The date of the Scottish referendum to decide whether Caledonia remains part of the UK (to which it was welded in 1707, without the whole-hearted agreement of many Scots) is September 18.
And lots of UK business people (many based in London) are suddenly crawling out of the woodwork to say such a sundering would be a disaster – chiefly for the Scots (can’t they decide this on their own)?
So there are three pro-Union campaigns running at the moment. There M&C Saatchi’s, on behalf of the official ‘No’ campaign headed by Alastair Darling. This is allowed to dispose of not more than £1.5m in contributed funds, which it already has.
Then there’s the freelance ‘Vote No Borders’ campaign from Scottish businessmen and others headed by former BBH executive Martin Smith. This ran a punchy campaign earlier this year (below) but is currently struggling for funds to do another in the run-up to the referendum.
Then there’s still another headed by MT Rainey, the ‘R’ in RKCR/Y&R (she left a few years ago) and Andrew McGuinness, the ‘M’ in Beattie McGuinness Bungay. This lot are determined to spend their money on social media, evidently in the belief that Scotland can be tweeted back into the Union.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling (gals trading via their initials seem to be big in Scotland) contributed £1m to the ‘No’ campaign but this couldn’t go to M&C ‘cos they’ve got enough already. So it may have gone to Rainey, McGuinness and co.
Quite what good all of this will do for the ‘No’ cause we’re not sure. Wily Scottish PM Alex Salmond will doubtless characterise it as an anti-Scottish plot confected by a bunch of bloated plutocrats in London.
At the moment most of the polls show something like a 60/40 majority for staying in the Union. Votes are confined to people living in Scotland which includes English students studying there and anyone from anywhere in the EU working or studying there. But doesn’t include Scots residing in, for example, the plusher inner suburbs of London – a cause of much of the annoyance.
It’s highly unlikely for such a ‘majority’ to be overturned in the last few weeks of such a campaign. Letting sleeping Jocks lie may be a better tactic than another burst of London-fuelled noise.