2007 - 2020

ScotGov’s New Inward Investment Strategy Dissected

ON Tuesday, the Scottish Government published its latest plan for encouraging foreign inward investment, all 85 pages (see here). The foreword is signed by trade and innovation minister Ivan McKee, a down to earth lefty.  So it is odds on he didn’t pen the words over his name, which are a tribute to all the puerile prose written by spads: “Scotland is well placed to support global businesses to achieve their future ambitions where there is strong alignment with the technologically enabled, net zero, inclusive wellbeing economy we are seeking to create.”
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So: what does the plan offer?  It begins by outlining just how dependent Scotland is on external control.  Inward investors (including from rUK) own 3% of Scotland’s businesses, yet are responsible for 34% of employment (624,000 jobs), 46% of GVA (£41.7bn), 50% of turnover (£119.6bn), 63% of business R&D (£782m), and a whopping 77% of exports (£24.2bn) – with 86% of Scotland’s top 100 exporters being foreign or rUK-owned.
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One might pause at this point and reflect that the pressing issue is not how to put more of the Scottish economy under external control, but rather how an independent Scotland would recover domestic ownership of the main levers of economic management. If two thirds of your R&D, half of your business turnover and 86% of your top exporters are externally owned and controlled, what hope have you of setting a local agenda based on a “technologically enabled, net zero, inclusive wellbeing economy”?
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Of course, there is an important place for inward investment.  As the report points out, it offers advanced technology and direct connections to the global economy, as well as cash.  Also, I might add, it forces Scottish productivity to keep up with the rest of the world.  The issue is not inward investment per se but what emphasis you place on it and (most important) how you make it your servant rather than your master.  These questions the ScotGov report simply ignores.
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I’ll grant you the report tries to make positive arguments for high levels of inward investment by comparing Scotland with other small countries.  For instance (page 11) the report claims that “foreign-owned companies make up a similar share of the Scottish economy to many other countries in Europe (e.g. Germany, Sweden and Austria)”.  Actually, when you include the contribution of rUK companies to Scottish GVA, the degree of external control is nearly twice as great as in Sweden and Germany and 50% more than Austria. The degree of external hold over GVA in Scotland is actually on a par with Ireland.  This is a case of the report getting muddled between foreign (non-UK) contribution to GVA and the rUK component.
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The report also says that “on average, inward investment tends to pull Scotland’s average wage upwards within and across sectors”. It presents data (page 13) suggesting that inward investors have a higher average wage in almost every sector, when compared to Scottish businesses.  The detailed numbers come from the Chief Economic Advisor.
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The problem here is that the statement “on average, inward investment tends to pull Scotland’s average wage” implies we are all better off, even those in the Scottish-owned part of the economy.  But the Chief Economist’s data shows a dual labour market, with wage rates lower in Scottish-owned firms virtually across the board.  There does not appear to be any competitive factor forcing all wage rates up (as Scottish-owned companies try to keep labour).
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It is certainly true (and has been since the 1950s) that foreign inward investors in advanced manufacturing, the upper tiers of finance, and in the oil sector pay higher than average wages and salaries, which is not to be laughed at.  However, this is not charity but is simply a reflection of the profitability in these sectors. Far from proving this has the impact of raising average remuneration all round, the Chief Economist’s data indicates there is something deeply wrong with how the Scottish labour market is working.
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It might be a dearth of skills.  Indeed, there may be a correlation between inward migration of professional workers and inward investment as a whole, leaving native workers out of the loop.  It might be segmented local labour pools resulting from poor internal public transport.  Or all these factors.  Whatever is causing the problem, the solution lies with internal reforms – especially to up-skilling – not encouraging more inward investment.
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The report is very enamoured of Scotland’s ability – through ScotGov agencies such as Scottish Development International – to attract inward investors, especially big banks.   For example (page 16): “Scotland has also seen a real impact from relationships with large multinational investors, for example, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan… Both companies now have operations in Scotland that are significant to their global corporate footprint.”
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International finance capital has a large presence in Scotland.  Indeed, with the flight of RBS and HBOS to London control, an independent Scotland would see practically all its financial and credit system in foreign hands. The political and economic repercussions are obvious and negative.  To retain the sector after independence will put huge pressure on the Scottish Government to maintain low corporation tax and to limit regulation on the sector.  Encouraging yet more inward investment by finance capital only compounds this problem.
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The report goes on to scratch its own back, lauding what Scotland has to off inward investors.  Buried in this section (page 30) is an interesting statistic.  Quoting data from the OECD, the report says that Scotland’s productivity was 82.0% of the US level in 2017 and ranked only 16th out of the 37 major industrial countries.  So, despite all this inward investment, the Scottish economy is a productivity backwater.  Partly this reflects poor UK productivity.  And that in turn reflects very low levels of investment in advanced production technology.
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Here is the key problem for an independent Scotland: how to raise productivity levels to global benchmarks and above.  That in turn means a significant rise in investment, not just in R&D.  There’s no point in doing more research and development if you don’t embody it in manufacturing. Certainly, inward investment can play a role in upping manufacturing investment (though filling more Edinburgh offices with bankers in red braces will not).  But to reach the necessary levels of manufacturing productivity will require a dramatic shift in domestic Scottish priorities – from consumption to capital investment.
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Does the report add anything by way of strategy?  Its headline proposal is to identify and proactively target 50 leading global companies across “nine opportunity areas”.  The problem here is that the spectrum of technologies the plan envisages attracting and development covers everything from space travel to food.  As a rule, ScotGov economic plans always fail to priorities – for the good reason nobody at St Andrews House is going to own up to missing out any part of the economy.  I’d suggest forgetting about “sectors” and concentrate on the “companies”.
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But how to attract more inward investment? There is an ominous lone in the section on attracting yet more agribusiness to despoil Scotland’s natural environment. First the report says: “Scotland is one of a limited number of countries that can farm premium Atlantic salmon healthily and cost-effectively” (page 63).  Well, cost-effectively at any rate, but “healthily” is very much contested.  It goes on: “…we seek to strengthen our offer to inward investors through a commitment to reviewing the regulatory environment…”  I don’t think the Scottish Government is planning a bonfire of regulations.  But if we premise our economic strategy on inward investment then we are starting down a slippery road in which the regulatory system will be up for grabs.
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There’s a final throw-away on page 82: “We will align with the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) and other sources of capital to support incoming companies to grow”.  No, the SNIB is primarily about investing in Scottish companies and projects.  Using SNIB to bribe foreign companies to come to Scotland would be another slippery slope.
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Comments (21)

