Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Business for Scotland and the SNP

"Business for Scotland is an independent and political party neutral business and economic policy think tank and network"
- Business for Scotland Website (30/12/2014)

This is a remarkable statement.  In August 2014 I wrote

  • Now obviously Business for Scotland is a non-political organisation - they make that very clear on their website. It's true that one of their founding Directors (Jim Mather) is the former SNP Minister for Enterprise, their CEO (Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp) is a failed SNP local council candidate and the First Minister is fond of using them for photo-opportunities and is attending their annual fund-raising dinner - but I don't think one can necessarily conclude from that that they're some sort of poorly disguised SNP campaigning vehicle designed to give the Independence case a veneer of business credibility.  I imagine Ivan McKee of Business for Scotland simply felt he should intervene out a sense of civic duty rather than because somebody suggested he should.

Throughout the campaign they tried to position themselves as politically neutral and many media outlets appeared to swallow that line.

Let's recap what we already knew about two of the founding directors
  • Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (Chief Executive of Business for Scotland - one of two remaining Directors):  is a failed SNP councillor candidate
  • Jim Mather (founding director of Business for Scotland - no longer a Director): Former SNP Minister for Enterprise

Now here's a brief update on what I've since noticed about some of key individuals involved;
  • Michelle Thomson (Managing Director of Business for Scotland, the other remaining Director): now approved PPC for Westminster for SNP
  • Ivan McKee (erstwhile Director of Business for Scotland - he's not anymore, he should update his Twitter profile): now standing as Westminster candidate for SNP
  • Richard Arkless (member of Business for Scotland who spoke against me at the Business Insider Breakfast indyref debate): approved potential SNP parliamentary candidate
  • Sarah Jane Walls (Member of business for Scotland who appeared on TV during referendum): was operations manager for Yes Scotland and according to the Herald is an SNP member "who has set her sights on Westminster and is one of a number of candidates in the running to be the party nominee in Stirling" (with some laughable consequences)
Is it just me or is there a trend emerging here?  There may well be more, these are examples that have simply washed up in front of me.

Maybe they should update this statement on their website?


For those who argue they could be party aligned but retain business or economic "think thank" credibility;


Anonymous said...

Thought you might enjoy this nugget of BFS wisdom


Kevin Hague said...

That mcIntyre-Kemp link is priceless - criticises IFS for using OBR projections (yet to be anything other than optimistic) and counter-example he uses is OECD forecast from March 2013.

It's almost as if he's trying to parody himself