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The not-so-smart money

Posted on May 01, 2013 by

Several weeks on, we still await answers from the No camp to several serious questions about their biggest donor, Ian Taylor of Vitol. But the ongoing furore (we’re really not sure issuing the Herald with a legal threat worked out the way Mr Taylor hoped it would) over his £500,000 donation has kept attention away from the other substantial contributors to the “Better Together” campaign fund.

richiecrop

Aberdeen local paper the Evening Express has decided to put that right, though.

Yesterday’s edition carried an article written by Peterhead businessman Charles Richie, who gave £50,000 to the anti-independence campaign. It doesn’t appear to be online anywhere, so we’re grateful to the alert reader who scanned it in and sent it to us. You can read it below.

charlesrichie

There’s some pretty odd reasoning on display.

——————————————————————————————

“Alex Salmond wants to get rid of the MoD.”

Well, yes, but presumably in favour of a Scottish MoD.

“Look at the proposed merger of Aberdeen College and Banff and Buchan College. I haven’t met one person who approves of this.”

We’re reasonably sure that’s happening now, before the referendum, because Scotland’s education system is already independent, always has been, and will stay so regardless of the outcome of the vote, so it’s a weird argument to be using against independence.

“We’re seeing most things being centralised in Edinburgh, including the police. I’d rather take my chances with Westminster.”

Um, see above. A No vote will not return control of policing to London, unless there’s something we’re not being told, so again it wouldn’t immediately appear to be much of a killer blow in terms of the referendum.

“At some time in the future there’s going to be a crossing point between the price of extracting oil and the price of oil itself. Then there will be zero profit and zero tax revenue.”

At some time in the future the sun’s going to explode and burn Earth to ashes, so what’s the point of ever doing anything? Scotland’s oil will outlive Mr Richie, quite probably his children and perhaps even his grandchildren too. But the fact that it’s finite surely suggests it’s time we took control of it and used it to plan for the post-oil future, as Norway has done so spectacularly.

Their oil fund – from the wise use of similar reserves to Scotland and a population the same size, which doesn’t send all the money to a far bigger neighbour – grew by $37 billion this year alone. That’s not far short of an entire year’s Scottish Government spending, without a single penny of tax receipts.

Just on that three-month increase, without touching the capital, an independent Scottish Government could reduce income tax, corporation tax, VAT and every other tax to ZERO for a whole year. That’d probably be quite popular with citizens and businesses alike, we suspect.

“How can we protect oil and gas rigs when we won’t have a Royal Navy or Royal Air Force?”

Again, we’re reasonably sure nobody’s proposed an independent Scotland should have no armed forces whatsoever. The SNP, for example, have committed themselves to spending £2.5bn a year on defence, considerably more than most comparable nations.

“If Salmond gets rid of the MoD he gets rid of a major objector to windfarms so he can build more, even though tourists don’t like them.”

We think our brain just fused itself closed.

“With Salmond it’s all about ego. He upsets people and is divisive. You can’t throw stones at the English, Welsh and Irish and expect them not to throw things back.”

Might we suggest, Charles, that in an independent Scotland you might vote for someone other than Alex Salmond? It’s just a thought. Maybe ponder it while we try to work out when the First Minister “threw stones at the English, Welsh and Irish”. We’re pretty sure he constantly describes himself as an Anglophile and that the SNP are in a long-standing Parliamentary alliance with Plaid Cymru.

——————————————————————————————

Readers, it can be hard to keep believing in the power of reason when confronted with cognitive dissonance of such an order. But we’ll keep plugging away all the same.

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    102 to “The not-so-smart money”

    1. abigdoob says:

      It’s like BT have given him a shot of Joe 90s gegs & wheeched him around in Big Rat.

    2. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      He claims “…young people are being disenfranchised…”. Is Peterhead in the same country as the rest of us?

    3. Edinburgh Quine says:

      How this man manages to run a business, beats me.  His lack of clarity and logic defies belief. 
      Oh and whilst we’re on the subject of donations, why hasn’t the electoral commision taken better dependent to task over the Vitol thingy?  Leaving it until after September 2014 will be  wee bitty too late I think

    4. sneddon says:

      Does he know he’s been set up to look as thick as F**k-cognitive dissonance doesn’t begin to cover this level of drivel.  Hopefully this will dispel the myth that you need intelligence to succeed as a shareholder in business.

    5. Doug Daniel says:

      In fairness, it still ranks as an improvement on the usual Evening Express articles.
       
      Incidentally, what’s this about the MoD being a major objector to windfarms? I had no idea the MoD was trying to interfere in Scotland’s renewable energy plans. Sounds like a pretty good reason to get rid, frankly. Have the Herald looked into this? It sounds like it could be a pretty big story, if one were inclined to report on such things.
       
      Thanks for making the case for us, Charlie!

    6. YesYesYes says:

      Again, I wish we had a Scottish Private Eye (or ‘Private Aye’ as Ian Brotherhood once suggested). Virtually any extract from this awful piece would provide excellent material for the ‘Dumb Britain’ section. People like this are the unionists’ secret weapon. Their mission? To force the rest of us to the conclusion that, with people like this in our midst, maybe independence isn’t such a good idea after all.