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  1. Graeme McCormick says:

    Ever get the impression that Civil Servants are a bit like a lot of MSM journalists and look for the easy way out, inward investment instead of investing in Scottish business?

    In my forthcoming book I propose that from a Universal Citizens Income of £200 per week for every man, woman and child at least a tenth of it is invested in Scottish enterprises. That would mean at least £5.5 billion per annum of Scottish money would be available to develop R and D and production while everyone in the country would have a financial share in our economy.

  2. Fiona Sinclair says:

    I interviewed Alec Falconer MEP nearly 30 years ago for a book on an unrelated matter. After the interview was finished, he took time to bend my ear about his experience as a politician of `inward investment` in Scotland. Basically, he told me that the money that was granted to foreign companies to set up production facilities in Scotland was predicated on the provision of jobs – even a specific number of jobs – except that, when that specific number of jobs failed to materialise, or indeed when no jobs materialised at all, there was no clawback of the grants made. I found this unbelievable, but can see that getting hold of funds from foreign companies could indeed be very difficult. We only have to look at the collapse of the opencast coal mining industry to see that the bonds supposedly set aside for `restoration` of the land after mining were a fiction. Indeed, we also know that any industry, foreign-owned or not, will simply go bust, rather than face the costs of environmental remediation or compensation for industrial injuries. But the fiction of `inward investment` continues. I want our money to stay in Scotland – it’s now a matter of survival. We should invest in our own future.

  3. Derek says:

    Regarding banking; regulations brought in following Fred Goodwin et al’s shenanigans meant that the best-performing bank in Scotland – the Airdrie Bank – was forced to close as it couldn’t afford to comply with the incoming legislation. Bank de-regulation didn’t work.

  4. Josef Ó Luain says:

    It’s hardly news: but without Scottish independence, not a lot is likely to change.

    1. David Allan says:

      My worry is that even with independence, not a lot is likely to change.

  5. Ivan McKee says:

    First of all George thanks for taking the time to read this. Hopefully you got through all 85 pages, and perhaps you’ve even managed the 30 page technical briefing as well. I’m also grateful for the positive comments you’ve made, but wanted to address some of your other points.

