Scotland in Union Data Dump

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.

Comments (51)

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  1. john says:

    Yes , raise a glass tonight to the demise of this cabal of very wealthy people , that don’t want anyone in Scotland to have a say in how the country is run except them ! .

  2. david says:

    While I am a dedicated independinista, of the RIC rather than SNP mould, I am also good friends with two of the leading lights in SiU. I have clients and business opportunities in common, and indeed have worked together on joint projects in the oil and gas industry.

    I enjoy our good natured discussions which start from very opposite ends of the constitutional debate. I freely admitted/ demonstated to them the schadenfreude when the leak became public.

    I was horrified at the vitipurative on-line comments they then sent me. Quite apart from the abuse which merely characterises “us” as imbeciles, the politics of allowing this to become another “cybernat abuse” story, rather than one that can be used to our advantage is SPECTACULARY STUPID.

    1. Mic11 says:

      I have absolutely no idea what you are saying here. Who is making this a cybernat abuse story?

      1. david says:

        As I said above I have already seen comments that would qualify for exactly that. We are only a few hours into this story, and most of the MSM are asleep or at play. How will they pitch this story next week? “Vile Cybernat abuse” fits with an editorial line that typically hates the Rev. Much easier than any critique of SiU and their internal difficulties or policies. As I write every on-line word is being checked by SiU for the “cybernat defence”. How can we win an arguement by descending into abuse? Surely the confidence in our argument means we must mind our language or not be taken seriously.

    2. Davie says:

      Proclaiming someone or something to be ‘SPECTACULARLY STUPID’ at the end of an incomprehensible post is…….

    3. Alex says:

      David, you advise us that you are a “dedicated independinista” and an RIC supporter as opposed to SNP. I’m sure our movement is delighted to have your’s and many others support outwith the SNP, however, it cannot be stressed enough how important lending our vote to the SNP actually is in giving us the best possible chance to topple unionism in Scotland. I am of the firm belief that if we purport to back independence for Scotland and make it our priority then any other vote for the only mode of transport capable of delivering what we prioritise is an impediment to that very goal, and for very obvious reasons. It goes without saying that the single most feared result Unionists/British Nationalists in Scotland and Westminster dread is an other SNP landslide majority. This cannot be gained by those who choose to back the Scottish Greens or Scottish Socialists for instance as MSM albeit disingenuously do NOT equate support for other pro-independence parties as support for our independence or a threat to the continuation of the UK as things are.

      1. david says:


        Your proprietorial “our movement” is charming, and I shall continue to be polite to my SNP colleagues who think that political policies are owned by a particular party, and can be condescendingly loaned out to those less imbued with the true religion. Have a great 2018!

  3. Wul says:

    “Britain’s Establishment is stripped naked and, with no warning, shoved onto a stage. The audience gasps: someone familiar stands before them, but now, under the unforgiving glare of the spotlight, the character is finally exposed for who he really is. Yet, as suddenly as the figure appears, it is covered up again and taken back to where it belongs: offstage.”

    Introduction to “The Establishment and how they get away with it” by Owen Jones, Penguin 2014.

    Just reading one of my Christmas books. The quote above seemed very apt.

  4. Al MacLean says:

    “It details who met with who and who lunched who, their media contacts and their personal details.”

    Media contacts? Heavens above any of these contacts should reside within the state braodcaster?

    The rich protecting their stash against what they fear an indepedent Scotland would mean to that stash, is not a suprise, it’s if they are protecting that stash illegally.

    Irony is that the rich are using labour in Scotland to do their dirty work for them, but were this ever so!

  5. R Clark says:

    Looking forward to this all going public first thing in the new year. Between yourselves and Wings you have these “Landed” and “Titled”, self serving horrors on the ropes – they need to be very worried!