    7. Training Day says:

      ‘I’ve lived with Alex Salmond’s antics and in that time I’ve seen businesses disappear from Banff and Buchan”

      No businesses disappeared from Banff and Buchan before Salmond started his antics.  Glad we cleared that up.
      Sheesh, to an unversed Weegie outsider the Evening Express looks as if it makes the Scotsman look rabidly pro-indy..

    8. Norman says:

      Read it, still trying to work out how independence would be bad for business, love how he thinks we still have maritime patrol and active submarine / surface ships patrolling the North Sea / Greenland / Iceland / Scotland Gap.  The fact we don’t is a mere nit picking on our parts.
      So to sum up it boils down to another I a hate Alex Salmond narrative and of course because Alex Salmond and the SNP will rule forever after independence, we can’t trust ourselves to govern.
      Jesus Christ.

    9. Cheryl says:

      I spent a couple of months living in Peterhead and it seemed at times like the whole town was employed by Score.  I imagine there’ll be more than a few who share his views.

    10. James Morton says:

      The closest we have to Private eye and the daily show is this site – I would request that rev gets involved with Mr Bella and a certain peat worrier to make some sort of youtube show – get this thing trending

    11. Peter A Bell says:

      I read what Peterhead businessman, Charles Richie, has to say on the subject of independence and I am forcefully reminded of the fact that it is futile to attempt to use reason to persuade a person from a position that they did not arrive at be reason.
       

      I am also reminded that intellectual rigour is most definitely not a prerequisite of success in business.

    12. Dan Simmie says:

      This is a bizarre article.The whole tone of it suggests it was either not proof read or a nationalist leaning journalist proof read it. It is so full of errors and mistakes and the whole basis seems to be a hatred of Alex Salmond.
      And for such a committed unionist you would think he would know the union has been in place over 300 years not 200 years.

    13. Seasick Dave says:

      With regards to windfarms, the MoD put their tuppenceworth in like everyone else.
       
      I have worked on planning applications for windfarms and between RAF flight paths, peat bogs, SSSIs, auld ruins, hen harriers, water courses and mobile phone masts, its a wonder that any get approved at all.
       
      And that’s before El Trumpo starts bumping his gums.
       
      As for the rest of the article – unbelievable! 🙂

    14. Dramfineday says:

      Off Topic – only kidding, just being a naughty person!
      It is strange how some people have worked up these concoctions of opinions and hold them to be dear truths. Stranger still they get a platform for them. Still, I defend his right to spout them but I prefer Olson Johnson’s view that they are “authentic frontier gibberish”.
       

    15. Mac says:

      It would appear that Scotland’s education system has served Charles Ritchie well.
       

      Higher National Certificate in Engineering in 1969
      BSc Mechanical Engineering from University of Strathclyde
      Diploma in Management from Robert Gordon’s Institute

       
      You would imagine that someone who left school with no formal qualifications would fare less well in obtaining the chance to study at college and university over the border.  Mr Ritchie business success is actually based on Scotland’s higher education system being traditionally open, accessible and free to all. Why should Scots be prevented in the future from being as successful as he has been?
      Mr Ritchie proves the point that being ill-educated is not the same as being educationally ignorant. He would have better spending his £50,000 is donating such a sum of money to his alma maters to show his appreciation.  
       

    16. MajorBloodnok says:

      @DD

      The MoD objects to windfarms sometimes because if there were more of them then there wouldn’t be enough clear hillsides for them to crash their Tornados into.

    17. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      You have to wonder if the guy actually wrote this, or if some Express trainee has been tasked with cobbling something together from what must’ve been a long and winding interview.
       
      In either case, it’s shoddy stuff and makes him appear senile.

    18. It does seem a bit of a grab-bag of complaints, not all of which have any relevance at all to independence. It looks to me like someone who didn’t like having Alex Salmond as his MP and former MSP, and so is opposed to basically anything that Eck has supported.

      And in the other article on the page, I was struck by the quote at the end from Alison Evison – “Everyone who came was really determined to drive the Better Together campaign forward. They want to ensure that people in Aberdeenshire are aware of the true costs of independence.”
       
      So no sign of the ‘Positive Case for the Union’ there, then.

    19. YesYesYes says:

      @James Morton,
       
      “The closest we have to Private eye and the daily show is this site – I would request that the rev gets involved with Mr Bella and a certain peat worrier to make some sort of youtube show – get this thing trending”.
       
      Now that’s a collaboration that would be worth paying good money to subsidise. Even I would be tempted to contribute more than the (admittedly pathetic) 20 quid donation I made to the Save the Rev appeal for that one. 

    20. muttley79 says:

      @Dan Simmie
       
      And for such a committed unionist you would think he would know the union has been in place over 300 years not 200 years.
       
