in a variety of roles.”
      http://bettertogether.net/blog/entry/charities-need-the-facts
      One fact missing:Iain McGill is also a Tory Party candidate.

       
       

    8. beachthistle says:

      @Doug Daniel 
      The  upfront “We love Scotland” on the Donate page jarred with and blared out at me too.
      Agree with the ‘some of my best friends’ analogy, but it first struck me as having more of the vibe of the abusive partner (usually husband) vainly protesting, rather than proclaiming, ‘love’, when trying to mollify/avoid being deservedly dumped!
      My second reaction/interpretation was of the religious variant of ‘love’ (maybe due to that snidey son of the manse coming out of the woodwork again) – where it is the m/paternalistic smothering ‘saving Scotland from itself’/’saving Scots from themselves’ type of ‘love’.
      However ‘love’ is interpreted by whoever reads it,  I think bigger-picture it is very encouraging that with 18+ months still to go the BT munchkins are increasingly using and relying on non-evidence-based words/abstract concepts such as ‘strong’, ‘love’, etc.
       

       

       

    9. John Lyons says:

      Lol. That was Fun.
      I am Concerned that Scottish Tax payers will be held to ransom as Westminster has to pay redundancies to all the former Scottish MPS and I’m  also worried about Immigration and border controlls. What’s to stop people in England suddenly realising how much better off we are in an Independant Scotland and flooding north to get away from the Toxic Tories?
      Aparently they’d like to invite me to a speech Alasdair Darling is giving.
      Lets hope they do!

    10. DMyers says:

      I remember a story last year about a strikingly similar survey disseminated to businesses by a businessman from Moray (who was either a Lib Dem councillor or ex-parliamentary candidate).  The response to the survey was pretty low, if I remember correctly.

    11. beachthistle says:

      @DMyers
      Think you are referring to the ice cream & crisps peddler and windfarmer Maitland Mackie?
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-economy/5824-scottish-food-and-drink-too-weak-to-withstand-independence-claims-ice-cream-chief
      Easy to scoff at these dodgy loaded surveys but all they are designed to do, and need to do,  is get 1 or 2 days of media headlines  – doesn’t matter if the methodology is crap, most people won’t read the story below and the survey question details, and if/when they do, too late, the message is out there – and currently MSM seem happy to play the unethical chip-paper tomorrow game…

    12. cath says:

      “The response to the survey was pretty low, if I remember correctly.”
       
      Doesn’t matter. They could have a response rate of 0.000000001% but so long as the MSM is willing to repeat their spin on it carte blanche, the headlines will scream “100% of businesses concerned about separation”.
       
      Remember the way the RBS “not seeing any reason they’d ever leave Scotland” was reported as “RBS may leave Scotland after separation” after the Scottish Affairs Committee hearing?
       

    13. Donald Kerr says:

      Does anyone know the url? I think that I’d like to complete this survey.

    14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      It’s in the article, start of the quote.

    15. Simon says:

      I’m afraid I ticked all of the boxes. What fun!

      I mean it was true! I am concerned about all those things post-independence. That’s why I support the Yes campaign!

    16. sandy armstrong says:

      The problem is Jo public will hear and read these dodgy figures from the mainstream media with no one to challenge them and  have the  intentioned effect.

    17. muttley79 says:

      The No campaign love Scotland so much they do not think we should run our own affairs….

    18. Jiggsbro says:

      The No campaign love Scotland so much they do not think we should run our own affairs….
       
      I love my children, which is why I give them pocket money and make decisions for them.

    19. Albert Herring says:

      @Jiggsbro
      I used to do that too, but now they’ve left home and are leading happy, successful, independent lives.

    20. muttley79 says:

      @Jiggsbro
       
      I love my children, which is why I give them pocket money and make decisions for them.
       
      Are you are a unionist?  If you are you have just admitted that Scotland gets “pocket money” from the UK, and in terms of nations are a child.  Can we not aspire to being more than a child nation, can we not make our own decisions?  What effects does it have on the nation, and the people of Scotland, when we are told we can never become a grown up?  That reply of yours has confirmed my suspicions of the way unionists view Scotland, and the nation’s capacity to govern itself.  It is not really a good advert for the union is it?

    21. cath says:

      I love my children, which is why I give them pocket money and make decisions for them.
      – Are you are a unionist?
       
      Surely that was sarcasm, wasn’t it? If it wasn’t, and was a real unionist argument, I despair. Hard to tell the difference really.