  6. Regi blinker says:

    Can this latest finding put the right wing, shy tory voter pro indy people back in their box? Independence needs to be about building a better society. Aslong as we allow a super rich, like these scrounging, work shy parasites to have influence on society, then nothing is changed

  7. Gercon says:

    The fragrant Mary Berry did a very good job of exposing them.

  8. Juteman says:

    What do members of the British Labour Party (Scottish Branch) feel, when it is laid bare that they are being manipulated by the very people the party was set up to oppose?
    How do they feel about members of the Labour party sitting in the HoL as a reward for bending over to their establishment masters?
    I honestly can’t understand how any Scottish supposed ‘socialist’ would want to be any part of the cabal that is Labour/Better Together/Unionist/Tory Party.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Members of the British Labour Party appear to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the mismanagement of SiU funds!

  9. Chris Clark says:

    Mike, many of us eagerly await the details. Wul, Owen Jones’s book is well worth a read and exposes the rich charlatans and their willing accomplices fearlessly. For those who wish to see how dirty tricks are developed I recommend the Tim Shipman book “All Out War, the full story of Brexit”. It’s long but reads like a good detective novel which is difficult to put down. Let’s hope 2018 re-invigorates the campaign for Scottish Independence drawing on the talents of all sections of Scottish society whatever their underlying political creed. The Scottish people must be allowed to govern themselves.

  10. Roddy says:

    I can imagine that the SIU will have been receiving some very irate phone calls in light of this exposure of their donor funding list by an insider.
    Their donors will be hoping that when the shit hits the fan they do not get covered with it.

    The fact that high powered lawyers are now getting involved means that they are worried about this ‘leak’ from their donor files. Very kind of them to record such exacting details for us to see how they operate in the shadows. Pity that they are in the full glare of a spotlight now.

    WOS pulled the article as a precaution but I am sure that it will reappear shortly when it is decided that it falls into the realm of public interest to reveal the skulduggery that the Unionist movements employ to subvert the will of a people.

    1. Jamsie says:

      Hardly subverting the will of the people!
      That feat is left to the SNatsies and the Greens.
      Polls still say Scotland would vote to be part of the UK and wisely so.
      But do you really think this support is a surprise?
      The two minority parties dictating to Scots that they should pay more tax for being Scottish is a sure sign they have no idea how they would actually sustain the economy if independence ever came about.
      Without the Barnet formula we would all be infinitely poorer!
      Thank goodness patriots like this exist otherwise we would all be at the mercy of these dysfunctional political pygmies.

      1. Eleanor Ferguson says:

        I think the reaction of Scottish people to the rise in taxes was that it was fair and sensible. They failed to rise to the idea that tax is always bad, because I do think that the example the Scottish Government gives of being a fairer society, has made an impression on the already more socially responsible people of Scotland. How anyone thinks that Brexit will be good in any way and that we would be better letting England, led by incompetents, continue to trample over our wishes is beyond my understanding.
        The knowledge of who the people are in this organisation should tell you everything you need to know. They are out for themselves and have no interest in the welfare of ordinary people. Indeed,to me it shows that these people are anxious not to lose the contribution that Scotland makes to the UK,which I suspect is substantial.

        1. Jamsie says:

          Not all of the people of Scotland agree with you just as not all will agree with me.
          You really need to be aware that not all of the people of Scotland consider Nicola to represent them in fact they think that she is usurping the democratic choice made by Scots and the UK which Scotland remains part of.
          Every major commercial body advised against raising taxes because of the likely effect on what is already a struggling economy.
          Look at the change in stamp duty for example.
          Again they have been shown to be fiscally incompetent.
          The argument that Scotland is a contributor when relying so much on the Barnet formula is risible and no credible explanation of how this dependence could be reduced is forthcoming.
          Vanity items already promised but obviously not budgeted for which benefit all rather than the needy are clearly a luxury we cannot afford hence she needs to raise taxes to pay for these items of spurious benefit.
          Nobody knows what the effect of Brexit will be but one thing it won’t do will be to trigger a new referendum on independence.
          People don’t want one and she knows she as the most detested politician since Thatcher would be commiting herself and her party to a political wilderness in calling one as she could not win it.
          So whilst you and others on here “think” you know that Scots are happy to be taxed more or believe that this makes a fairer society somehow thankfully the democratic will of the people will ultimately shine through as they see their hard earned cash squandered on items which are not progressive or fair in dealing with problems faced every day by pensioners and others in need.
          I have asked before on here and no one has answered but why should people earning vast sums be given the same benefits in terms of tuition fees or free prescriptions as those earning low wages or even on benefits?
          It does not make good progressive sense and belies the Greens and the SNatsies true base of tartan tories.