      An alternative is that he should just admit he is against change.  This is basically all the No campaign amounts to.  When you are reduced to arguing that somehow centralisation is bad in Edinburgh (for a nation of just over 5 million), but great if it is centralisation in London, then your arguments for the Union are not going to be great anyway.
       

    21. Adrian B says:

       
      Quoting Ian Brotherhood,
       
      You have to wonder if the guy actually wrote this, or if some Express trainee has been tasked with cobbling something together from what must’ve been a long and winding interview. In either case, it’s shoddy stuff and makes him appear senile.
       
      It also sounds to me like the ramblings of Alistair Darling, who is the bagman for No Scotland.

    22. Arbroath1320 says:

      I’m confused!
      No REALLY I am!
      According to this “intellectual” individual :
       
      “We’re seeing most things being centralised in Edinburgh, including the police. I’d rather take my chances with Westminster.”
       
      Well excuse ME for being too wee, too poor and too STUPID but I was under the distinct impression that the HQ for Police Scotland was at Stirling in STIRLINGSHIRE. (www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/scotland/stirling-earmarked-as-police-scotland-headquarters-1-2825442). Now I know we can not be expected to know where every place in Scotland is but surely most folks know that Stirling is NOT in Edinburgh!
      Can someone please send this gowk a map of Scotland so he can find out where various businesses and HQ’s are located?
      On a second point from the great “intelligentsia”
       
      “How can we protect oil and gas rigs when we won’t have a Royal Navy or Royal Air Force?”
       
      Being part of the UK has NOT exactly helped protect ANYTHING in the North Sea OR the Scottish coastline. In December 2011 part of the Russian Fleet anchored in the Moray Firth to avoid the worst of a winter storm.(www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/politics/russian-ships-in-the-moray-firth-and-not-a-nimrod-in-sight-1-2008621) Nothing wrong with that except that there was NO Royal Navy ships or Royal Air Force aircraft available to keep an eye on the Russian fleet to ensure they were not doing anything untoward. We all know the reasons for this total lack of Navy and Air Force cover of course. WESTMINSTER cut Rosyth as a naval base so we have NO naval ships based on the Eastern Seaboard of Scotland and they also DISBANDED the Nimrod surveillance/ASW/SAR squadrons based at RAF Kinloss. Not only were they disbanded but the aircraft PLUS their new replacement aircraft were SCRAPPED. We therefore have NO airborne surveillance capability throughout the UK.
      Perhaps Mr Charles Ritchie might like to take the time to explain to us how our shores and oil/gas rigs are CURRENTLY being protected because I for one can not see how this is possible. Maybe we have some form of STEALTH air force and navy that no one knows about which is doing the job, personally I have my doubts!
       

    23. Mac says:

      Since BT donors seem to be numerically challenged over the age of the union (200 years Charles Ritchie claims), did 160 people actually turn up at BT Campaign meeting at Inverurie?
       
      If Mr Ritchie was doing the counting it could have been 1600 or 16.
       
      Perhaps Strathclyde University should consider revoking his engineering degree, because would you buy precision engineered valves from someone who struggles after running out of fingers and toes to count on? 

    24. G. Campbell says:

      “It’s A Newton” has also been published by Mr Ritchie to portray his views on the concept of force.”

      “.If, like me, you’ve been confused with formulas all your working life and been searching for the unified theory, you’ll find a practical answer inside this book. This book contains no formulas and unifies everything around the concept of force”
      http://www.itsanewton.com/

      I feel a poem coming on.

      Rich Charles Ritchie
      Richie Richie Ritchie
      Look at my wad
      Loadsamoney
      Have some of that
      Darling Darling Darling

      Poor Charles Ritchie
      Richie Richie Ritchie
      Started out well
      Easily confused
      Wrote about the force
      Then turned to the dark side

    25. Westie7 says:

      Having lived in Peterhead for many years.. too many to mention. And having worked for Charlie, (during the time of a certain North Sea Event) I am not in the least bit surprised at this. 
       
      Funny he should mention protection of the Offshore Installations! If god forbid “Piper Alpha” were today there would be NO Nimrod available as the “On Station Control Aircraft” and very shortly we will have Military SeaKings replaced by smaller civilian SAR Helicopters
       
      Also, have a look at the make up of the local politics here, loads of Independent councillors who couldn’t get elected as part of their parties so stood on one issue tickets. And if I’m not mistaken Charlie did also. Cant believe Dicky Baker isnt in that photo!

    26. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I think people like this should be comprehensively trashed in the media “pour DISencouragez les autres

    27. Craig M says:

      The man is after a gong, perhaps a knighthood.
      I also believe that people like him actually fear a loss of influence in an Independent Scotland. Westminster politicians and parties are always bending over backwards to accommodate business. No harm in that, if it is balanced, but then again, it’s often not the case that it is.
      I once read an article from an American journalist that stated that Scotland was a deeply conservative country (with a small “C”). I would agree but I would also agree that the ability to think outside the box has been bled out of our society over the decades and centuries.

    28. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      Someone  needs to consider setting up a site which systematically documents and probes the big money going into BitterTogether. If one was looking for inspiration or a rubrik to follow on this, one need look no further than the The American Center for Responsive Politics:
      http://www.opensecrets.org
      Any takers?
       