    Firstly the report doesn’t say that our economic strategy should be based solely, or even primarily, on Inward Investment. The reason the plan focusses on Inward Invest is because, well, it’s an Inward Investment Plan. The same reason that the Export Plan focused on Exports and the Capital Investment Plan will focus on Capital investment etc. There is alongside this a huge focus on building up indigenous industrial capacity across much of our work in the economy. The work I lead on innovation, on how we can support start-ups and spins-out is part of that. As is the work we are doing on Supply Chain Development Programmes, and on leveraging public sector procurement to drive revenue into Scottish businesses – both of which were in our recent Programme for Government. Much of that work is based on the successful activity I led to build a Scottish PPE manufacturing supply chain during the early days of the pandemic (more than 50% of the PPE that we buy now is manufactured in Scotland, up from almost zero previously, and created more than 1,000 jobs in Scotland as a consequence). The report also highlights the benefits that can accrue to Scotland businesses from inward investors. This isn’t an either / or. Inward investors give Scottish businesses the opportunity to feed into global supply chains – increasing opportunities to supply both here and to increase exports. The report recognises – as you do – that inward investment also drives up Scottish productivity, and provides access to global markets, talent and technology.

    The point the report makes isn’t actually to necessarily increase the number of inward investments as to focus more on the quality of those inward investments. In fact the first line of the plan actually says : “This plan is focused on maximising the benefits that inward investment can bring to Scotland’s economy, supporting the delivery of sustainable and inclusive growth”. It’s about making sure that inward investments are in sectors where Scotland has genuine global strengths – making them more ‘sticky’ and likely to stand the test of time, and giving Scottish supply chains more opportunity to derive benefit over a sustained period. Making sure those investments support regional economic development across the whole of Scotland – the analysis of opportunities within each sector by region shows the detail of the work which has gone into that analysis. And by focusing on those investors which share our values – of fair work, inclusive growth and net zero.

    Turning to your point about focus. There has been significant effort put into avoiding precisely the trap you mention about trying to include all sectors. The nine sub-sectors identified are the result of a very thorough piece of analytical work – have a look at Figure 23, that lays out the significant number of sectors that are not included in the priority list – or delve into the technical annex it you have the time to understand the quality of work that has gone into that prioritisation exercise. It’s not about more red braced bankers, it is about building on Scotland’s already world leading FinTech cluster.

    Regarding wages – the focus is clear. It is to build a high wage, high productivity, high technology, high innovation economy. That’s why we focus on the sectors we do. Skills is actually an area where Scotland scores highly in investor assessments. The evidence in the report highlights that. It is a major reason why we attract so much inward investment. I talk to inward investors every week. The skills levels of the Scottish workforce is something they highlight almost without exception as driving their decisions to based themselves here rather than elsewhere. But of course we recognise that we need to do much more here. That is why the plan highlights a 150% increase in the number of digitally skilled individuals trained in Scotland each year as a priority action. We do need to do more to reach harder to reach groups – something there is already significant focus on. Whether that be through upskilling or tackling connectivity challenges as you mention. The strong regional focus of the plan is also directed at this challenge. But again reducing the number of inward investments – reducing the number of skill job vacancies – isn’t a route to creating more opportunities for this group. And basic supply and demand tells us that more demand for that skilled labour pool isn’t something that will drive wages down.

    Your point on productivity is also a bit selective. In fact the period when Scotland has enjoyed success in attracting inward investment – performing best of all parts of the UK outside of London for the last 7 years – has also seen Scotland largely close the long standing productivity gap with the rest of the UK. Again we also recognise that we have much more to do here, and you correctly point out that Capital Investment is a major productivity driver, something that will be addressed in our upcoming Capital Investment Plan.

    I spent much of my career working in ‘silicon glen’ as was. I understand very well the pitfalls of inward investment that is here for ‘efficiency seeking’ reasons – looking for low cost benefits. That is why this plan is very clear on building on Scotland’s technology and skills strengths to partner with investors who will add value, in the long term, to Scotland’s economy, across our regions, and to building capacity in Scottish supply chains. It is why we very clearly direct our focus away from that primarily ‘efficiency seeking’ inward investment.

    Every week I talk to existing or new inward investors – who want to spend money here to build factories and offices, to hire people in well paid jobs and to buy products and services from Scottish businesses, to enhance our industrial clusters, to share their global technology with our world leading Universities and who share our values. Should I tell them to go elsewhere ? I don’t think so, and I don’t think you do either.

