As if there were not enough of the good and great fetching up all over Scotland to tell those whose votes actually matter in next week’s referendum, a businessman whose company is under investigation on both sides of the North Atlantic, and whose son was accused by an MP of “running a Mafia operation”, has arrived to give Scots the dubious benefit of his largely unwanted advice.
Yes, Rupert Murdoch has fetched up in Aberdeen, where he apparently tried to make an incognito visit to a pub (as if). Don Rupioni was quizzed by reporters wanting to know if he would be duly instructing the Scottish edition of the Sun to back Alex Salmond, but what they missed is his apparent desire, in the event of a Yes vote, to keep on sticking his bugle in.
For starters, he was not happy about the kind of company the Yes campaign was keeping: “Scotland. Have to worry about some of Salmond’s allies. Far left socialists and extreme greenies. Must change course to prosper if he wins”. Nothing like self-determination, is there, Rupe? You must think you’ve made Alex an offer he can’t refuse.
And his ability to suggest that everyone “looks over there” is as strong as ever: “Should remember Scots invented modern world 200-odd years ago with Scottish Enlightenment. Free people, free markets, decent restraints”. Murdoch likes free markets? That’ll be news to his competitors.
He also believes that, having stoked up feelings on both sides to rather greater heights than is good for respectful disagreement, it will all be OK after the vote. “Despite English patronising, whatever the outcome, extremists on both sides will fade, warm feelings return”. He won’t have to be there to pick up the pieces.
But what emerges after the vote will clearly be to Rupe’s liking: “With all-party promises of max devolution, if kept, Britain will be a different place, certainly better managed. Tough negotiations ahead”. Murdoch fancies a federal structure for the whole of the UK – that way, he retains all his power, and the politicians with rather less than at present will be easier to pick off.
But there is a cloud on his horizon: “Coincidence or fate? Sept 18 2014 700 years since Battle of Bannockburn threw off English yoke. But now SNP wants to swap UK rule for EU”. Don Rupioni doesn’t like that: EU means proper regulation and properly free markets. Less chance of him getting away with rubbing his competitors’ noses in the crap. Less chance of rigging the game in his favour.
Leave it, Rupe. You keep sticking your oar in where it isn’t wanted. This decision is for the Scots, and they alone. Some of us respect that. Pity Murdoch does not.
I'm up for a bit of Murdoch bashing as much as the next man but he is far from the only businessman expressing an opinion on Independence this week. Most of them are telling us to vote 'no', even Vodafone who dont pay any bloody tax.
Ah, but there are businessmen, and then there are businessmen with honking great media empires ...
He's right about a federal UK though, unless we're to have a government that can only legislate on UK wide law, because it doesn't have a majority in England; which is the likely case if Labour were to win a majority.
Personally I think that the paerites will renege on the promises if there is a no vote, otherwise there could be chaos.
This week's referendum, to be precise.
The big difference in business "interference" is that most are just saying things about how a change would affect their company and what they would do about it. Which is fair enough, if I was a shareholder in any company trading in Scotland I'd hope they had worked that much out themselves.
Murdoch is diferent. He isn't saying how he would or would not restructure his papers (or Sky) in Scotland. He's telling people what they should think and is also trying to say who should be part of a future Scottish government. This is a foreigner trying to use his power and money to have a country run the way he thinks it should be - he should have been stopped years ago.
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