       

    29. MajorBloodnok says:

      We had a chap called Ritchie in our office a while back.  His nickname was “Mabawsa”, as in mabawsa-ritchie.  I’ve still no idea what that means.

    30. Training Day says:

      “If Salmond gets rid of the MoD he gets rid of a major objector to windfarms so he can build more, even though tourists don’t like them.”

      Chuckles, I’ve just contacted Visit Scotland to warn them that the MoD represents the last, best hope we have of stopping the collapse of our tourist industry.  Yer a visionary, son.

    31. Gusmac says:

      Ritchie’s views are not well supported in Peterhead. It’s SNP country these days.

    32. G. Campbell says:

      It’s a Newton by Charles Buchan Ritchie (Paperback – 2008)

      There are no customer reviews yet.

      Used & New from: $0.01

      http://www.amazon.com/Its-Newton-Charles-Buchan-Ritchie/product-reviews/0956084303

    33. Mac says:

      Charles Ritchie, “If , like me, you’be been confused with formulas all your working life” 
       
      What sort of engineering graduates are our universities producing who are confused by formulas?

    34. Bobby Mckail says:

      I’m successful mumble mumble SNP bad for Business…grunt grunt..,,Zzzzzzzzzzzz

    35. HandandShrimp says:

      In a previous life this man was a blond cheerleader
       
      That was a tad sexist…soz

    36. Cyborg-nat says:

       
      MajorBloodnok says:
      1 May, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      “We had a chap called Ritchie in our office a while back.  His nickname was “Mabawsa”, as in mabawsa-ritchie.  I’ve still no idea what that means.”

      I knew his sister from Aberdeen, Madousa.

      Er…..Wheres my coat?
       

    37. Westie7 says:

      @Gusmac
       
      Has been for donkeys now, But as with most of Aberdeenshire there is an undercurrent of Toryism who still love to hate the man who consistently polls as top political leader in the UK. With all the shite you hear about AS you have to wonder what planet these folks are on

    38. Seasick Dave says:

      Has Mr Ritchie ever been photographed in the same room as this man…?
       
      http://tinyurl.com/cos7wvp
       
       

    39. Westie7 says:

      Mac says:
      1 May, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Charles Ritchie, “If , like me, you’be been confused with formulas all your working life”  What sort of engineering graduates are our universities producing who are confused by formulas?
       
      Thats tame compared to some of the gems he used to spout!
       
      Going back to the main issue, he will definitely have an axe to grind over College mergers.. BBCFE/Buch Tech/Whatever its called now, had at one point a direct conveyor belt to Scores Doors. The amount of money he has donated to the college over the years must be staggering, Was kind of hard to put a piece of paper between the two organisations at one point

    40. Jiggsbro says:

      I also believe that people like him actually fear a loss of influence in an Independent Scotland.
       
      They fear a loss of their investment. They’ve invested a lot in the Westminster parties in order to get a level of influence.

    41. Les Wilson says:

      Rev how’s about a running editorial ” unionist gaff of the week!” I am pretty sure you could create a very good file for the Yes campaign. Not that you don’t already of course, you could even put them on Utube and facebook.
      I am sure you could gain further interest in Wingsoverscotland at the same time!

    42. Robert Louis says:

      I find this article to just be depressing.  Mr Ritchie is clearly well educated, yet on what may be the single biggest issue to come around in his lifetime, he has clearly given matters no thought whatsoever.  Not one of his reasons against independence are based on fact.  None of his reasoning makes sense, as it is based on misconceptions and frankly silly, silly ideas.
       
      Perhaps independence for Scotland, uniquely in the world, will also cause the sky to fall down.
       
      It is indeed, hard to reason with someone making such absurd comments about independence, so my suggestion to Mr Ritchie would be to give the matter some thought.  Have a look at what the Government of Scotland have said and published, the YES campaign, and the bitter together campaign.
       
      Perhaps, like too many other Scots (who regularly pop up on TV whinging about no information), he is sitting bemoaning the fact he has no information on independence, whilst steadfastly refusing to simply go online and read.  All of the info is there, the SNP have produced documents, the Scottish Government have produced large and detailed documents, and so have the YES campaign.  Or is merely getting up of your arse and going online and reading beyond people nowadays?

    43. martyn says:

      “How this man manages to run a business, beats me.  His lack of clarity and logic defies belief. ”
       
      This

    44. G H Graham says:

      There are plenty of businesses that I’ve worked for or have dealt with, that were run by idiots who got lucky.
       
      I’ve just added SCORE to my list.
       
       

    45. orkers says:

      Found this on Facebook. http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/independence-the-business-case-for-scotland/
       
      Worth bookmarking if you haven’t already done so.

    46. Megalosaurus says:

       
      That stat about Norway’s oil fund is astonishing and it should be widely discussed. Surely even a unionist must ask, “Where is our oil fund?” I mean, it’s not disloyal to ask questions of your government is it (yet)? And this strikes me as a very sensible question.
       
