Business for Scotland
Business for Scotland
Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp | 23/09/2014
Reblogged from Business for Scotland
Alex Salmond at Vision for ScotlandBusiness for Scotland has been around in one form or another since our successful devolution campaign targeting business people in 1997. In the run up to the 2014 independence referendum we morphed from a small pressure group into a fast growing and influential business network and think tank. Many people are now asking if we will continue and this time the answer is a very definite Yes.
Business for Scotland campaigned for a Yes vote as we believe that would be the best route to creating a more prosperous, sustainable and economically sound country. We still believe that independence would be the best route but it is not the only way we can make progress. Just as with other many other organisations who campaigned for a Yes vote, we will continue campaigning for a better Scotland.
A Missed Opportunity
Our members are disappointed that the opportunity to improve Scotland through the powers that would have come with independence has been lost. We also see great uncertainty in the powers that were offered by the Westminster party leaders. We note that this referendum was won with a promise, a vow, that was described as ‘devo-max’. We have serious doubts that Westminster can actually deliver that vow in a way that will match the expectations of the people of Scotland. We accept the mandate given by the referendum result to bring substantial more powers to Scotland and will work to help shape and define the powers required to make progress. Having won the referendum with that promise we need to make sure the Westminster parties give us access to the full menu of economic powers and don’t just expect Scotland to exist on the crumbs from Westminster’s table.
The legacy of this campaign is a thoroughly politically engaged and active population the likes of which Scotland has not seen for generations. We hope to help develop that activism and engagement within the Scottish business community to help create economic and business policies that will drive Scotland forward and to campaign for the powers we need to let Scotland economy thrive.
As a member owned co-operative we are already engaging with our membership to create a shared vision as to what activities we should undertake. We have a board meeting in early October and will set a date for our AGM then.
Having been a major part of the successful campaign for devolution in 1997 we know how to campaign for more powers and will switch our efforts to that priority, for now. However we note that if Westminster fails to deliver on promises made in their “vow”, then the Scottish people may very quickly decide to support full independence. If that happens Business for Scotland will once again seek to engage and educate the people of Scotland on the economic and business benefits of independence.
The Business for Scotland journey over the past two years.
It has been an incredible campaign, unprecedented in modern politics, and Business for Scotland members played a significant part in the campaign:
- We signed up more than 3000 members and engaged with more than a million Scottish voters via our website
- Held and attended hundreds of events in towns and cities across Scotland
- Raised £30k through a crowd funding project from supporters to help fund our video campaign which helped generate over 180,000 channel views
- Launched our compelling Vision for Scotland document at our superb sell out conference in Edinburgh
- Distributed more than a quarter of a million leaflets
- Participated in hundreds of media appearances and press interviews
- Toured Scotland with our Roadshow and Battle Bus
- Raised the maximum funds allowed to campaign whilst also raising almost £50k for the CLIC Sargent children’s charity at our annual dinner
- To top it all our local groups and volunteers took the streets to spread the positive message from Business for Scotland
I would like to thank all of our members, city leaders, directors and active campaigners, those who attended our events and engaged with our campaign.
Business for Scotland still has a key role to play in creating a strong, ambitious business vision for Scotland and ensuring that the business community receives the support and encouragement it needs to flourish.
We must take this opportunity to be the business organisation that stands up for what Scotland needs.