Sturgeon endorses independence by Xmas 2018 – Review

Independence by Xmas 2018, a new currency, increased taxes, decentralisation of local government, a hard border with rUK and trust in the political class are the visions presented by Gordon Guthrie in his new book recommended and endorsed by Nicola Sturgeon. AhDinnaeKen took a quick peak:

First Minister endorses book which trashes previous SNP currency stance as "weak". There's a thing.

First Minister endorses book which trashes previous SNP currency stance as “weak”. Now, there’s a thing.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

“Scotland will become independent on the same day that the rUK leaves the European Union around Xmas 2018” reckons Gordon Guthrie in his new book, Winning the Second Independence Referendum: A Manifesto For Scotland In the European Union After Brexit.

It’s a bold claim which could easily be mocked and ridiculed before being summarily dismissed. But Guthrie is no fly by night nationalist fantasist. He’s one of the unsung heroes of the SNP’s spectacular electoral successes since 2007 onward: his analysis software, know how and ‘five year plan’, significantly contributed to the SNP’s ever increasing popularity and election gains since 2002. Guthrie joined the SNP in disgust at New Labour’s Iraq policy. Labour’s loss has been the SNP’s exponential gain.

Guthrie’s opinions matter. His personal manifesto, contained within this short, punchy, cogent, fast paced book, is easily worth the two pounds sterling you’ll probably not pay for it.

For there’s a real, hard, pragmatic edge to it. It’s neither sentimental nor emotional and at times could be described as brutal. For example, in the event of independence, Guthrie says: “there will be a violent squeeze on OpEx expenditure in Scotland and a jump in CapEx . The Holyrood based political class, and the institutions that support them will be put under severe pressure overseeing that.”

It’s an admission that there will be nae money to do virtually anything with.  There’s also a tacit inference of potential social unrest with “violent squeeze” and “severe pressure” being the giveaway. Coupled with his insistence that Scotland should have its own currency while dealing with the realities of a hard border at Gretna, it presents a virtual tap in for opponents who claim that independence would lead Scotland into levels of debt, poverty and penury which could set it back for decades.

Of particular interest to Scottish Unionists will be the notion that they “can only be betrayed” by their political Unionist brethern south of the border. For, according to Guthrie, the strongest Unionists in the UK are the Labour party – and they are currently a hopelessly divided and ineffective force in British politics.

The Conservative and Unionist Party, however, are transforming into little Englander, UKIP styled Nationalists. Their finger pointing blame game isn’t going to stop at Johnny European foreigner. ‘Whinging Jocks’ up North will inevitably become a target as the SNP Executive engages in increasingly intransigent demands over right wing Tory Nationalist Brexit plans.

A steady ship from the Scots Nationalists where they “must sit and wait patiently” while Brexit economic and political shockwaves destroy what’s left of Westminster’s political credibility and stability is the crux of the Guthrie gameplan. English Nationalist anti-Scot remonstrations will drive more Scottish No voters toward the Yes camp than Yessers ever could:

“Popular support for independence will not be won by the Yessers converting the No voters – but by the English Unionists chewing up and spitting out the Scottish ones.”

It’s hard to disagree. You can see the clear and present reality of that happening right now in front of your eyes – if only you cared to look.

Where Guthrie appears to be further out of step with current SNP leanings lies in his demand that there must be a new Scottish currency. Here, his argument takes a nosedive. There is no mention of where and how we would build the needed reserves to make such a currency viable in international markets – though he does concede that higher taxes and pain are an inevitability either with or without independence.

Instead he focuses on the issues of operating a dual currency economy – citing Northern Ireland and the Czech-Slovak velvet divorce as the examples to take lessons from. The rationale is there, but the elephant in the room of where the reserves are going to come from is blindsided. It, like the Yes currency argument of 2014, is still the independence movement’s bogeyman.

He’s also out of step with SNP policy and action with his plea that there must be less centralisation and more decisions taken locally: “We are beset with the sins of centralisation too, and we must shake off those habits.”

But that’s unlikely under the current Nationalist regime. Quite the reverse is happening now in modern ‘civic’, ‘democratically awakened’ Scotland: institutions and local councils are being, almost routinely, defenestrated, hollowed out and brought under increasing Holyrood/Sturgeon/Murell control.

However, one place Guthrie’s book wins is in its strategic long term optimistic vision of Scotland as a major European player in the sphere of digital innovation. There is a convincing, aspring and inspiring case made here for Scotland’s current position in the tech scene to be expanded upon and exploited within a Brexit scenario.