    And finally, your ‘odds on’ that I didn’t play a major role in putting this plan together is way off the mark. There isn’t much in this report that I didn’t write, or have a strong hand in directing. You can accuse me of lots of things, but not being leading policy development in my portfolio isn’t one of them.

    1. Fiona Sinclair says:

      https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18837877.canadian-firm-paid-just-1-control-bifab-scots-ministers-handed-37m/
      Thank you for taking the trouble to respond to George Kerevan’s article. I apologise in advance for pasting a Herald article weblink, but it does seem to confirm my own concerns about the financial black holes that are created, whenever governments in the UK seek inward investment. Why are the Scottish Government handing over these very large sums of money to prop up unsustainable industrial projects, without taking an appropriate proportion of the assets and control of a company? Is there a lack of expertise within the Scottish Government? Or are you attempting the impossible within the current constitutional framework – in other words, you need a lot more in place to make a success of such projects, and only independence offers the financial and economic powers to do this?

  6. SleepingDog says:

    Not dissected enough. Ethical scrutiny should provide a breakdown based on harm. So many weasel words and phrases, but if you look at the sector/sub-sector breakdown in the analytical methodology note, you will find categories such as ‘Space & Defence’. Defence! Aye, we’re all much safer for our bombs dropping on Yemen, I’m sure.

    It will take someone outside this cosy little cabal to do the necessary spadework, perhaps CAAT can shine some light on these inward investments:
    https://caat.org.uk/news/how-glasgow-university-is-working-with-the-arms-industry/

    For all the waffle about ends, the worship of Economy seems pretty evident, and that’s all about where profits end up. What if we (democratically) decided to make Scotland more useful to the rest of the world? Gifting our publicly-funded intellectual property to a global idea commons, say? Outlawed harmful industries? Cut our cloth according to planetary-realistic ideologies?

  7. MacNaughton says:

    More fiddling while Holyrood burns, gentlemen…

    Nicola Sturgeon’s govt is all too clearly lying to the Salmond enquiry and it looks to me like she herself has been lying from the start about what she knew and when she knew it.

    She must resign or at least announce that she will not be standing again for the office of First Minister which both she and predecessor have brought into disrepute.

    But what can we expect from a supposedly nationalist govt who have failed to build a film studio in 12 years, or a decent national football stadium worthy of the country which invented the game and which still has the highest attendance per capita in Europe? Not very much.

    Good luck gents, I will be applying for an alternative nationality before the end of the year my patience has run out and my faith in the SNP govt completely evaporated.

    The pettiness, the conservatism, the lack of ambition and absence of any vision is bad enough, but a govt which is in the business of lying to its own parliamentary enquiry is just the last straw…

    Surgeon and Murrell and their shallow, complacent, and self-satisfied crew have killed the dream for me….

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Some excellent off-topic malcontent button pushing there, with some added melodrama to boot. Well done! I’m sure there’ll be a wee bonus for you at the end of the month 🙂

      1. MacNaughton says:

        Another one of your typically snide remarks on these pages when anybody criticizes Sturgeon and her govt. There are hundreds of thousands of us who are feeling very disillusioned by the current leadership. I am too old to hang around waiting for an independence timetable drafted to the convenience of the most conservative people in the independence movement like the businessman Andrew Wilson or the lawyer Nicola Sturgeon…

  8. w.b. robertson says:

    Macnaughten says what many are thinking. however, Bella`s silence on the subject is revealing.

    1. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Revealing of what? That, like the vast majority of Scots, Bella may not see the issue as of that much import? When faced with a global pandemic, the ramifications of Brexit and a Govt we didn’t elect riding roughshod over every aspect of our democracy, whining about whether or not the FM knew about the Salmond allegations three days before she said she did looks extremely petty at best.

      The question is not why Bella (and most other big pro-indy sites) are NOT obsessing about it, it’s why “other” supposedly pro-indy sites ARE so mightily obsessed by it. You would do better to question that. Especially at a time when things are looking so good for indy.

      1. MacNaughton says:

        It appears to you, Bungo Pony, a matter of no importance that the FM of Scotland appears to have used her public office to orchestrate a campaign against her predecessor and rival, the private citizen Alex Salmond?

        With or without good grounds, whether she honestly felt that she had a legitimate cause for doing so( I believe she did genuinely feel so, I believe she has been blinded by self-righteousness) Nicola Sturgeon has made a huge mistake in getting personally involved in instigating the S.G’s proceedings against Salmond, as FM she should have had nothing to do with the matter at all… Not one meeting, not one conversation, nothing….