          1. Eleanor Ferguson says:

            I’m afraid we will just have to disagree. It has been said many times that to means test people for free prescriptions etc would cost more than it saves,but actually,as well as that is the feeling I think we get in Scotland, that the government actually cares about us and values us. As for Nicola Sturgeon being as unpopular as Margaret Thatcher, I do find that hard to believe! The woman who stood outside Bute House the day after the Brexit vote and spoke up for the E.U. Nationals after English MPs seem to go into a frenzy of xenophobia and whose government mitigates the ‘bedroom tax’, has kept the Independent Living Fund for the disabled and many more examples of a humane government while the Westminster government seems to be pursuing a policy of genocide for the disabled,is someone many Scots are very proud of and someone who is well respected abroad. How can she be “usurping the democratic choice” of the Scottish people when the Scottish people voted for the SNP on the basis that if the situation changed substantially, which it most certainly has, they should have the opportunity of voting in a second referendum.
            However, no-one is forcing them to vote! It was astonishing to hear Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale denying that the Government had a mandate for holding a second independence referendum and even more that it went unchallenged to any degree by any interviewers.
            Respected economists have said that Scotland would do very well making it’s own decisions and it would certainly have very different priorities to those of Westminster. As for the Barnet Formula, the idea that Scots are getting more than they put in has been suspect for quite some time. Of course it fluctuates but you do have to wonder why Westminster keeps trying to talk down the revenue from oil which is on the up again, having previously redrawn the boundary in a very underhand way to take a quite astonishing line straight up from the border.
            The idea that any country could not govern itself very successfully is ludicrous. Is there any country you can think of that would go back to being governed by another after getting its independence?
            The effort that goes into constantly talking down the prospects for an independent Scotland should make people very suspicious. You can be sure that Westminster is not doing it for our benefit!
            More and more people are realising what a nasty inward looking country England is becoming, many English among them and the fact that are welcoming to incomers makes us an attractive destination. The tax rises are hardly worth making a fuss about when the other benefits of living in Scotland are counted -and appreciated by people who don’t think the be all and end all is avoiding paying tax.

  11. SleepingDog says:

    I look forward to the research results. I wonder if artificial intelligence can be applied to datasets like this; apparently you can automatically draw graphs showing significant clusterings and so forth, given the appropriate preparation. In some cases where you have people data you can show less-than-obvious interpersonal connections. If there are transactional relations, there may be a way of drawing these out too (sanctions expressed as threats are presumably more difficult to detect unless they are carried out).

    Not being well-acquainted with pro-unionist groups or strategies, I wonder if they might use false-friend letter writers who promote weak pro-Independence arguments to create false-balance delimiters and agenda-setting. That would be seriously fraudulent.

    And Happy New Year too. I look forward to seeing the UK put on trial as never before in 2018.

  12. Grizzlepuss says:

    This is what money and the love of it over everything else will do to people. So has been the situation in Scotland for at least 300 years. Those who stole ‘their’ lands in the first instance or were bequeathed them under some dubious arrangement, these same charlatans are now exposed as those who dare to manipulate our country’s prosperity and hopes for their own self-serving interests. Mix into that a revealing collection of forelock tugging pseudo-socialists and wannabe social climbers and you end up with this pus-drenched collection.