Skyscanner and Fanduel, from having a couple of handfuls of employees six or seven years ago, are now billion dollar companies with thousands of employees. They are a success story which demonstrates the power of multi-national, multi-ethnic cooperation – about a quarter to a third of their employees are not UK born. And it’s this outlook and culture, combined with naked ambition, which Guthrie considers would enable Scottish companies to take on and compete aggressively with Berlin. It’s the sort of fighting talk which fires up this jaded Scot into believing in the innovative potential of oor great wee country and oor great wee people – even though a large part of the game plan hinges on the influx of hundreds of thousands of highly paid, highly skilled immigrants.

Of course, the offset of Guthrie’s infectious optimism is that it unravels with some of its appeals to trust: “The second part is to put our trust in our fellow citizens, people who just happen to work for a local council, or the civil service, or who we have elected into office.”

A major element of the success of the SNP has been in its hoovering up of this disaffected distrust of public institutions and the political class. Scots, in general, have felt increasingly disenfranchised from the political process since the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 – ironically assisted into power by a willing and complicit SNP. Tony Blair’s New Labour further reinforced and cemented this disaffection.

But the SNP are only as trustable as the parties they have replaced and obliterated in Scotland. And, given that much of their success has relied on the apeing of the New Labour machine politic, that’s hardly a swingeing endorsement or testament to their trustability or competence to deliver on their promises.

Guthrie also demonstrates an almost idealistically naive belief and trust in the EU as a benevolent force for good: “For Scotland, the European Union is a union of equals and the UK was not.”

You only have to take a look at the treatment of Greece and the hardship currently imposed on its people by the European Union’s Brussels-Berlin nexus to sneer at that belief. If that’s a ‘Union of equals’ then UKIP are a progressive and civic party of altruistic philanthropists – a debate for another book and another dimension in time and space.

The latter half of the Guthrie manifesto covers the practical steps with which Scotland could affect its full transition to independence. It positively hums with Guthrie’s digital expertise and optimistic ‘trust’. It reads like an integrated system of varyingly ambitious subroutines in a complex and functionally synchronised computer program.

And that’s no bad thing. If only councils, public institutions, businesses and government could integrate with such harmonious machine efficiency – we’d be laughing all the way to the Sugarcandy mountain bank.

Overall though, Guthrie has taken the brave step of presenting a cogent, honest and mostly credible vision of how an independent Scotland could look and act in a post-Brexit future. It’s not perfect and it’s not wholly convincing – but that conclusion will depend on your political leanings and outlook.

Where the book does win however is in the optimistic pragmatism of the vision it presents. It’s not the sterile Salmondesque technocratic vision of economic levers and unconvincing currency unions; rather, it’s a working template which, after a lot of penury, poverty and social unrest along the way, could just work for the betterment and enrichment of the country.

Nicola Sturgeon’s endorsement and promotion of the book earlier this month seems rather odd given Guthrie’s trashing of the previous referendum currency stance as “weak”, his belief that there would probably be a hard border between Scotland and rUK, and the need for decentralisation of local government. But, as Nicola said, Guthrie’s book is good and fairly quick to read – “recommended”.

A cogent and challenging read. Gordon Guthrie (above) presents a vision of an independent Scotland which will challenge Unionsists and Nationalists alike.

A cogent and challenging read. Gordon Guthrie (above) presents a vision of an independent Scotland which will challenge Unionists and Nationalists alike.

 

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Filed under Culture, Opinion

I’ll smash your heads and ask questions later – Wings Over Scotland

VIOLENT DODGY liar named and shamed as editor of Wings Over Scotland – Stuart Campbell.

The five floor, five bedroom, townhouse, Campbell claimed was a "huge block of rented offices."

The five floor, five bedroom townhouse which Campbell claimed was a “huge block of rented offices.”

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

A NOTORIOUS cybernat threatened amateur copyright investigators with extreme violence after they exposed his dodgy internet dealings in the late 90s, it has been revealed.

Stuart Campbell, 48, warned have a go sleuths Damien Burke and friends: “if I find any of you outside my door, be warned that I’ll smash your heads off the railings first and ask questions later.”

The chilling threat followed Burke’s revelation that Campbell’s home address in Bath matched the billing address of a hooky software company trading as Rocketship Services.