        .In the very best of readings, she made a huge blunder….. And now her too civil servants are lying to save her job…

        In any other democracy, she would be forced to resign and quite possibly charged by the police for misusing public office….

        1. Me Bungo Pony says:

          It appears to you, Bungo Pony, a matter of no importance that the FM of Scotland appears to have used her public office to orchestrate a campaign against her predecessor and rival, the private citizen Alex Salmond?

          With or without good grounds, whether she honestly felt that she had a legitimate cause for doing so( I believe she did genuinely feel so, I believe she has been blinded by self-righteousness) Nicola Sturgeon has made a huge mistake in getting personally involved in instigating the S.G’s proceedings against Salmond, as FM she should have had nothing to do with the matter at all… Not one meeting, not one conversation, nothing….

          .In the very best of readings, she made a huge blunder….. And now her too civil servants are lying to save her job…

          In any other democracy, she would be forced to resign and quite possibly charged by the police for misusing public office….

          The usual malcontent bullsh*t.

          There is NO evidence what-so-ever Sturgeon “orchestrated” anything here. All we have is the “possibility” she knew about the allegations three days before she said she did. That’s it! Everything else is innuendo and finger pointing from the usual suspects.

          “Oh but”, you cry, “Sturgeon introduced the policy that led to Salmond’s prosecution”. So what? It needed introducing. Or do you believe govt ministers should be allowed to behave attrociously while in office, harassing those they have power over, safe in the knowledge they won’t be face an enquiry when they leave office? “Ah but” you further opine, “Westminster advised against it and she proceeded anyway”. Again, so what? Of course Westminster advised against it. What a can of worms that would be if it was implemented there. And Sturgeon is the FM of Scotland not England. She doesn’t take her orders from Westminster (unlike many posting on a certain site as alleged Indy supporters). If Salmond had behaved impeccably as FM he would not have faced this investigation. But, as he admits, he was “no saint” and we are where we are.

          Did the Scottish govt screw up the initial enquiry? Yes they did. Did Sturgeon lead that enquiry? No she didn’t. Is Evans responsible for that screw up? Yes she is. Should she face some sort of penalty for that? Yes she should. Should Sturgeon have swept the allegations against Salmond under the carpet? No she shouldn’t have. Should she have allowed the enquiry and subsequent prosecution to proceed as laid out in policy and law? Yes she should have. To have done any differently would have laid her open to REAL allegations of corruption and cronyism.

          The idea that Sturgeon would have wanted any of this to happen is delusional. Why? What possible advantage could she gain from it. It was never going to be anything other than a sh*storm that no one was going to come out of smelling of roses. It amazes me none of the malcontents seem able to grasp this, so caught up as they are in their own cultish beliefs of Sturgeon as one of history’s greatest monsters.

          “Ah but” you insist, “you’re just a Sturgeonista that thinks the sun shines out her bahookey”. No I am not. Who leads the SNP is important but I have no allegiance to individuals. I just want independence for Scotland and have done for over 50 years. What I see now is a bunch of narcissistic malcontents, drunk on their belief in their own genius, busy destroying the best chance we’ve had to achieve independence since 1707. Just when polls are consistently showing a majority of Scots moving in the direction of independence, up they pop to tell all and sundry we’ve never been further from it, it’s all the Sturgeonista’s fault and if only we publicly eviscerated THE party of independence on the eve of the most important election in Scotland’s history ….. we’d have independence tomorrow. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the fatal flaws in that argument, but none-the-less, egged on by their High Priest and the multitude of false flaggers on his site, they bash on with their delusional rantings and accusations seemingly oblivious to the damage they are doing.

          So if you are serious about leaving Scotland because it’s not independent yet, please take your malcontent buddies with you. Right now, they are the biggest threat to us ever getting that independence.

          1. MacNaughton says:

            Ha ha, quite a rant Bungo.

            Look, it’s really simple: for an internal disciplinary issue in the Scottish Govt, to be considered fair and impartial (or any other public organization in fact), the First Minister of Scotland cannot be personally involved.

            If person X has a complaint about person Y, they must go through the disciplinary procedure which is available to them at the time. We know that Nicola Sturgeon herself personally asked for the new procedure to be backdated – which is unheard in a society under the rule of law, but let that go – so it could be applied to Salmond.