      I am curious, how much larger is Norway’s economy that Scotland’s? (I don’t know, but I suspect that it is vastly bigger). I am even more curious though as to how rich Norway was compared to Scotland back in the pre-oil days. How have they both developed over the last 40 odd years? Standards of living, government spending, health and education, economic growth, etc?
      Anyone out there with the relevant data? Again, I don’t know, but if Norway has developed as I suspect it has then it will make for very unpleasant reading…

    47. Morag says:

      Orkers, great find – great article.

    48. Gaavster says:

      Another unionist comes out of the woodwork with the opening gambit … ‘I’m a Scottish patriot, I’m as Scottish as they come, but……”
      I experienced this first hand in a night out in Edinburgh last week
      I got into a conversation with a completely random Unionist who threw that exact line at me… ‘I’m really proud to be Scottish, but….’
      The guy was a property/commercial lawyer and his entire argument for retaining the status quo was ‘just because’
      He didn’t like being drawn out and having facts being pointed out to him in a very polite level headed manner, and eventually said he didnt want to talk about it anymore….
      His colleagues one pro, one undecided, just nodded in my direction with a wee smile, and I was off…
      Why do ‘they’ feel the need to announce how proud they are to be Scottish at every opportunity and yet can’t actually tell you why….

    49. Westie7 says:

      To get an insight into the mans mind… The Company is called “Score” because there were “twenty” of them when it started as an independent outfit from Wood Group… really
       

    50. Seasick Dave says:

      Mega
       
      I’ve posted this before but will post again, just for you 🙂
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76VOnzXQMsU
       
      Its a cracking wee video about Norway, Ireland and oil and is a must watch.

    51. Morag says:

      Megalosaurus, the stock answer is that Norway was so lucky to be so wee when the oil was discovered.  X amount of oil going round 5 million people is riches.  The same amount of oil going round 60 million just can’t cut it, that’s why Britain is broke.  And we are heartless selfish bastards to want to take that oil away and not share.

    52. Robert Kerr says:

      Score got lucky, their first big valve refurbishment contract was for Mossmorran ethylene plant. The lads worked hard and got the job done. Score had to learn the hard way re material management and trace-ability. I helped by lending a demo recorder to provide hard copy of the leak testing.
      I had a call at home “I’m in the shite. can you help” from Mr Ritchie. 
      There are a few people who had an eye to the main chance who made some money out of the Oil/Gas North Sea scene.
      None are in the same league as the Norwegians.
      But that’s another tale.

    53. Tinyzeitgeist says:

      I think that Mr Richie is  expressing the fact that he is simply a scared old man, frightened about the future and set on protecting the status quo of unionism which has clearly benefitted him personally. We might all be jock tamson’s bairns, but some just don’t get it.

    54. Albalha says:

      @robertkerr
      I helped by lending a demo recorder to provide hard copy of the leak testing.
      I think that’s a first, a completely alien sentence! We are indeed a diverse bunch on this site, though the oil industry seems to have a strong representation.

    55. Michael says:

      Tbh, there’s no point in trying to deconstruct or respond to each argument because they amount to nothing but a ragbag of prejudices, half-baked nonsense and envy. The way to counter this kind of stuff is to be positive, to talk about ambition and achievement, about what could be and how we can make the most of the country we live in. The best line is, ‘I don’t agree, I think Scotland could be much better, we have so much going for us. We need to be doing more to realise our full potential…. and so on.’ It makes the other side look mean, small, petty and miserable.

    56. Iain says:

      So BT’s three biggest donors so far are a, how shall I put it, moral pygmy (Taylor), a deranged hater of the SNP (Sansom) and an idiot.
      I suppose Mr Richie lives in Scotland, so they’ve raised the bar a few millimetres.

    57. velofello says:

      The plural of formula is formulae. Sniff!
      Its taken years for me to find a benefit of Latin study! 

    58. John Hamill says:

      Funny that Alistair Darling was paid £12,240.00 by SCOR on the 11/12/12.
      11 December 2012, I received a payment of £12,240 in respect of a fee for speaking at an event.
      Source. They work for you.
       http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/alistair_darling/edinburgh_south_west#register
       

    59. Iain More says:

      He is a businessman? You are kidding me right?

    60. Mac says:

      Since all the money is coming from Tories and Tory donors shouldn’t the NO campaign be called Better Tory.

    61. the journeyman says:

      @robert louis
      the reason BT supporters keep saying there’s no information is because BT have so far produced none and the only info that is available comes from YES sources and because of their inherent prejudice they won’ even consider reading the info. The truth is too much for them to handle along with admitting most of what they have believed in for years to be untrue too also too much for them. As a result they can’t access any new information!
       
       
       

    62. sneddon says:

      Maybe Mr R would benefit from attending this course http://www.course-bookings.lifelong.ed.ac.uk/courses/T/society-and-politics/C2949/scottish-politics
       
      Looks interresting but my minds already made up. I wonder  if they’ll be a demand for it.  I hope so.

