CBI: Cannae Be Involved

The CBI’s woes go from bad to worse.   The organisation has now announced that it will seek to have its registration as a No campaign supporter declared null and void, and admitted it was a mistake to have registered in the first place.  CBI’s director general John Cridland told the BBC that the business organisation had made an “honest mistake” in registering.  No honest, they’re telling the truth now.

It was also a mistake for them to pose as a neutral organisation when they’re as neutral as a bare wire in a puddle of pish, which wasn’t very honest of them at all.  No apologies from John on that one, because he’s fervently hoping that the CBI can go back to spraying its urine all over a live debate while posing as a detached voice of authority from on high.   Sadly for Honest John that’s not going to happen – over the past week they’ve electrocuted themselves like a mangy stray dug at a faulty lamp post.  But now they’ve been caught, kennelled and neutered.

Honest John said that the decision had been taken by a very junior staff member who didn’t have the authority and was operating way above his pay grade.   Which isn’t quite what he was saying just a couple of days ago when he assured anyone who was listening that the CBI had fully consulted with its members through the medium of astral channelling.  It’s just terribly unfortunate that their ouija board got stuck between the N and the O.

The ouija board took a sharp shift towards U-turn after the CBI took legal advice from a QC, who told them that their application for registration as a campaigning organisation may be null and void.  Which does kind of make you wonder why the supposed spokespeople for British industry didn’t do that in the first place.  Because if I was a leading business organisation and I was told to register as a campaigning body because of “legal compliance issues”, I’d find out first whether this was actually the opinion of lawyers before taking a step that was bound to create controversy – seeing as how the role of a business organisation like the CBI is to protect its members when they become involved in controversy.  The last thing they’re supposed to do is become an object of controvery themselves.  But they did that anyway.  And now they’ve made it worse.

Worse still is that they may not be able to deregister.  There is no mechanism in place for an organisation to cease registration after having registered.  Which is why the CBI is trying to argue that their registration was never valid to begin with.  Whether the Electoral Commission will accept this argument remains to be seen.  The Scottish public certainly won’t, and as far as the referendum campaign is concerned that’s all that counts.

The CBI wants us all to forget everything they’ve said over the past few days.  They’re not in favour of a no vote at all, how silly of anyone to imagine that.  They’re just not unopposed to not telling us never not to vote no, which is entirely above board and fits the BBC’s definition of impartiality.

Honest John said:

“Although the decision to register with the Electoral Commission was taken in good faith, in order to carry out normal activities during the referendum period, it has inadvertently given the impression that the CBI is a political entity – we are not and never will be.”

Apolitical entity? Forfend!  They’re a fully paid up member of the right wing British establishment.  Nothing political about that at all.  Oh no.  This is the organisation which campaigned against devolution, campaigned against the minimum wage, and campaigned against restrictions on bankers’ bonuses while supposedly representing public bodies and being funded in part from public money.  Of course they’re not political.  And in the exact same way, British nationalism isn’t nationalist and the BBC isn’t biased.  On hearing the news that the CBI managed the impressive trick of simultaneously drowning in its own incompetence while blowing itself out of the water, Patrick Harvie of the Greens said:

“The CBI is clearly not just a business network – it’s a free-market, right-wing lobbying group whose Scottish boss recently described inequality as an ‘abstract’ term. Given the recent exodus of members the question must now be why public bodies and neutral broadcasters ever joined such a lobby group in the first place.”

I’m sure there will be a Newsnicht Scotland special all about it very soon …

Like those other institutions of Britishness, the Westminster parlie, the Unionist parties, the BBC and the rest of the UK media, the CBI isn’t having a good referendum.  All the big beasts and the heavy hitters, the important people and the global players, shown up as a bunch of inadequates by ordinary people in Scotland organising ourselves.  We’re the munchkins on the Yellow Brick Road to independence, and now we’ve seen our political masters are as much a sham as the Wizard of Oz.  We clicked our red heels and saw they were never clever or competent, they were never powerful or potent.

Westminster and the British state are the impregnable fortress which was impregnable until the first time it was beseiged from within, the Colditz castle no one had escaped from until Scotland decided to plan a way out.  And then we discovered it wasn’t a castle on a hill hewn from the solid rock, it’s really a Mickey Mouse castle of cardboard in a Disneyland of deceit.  For generations Scots were taught we were too wee, too poor and too stupid, yet we’ve discovered our masters are weer, poorer and more stupid than us.  And now they’re the ones with the cringe.