            She has said as much herself. Therefore, by doing so, she has automatically tainted the impartiality of the process by becoming personally involved. She’s the First Minister, She’s the big boss. How can an internal enquiry procedure possibly be deemed fair and impartial if the person with most power and authority in the Scottish Govt has become involved in the process to the effect that a new set of rules be applied to this or that individual, thereby inevitably influencing the procedure?

            You don’t seem to get it, and nor does Sturgeon…

          2. Me Bungo Pony says:

            No McNaughton, you don’t get it. If you have actual evidence Sturgeon was personally involved in this process, there is a whole public enquiry would love to hear from you. The fact, on the back of the Me-Too impetus, she wanted allegations of harassment within govt to apply to former ministers as well as current incumbents does not prove it was solely to go for Salmond. That’s all innuendo, smug nose tapping and delusional wishful thinking. Unless you come up with actual evidence, you’re no better than the Unionists on the enquiry and MSM. How does it feel to be in the same boat as Murdo Fraser, Jackie Baillie and the Daily Mail? They’re getting wired into this because they know the damage all the negative innuendo will do to the FM, the SNP and subsequently the cause independence. The same as the malcontents.

          3. MacNaughton says:

            What?

            Nicola Sturgeon is on the record as saying that she personally asked for the new internal code of conduct to be backdated, she said as much as recently as the summer.

            By doing that alone – even if nothing else – she, the FM, has already become involved in the investigation into Salmond’s behaviour and tainted it with bias, preventing a fair and impartial process. End of story…

            But if that wasn’t enough, Scottish justice, the law of the land, found Salmond had been treated in a way which was “manifestly unfair”….

            But that’s not enough for you either. It could go to every court in the universe and you would still come on here and call people like me everything under the sun for pointing out that Sturgeon has made a major, major blunder… at the very least…

            People like you just have no shame. You’re totally impervious to reality… there’s no point debating with you, you’re a fanatic…

          4. Me Bungo Pony says:

            McNaughton wrote;
            “Nicola Sturgeon is on the record as saying that she personally asked for the new internal code of conduct to be backdated, she said as much as recently as the summer”.

            I haven’t said she didn’t. Though what she asked for was not “backdating” (unless she put a specific date on how far back an investigation could look), it was simply that former ministers could be investigated for breaches committed whilst in office. Sorry, but unless you have a bit of paper that says “….. so we can get Salmond” you are just seeing what you want to see. Unless you have that (which you don’t because nothing like it exists), it in no way means she “has already become involved in the investigation into Salmond’s behaviour and tainted it with bias”.  Any rational person would see nothing wrong in a progressive FM asking for a change in policy to reflect the values of the times and would not automatically believe that the FM was therefore personally involved in any investigation that followed the change. But then, with malcontents, rationality went out the window months ago.

            McNaughton also wrote;
            “Scottish justice, the law of the land, found Salmond had been treated in a way which was “manifestly unfair”….”.

            I agree. But that had nothing to do with either Sturgeon or the change in policy. That was a failure of officials to implement the policy correctly. Again, unless you have actual evidence that Sturgeon was personally directing all this (which you dont because nothing like it exists) you are just making stuff up to suit your own bias.

            I have never said that changing the policy wasn’t a blunder. It was the right thing to do from an ethical point of view, but a political blunder. Had it not been done, Salmond’s behaviour would not have come under scrutiny and the malcontents wouldn’t have had a “cause celebre” to rally behind and allow them to ignore the differences that would otherwise have them at each other’s throats. But, as I said, unless you believe former ministers should have immunity to their behaviour whilst in office being scrutinised, it’s hard to argue against the rule change.

            McNaughton claimed;
            People like you just have no shame. You’re totally impervious to reality… there’s no point debating with you, you’re a fanatic…”.

            I’m not the one making stuff up. You have no actual evidence for any of your claims yet want to destroy the careers of many lifelong Indy campaigners on the back of innuendo. Your’s is the “shamefull” stance based on a wilful denial of “reality”. It is the malcontents who share your blinkered beliefs that are the fanatics. As to your nonsensical claim in respect to debating; if we agreed on everything it would not be a “debate”. If your idea of a “debate” is that you tell me what you think and I suspend all critical faculties and blindly agree with you, then I suggest you get a new dictionary as that is nowhere near the definition of “debate”.

            And this entire conversation is “shamefully” off topic. Sorry Bella.

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