An article in the Herald today, brought to my attention by Dubbieside, has lifted the lid on the secrecy of the funding of the Bitter campaign and no wonder Alistair Darling wanted to keep that quiet.
Headed "Lords, OBEs and a Tory dining club ... the people behind Better Together", and written by Tom Gordon and Paul Hutcheon the article tells of a dinner organised by the United & Cecil Club (U&CC), a Tory dining club based in Sussex, England. Apparently the U&CC helped bring around 50 people from London and the south east of England to the dinner, suggesting significant funding for Better Together is already from outside Scotland.
Scottish Tory treasurer James Stewart, who helped run the evening held in the Signet Library, is a London, England-based director of private equity firm, ECI. (Does anyone in the Tory Party actually live in Scotland?)
Ah yes, the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Dick Keen, was present, and hosted a table at which guests had to pay £1,5000 for their dinner. Among his guests at this top table were Jim Wallace, who used to be a Liberal, but appears now to be very much part of David Cameron's establishment in his ermine robes and with some silly title or titles.
The main speaker at the do (he probably got his dinner for free) was Michael Gove, the English Education Secretary, who has no remit in Scotland. He said that the money raised would support the Tory party in Scotland and the NO campaign.
The Tory MP for Braintree in Essex, England, Brooks Newmark, a private equity director with no seeming connections with our country at all, was present, as were the sole Tory MP in Scotland David Mundell (better known to us as Fluffy), who has only a tenuous connection, Ruth Davidson, David Cameron's woman in Scotland, James Douglas Hamilton, who used to be an MP and MSP and is now in the Lords (wouldn't you know) and Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde, who is Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which is in England, and Leader of the House of Lords.
One of the guests pointed out that the game for the evening was 'Spot the Scotsman' and that the fact that the money all had to come from England demonstrated the Tories declining support in Scotland.
The Herald made much of the attendance of an ex-Scottish Rugby cap, David Sole, OBE, it pointed out that he was born in England but educated at Glenalmond public (sic) school in Perthshire.
Asked about his attendance, and whether he was pro-Union, Sole said: "Because I'm on the board of Sportscotland and Quality Meat Scotland I'm not at liberty to pass any comment on any political issues. Thank you, bye."
Erm... if you're not able to pass comments on any political issues, Davie boy, what in the name of the wee man are you doing attending a Tory bash to raise money for the NO campaign?
And what of the partners in the NO campaign.... Scottish Labour (titter) why are they happy to have this kind of person, with no connection to Scotland, pour some of their immense wealth into a campaign about OUR country's future?
Scottish Labour, it seems, have followed their English brothers in a right wing direction, and are now almost indistinguishable from the Tories. As Dubbieside pointed out, 37 Scottish Labour MPs voted with the London government to semi privatise the Health Service IN ENGLAND. You couldn't credit that, could you.
Not only must we win this referendum, we must also keep these people out of government in Edinburgh. Scots don't want privatised medical care.