The Scotland in Union data dump isn’t just about that single organisation, it’s about political support from the super-rich and landed classes to the parties and movements that sustain their power. This is the Anglo-Scottish aristocracy and their nexus of friends and stenographers laid on a table for dissection.
It details donations to the Labour, Conservative and Liberal (not so much) parties and to Better Together and to Scotland in Union. It details who met with who and who lunched who, their media contacts and their personal details. It outlines the donations, communications, meetings and points of contact for hedge-fund managers, ex-military, retired businessmen and the filthy rich. But most of all it’s like Debrett’s on speed-dial.
Much of it will already be in the public domain, though bringing it together in four documents is rather useful and whatever is going on in the world of Unionist power play it makes the independence movement look positively harmonious.
Some of the detail is sublime: “very camera shy, friends with Prince Andrew”; “ex-SAS”; “controversial character”; “openly gay”; “was involved in the Jonathan Aitken scandal”; “questioned by police for cash for questions”; “winters in New Zealand”; “metals trader, Christian, believes in family”.
It’s not just a Who’s Who of British conservatism it’s a rogues gallery of a corrupt power elite.
The massive fund has donation type listed as ‘cash donation’ or sometimes “staff costs” or, in one Scottish journalists example “premises”.
This is a huge cache of information about networks and money being channeled into politics by big business and the landed rich. It will take weeks to verify and sift through, which we will be doing with journalists and lawyers. We have been sent documents from two different sources that are very rich in detail and consequences and needs more attention than a hurried Hogmanay blogpost. There is a clear ‘public interest’ in bringing this information into the open and that’s what we’ll be doing.
But it does slay a myth of the independence movement: that the indy movement can be ‘apolitical’, reduced to a few soundbites, that a left-right analysis is not relevant and should be avoided.
This always was nonsense both in terms of political analysis and strategy-building. But it is unsustainable in light of this expose.
This is about the powerful and wealthy protecting their interests against the change that independence can bring.
They are clearly very anxious, highly-motivated, well connected and organised.
But they are also now completely exposed.
Have a Happy New Year everyone. Raise a glass tonight and look forward to the year ahead.