Resetting the debate dial back to stupid

Ok, time to be calm and tranquil after yesterday’s traumas. It’s all a bit eek at times this independence campaign isn’t it. Every day the no campaign manages to find a new way of insulting your intelligence. There can be no nation on the face of this planet which has been collectively patronised as comprehensively as Scotland is being patronised by the UK media. It wouldn’t be so bad if the UK media was inhabited by sage geniuses and wise elders, but it’s actually populated by shrieking hysterics and navel gazers whose sole claim to intellectual and moral superiority is that they are commenting on venal and self-serving UK politicians and a kleptomaniac business class.

And they’re still at it. A new ogre has entered the scare story steeplechase as several of the existing monsters fell at the fence of public opinion, broke their legs and had to be shot. Or at least we’re being told it’s a new ogre.

Following up on the wreckage of the CBI, which took a tumble at Credibility Gap giving itself several compound fractures and its jockeys a severe headache, comes Business for a New Europe. A new business organisation with a new way to scare you anew. They have Business in their title, which means that they’re serious people with serious money and we ought to sit down like good little worker drones and say well that’s us telt then.

According to BNE, Scotland is faced with years in the Eurowilderness and it will be “next to impossible” for Scotland to join the EU on the same terms as the UK – which will of course sail on unperturbed because it hasn’t occurred to anyone at either Business for a New Europe, the UK Government or the UK media that Scotland might mount a legal challenge to the rest of the UK’s dubious claim to be the sole continuing state.

But the new scare story is not actually very new at all. The new BNE report – if that is what it is – is essentially the same as a report written by the very same Dr Daniel Furby over two years ago, which had already been dismissed as an “error strewn fantasy”. The same basic errors are in evidence in today’s media stories too. For example BNE claims that Scotland would find it “very hard” to negotiate an opt-out from the Euro, which completely ignores the essential point that Scotland doesn’t have to negotiate a formal opt-out from the Euro at all.

There’s no need, as Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas pointed out in January 2012 – before he was forced to resign in in a corruption scandal – saying that his country doesn’t need a formal opt-out from the Euro. “No one can force us into joining the euro … We have a de facto opt-out,” he said.

Nečas was referring to requirement to join the ERM for two years before a country can join the Euro. Membership of the ERM is entirely voluntary, and EU members are at perfect liberty to delay membership of the ERM for as long as they see fit and can delay membership indefinitely until the times and circumstances are suitable for them. The Czech Republic doesn’t think there will ever be a suitable time or circumstance. It’s a de facto opt-out available to all EU member states, and is also the route chosen by Sweden, which likewise doesn’t wish to adopt the Euro. Scotland doesn’t need a formal Euro opt-out either. You’d think EU expert Dr Daniel Furby would know that. He probably does, but it doesn’t suit the Better Together narrative to mention it.

Better Together keeps wanting to reset the independence debate dial back to “stupid”. The BBC and the rest of the UK media are their willing accomplices. It’s much easier than actually doing some research when you want to write a news story.

Nowhere in today’s reports in the UK media does it say that the BNE story is a reheated scare from over two years old which has already been discredited, debunked, and thrown on the scrapheap of Project Fear rejects. I won’t bother debunking it all again here, just read this Newsnet Scotland article published in March 2012.

So why is Business for Europe and its error strewn EU fantasies popping up again now? It couldn’t possibly be because the CBI now has less credibility on Scottish independence than BBC 1970s presenters have on child welfare, and Project Fear is in desperate need of a business organisation whose name isn’t going to provoke guffaws and derision in order to pour cold water on the aspirations of independentistas.

Business for a New Europe is another of those completely apolitical and totally neutral think tanks cum lobby groups which just happen to be run by a personal friend of senior Westminster politicians. The chairman and founder of Business for a New Europe is a certain Roland Rudd, whose first job before he founded a PR company and made a fortune was as a policy advisor to David Owen and the SDP. He later developed links with New Labour, and worked closely with Peter Mandelson. Roland invites Nick Clegg and his missus round for tea, kindly offered to help Tony Blair’s son out with his first Saturday job and advised Tone himself after he finally gave in to Gordie Broon’s temper tantrums and pondered what to with himself in retirement in between giving interviews to the Guardian denying he’s a war criminal. Roland’s family are politically well connected too, his sister is a Tory MP.

