Friday 16 March 2007

Has the SNP hit the jackpot?

High profile support for Scottish independence has been in the news today.

As readers will no doubt have guessed, I'm thinking of the pupils of Kelso High School:

Last month the Scottish Borders school declared "independence" as its own way of studying the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union.

After a trial three-week period it held a referendum to decide whether or not to rejoin the United Kingdom.

The vote - which was monitored by John Curtice, Professor in Politics at Strathclyde University - was almost four to one in favour of independence.

I note that one of Kelso High's former pupils is Sir William Purves, once chairman of HSBC.

Sir William will no doubt have contacts with many other senior bankers. One of these will be Sir George Mathewson, former Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. I wonder if these two gentlemen have ever discussed politics over a round of golf or at the RBS-sponsored Murrayfield Stadium.

If not, they've certainly got something to talk about now:

SIR George Mathewson, one of Scotland's most influential business leaders, today declares his support for the Scottish National Party and independence, handing Alex Salmond a huge political boost ahead of the Holyrood election.

The endorsement by Sir George, who helped transform the Royal Bank of Scotland into the world's fifth biggest bank, will play a crucial role in cementing the nationalists' economic credibility

This is surely a coup of major proportions for the SNP - far more important than signing up Sean Connery for example.

At the moment there are 403 comments on the Scotsman website, as well as much discussion in the Scottish blogosphere:

Bill Cameron

High Politics

Holyrood Chronicles

North to Leith

Scots and Independent

SNP Tactical Voting

Tartan Hero

This story is also being covered by Guido.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

I'm really uneasy about the SNP. Some of their Muslim councillors in the past have been shall we say very militant. Osama Saeed for one now promoted to the MCB organised demos to harass Israeli footballers at Ibrox, another Bashir, stormed St Alberts Primary school to remove children from worship and then at the height of Israeli/Lebanese hostilities the SNP sent financial aid to a Lebanese hospital which was "unaware" rockets were hidden under the building. 
i'm afraid my previous fondness for the SNP is somewhat coloured by the determination to secure the Muslim block vote in the coming elections. 
I'm not sure they represent the interests of indigenous Scots.

19 March 2007, 01:58:15 GMT
– Like – Reply

Bill (Scotland)
I take it then that your site is not one of the ones blocked in China?  
Seriously though I expect there is great interest at certain levels in China about this - in the case of HSBC at least I imagine a great number of the shares are still owned by HK or Chinese residents. 
I have no idea what Willie Purves thinks about independence for Scotland (he was my ultimate boss for many years and at one time I saw/spoke with him almost daily), but whatever view he has formed is I have no doubt influenced by his great pragmatism and analytical skills.

16 March 2007, 21:33:00 GMT
– Like – Reply

David Farrer
What's really spooky is this: 
Just after posting tonight I looked at my sitemeter. Eight out of the last twenty hits were from China.  
Surely nothing to do with HSBC being from Hong Kong or the RBS owning part of the Bank of China?

16 March 2007, 21:21:51 GMT
– Like – Reply

Pretty exciting stuff then, north of the border.

16 March 2007, 20:57:52 GMT