Rocketship was raking in the cash by selling and distributing CDs packed full of stolen game software at £30 per disc.

Burke’s investigation exposed Campbell’s posh Bath town-house residence as the front for the selling and promotion of the illegal CDs.

Stolen game software included hundreds of titles from Atari, Nintendo, SEGA and Commodore with an estimated street value of around £200,000.

Sinister cybernat Campbell, editor of Nationalist blog Wings Over Scotland, had denied Burke’s allegation that he was trading as Rocketship Services.

The bathroom in one of the floors of Campbell's former residence.

The bathroom in one of the floors of Campbell’s former residence. Rocketship Services sold their illegal discs at £30 a pop.

When challenged by Burke that it was an “extraordinary coincidence” that Campbell’s residential address matched Rocketship Services billing address, Campbell defended himself saying: “And I suppose I’m also all of the 300 or so other people whose address this huge block of rented office units is?”

But the claim that the address was a huge block of rented office units was a lie.

Campbell’s residential, and Rocketship Services’ billing, address was revealed by Burke as 4 Brock Street: a five bed, five floor, town house in one of the most sought after, expensive and prestigious locations in Bath.

Campbell’s violent threat followed suggestions from Burke and associates that they would visit the building to confirm if it was indeed the “huge block” of office units’ claimed by the Wings editor.

Burke reckoned a site visit would prove Campbell was lying about his association with Rocketship Services.

And that’s when Campbell demonstrated his willingness to resort to extreme violence, threatening to ‘smash heads first and ask questions later’.

The threat had the desired effect and frightened the amateur sleuths off, leaving Rocketship Services to continue creaming off profits at the expense of legal businesses.

Burke later revealed: “Rocketship’s posts were made using the same version of Microsoft software (used by Campbell), right down to the build number. Stuart and Rocketship upgraded their software at the same time, or within hours of each other. Rocketship’s posts came from Pipex, as did Stuart’s. The message IDs in Rocketship’s posts were similar to Stuart’s.

“On attaining Rocketship’s postal address via a false request for where to send a cheque for one of their illegal CDs, the 4 Brock Street, Bath address was supplied.”

Campbell strenuously denied the accusation. He said: “It’s been proven beyond doubt – by an independent observer – that these (big old five-storey town building converted into office units) premises are used by, among others, a letting company which forwards mail to dozens, even hundreds of people.”

4 Brock Street in Bath is currently on the residential rental market for a modest £3750 per calendar month.

Campbell is believed to have moved out some time last year, after his highly successful fundraiser.

Today, Campbell’s Wings Over Scotland launched it’s yearly Indiegogo fundraiser to allegedly, “mobilise for an emergency second indyref within months”.

At the time of writing almost £23,000 has been raised – enough to rent 4 Brock Street for approximately six months at current market rates.

Beautiful well kept gardens and 'maid service' are all part of the perks of a £3750 property.

Beautiful well kept gardens and ‘maid service’ are all part of the perks of a £3750 pcm property in Campbell’s corner 0f Bath. Champagne Nationalists ‘n’ aw that.

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Joan McAlpine: In the grey 70s David Bowie was just a paedophile

MOAN reflects on Joan McAlpine’s reflection on music legend and not so secret paedophile David Bowie. His predilection for groupie children should make everyone think again – particularly mothers with teenage daughters – Joan McAlpine excepted. Obviously:

"...thrilling splash of colour and danger." or predatory paedophile abusing his fame, position and power? Joan decides.

“…thrilling splash of colour and danger?” or predatory paedophile abusing his fame, position and power? Joan McAlpine MSP decides.

By Moan McVulpine Ground control to Major Joan

“Evil will triumph when good men do nothing” sermonised Joan McAlpine in her Daily Record column of 16th July 2014.

It was a roaster of a piece, full of hellfire and brimstone aimed straight at British establishment “corruption at its most base and evil form”.

Her withering contempt was aimed at the systemic covering up of child abuse by those in the higher echelons of power in Britain.

As diatribes go, it generated enough passion and heat to set fire to a soggy chip poke full of yesterday’s news.

Whether Joan actually believed it, or was just using it as a big Nationalist stick of moral indignation and self righteousness to beat Indy unbelievers over the head with, is a moot point. The subtext of her polemic was as transparently crude as the presentation of the subject matter – vote No and you’re voting for paedophiles.

Moan suspects Joan didn’t care – that it was written for effect – like most of her columns.