    22. scottish_skier says:

      Surely that was sarcasm, wasn’t it
      I suspect it was missing the sarcasm winky, yes.

    23. muttley79 says:

      I don’t know if it was or not.  It missed either the face expression or the old….

    24. cath says:

      When the other sides arguments have become so bad Poe’s law is operating does that mean you’ve won?

    25. scottish_skier says:

      Apropos of nothing.
      On this day 1979, the ‘only 32.9% who support separation‘ of the Scottish electorate went out and voted ‘Yes’, resulting in a Yes majority (52%).
      Now we all know what happened after, but pat little attention to the 33% number when we should. On the low side of polls today huh? However, it’s around the definite base that never goes away within error…
      In 1997, just 38% of the electorate said Y and Y, giving a 63.5% majority for the maximum powers on offer. We’ve had much higher than that in polls for Y; the long term (15 year) average is 42-43%.
      So, just mind and go out and vote. But then you’ve been waiting a long time for this, so I don’t expect you’ll forget. In fact I think you’ll make that special effort, just to prove all those that are saying it is guaranteed to be ‘No’ wrong.
      Just like the last couple of times.

    26. Geoff Huijer says:

      Surely someone could tick all the boxes believing that ‘separation’ would have an impact – a POSITIVE impact.
      An ‘impact’ doesn’t need to be negative…oops…sorry,
      it’s Better Together we’re talking about and they don’t believe
      in anything positive do they?
       

    27. St says:

      Desperate lot .I even liked the better together page on face book in the hope i could have some debate ,well would you believe it they blocked me from any comment s,these are really desperate people who will stop at nothing to try and prevent the truth .  

    28. Fife stevie says:

      A we suggestion if i may I have got into the habit of printing things like this then leaving them on the staff room table you would be surprised the difference  they make .Convinced a lot of people at work this way .

    29. scottish_skier says:

      A we suggestion if i may I have got into the habit of printing things like this then leaving them on the staff room table

      I do suggest everyone does that if they can. No need to bombard people. Just leave a few choice articles lying around with the papers. Ideally with website names there somewhere of course.You’d be surprised at what results.

      I’m still astonished at the effectiveness of the McCrone report story. It is genuinely surprising how many people hadn’t heard.

    30. ianbrotherhood says:

      @scottish_skier-
      re McCrone report.
      Does anyone have a succinct summary of the report’s contents, and the circumstances i.e. commissioning/concealment etc? Preferably something that could be printed as a handy A5 leaflet?
      Must be out there somewhere – just asking in case anyone has suitable copy to hand.

    31. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Adrian B-
      You are the man.
      I clicked on number 3 – it’s precisely what I was after.
      Ain’t this internet lark just the dog’s rear-wheels?
      Cheer,  cheers…and thrice it must be stated – Cheers!

    32. ianbrotherhood says:

      Just HAD to re-post this one Adrian put up earlier – if you haven’t seen this, please do, and savour the comments. 
      Real eye-opener, for me anyway.
      http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/3577-mccrone-and-the-trust-of-the-scottish-people

    33. Colin Dunn says:

      @ianbrotherhood
      There’s a PDF summary you can download from here . .
      http://sunnyscotland.org.uk/?p=39

    34. Adrian B says:

      @ianbrotherhood
       
      I am sure you will put these links to good use.
       
      @Colin Dunn
       
      As the original link loads as a PDF, you can save it from your browser. For those that don’t know how to do this your link makes this simpler for others Thanks. 
      Smiley, happy thing to both of you!

    35. ianbrotherhood says:

      AdrianB –
      Plucked the following from the comments on Hazel’s article – you’ll have seen it, but worth a look for those who haven’t :

      Lupus IncomitatusJanuary 14, 2012 at 6:26 AM
      Hazel,

      I will reread this thoroughly later but two and a half simple observations.

      The UK has no written constitution and thus the doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy is used as they will, without fear of being called to account.

      This parliamentary democracy has been suborned by a cadre/gang/cabal who use it to serve themselves. I do not say that this is some outside criminal organisation but that the manipulation from within of the culture of Westminster, has created a cadet force of handmaidens to the elite. In return for this they get fed, watered and rewarded with baubles and fur trimmed coats when their usefulness is at an end.

      Westminster has the very best politicians that money can buy.

      This system dis-serves all good honest citizens wherever they live on the islands. Unfortunately a sizeable proportion of them buy into it and wrap themselves in nationalist jingoism and have developed a disdain on everyone who is not one of them.Part of this delusion is paid in blood on foreign lands.

      Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville, a French political thinker involved in French and US democracy in the 1830’s, said that the French believe that no man is superior to them whilst the English believe they are superior to everyone. This is a dangerous arrogance that engendered an Empire based on military intervention everywhere and anywhere; anywhere there was where there could be pillage. This mentality still lingers there, actively encouraged by the politicians, the Press and the BBC.

      In the SNP we have the chance to dissociate ourselves from this fetid corruption and set up a true representative peoples’ democracy.

      The McCrone report, its significance, internally and existentially, is a representative example of this pseudo democracy in action. In fact when all the files are opened we will find much, much more and much worse. 

      The Stasi files will be a fairy tale compared to the back catalogue of this lot. 

      We need our independence to save ourselves and just give some of the non lobotomised English a clue of what to do.

      That is why Cameron, Milliband, Osborn, Balls, Clegg and every last one of their criminal gang cannot allow Scotland to break and succeed. Their big lie would be obvious to all

    36. ianbrotherhood says:

      Adrian B –
      PS. Does anyone know who leaked the report, and when? Did the Scottish MSM give it any coverage at the time?

    37. Jimbo says:

      Does the prospect of Scotland separating from the UK raise concerns for your business? [Yes / No / Don’t Know]
      NO 
      Thinking about the impact of separation would have on your business, please select which three issues are most important to you.[Defence / Taxation / Pensions / Currency / Employment Regulation / EU Membership]
      EU Membership
      Do you have a question for the Scottish Government on how separation will affect your business? Write it here and we’ll ask it for you.
      I would like to ask Alex Salmond: Does he think the Better Together camp trying to frighten people into voting NO will be more effective than engaging in honest, dispassionate debate? (The uncertainty caused by their dishonest scaremongering is bad for business)
      Do any other aspects of separating from the rest of the UK concern you?
      I am concerned that when it comes to negotiating Scotland’s independence Westminster will prevaricate and procrastinate.
      We would like to invite you to a live webchat to discuss your concerns and questions with Better Together Chair, Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP and Director Phil Anderton.  If yes, we will email you details. [Yes / No]
      Yes
      However, I think those with the answer NO to the first question will be binned.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

    38. Jimbo says:

      As well as the McCrone report there were other papers released under the 30 year rule   that never saw the light of day in the MSM. They were put on the Internet by an Irish journalist.
      This link takes you to the introduction and index. From there you can access the (secret) papers. 
      http://www.tomgriffin.org/the_green_ribbon/2007/01/state_papers_on.html
      Scottish devolution and North Sea oil including economics of Scottish independence
      1974 Jan 01 – 1975 Dec 31

      “the orders of magnitude are sufficient to show that Scotland would have more cash on independence than under continued union.”
      Devolution: Economic advantages to Scotland of the Union
       
      If there is a moral from all this, it is that progress toward devolution should be delayed for as long as possible consistently with honouring the Government’s commitment to move down the devolution road and containing the SNP lobby in Parliament.”
      Scotland: Implications for External Financing.

    39. Holebender says:

      McCrone was not released under any thirty year rule. Its release was forced by a FOI request from an SNP MP.

    40. Jimbo says:

      “McCrone was not released under any thirty year rule. Its release was forced by a FOI request from an SNP MP.”
       
      Yes, I know, HB.
      The other papers were released under the 30 year rule.

    41. Davy says:

      Thanks for those links to the McCrone report, I was able to e-mail one of them to eight different locations within the company which can now be read by at least 30 plus staff. I have been looking for an opportinuity to do this for quite a while and so far no discouraging replys.
      Rev; how about leaving this links available somewhere ? for general use so we can get the message out there as required.
      Caesar! Gu snooker loopy!  

    42. ianbrotherhood says:

      Just went for a long walk with the dogs, trying to calm down. I thought I knew about this McCrone stuff, but reading the detail? We’ve all been robbed blind. 25% of our weans are in ‘official’ poverty, we’re about to get hammered with this shitey tax – and it could all have been avoided? And our own politicos and MSM knew about it?
      Can’t remember feeling as angry as this. Next time I hear some bawbag saying ‘the oil’s running out anyway’ I’ll staple that A5 leaflet to his effing forehead.