    Time to fight back and get this country onto a more level playing field in the interests of all. Wealth and the pursuance of it is absolutely fine, but it should be achieved through effort & merit, paying your fair social share in the process, and certainly not at the cost of trampling over those less able or fortunate.

    “Publish and be damned”

  13. Charles O'Brien says:

    Labour will do its usual look for a couple of extra seats in the house of Lords.Independence is the only way for Scotland.Nationalise the land is the first step to making Scotland the land and country it was before the thieves managed to hoodwink the land from the people.

  14. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    All the best for 2018, Mr Small. You have done and continue to do sterling work and are uninhibited about publishing items which some in the pro-independence ranks (including me, on occasion) find uncongenial. I imagine that the abuse you receive is appalling, so, I commend your courage.

    I hope that you and Mr Campbell can uncover valuable, validated information about theses founders and their networks. I would not be surprised if connections were found with those who filtered huge sums via the DUP to the Leave campaigners on the UK Mainland.

    1. Thanks Alasdair – that means a lot to me. All the best, Mike

      1. e.j. churchill says:

        I am an ex-pat and non-dom and have no (formal) dog in the Scottish hoo-hah, but I appreciate a passionate and literate op-ed, and you, Mike, are plenty okeh-dokeh.


  15. Willie says:

    And a quick check of companies house reveals that one of the directors of this right wing establishment band is no lesser than the ex Labour MSP and retired senior police officer Graeme James Pearson.

    Tells you all about the Labour Party.

    Moreover, with the people funding this organisation is it not exposed as an even greater outrage that SIU has been permitted to register under the charitable status of a company limited by guarantee.

    Yes, this tells you exactly what the Labour Party is. Right wing, fascist, anti democratic, and colonial to the hilt.

    The First Minister must make it her business to ensure that scum like this, with their tentacles into the dirty tricks security services, are fully investigated.

  16. K.A.Mylchreest says:

    While it would be nice to see some of these ‘establishment’ figures getting their just deserts, hopefully the true value of these disclosures will be to open the eyes of many, including maybe some ‘Scots Butts’, to which side their bread is buttered. Hopefully showing many undecided the real promise of an Indy Scotland, namely a thorough cleansing of the Filth of Union, the Dregs of Empire. This alone could be enough to finally tip the balance.

    So on that positive and hopeful note, I wish you all a very Happy Hogmanay :
    Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile, agus móran dhiubh! 🙂

    1. Rick H Johnston says:

      These sleekit chancers are nae grassroots campaign.
      Along with the recently exposed letter writing cabal, they have support from high up in the British establishment.
      Scotland isn’t in Union, we are Outnumbered, outvoted and overruled.
      Proud to be Scots delighted to be #Overruled!

  17. Kill Bill says:

    Send me the data and I will publish in full. Website is based in China and can’t be pulled down.

  18. Fay Kennedy says:

    All credit to you Mike for your courage and persistance in speaking truth to power. It is so necessary at this time.

  19. Chris says:

    David (comment 2) is absolutely spot on. Not sure why some people are saying his post doesn’t make sense…

    Given half a chance, the unionist media will turn anything uncomfortable into a story about cybernats rather than the underlying issue.

    So if those involved in SiU receive dogs abuse online, hey presto – easy story about vile cybernats abusing lovely posh people. Instead of what this story is/should be all about: deeply uncomfortable reading for unionists about monied, landed, establishment power seeking to preserve the status quo…

    So let’s not give the journalists the chance to write the cybernat diversion story – that’s all David is saying.

    1. Al MacLean says:

      ” Instead of what this story is/should be all about: deeply uncomfortable reading for unionists about monied, landed, establishment power seeking to preserve the status quo…”

      With support from, and fronted to a significant degree, by labour in Scotland!

  20. e.j. churchill says:

    Like many other *EXPOSE* in a highly bifurcated, highly politicised situation, this will cause ZERO movement — everything is baked-in on either side of the divide.