How else could you explain her eulogising of David Bowie as some kind of god of sexual emancipation for gay men when other, more threatening, skeletons were lurking in his closet?

Describing the moment when Bowie draped himself over Mick Ronson on Top of the Pops, Joan drooled: “I know lots of gay people whose lives were changed at that moment. A decade before, they would have got married and stayed in the closet. Now they had options.”

Really!

It may or may not have been true. For Joan it certainly was.

Moan wonders if Joan knows lots of paedophiles. Surely, by the same logic, Bowie provided “options” for them too when he deflowered 13 year old virgin groupie Lori Maddox and then proceeded to engage in a threesome with Lori and her 13 year old best friend Sable Starr in his Beverly Hilton Hotel suite.

Both girls were children. Bowie was a grown man abusing his fame, position and power. These antics were no secret in pop fan circles. Why didn’t Joan say anything – anything at all – about that “moment”?

After all, she admitted that with Bowie’s gay emancipation routine, “Bowie knew exactly what he was doing.”

Columnist Julie Burchill summed it up poignantly in the Spectator when she pondered: “under some circumstances, would you excuse, worship, deify a man who has knowingly had sex with children, if he had created music which you passionately believe made the world a better place? Or not?”

Joan appeared to answer that: “He was David Bowie. He was untouchable.”

Euurgh!

“Evil will triumph when good men do nothing” right enough.

NOT SO COMEDIC RELIEF

 

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12 Things You Didn’t Need to Know About @WangsScotland’s ‘Reverend’ Stuart Campbell

WANGS OVER Scotland bigmouth and editor ‘Reverend’ Stuart Campbell became the first to take part in a fawningly embarrassing series in CommonSpace recently. Campbell is an honest kid. He’s so honest it’s untrue. Here’s what he said ‘off the record’ when the right-on mostly ignored lefties of Commonspace had had their anodyne way with him:

"If there was one thing worse than being cheated, it was being cheated by someone who referred to themselves in the third person." ― Chris Wooding, The Iron Jackal

“If there was one thing worse than being cheated, it was being cheated by someone who referred to themselves in the third person.” ― Chris Wooding, The Iron Jackal

By Sicko PhantOfficial suck up and public relations etymologist

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

We wanted to be like normal children, you know with brothers and sisters and subservient friends with lots of dinner money to play with. But the other kids were all cunts and didn’t want to play with us after we quite reasonably pointed out our empirically researched, cited and referenced facts of why they were all cunts. People are so stupid and ungrateful when presented with the truth.

After our mother had had us, she said “no more, truly this boy is the Second Coming. Let him go forth and purify the earth – or Bathgate at least – of fuckwits, retards, cunts, morons, dickheads, arseholes, thickos and really really stupid people.

And that has been our mission in life since. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people out there who actually have the gall and arrogance to disagree and argue with us.

Who is you hero and why?

Stuart Campbell. Because he murdered that kid, meaning we got the great idea to call ourselves Reverend in the 90s. At least, that’s the story we’re sticking to.

What’s your favourite song?

‘You’re going to get your fucking head kicked in’ as sung on the terraces during our armchair football supporting days. We regularly sang it to all the primary school kids who dared contradict our choice of best pocketeer games in the eighties. Acting on the message of the lyrics soon made them see the error of their ways.

What are you scared of?

Fuck all! But if we were scared of anything, it would be getting found out and exposed for our hypocrisy. Take our public pronouncements over being unashamed of anything we’ve ever written – and then having to delete the guff we wrote about our tragically unsuccessful attempt at taking Future Publishing to the cleaners for ripping off our copyrighted material. Embarrassing or what? And then that thick cunt Longshanker dug up our claim that we had worked with “rape victims”. He plundered our old World of Stuart forum – which we were so proud of – so we had to close it down so no other fuckwit could read it because we were so unashamed of it.

Which is better: Stuart Campbell or Reverend Stuart Campbell or Wings Over Scotland or Edge of Heaven or Darius Burst or Hoots McCrivvens?

Any of the above except Darius Burst and Edge of Heaven and Hoots McCrivvens – Natch!; they represent our dark side where we were so stupid, technically illiterate and overbearingly arrogant that we got caught impersonating others through our IP address. Still, we never learn. Ask the Wikipedia editors and their cock editors who don’t believe in Fairplay – fucking Nazis!

Which is better: Throwing your toys out of the pram or acting like a crybaby?

