by Bill Jamieson – Founder of Scot-Buzz
Congratulations to Belinda Roberts and her team at WeDO Scotland for a fully attended and well received independence referendum debate at Howie?s Waterloo Place last Thursday morning.
Both speakers ? Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing and his Labour ?shadow? Iain Gray ? put the arguments for and against independence forcefully and succinctly, while questions ?from the 60-plus strong audience were sharp and to the point.
I?m biased, I?ll admit, but having chaired several such debates in recent months, this was one of the best ? and judging by the feedback in recent days ? definitely the best received. Fergus spoke to Scotland?s strengths as an independent country. And Iain spoke with a striking animation and passion on the case for ?Better Together?.
It was particularly helpful for this audience of business people and entrepreneurs that both speakers were well engaged in this area ? Fergus as the current enterprise minister and Iain as a former minister in this role.
The event was well organised by WeDo, with meeters and greeters, audio visual equipment, leaflets, tea and coffee and most superior bacon rolls from Howie?s. ?I?ve had many emails praising the event, including this below from Alan Steel which I much enjoyed and which I run (almost) in full.
Don?t forget the next WeDo Scotland event ? the?GLOBAL SCOTLAND IN 2014 AND BEYOND CONFERENCE?on Thursday May 22 at the Assembly Rooms Edinburgh, 8.45am to 5.30pm. Full details at?www.wedoconference.eventbrite.co.uk. Speakers include Peter Lederer CBE, chairman of Gleneagles and Dougie Walker chief executive of Claymore Security Solutions.
Now this from Alan Steel😕
Thursday morning?s Referendum debate in Howie?s in Waterloo Place Edinburgh organised by WeDo Scotland was very interesting and entertaining. Chaired impeccably by the inimitable and recently bearded Bill Jamieson, and hosted by the sparkling and deeply tanned Belinda Roberts the audience got its money?s worth.
In the Purple corner was the late Fergus Ewing ….he?d been held up apparently by inclement UK weather….and turned up so late there was a danger of the bacon rolls running out . In the Red corner was Labour?s Iain Gray, expert in Finance, Employment, and Turning up Early.
The Chairman kicked off the proceedings with a reference to pie charts and a swipe at those statisticians who fail to take account of the positive impact of SMEs to the Scottish economy. Somebody also said nice things too about Irn Bru. It seems, according to Fergus, Minister for Energy, Tourism and Highland Coos, that sales of the ?made from Girders ?golden nectar are rocketing down south which may well explain the recent strength of the UK economy.
Fergus, despite his latecoming, started first and was rather impressive, stirring my emotions so much so I could almost smell Haggis Suppers wafting by to the accompaniment of a Jimmy Shand Polka. The adrenalin ?shot of ? Wha?s Like Us ? sadly didn?t appear to be shared by folks behind me, which is worrying for the ? Yes ? campaign, given I was sitting in the front row . Iain responded impressively pointing out you could be emotionally a Scot and practically speaking a Brit. So I thought …no a bad idea … Haggis Suppers and continued guarantees of HP Sauce availability.?
To be honest I ended up being so impressed by the arguments on both sides I widnae mind the chance to vote for both of them. My big worry is though that the emotional blackmail being stirred up by the Doon South media is stirring up anti Scots feelings Doon there. A very significant percentage of our business /income comes from English clients, and some have already said they?d have to seek English advisers if we end up in an Independent country.?
Having raised the question of what protection a new Scottish Gov?t would provide to financial services businesses like us, it wasn?t terribly reassuring to hear from Fergus that all we had to do was be competitive and outstanding in our service standards to win through. That is definitely all about ?just keep your fingers crossed?. ?Not enough, I?m afraid. ?We have won UK Awards for over a decade now, and are a strong brand but if a perception arises client funds are less protected……. It reminded me of the Ronald Reagan quote about academics …in his case economists, when he said ?An economist is somebody who, when they see something happening in practice would say ?…aah ?…But it wouldn?t work in theory??. Maybe politicians should sit a reality exam!?
I say we keep out the Euro, and tell Westminster they can stick their pounds up their deficits. We?ll launch our own currency ?the Kielo ?, tag it to the pound at one Kielo to the pound! ?Now that will create chaos all over Englandshire and Euroland. Just imagine it….?Hey I thought it wiz 2.2 pounds to the Kilo? Noo it?s one to one???
WeDO Scotland adds:
Our thanks to Bill and Alan for their candid overviews and kind words about the event and to everyone who attended and made it such a success. ?Also to Fergus Ewing and Iain Gray without whom, the event wouldn’t have happened – your humour was greatly appreciated by all attendees. ?Bill Jamieson, was, as always, a fantastic Chair and we’re very much looking forward to him speaking at our conference in 2 weeks.