    63. Rod Mac says:

      This guy inherited his money right?
      nobody that ill informed surely is self made millionaire?
      A lottery winner?
      A compensation payout for a brain injury?

    64. DMW42 says:

      I’m sure that the relationship between Evening Express and Press and Journal, and therefore D C Thomson, and the fact that much of Mr Ritchie’s ‘testimony’ has been similarly attributed to other interviewees in the P&J, Sunday Post and Courier, is merely coincidental.
       
      Hardly seemed worthwhile for the reporter to switch the tape on.

    65. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @ John Hamill 
      Let’s get this straight. The CEO of SCOR hands Darling’s  £12 K for 1talk in December, and then hands BitterTogether £50K. Then, the CEO of Vitol (Ian Taylor) hands BitterTogether £500K!, while at the same time is negotiating an outstanding and ongoing Tax Dispute with HMRC over tax avoidance (possible liablities in the £100’s of millions, if I recall). Meanwhile Chancellor Boy Georgie will judge that HMRC case, at the same time as he heads up the No Campaign strategy for the Conservatives. One begins to wonder why, with these guys being tied by such toxic/conflicts of interest, are not exposed by the MSM.  
      Given the above, perhaps we should now refer to Boy Georgie as Darling’s sugar daddy

    66. Bugger (the Panda) says:

       
      Dave McEwan Hill says:
       
      1 May, 2013 at 4:12 pm
       

      I think people like this should be comprehensively trashed in the media “pour DISencouragez les autres

       
       
      It is actually pour decouragez les autres. wee smiley thingy
       
      I’ll get my “imper et chapeau melon”

    67. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Let’s get this straight. The CEO of SCOR”

      Hang on. SCOR is a different company. Charles Richie works for SCORE, with an E.

    68. Dan Simmie says:

      “11 December 2012, I received a payment of £12,240 in respect of a fee for speaking at an event organised by Scor Insurance, London. Hours: 4 hrs. (Registered 20 December 2012)”
       
      I don’t think its the same company,that would have been to good to be true. But good grief what a big trough Darling has got his face in.

    69. scottish_skier says:

      Dan Simmie:
      But good grief what a big trough Darling has got his face in.

      Yes, the link posted by John Hamill:
      http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/alistair_darling/edinburgh_south_west#register

      Appears to be Alastair Darling’s positive case for the union. Just his positive case. Personally that is.

    70. Tris says:

       
      He doesn’t seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer. He hasn’t actually got anything much right , has he?
       
       

    71. ianbrotherhood says:

      @John Hamill (7.42) –
       
      Thanks for posting that link. I didn’t know ‘They Work For You’ carried that data.
       
      This jumps out:
       
      22 March 2013, I received a fee of £12,240 in respect of speaking at an event organised by BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd, in Hampshire. Hours: approx 6 hrs, including travel time. (Registered 28 March 2013)
      22 March 2013, I received a fee of £12,240 in respect of speaking at an event organised by the Automotive Fellowship International Ltd, in Buckinghamshire. Hours: approx 6 hrs, including travel time. (Registered 28 March 2013)
      28 March 2013, I received a fee of £10,200 in respect of speaking at an event organised by Credit Agricole Group, in London. Hours: approx 4 hrs, including travel time. (Registered 28 March 2013)
       
      So, in March alone, AD raked in £34,680, and £24,480 of that was for ONE DAY (12 hours he was on the go…poor sowel.)
       
      Hmm…anyone wondering why he’s not keen on the prospect of trying to find a place in oor wee pretendy parliament?
       
      (I didn’t even bother trying to calculate how much he’s ‘earned’ since the start of the year – had to take a wee break to go into the garden and vomit.)

    72. Morag says:

      I wonder if he’s just delivering essentially the same speech at all of these events, or if he has to write completely fresh material every time – poor baby.

    73. Indion says:

       
      MajorBloodnock @ 3:28pm: Bloody Pongo!
       
      Peter A Bell: It’s good to see you fighting fit again 🙂  

    74. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Morag-
       
      Aye, it’s a serr fecht.
       
      The clincher is right at the end of the entry:
       
      ’11. Miscellaneous
      Unremunerated Director and Chairman of BetterTogether 2012 Ltd (from 1 June 2012). (Registered 21 June 2012)’
       
      There ye go – ‘unremunerated’.

       
      That proves it. He’s doing all this tiresome telly and radio out of sheer conviction – as a patriotic Scot – and won’t take a solitary penny.
       
      Aye, some man, oor Ally…wha’s like him?

    75. Tattie-boggle says:

      @Scottish Skier
      The JC flowers link if of interest lots of goings on when Alistair was in charge of the books
      under Other notable activity
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JC_Flowers

    76. Seasick Dave says:

      Have a gander at the money that Gordon Brown, architect of boom and bust, is raking in for his speeches.
       
      http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/gordon_brown/kirkcaldy_and_cowdenbeath
       
      They work for you, my arse.

    77. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Have a gander at the money that Gordon Brown, architect of boom and bust, is raking in for his speeches.”