It depends on context. Throwing your toys out of the pram is good and proper when cretinous thicko retards like K**** H**** and K*** H****ns appear on telly or start jobs working with the Scottish Government. Acting like a crybaby is better when democratic votes in parliament don’t go the way we wants them to. Why wouldn’t you want to burn down Holyrood? It’s half full of fucking unionists anyway.

You’re on a desert island, you can take one person, one book and one type of food. Who would you take, which book and which food?

You’re just trying to get us to tell you what we get up to with the sepa-rats aren’t you? NICE TRY FUCKWITS!

The best book ever written, and the one we’ve read most often, is the Wee Blue Book, but it would be a bit boring and irrelevant for an independent desert island so we’d probably go for Mein Kampf – something with depth, relevance and the odd touch of humour, not to mention searing insight into how to deal with the so called Mainstream Media and Unionists. Pro-tip: they’re not called Unionists in Mein Kampf.

And Jelly Babies, of course. As long as they’ve had their heads kicked in in the manner we likes.

When have you been wrong about something?

Would you like a list?

What really makes you angry?

Liars. Almost everything we’ve done with our life has been based on lies, embellishment of lies and lying falsehood. From pretending to be other people, to claiming other people are other people, to claiming unique users as unique readers, we are the liars liar. Most liars are only half hearted about it because they don’t have the commitment to believe their own lies. We knows our lies are the truth. And that’s a lie.

What really makes you happy?

Millions of things. Popping stupid kids ‘No Thanks’ balloons is a goer. Telling people to fuck off on Twitter. Killing things in virtual reality or real virtuality (we gets the two mixed up all the time). Getting switched off and back on again. Flirting with homosexuals because we are most definitely not fucking homosexuals. Swearing like a man. Castigating limp wristed swearers who block their f***ing swearing with asterisks.

I’m pretty much happy at anything which causes fuckwits and thickos any modicum of discomfort.

If you could spend an hour with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Charlene Tilton of Dallas fame. We thinks she is undeserving of the term “poison dwarf”. We believes we are the true heirs to that crown. We would wear “poison dwarf” with pride. We are the most poisonous dwarf this side of The Circus in Bath.

If you met David Cameron today what would you say to him?

You might have been adventurous with a dead pig. You don’t even know you’ve lived until you’ve tried it with a live rat.

Photo courtesy of Photoshop and Greg Noodie

 

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SNP knew Mackay would crack and fail due to stress

FORTH ROAD Bridge engineers considered replacing the part of the Scottish transport department which failed dismally to perform this week. AhDinnaeKen reports:

 "Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it's the time when they most need to think." - William J. Clinton. Unfortunately for the country's economy, Derek Mackay was not "Stronger for Scotland."

“Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think.” – William J. Clinton. Unfortunately for the country’s economy, Derek Mackay did not think and was not “Stronger for Scotland.”

By Truss JointCivil engineering and ministerial expert

ENGINEERS WORKING on Transportminster Derek Mackay have revealed how they plan to fix his career which cracked on Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday forcing him to reveal the truth about the Forth Road Bridge closure.

It’s believed to involve a “face saving repair” around his radio performance which failed dismally to cover up the SNP government’s budgetary gamble with the country’s economy.

A media access platform is being built around the broken minister but, given his failed admission of truth to the BBC’s Gary Robertson on Wednesday, experts say his career is beyond repair.

Firstminster Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that her “absolute intention” was to deflect all blame on to Mackay in case any of the finger pointing should fall in her direction.

Ms Sturgeon pointed out that the transportminster was “more than 38 years old, he’s been carrying more responsibility than he was designed for by way of ability and competence.”

She insisted: “This problem with Mackay was not predicted for the radio appearance in which he cracked, but we are trying desperately to remedy it, we are fixing it and we will get another fallguy in place before the new Forth crossing is due to open next year.”

Scottish Labour Opportunists deputy leader Alex Rowley said: “It was predicted as far back as 2010 that Derek Mackay would develop a fault.

“We need a full parliamentary inquiry into what has gone wrong with Mackay.

“For an SNP Minister to admit that he lied to parliament, while revealing it to the BBC on the radio, shows there has been too much strain put on his ministerial performance and now he has broken.

“There needs to be a full replacement of the transportminster section of the SNP government.”

 

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Shoot to Kill: Hosie’s radical new SNP policy for traitorous Unionists

SNP SWEAR oath of commitment to the protection of their homeland and their citizens.