So the CBI won’t be campaigning as an official No supporter after all.  In order to prove that they really did make a mistake – no, honest John we believe you – by registering as a No supporter, to avoid any tricky legal issues, and to rescue what is left of the tattered shreds of their credibility, they’re going to have to keep out of the debate entirely.   The CBI has reportedly assured the Electoral Commission that they will take no part in the independence debate.

From now on in, CBI better stand for “cannae be involved”.  Because we’ll be watching.


33 comments on “CBI: Cannae Be Involved

  1. jimnarlene says:

    Again brilliant, insightful and entertaining. The tinman, the scarecrow and the cowardly lion that are the ukok heads at Westminster must be wishing they were back in Kansas.

  2. Fairliered says:

    Now that they are officially impartial again, does that mean they can continue to be impartial as spokespersons on the officially impartial BBC?

  3. john kevin sim says:

    I found your blog 2 weeks ago through WoS. I really appreciate your posts, they are witty and on the money. Although I live in Yorkshire, I’m beginning to enjoy this campaign, The Better Together types are showing Scotland and the World what the UK is really all about, and it ain’t pretty.


    • hektorsmum says:

      Wanted to say a very arm welcome to the Referendum Debate, well it is a bit one sided, the good guys are here and the bad guys or misguided are on the Main Stream Media. Yes the World that is Westminster will never be the same again and as we see neither will many of those trusted organisations, like the BBC.

  4. macart763m says:

    First class again and an extra treat for the dug.🙂

    Oh jeez Paul, car crash decisions start to finish.

    How on earth did they ever think they could get away with registering in the first place with so many public bodies as members and no ballot or consensus?

    You can almost see Cridland pulling an Oliver Hardy waiting on that final brick dropping from the chimney to bean him with that hard done by look on his kisser.


    • weegingerdug says:

      Who knew that independence campaigns could be such FUN? We should have them more often.

      The CBI did it because they thought they wouldn’t be challenged. They thought they wouldn’t have to explain themselves. Now we’re demanding they explain themselves, that they justify their miserable grasping existence. And they have no answers. They’re the teachers that didn’t do their homework, they’ll never control a classroom again.

      It’s a joy to behold. Scotland has learned a valuable lesson that we’ll never forget. The establishment can only take us for fools if we give them permission.

      That’s a lesson that we will take into an independent Scotland. I want to be governed by a parliament that knows we got rid of a parliament before – and that we can do it again.

    • xsticks says:

      “Who knew that independence campaigns could be such FUN? We should have them more often.”

      I can’t begin to describe the immense pleasure I’m getting from watching the disgusting british establishment falling to bits. I think the only thing that might top it would be Bush & Blair (and a few of their pals) in the dock for crimes against humanity.

      • Nigel Mace says:

        Hope I’m not breaking any rules here but seeing the close of your post, all of which chimes with me as does the dug’s wonderful new acronym CBI – Cannae Be Involved – I thought that you might enjoy my website of parodies of classic English, Scottish and even some American verse, all aimed at Bush and Blair and the ghastly Iraq war and its aftermath. It’s at – http://www.warpoetryimprint.co.uk
        Meanwhile strength to Paul and the wee dug’s canines – and I hope they or someone manages not to let the BBC off of this hook. Who took those weird decisions to delay and then suspend but after another 5 weeks? To whom was it referred up/ We should be told and the BBC should be grilled steadily on the issue.

        • Capella says:

          Just had a look at the website Nigel and it looks like a great idea and collection of poems. Will enjoy browsing through it. As if I don’t spend far too much time online already!

  5. indyreiver says:

    The foundations of The British Establishment are been exposed to reveal the deception, decay and deceit at the heart of Government

  6. Eilean says:

    The CBI has been getting away with it for years. I can remember years ago as my political awareness grew and hopefully matured the CBI was probably the first “independent” organisation that made me think. “Haud on a minute, impartial my arse” This was probably as long ago as Thatcher.

    I spent most of yesterday on the phone to BT. No not “them” the other shower of useless, incompetent sanddancers and chancers. British Telecom.

    British Government, British Broadcasting Corporation, Confederation of British Industry, Is it just me or does anything with British in the title seem to have an air of decay about it these days. It all seems so very foosty. In your mind you feel frightened to peel back the layers cause it feels like you will shortly come across some maggots crawling around.

    English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish yes, but how anyone can be proud of Britain and what it stands for is beyond me.