      Christ. How many “staff” does a largely-absentee backbench MP need?

    78. ianbrotherhood says:

       
      @Seasick Dave-
       
      Great stuff, thanks.
       
      It just gets clearer and clearer by the minute, eh?
       
      It’s aye been a total mystery tae normal salt-of-the-earth Labour loyalists…why do the well-motivated people they knew, the ones they remember being all fired-up with revolutionary zeal (honest to god man, he really wis!) suddenly, inexplicably reveal that their get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone?
       
      Doh!!
       
      That is one seriously tempting greasy pole.
       
      Hard to stomach all the same…and if you were already seasick man?…erk!

    79. Alan Gerrish says:

      @Megalosaurus says:
      1 May, 2013 at 5:36 pm

       I am curious, how much larger is Norway’s economy that Scotland’s? (I don’t know, but I suspect that it is vastly bigger). I am even more curious though as to how rich Norway was compared to Scotland back in the pre-oil days. How have they both developed over the last 40 odd years? Standards of living, government spending, health and education, economic growth, etc?
       
      I was living and working in Norway from 1970, just as oil was coming ashore. At that time, my perception was that Norway’s economy was perhaps less strong than the UK with infrastructure much less well developed. This was perhaps to be expected considering only 25 years had passed since the war during which they had been occupied and suffered great devastation. What was very noticeable however was how much more equitable their society was without the extremes of wealth and poverty found in the UK, a situation which has worsened in the UK whilst improving further in Norway to the extent that it now boasts about the highest standard of living and is one of the fairest societies amongst developed nations. 
      A few basic stats for you : GDP per capita = 70,500 euros (UK = 27,900)
                                             Unemployment rate = 3.5%
                                             Growth rate (2012)  = 3.7%
                                             Inflation  = 2.4%
      Currently Norway has no net debt!   It should also be remembered that the UK had to borrow money from Norway after the banks collapsed : ironic or what – asking a wee country of only 5 million souls whose economy depends on a volatile commodity which is running out to give us a sub…?
      When I return to Scotland now after visiting relatives in Norway I get the feeling I’m coming to a third world country in so many respects – crumbling infrastructure, undemocratic, socially unjust, unacceptable levels of relative poverty and lots more,  due entirely to an utterly failed system of governance in the UK compounded by incompetent governments over the last several decades.  I see little  evidence of the benefits which oil and gas should have brought to the people of this country and which by contrast have enabled Norway to create a modern , environmentally sound and socially just country in which the elderly don’t  fear for their pensions nor die from hypothermia.
      This doesn’t even start to explain how much I feel we need to get a YES vote next year, or how much I despise all fellow countrymen and those further afield who would stand in the way of improving the lot of everyone living in Scotland without even pretending to have a valid case for so doing .  

    80. YesYesYes says:

      @Alan Gerrish,
       
      What an excellent post.
       
      Sadly, this is the kind of perspective that we should be getting from at least some of the Scottish MSM (even one single outlet would do). But, for reasons that have been well rehearsed both here and elsewhere, I suspect that many people in Norway would probably be just as bemused about the complete absence of this in Scotland as they would be about the other issues that you address. 

    81. thejourneyman says:

      O/T But there was a real different feel to Newsnight Scotland tonight discussing how the YES campaign is stuck on the back foot. As I waited for the usual suspects to appear, up pops Lesley Riddoch and Iain McWhirter. Interestingly both suggesting that the YES campaign needs to fight their end more robustly and the consensus was that BT are getting a bit of a free ride spreading doubt. At the point that it appeared LR was making a good point that in reality there was as much discord among the unionist parties, in stepped Mr Brewer to cut her off!
      Everyone seems to be saying there’s not enough information out there, but that’s not my experience. Thankfully through WOS and others I have more information than ever and I am more aware of the drivel like the article above, but many commentators and prominent individuals are allowing the idea that there are no answers available to permeate the debate. As a result they tell us 62% of people recently polled are still undecided and want information – I can’t make any sense of what’s going on?

    82. Dal Riata says:

      Man makes money while living under Westminster governments. Associates success with Westminster governments. Happy with the status quo. Same man sees an independent Scotland as not Westminster. Fears loss of status quo. Fears loss of success. Associates independent Scotland as Alex Salmond and the SNP. Rants ignorant misinformation about Alex Salmond, the SNP and life in an independent Scotland.
       
      Result: man makes a complete arse of himself.
       
      Meanwhile, man and his pals say we’re better together… Strange, strange people.

    83. thejourneyman says:

      Obviously, “drivel like the article above”, in my previous post was referring to the article in the Evening Express!
      Goes without saying really.

    84. rabb says:

      I’m not one for swearing and would love to post a serious and sophisticated response to the original article but what a fucking idiot of a man and fucking idiot of an editor to allow it to go to print.
       
      In fact they’re” fucking idiots together”.

    85. Indion says:

       
      thejourneyman @ 11:29pm
       
      As far as I can make out, the Unitarists are trying to win negotiations before the SNP Sco Gov releases it’s definitive prospectus and ostensible negotiating position in the autumn.
       