"Shoot all the Unionists you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a SNP votingbird." - said Hosie, yesterday.

“Shoot all the Unionists you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a SNP votingbird.” – said Hosie to Police Scotland, yesterday.

THE DEPUTY leader of the SNP has backed the right of Police Scotland to “shoot-to-kill Unionists” in the event of a second referendum.

Stewart Hosie said he would trust police officers to take the “necessary action” to track down those people who “talk Scotland down”.

Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday she was “ambivalent” over police operating a Unionist shoot-to-kill policy.

She later clarified that she supported “a strictly non-SNP voting shoot-to-kill Unionists policy” such as Tory or Labour or Lib-Dem voters who deserved everything they got, plus some. But she insisted SNP voting Unionists should be spared.

She said: “The world has to see that we can tolerate Unionists on our soil. SNP voting Unionists can be rehabilitated and de-radicalised. They may even be economically viable. That’s why I think we should demonstrate our humane tolerant caring side.”

Mr Hosie told the Good Morning Scotland programme: “If a Unionist runs down Sauchiehall Street, God forbid, or Holyrood with a Better Together poster and a police officer has a split second decision to make, then the choice in terms of public safety is very clear.

He added: “We have seen the news reports from Saint Andrew’s this morning. These people won’t be arrested. One of the people who was subject to police investigations this morning blew up apparently – claimed they had they right to question our education record, economic illiteracy and oil price projections.

“There is no negotiating with someone who has that kind of hatred toward Scotland. Some are even prepared to quote Alex Bell verbatim.

“Split decisions require to be made and we all hope they are the right ones but I certainly would trust Police Scotland in those circumstances.”

AhDinnaeKen attempted to find a Unionist to comment on the new SNP shoot-to-kill policy commitment but no one – from the whole of the country – was prepared to comment.

 

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Taking the Corporate shill-ing – Chris Deerin and Charlotte Street Partners

ACCORDING TO the Oxford dictionary, a ‘shill’ is defined as: “a person who pretends to give an impartial endorsement of something in which they themselves have an interest.” The word has lost much of its power in Scotland due to its overuse by certain types of Scottish Nationalist. But it still maintains a visceral resonance when used in the correct context. Scottish newspaper columnist of the year, Chris Deerin, a leading high profile partner in PR lobbying communications firm Charlotte Street Partners, has earned another unofficial title – Corporate Shill of the Year. Shurely shome mishtake? AhDinnaeKen explains:

Kind of embarrassing for Chris that the paper he writes a regular column for should so resolutely show up the company he's currently shill-ing for.

Kind of embarrassing for Chris that the paper he writes a regular column for should so resolutely expose the corporation he’s currently shill-ing for.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe – corporate shill correspondent

“Tonight’s event is sponsored by SSE, a company which has been thinking hard about its place in society. While I am sure it would never claim to be perfect, SSE has taken a few significant steps.”  – Chris Deerin, Charlotte Street Partners, June 2015.

The ‘few significant steps’ taken toward perfection by energy giant SSE were dutifully specified by Chris as:

1) “In September 2013, it was accredited as a Living Wage employer, the largest FTSE 100 company with that status at the time.”

All very worthy of self serving self adulatory back slaps all round. What Chris naturally failed to mention was a BBC news story from February 2015 which reported:

Energy giant SSE has been named by the UK government as one of 70 companies that failed to pay workers the minimum wage.”

A year and a half after gaining the Living Wage employer accreditation, SSE were named and shamed by the government for failing to pay some of their workers the bare minimum of the minimum wage. Oh dear!

To reinforce the reach and intent of SSE’s living wage strategy, Chris also revealed:

2) “It has also implemented a Living Wage requirement in every service and works contract in its supply chain, which is worth £2.2 billion.”

A quick scan of SSE’s supply chain demonstrates a wide scale need of engineering expertise and services where most workers are likely to be paid more than the living wage – currently set at £7.85 per hour.

In its general support contract requirements, for example, SSE sub-contract provider companies for; confined space support, mechanical support, scaffolding support, controls and instrumentation and cladding support.

Deerin's apologism merely fans the flames. Weel din.

Deerin’s apologism merely fans the flames.

All of these services mostly require skilled tradesmen and professionals to fulfil their contractual responsibilities. For instance, the expected average wage of a scaffolder at current market rate is around £37,500 per annum – almost double the London adjusted living wage of £9.15 per hour.