    On a positive note I read somewhere that Cornwall has had EU recognition of “minority status” granted. Well done Cornwall. First step on a long road for our celtic cousins.


    • hektorsmum says:

      Your comment on the other BT, made us smile in our house. Hubby worked for them and endorses everything you say.

  7. Scepticalsue says:

    I actually attended an EC discussion at the SNP Conference. While they all seemed like very nice people ,I’m afraid their level of scepticism was on a very different level to me.
    The question of BBC bias (where BBC Scotland will have to adhere to the rules but what about the national broadcasts, think all those British bake offs, British sewing bees,British middle country’s) ?
    Or registered groups funding but what about funding from EWI ?
    Or Scottish media but EWI ? Etc, etc
    So it will be very interesting to see their gentlemanly response to the CBIs request to unregister

  8. dennis mclaughlin says:

    Remember folks when the moniker ‘British’ meant something to be proud of…..This is getting more ‘carry on’ like by the day!….oh! Matron🙂

    • Eilean says:

      Yes I can! Those were also the days when “Made in Japan” was treated like a joke.

      Westminster… How to ruin a country in ten easy lessons or five difficult ones!

  9. […] CBI: Cannae Be Involved […]

  10. artistwally says:

    Just been to the CBI site and I see they haven’t changed anything there yet…

  11. Alba4Eva says:

    What is quite clear to me, is that the outing of the BBC as a CBI member has caused this ‘U’ turn. The CBI really couldn’t care less about the loss of a few Scottish universities, quangos and the odd business in Scotland… the UK wide BBC is another kettle of fish. I quite imagine the UK government and the establishment are directing this from now on.
    As far as own goals go… what can you say?

  12. smiling vulture says:

    very junior staff member—-name & blame–HA,HA

    • hektorsmum says:

      So a certain gentleman with a name beginning with I and second name starting with M, should not be looking for a reference when he is looking for a new job?.

  13. George Kerr says:

    Superb analysis, yet entertaining at the same time. A must read blog for me.

  14. Capella says:

    Not only is this indyref debate fun, it is also educational (especially in the blogs such as this one) – a steep, perpendicular learning curve!

  15. The grounds on which the CBI is arguing its deregistration from the Electoral Commission could lead to more shambolic decisions.

    If the EC allows the CBI’s exit on the grounds of its application being invalid because of an ‘honest mistake’ (presumably over the necessity for registration) and because the decision was made by a junior official, then this doesn’t reflect well on the EC.

    The CBI’s reasons make the EC look incompetent, for not having advised them properly (I understand bodies have detailed discussions with it prior to registering), and suggests the EC were negligent in not ensuring the registration documents were accurately completed in accordance with the law.

  16. hektorsmum says:

    Your Blog makes the day , every day brighter. Wee Ginger Dug deserves a nice walk and a biscuit and Hektor agrees.

  17. Juan P says:

    Has anyone queried why Capita, who operate as the ‘TV Licensing Authority’ and collect the licence fee on the BBC’s behalf, haven’t suspended or withdrawn their membership of the CBI?

    Is there not an issue with the BBC continuing to use a company to collect the license fee which is a member of the anti-independence CBI?

  18. […] The CBI's woes go from bad to worse. The organisation has now announced that it will seek to have its registration as a No campaign supporter declared null and void, and admitted it was a mistake…  […]

  19. Les Wilson says:

    Good article, well written as usual.
    Here is something else you will be happy about –


  20. “We wiz only kiddin’, mister. Wu’r no pro-naw or nothin’. We urnae, honest!” I’ht wiz yon wee twit fae Twecher whit did it.

    Answered the phone ben the room while a’ wiz in the cludgie, ‘n at, “Do you want to register with the Electoral Commission?”, said, “Aye, sure! Is thaur a prize?” A’m iz scunnered iz you! That’s whit happen’d. Amurnae lyin’!

    The BBC has parroted innumerable dire warnings (fear bombs) from the CBI over the past three years since the SNP won an overall majority in Holyrood, and a referendum on independence became inevitable.

    While it has been careful to present the CBI as an independent politically non-partisan representative of big business, not once has it declared its own close business relationship with the CBI.

    It never revealed to its paying customers, the licence holders, that the BBC was itself joined at the hip to this political agency of Union.

    With this omission the BBC committed a political fraud upon the Scottish electorate. It hid its involvement until it was outed in just the last few days.

    The BBC should disavow this sham outfit now! It has no credibility left and the BBC is on its way to joining it in that deficit.

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