Thursday, 11 September 2014

Banking on corporate blackmail - resist the fear and safely deposit your Yes

As that parcel of rogues, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, head back to their Westminster bunker, the last, desperate love-bombing has given way to a last, desperate wave of corporate intimidation.
And make no mistake, despite the blind panic, this is still all concerted establishment action, a political, corporate and media network throwing everything and that kitchen sink at our momentous Yes movement.

Scottish actor Martin Compston provided a suitable summary on Cameron's union-saving visit: 'Gone are the days when the Bullingdon Club can come up here and tell us what to do'. That applies just as much to carpetbagger Clegg and Tory clone Miliband.

It applies, likewise, to those Labour-ermined Lords Prescott and Robertson, with their hypocritical appeals for 'class unity' and warnings to stay nuclear for fear of Putin 'threatening' the UK - maybe he's after our Irn Bru. Sometimes you wonder at the contempt they really must have for people's political intelligence.    

Now come the financial cavalry, with RBS, Lloyds and Clydesdale Bank making 'contingency plans' to depart Scotland in the event of a Yes outcome.

Isn't it remarkable that after causing such mass economic and social misery through their shameless greed and crazy speculations, these institutions now have the audacity to effectively tell people how to vote?

Not very in keeping with all those warm, homely telly and cinema adverts showing friendly local banks, gushing about how much they cherish our country and our life-long custom. And like that whole PR whitewash to make us forget their criminality, we're seeing the same blatant manipulation of public sentiment over the referendum.

Three things to note here.

Firstly, they're bluffing, just as the Westminster cabal are bluffing about negating the proposed currency union. We've heard a lot of this 'high-stakes' intimidation before from the likes of Standard Life. It's simply facile to believe that where there's profit to be made, companies like RBS and Scottish Widows won't be there doing precisely that, irrespective of where they happen to be re/registered or domiciled. It's facile also to believe that the financial and political establishment would be a willing party to any such destabilising business climate - like the very banking crisis they've sought so desperately to crawl-out from.

Secondly, contrary to BBC and other media-hyped hysteria, business - the financial sector or otherwise - is not planning any kind of serious exit after a Yes outcome. Indeed, a mass spectrum of business - small, medium and large - has already declared for Yes. Most of these institutions are only talking about relocating headquarters, rather than shedding jobs. But still we're bombarded with a staggering mass of BBC and other media headlines focused on Better Together 'business fears' and the 'financial voice' for No.  

Third, and most importantly by far, whatever their intentions, whatever their leanings, the issue of independence simply cannot be determined by big business. We have, as the highest priority, our political rights to secure: the right to use our votes for a parliament we want, a politics we choose.  From there, we have our economic rights to invest in: a mass of the population needs to be removed from poverty; we have our privatisation and TTIP-threatened health service to protect; we have the historic opportunity to rid this land of the obscene and massively costly Trident. All that and much more comes well, well ahead of bankers', or even shareholders', interests, particularly bankers that have already stolen so much public money and are still being bailed out.
It's incredible to think that families are surviving on foodbanks and children malnourished due to the austerity agenda caused by bankers' greed. And now, with their culprit chief executives still being gifted hefty bonuses, they're blackmailing us to say No.

Imagine that people could be cowed into believing this set of distortions, driven by fear to relinquish our rights and priorities. Imagine losing this prized moment, our future, to a set of grasping, promiscuous moneychangers.    
Well, here's something much more reassuring to bank on come 18 September. They don't have a vote. We do. It's our democratic right to decide our political future, not theirs to frighten us into corporate submission.

Theirs is not a message of protection and certainty. It's about the security and stability of vested interests, from oil to banks to 'healthcare'. 

And with that comes an encouraged mindset of selfishness: the 'me' and the 'mine', rather than the 'us' and the wider good of others. Certainly not all No voters are driven by 'the self' - we all wish for a little personal security - but, unlike the collectivist, outward and progressive motivations of the Yes case, much of the No message helps foster a regressively inward fear and selfish individualism. 
However big business decides to act, and it's a safe bet it will be business as usual, you can be sure that the wider world of capitalist volatility, market mayhem and 'financial jitters' will continue just the same, rewarding the rich, afflicting the poor. Be much more realistically afraid of that mammonic misery and corporate control than the spurious fear of 'uncertainty' and 'instability' being peddled by this privileged elite and their establishment cronies.

Don't fear a running of the banks, just consider the darker costs of them running you.

Good people of Scotland, go safely deposit that most valued piece of paper, that most moral currency: your wee humanity-imprinted Yes.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Good luck, John.

Over here, most of our elections are, 'vote for the right-wing corporate whore...or the far right-wing corporate whore.' Freedom from choice!

You have a chance to vote for a difference.

James Coleman said...

John, your blog is constant source of inspiration.

Here's to 'Aye' on the 18th.

John Hilley said...

Thank you, James and ifthethunder.

It truly is an amazing moment here.


John Hilley said...

Comments fron the Media Lens message board.

Well said, John.

I hope that hope triumphs over fear on Sept 18th. This Englishman wishes Scotland well.

If Yes should win, the greatest danger is that Edinburgh will merely replace London as facilitator for global capital and that the SNP, surfing on a wave of popularity as deliverer of independence, will betray all those that have backed the independence campaign and who want a genuine alternative to the failed neoliberal project which is wrecking the lives of so many.

I guess a lot will depend on the constitution you come up with and whether a genuine grassroots leftist movement can be built from a newly energised population.

yay John! let's hope the other bloggers on MLMB will follow your lead and push publicly for YES!


Lets hope for YES. YES for YES. My two brothers live in glasgow and they have told me there is real atmosphere and growing excitement in the air. Of course there complexities to deal with but fundamental message is we can define our own fate. Also just to see Davie C sad face if yes get through, priceless. Great article John