So SSE’s Living Wage accreditation seems to be what it is – corporate glossed tokenism wrapped up in mostly empty gestures.

According to SSE’s corporate brochure they employ around 20,250 people.

On the 30th October 2015, Utility Week filed the following report on the energy giant: “By April 2016 400 full time equivalent employees in the supply chain will have received a pay rise.

“SSE said the commitment would raise the wages of 800 workers in its supply chain by five times..”

Impressive? Maybe. But it reinforces the “tokensim” claim. 800 workers is less than 4 per cent of SSE’s claimed workforce. It reeks of gesture politicking – no more, no less.

And, it begs the question, why has it taken SSE almost 3 years to implement from Sep 2013’s trumpeted Living Wage accreditation? Maybe Chris could answer that on Twitter. Probably not.

Deerin’s gushing SSE eulogy can be read in its entire corporate apologist glory here. It echoes a Cap-X piece test written by him in March where he pontificated over a more caring, humane corporate culture – citing SSE as a leading example. According to Chris:

Companies, in this view, are cultural entities as well as economic ones. The way they behave sets a tone, exposes their priorities and motivations, speaks to the nature of our wider society and the kind of people we are and want to be.”

Words of wisdom indeed. Especially when you take into consideration the “tone” set by SSE’s previous and present ‘behaviour’.

In March 2015, the Guardian reported: “SSE, one of the big six energy suppliers, has been forced to pay a £100,000 penalty after it was found to have overcharged for wholesale power provided to the National Grid.”

Part of the reason for SSE's new found corporate responsibility reputation is their haemorrhaging of customers Shills like Deerin are there to provide new wrapping.

Part of the reason for SSE’s new found corporate responsibility strategy is their haemorrhaging of customers Shills like Deerin are there to create new wrapping.

Or in the Telegraph from April 2013: “SSE, one of the country’s largest energy companies, has been fined £10.5m for “prolonged and extensive” mis-selling by regulator Ofgem the largest penalty ever for an energy supplier” – the fine would have been £50 million, but mostly spineless watchdog, Ofgem, settled for the lesser figure after SSE threatened to take the matter court-side.

Or, consider this from the website of small energy firm Entu: “SSE was fined £1.75m by Ofgem in December 2014 for failing to meet obligations to provide free insulation to low-income households.”

As recently as 30 Oct 2015, the Mail reported: “The big power companies have come under mounting pressure from consumer groups in recent days to slash tariffs after their input costs fell to a five-year low. But Scottish Power, E.ON and SSE have rejected charges of profiteering, saying that they regularly review the costs that make up their bills.”

And then there’s today’s Daily Mail headline story illustrated above.

So yes, SSE’s behaviour certainly “sets a tone” – a glaring, harsh, exploitative, in your face, monotone of corporate gloss, corporate greed and corporate profiteering. But not according to corporate lapdog Chris Deerin.

In his corporate apologist world, he no doubt believes that his brand of corporate snake oil emollient has helped ‘recontextualise extensible models’™ of the SSE corporate image. Or something.

It demonstrates how far Deerin has travelled since he left the safe cosy corporate journalism world of the Telegraph commentary department to the even safer, more secretive, more rewarding, corporate shill department of Charlotte Street Partners (CSP).

Journalists, according to polling from the 90’s to the present day, rank lower in public trustability ratings than politicians.

Master of the MacUniverse and partner in Corporate Shill Partners - Chris Deerin (yesterday).

Master of the MacUniverse and partner in Corporate Shill Partners – Chris Deerin (yesterday).

Deerin, with his shiny new gamekeeper turned poacher turned gamekeeper/poacher status, is even lower than that. Virtually everything he has to say, whether it be in print, Twitter or elsewhere, will always have that whiff of ulterior motive corporate shilliness about it.

His word and action over the past few months has certainly set the ‘tone’ and demonstrated the ‘motivation’. And he’s shown the teeny wee world of parochial inward looking insular Scotland just how little it needs that kind of ‘behaviour’.

AhDinnaeKen sarcastically doffs the cap and tugs the forelock to the new Masters of the MacUniverse, Charlotte Street Partners and Chris Deerin. Their barefaced audacity of polishing turds for the corporates of the world requires a virtual brass neck. The problem with turd polishers, however, is that they end up neck deep in the stuff they’re polishing.

Take a bow for your corporate masters Chris. A shill in need is a shill indeed.

Perfect!

 

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