    The 8 or 10 ‘soft-nos’ (or as the fabulists call them, ‘not yets’) don’t matter.



  21. e.j. churchill says:

    Like most other *NEWSFLASH*EXPOSE* in a highly bifurcated, highly politicised situation, this will cause ZERO movement — everything is baked-in on either side of the divide.

    The 8 or 10 ‘soft-nos’ (or as the fabulists call them, ‘not yets’) don’t matter.



  22. david says:

    Thank you Chris, that is indeed all I was saying.

  23. douglas clark says:

    Don’t think I have been wiped before. Quite a weird feeling.

  24. douglas clark says:

    Candidly, I’d quite like Bella Caledonia to show us the data dump. Speaking truth to power without revealing the information doesn’t work.

    I’d have thought, correct me if I am wrong, that everyone should know?

    Yes or No?

    1. Candidly, put your own house/business/families financial (in) security one the line if you want Douglas. ‘Publish and be damned’ is great when you’re not the publisher.

      1. douglas clark says:

        Fair enough. If that is the threat level you are under then. sure, I would walk away too. I’d also try to get the law changed.

        1. I’m not walking away, I’m getting legal advice and doing the proper research to take the ******* down

          1. e.j. churchill says:

            In depositions, be careful not to show your canines. Malice, yanno.


          2. douglas clark says:

            Cool. I am not against you. I am suggesting that you protect yourself.

      2. e.j. churchill says:

        And it’s also a great beacon, standard & rallying cry if you have USA-style Libel laws (vs. the assinine UK ones.)

        It will be difficult to avoid preaching a fulsome screed but avoid ‘malice’ you must!

        Even in the UK (which includes Scotland) TRVTH is an absolute defense against Libel – if you can avoid the ever-so-tempting scurrilousness & maliciousness.


        Mayhaps you should pen a piece on Unicorn Ribs recipes instead of Muckraking?



  25. douglas clark says:

    I am not at all clear why you are being threatened legally. I am not at all clear which law you would be accused of breaking. You and I have appeared to got off on the wrong step.

    Give me the information and I will publish it. I own nothing of worth.

  26. douglas clark says:


    I am willing to post this material without legal advice. Perhaps you would be willing to allow me to do so?


    douglas clark

    1. It’s really not as straightforward as that Douglas

      1. e.j. churchill says:

        Why don’t you tell what the multiple issues with un-scrutinised release are?

        That you need to minimise the number and vitriol of newly crafted Sean Clerkins is valid.

        It’s still moot. I don’t know of a slow P4 who did not know that the Torys funded Labour’s planners and feet-soldiers and you will be cybernat central and your credibility will auto-defenestrate.



  27. David Allan says:

    It’ll nice to know who your enemy is and how many of those exposed enjoyed unchallenged media coverage during the Indy Campaign, presented as neutral think-tanks or expert commentators or informed observers described as “outriders” by Owen Jones.

    Mike I’m certain there would be support were you to raise an appeal for funding to cover any additional costs involved in unravelling the information and presenting findings.

    Thanks again for your continued reasoned approach to editing Bella.

    A small donation on way.

    Credit due for a job well done.

    1. Thanks David – it’s a minefield. Legal costs likely to be in region of £1k just to know where we are. We’ve decided to do the research and take the advice rather than rush in. I think that will have a better result in the long run. Sometimes these things take time. Any support welcome.

      1. Willie says:

        It’s a dirty war where the establishment have all the money and resources.

        Fiscal apartheid ensures that beacons of free speech like Bella and Wings have to tread very carefully lest the deep pockets let loose the legal dogs.

        Colonies and suppressed folks have always been kept down by the abuse of economic and military power.

        Ultimately, like the lost empire, the establishment loses its hold, and the colonies re-emerge, as it will Scotland.

        Keep up the good work Bella and release the data when you can.

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