      Hence their whataboutery and holding the line rebuttals from the SNP/Sco Gov whilst the YES campaign gathers support on the ground – which is below the MSM’s radar whilst on the overall YES grid.
       
      Is there anything we haven’t heard ad nauseum from the Unitarists yet?  How many wolves are still out there and who are they hunting? Anybody not ennured to it yet?
       
      And still we won’t go away and lie down.
       
      Where is the bad news still to come from?  What effect is that likely to have for BT?
       
      Mind where the PM appeared to swear across the dispatch box at Angus Robertson during PMs? His frustration was all too clear in snarling ‘why don’t you get on with it’ as he sat down.
       
      Pissing into wind is not a smart way of getting your own back. Hey, even a certain solicitor could tell them that for free.     

    86. Albert Herring says:

      @rabb
      Some of us here are proud to be “fucking idiots”
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/and-finally-31/

    87. Indion says:

       
      Indion @ 11:29pm: ‘inured’ even.

    88. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Alan Gerrish
      at 11:11pm
      That was a very interesting post. You should have sent that to Rev Stu as a possible article. Perhaps the two of you could recycle it. It warrants reading by as many as possible.

    89. Begbie says:

      He just doesnt like Alex Salmond is about all i garnered out of that “interview” it’s a familiar story with every no voter i know, blind hatred of the chosen one “shakin ma heid”

    90. Graham Ennis says:

      So: This Provincial Widget manufacturer, who appears to have an educational level and general knowledge that would shame a 12 year old, thinks he should interfere in Scottish democracy. What a W***ker…..
       

    91. Fergie35 says:

      Money corrupts.
      Mr Ritchie is building a sea house, on a platform jutting out to sea, wonder if the poor people living along the coast will be better in his ‘Union’?

    92. ecossenkosi says:

      Ignoramus is the only fitting description for Mr Ritchie

    93. Alan Gerrish says:

      @The Man in the Jar 
      Glad you found it of interest, and happy to help if it’s needed in another format, Rev Stu.  

    94. Murdo Morrison says:

      And all this from a man who was caught fiddling council elections when he was a prospective Tort councillor and has threatened his workforce over voting Yes

    95. Buchan Quine says:

      Mr Ritchie is representing to NO side at a debate in Peterhead tomorrow evening. Should be an entertaining night!

    96. Devil says:

      Anyone mentioned the fact that Mr Ritchie has been threatening his young workforce with shutting the company down and moving south in the event of a NO vote?

      Supposedly the apprentices get a talk from Charles about the evils of Salmond and that they must be stupid if they vote for the SNP.
      Nice guy.

      Guess those government defense contracts take priority over the wellbeing of his country.

    97. J Smith says:

      Good comming from a man who is giving his own workforce threats if they Vote Yes.
      Reportedly there was a mock vote done at Score (Peterhead) were there was Yes votes done, his supposed response was if he knew who the people were he would of sacked them.
      Scaremongering tactics never always work.

    98. James says:

      The guy has an IQ of a rock! It fails to mention in this article the pressure he is putting on the workers at score to vote no, threatening them with their jobs if they don’t!

    99. YesVoter says:

      The rumours circulating social media about Score shutting down in the event of a yes vote have got out of hand! That was not what employees at the company were told at all! He didn’t threaten to close down all the peterhead score locations, he only said one of them might be at risk! You should note that Mr Ritchie is the chairman of the Score Group (group being the key word) of companies, in peterhead alone there are 5 or 6 seperate score companies and only one of them is the one likely to be effected by a yes vote because they deal with MOD equipment, so in theory if the UK MOD didn’t want to deal with them they would lose those contracts and that company would lose a lot of business but the group as a whole would not be significantly affected!

      So from his point of view should one small group of his employees maybe lose out for the greater good of the whole country? I would argue yes, if it did shut down those peoples job roles and skills I’m sure would be transferable to other roles within the group?

      Don’t get me wrong I don’t agree with much of what he says and I’m a yes voter but I think it’s worth setting the story straight about the rumour of the company shutting down!

    100. AL says:

      This from a guy who’s threatened his staff with losing their jobs if they vote no!! Saying he’ll relocate the company south of the border if Scotland gain independence!

      He’s also apparently organized a function with a free bar for his work force, but anyone voting yes is barred from attending. How he’ll police that I’ll never know? Unless he is making them vote via post, and show the poll card with the no vote marked out before the gain entry?

    101. OneOneSeven says:

      Setting the story straight? He has actually stated previously (Christmas meal 2012, and at a number of his apprentice indoctrination lectures from what I’ve heard) that he would have no issue moving ALL of Score’s interests South of the border in the event of a Yes vote. Business acumen or general intelligence aren’t his strong points and never have been historically. Luck however, is. And as far as Russian subs go, if they ever decide to take out a couple of rigs, there wouldn’t be a damn thing we could do about it. Regardless of what team were on. I know I’ve went off topic here, but I’m just glad idiots like this don’t get trusted to make the big boy decisions.



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