Amongst its board of advisors, Business for a New Europe boasts such luminaries as Leon Brittan the former Tory Home Secretary in Thatcher’s government, Roger Carr the former director of the CBI, former Chef de Cabinet to Neil Kinnock and ex-UK senior civil servant Andrew Cahn, a former British ambassador, and a veritable roll call of individuals who’ve stepped out of UK public service into well paid jobs on the boards of companies. None of whom have any other interest than telling Scottish voters the truth.

So quite a lot like BBC Scotland and the UK media then.



15 comments on “Resetting the debate dial back to stupid

  1. faolie says:

    Nice of you to actually take the time to debunk this (again) Paul. To be honest, all I’m starting to hear these days from the No boys and girls is “.can’t…tax…more tax…can’t….pound..millions…can’t…EU…can’t…shouldn’t…pool…can’t…UK NHS..borders..” and I’m a referendum geek hoovering this nonsense up every day. All this negativity will play on the mind until the vote, when many folks will ask themselves yes or no? Fuck it, yes.

    Coined the Fuck It Factor, by Derek Bateman I believe.

  2. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh ‘sake

  3. bjsalba says:

    To preserve my sanity (and save anything breakable close at hand), I have started trying to find songs to be modified to fit.

    My pick for this one was the Kinks
    “So tired, tired of waiting for you”.
    Revised it to
    “So tired, tired of listening to lies”.

    A little work on the verses and I’ll have something to hum or sing under my breath every time I hear this nonsense about Europe or see mention of BfE and my blood pressure will return to normal and a smile come back to my face.

  4. ferdinand francino says:

    Who do you trust?
    A week before BBC did manage to publish[1] about a report[2] from the European Policy Centre, written by Graham Avery, Honorary Director General of the European Commission. I’m looking at this Dr Furby[4] and think, yeah, that explains it. [5]😀


  5. Iain says:

    If they’re going to patronise and insult us, I wish they would have the decency to put their hearts into the attempt and do a proper job of it. This is just pointless tripe.

  6. Capella says:

    How can we ensure that, post independence, we never again have to put up with these irritating think tankers, disseminating their lies via the state broadcaster? Perhaps a new broadcasting corporation could be tasked with checking out the background of such “news” press releases and ignoring them if it turns to to be a fake rehash of some old, previously debunked, fiction. Then citizen journalists like Wee Ginger wouldn’t need to send so much time doing the job of professional journalists. I think you should send the BBC an invoice!

  7. Helena Brown says:

    Maybe it is I just don’t bother reading this junk these days is what is keeping me sort of semi sane. Seems to me we have been there and read that for around 30 years. Not one business took flight and left Scotland after Devolution and if there is one single business going to go now then I will bake a cake to celebrate because most of so called British industry is very replaceable, they are rotten at it.

  8. Hazel Lewry says:

    Yep. Everything they said ^^^ the repetitive monotony of the naw crowd is beyond tedious. But I expect there are a few “challenged” folks who will suck this shite up and believe it.

  9. JimW says:

    Jings, Paul. Gaun yer dinger this week!
    The more these self-interested people draw attention to themselves the more Scots will start to realise that they are the very people who got Britain into this mess, and are the very people we want to get away from.

  10. […] Ok, time to be calm and tranquil after yesterday's traumas. It's all a bit eek at times this independence campaign isn't it. Every day the no campaign manages to find a new way of insulting your in…  […]

  11. Just watched the video of the FM at the 5 million questions event in Dundee. David Torrance was unusually respectful and quiet, letting Eck woo the audience in amusing and informative conversation. He remained relaxed, positive, no slagging off the opposition though with the occasional little dig in their direction. He is looking slimmer, fitter, facts at his fingertips, and giving off a quiet confidence. He certainly didn’t have the look of a politician staring at, or even contemplating, defeat.

    Watching it was a tonic after all the rubbish being thrown at us. So let’s take our cue from the FM and think positively of winning on 18th September.

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