Friday, March 16, 2007

By George!

Sir George Mathewson, former Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland and the old Scottish Development Agency, has on today's Scotsman letters page come out in favour of independence and an SNP-led government post-May. It's a timely contribution, since Labour, a bit like a child which has learned a new word, has discovered that a lot of Scots work in financial services and now opts to try and tell them at every opportunity that their jobs would somehow be 'at risk'.

Total garbage of course, and Mathewson, who transformed RBS from a struggling local outfit to the 5th largest bank in the world, is clearly having none of it. I can't wait to see how Labour are going to try and spin this one!

'There are several reasons why I shall vote SNP at the forthcoming Scottish election, the foremost of which is that I believe the SNP offers Scotland the best chance of escaping from the dependency culture that is currently all-pervasive at every level in Scottish life.

'I do not share the fear of independence which is currently being fostered by those who have most to lose by a change in the status quo and those who see Scotland as a source of safe seats, thus guaranteeing their rule over the United Kingdom.

'In addition, comments that have been made on access to the English market are patently absurd. Currently, a huge proportion of the English financial services market is supplied by companies in the United States, in Holland, Germany, Ireland, etc.

'Globalisation is here and Scottish companies have embraced it and indeed have benefited from it.

'Finally, our votes will choose the new First Minister of a parliament which has consistently disappointed since its creation, partially due to the lack of high-quality leadership. The outstanding candidate must be the SNP leader, Alex Salmond'.

(SIR) GEORGE MATHEWSON, Ballintrium, Perthshire

UPDATE: We didn’t have long to wait. Blair has resorted to claiming that RBS is somehow not a ‘real business’, and that Mathewson’s contribution is ‘self indulgent and absurd’. What a deluded fool Blair has become.


Iain said...

the Labour campaign is the same old tired nonsense about the country going broke. No sense of irony about what they've "achieved" for us in terms of poverty, quality of life and the environment.

Wake up. Ireland is a different world compared to back home. people are confident, positive and resourceful and its all because of independence.

Ewan Watt said...

When Sir George calls for an end to the reliance culture, what reliance culture is he referring to? Whenever I criticise this people tell me that Scots aren't reliant upon the state.

Richard Thomson said...

The addition of extra regio (i.e. oil & gas)revenues into the calculations means the size of the Scottish state relative to national wealth is slightly below the UK level (I'll send you some independent figures if you like). So to that extent at least, the Scots are not dependent on the state in the way that a lot of people assume.

For me, however, the 'dependency culture' can also be said to represent a dependency on others when it comes to thought, culture and political action. Taking on the powers reserved currently to Westminster would force our leaders to fully engage with the outside world, and hopefully in the process allow any dependency which may exist in Scotland to slowly diminish.

That's my hope, anyway, and it's also how I would interpret his remarks.