    43. Adrian B says:

      @ianbrotherhood and all others interested parties:
       
      http://www.oilofscotland.org/
       
      Although this site looks at things from a Nationalist perspective, the amount of basic information, facts, figures, downloadable PDF’s etc will be of use to many.
      Oil of Scotland covers many topics of how we have been screwed over the years. The information is widely available else where also, but the range of topics covered helps as a refresher course and will help you find other information. If you don’t bookmark it then I would recommend creating a web archive folder by saving the URL to a folder on your desktop.
       
      Here is another good source of info – some good links down the left hand side of the page:

      http://www.robedwards.com/ 

      I think that is enough for now – easy to get overloaded with information fatigue. Happy reading. 
       
       

    44. Adrian B says:

      @ianbrotherhood,
       
      Its very easy to become angry about how we have been conned – but we are also told that it is our best interests for this system to continue. Better together? My hairy arse!
      Add in the costs that Scots pay for electricity pretty much North of the Central Belt, while London and the South East are subsidised.
      Scots who fly out of Scotland and get a connecting flight are paying Air passenger duty twice for each person. Another cost to being Scottish.
      I could go on and on, but I is getting of topic……
      Happy smily things!

    45. Craig P says:

      Fife Stevie, that’s a great idea. I will take in to work the better together leaflet that announces the dangers of Scotland not being AAA rated, and see how long it lasts on the canteen table…
       
      Ianbrotherhood, the guy that found the McCrone report was an SNP researcher called Davie Hutchison. When I read it that was it for me, I had seen the light, there was no way back. 

    46. Jiggsbro says:

      Just for the record, my “I love my children, which is why I give them pocket money and make decisions for them.” wasn’t sarcasm – I do love my children, I do give them pocket money and I do make decisions for them. It was a more light-hearted warning about assuming that those in favour of independence have a monopoly on patriotism or loving – and wanting the best for – their country. It’s possible to believe – indeed, if you get all your information from the MSM, it’s almost impossible not to believe – that the Union is the best thing for Scotland. It’s possible to be a Unionist and love Scotland. It’s possible to be a Unionist because you love Scotland. And it’s possible to harden a Unionist’s stance by attacking their patriotism rather than their logical failings, factual errors or misconceptions. I don’t think we’ll get any converts – from either ‘No’ or ‘Don’t know’ – by suggesting that they are unpatriotic because they have a different opinion. However ill-judged that opinion is.

    47. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Jiggsbro –
      It’s possible to believe anything, but you have to want to. You want to believe Scotland is better off in the Union? Good for you.
      Just for the record – could you let the rest of us know what clothes the emperor is wearing today?

    48. Albert Herring says:

      @Jiggsbro
      I might have been more analogous to say “I love my children, which is why I give my salary to the neighbours in the hope that they’ll give me and the kids some pocket money and make decisions for us.

    49. scottish_skier says:

      I can understand people feeling sentimental about (even loving) the Union/UK of GB. However, can’t get my head around the idea of the Union – i.e. as represented primarily by politicians from the SE of England (they being the ones handing out the pocket money, ergo they are the union ‘parents’ in the analogy) – ‘loving’ Scotland. We’re a pain in the erse. They might love the oil, whisky etc – even love shooting small birds whilst eating cucumber sandwiches amongst the heather – but ‘love’ in the parent-child sense is maybe stretching it just a wee bit. Sounds rather condescending in fact. I’d prefer the Union respected Scotland. It’s not a child you know.

    50. Jiggsbro says:

      You want to believe Scotland is better off in the Union?
       
      No. I had hoped that was apparent from “I don’t think we’ll get any converts – from either ‘No’ or ‘Don’t know’”

    51. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Jiggsbro-
      Okay. Understood. Sorry if I was a bit nippy, but I was still in The Mother of All Bad Moods after reading that McCrone stuff. I should’ve read your comment with more care before sounding-off.
      The whole ‘patriotism’ issue is a minefield. This piece by Peter A Bell struck me as particularly clear-sighted:
      http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/identity-and-ideology.html
      FWIW, I feel no sympathy at all for Unionists who sloppily twist a legitimate yearning for self-determination into evidence of treason – it’s an intellectually vapid stance which collapses under the slightest scrutiny. They’ve always had it ‘their way’ thanks to the support of the State and its MSM propaganda – now, when a grassroots movement has this and other alternative sources to support it, they cry ‘foul’ by appealing to the basest of instincts. If their attitudes are ‘hardened’ by being shown-up as useful idiots, that’s their problem.
      Flags and scoundrels – meant for each other.

    52. Did yu also know that the French offered to clear Scottish beef during the BSE crisis…but Tony Blair declined the offer?



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