If any business, large or small, operates in a way that is not good for Scotland then its operations must cease. The boycott is the greatest tool we have at our disposal, by removing our custom we remove our silent consent to these activities. The Royal Bank of Scotland is not good for Scotland. Aside of course from having been set up by London based Whig and Hanoverian political interests in 1727, more recently the Royal Bank of Scotland has cost Scotland dearly. This cost has been both financial and political. Some of the disastrous interventions the Royal Bank of Scotland has made into the life of our nation are very well known. Despite years of people like Johann Lamont telling us we are too weak minded to possibly understand such things, it is in fact common knowledge on every highway and byway that the Royal Bank of Scotland is now 89% taxpayer owned. Not surprisingly however RBS prefers to promote the interests of the mega-rich individuals and corporations it happily facilitates in quests for greater “wealth creation (profiteering).”
Despite years of being told we were not competent to function as an independent nation, that we lacked the fiscal acumen to provide a business case for Yes, every Scot now is quite well clued in. There’s not a granny or wean the length and breadth of Scotland that doesn’t know RBS under the cover of darkness deliberately let slip to the Treasury their petulant threat to move their wee brass plate south. A night-time Westminster leak to the BBC resulted in an artificially manipulated morning slump in the stock exchange and a major boon to Project Fear.
Despite what the No Camp and Westminster led mainstream media have repeated ad nauseam at us for the last two years, Scot’s working for independence are not economically illiterate. We would do well in fact to remind ourselves of this again, lest we slip into the trap of internalising this colonised mentality of “London knows best.” It is laughable to suggest that among some 1.6 million Scots there was not a single intellect competent in counteracting the erroneous assertions of Scotland’s economic doom in the event of independence. Of course we know these great Scottish minds were out there, competently deconstructing the currency union bluff and the rest of the miasma of condescending bluster that there were “still too many unanswered questions.” These economists and analysts were simply not broadcast.
The high degree to which RBS funds investment in some of the dirtiest and most ecologically destructive industries on earth has been well documented by Scottish Friends of the Earth in the reports made for the Clean Up RBS campaign. As we now face the risks of detrimental environmental damage by gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) it is worth taking a look at the reports of indigenous communities opposing tar sands extraction in Canada. Canadian First Nations representatives have travelled to Britain numerous times appealing to RBS to divest from the industry to no avail, do we hold out much hope that somehow being closer to home they will listen to us? Real life in Scotland is worlds away from the financial services vortex RBS inhabits, and remember Scotland is the (taxed) spare bedroom where one stores the nukes.
On the subject of fracking let’s not forget about Sir Ian Wood Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. One of the well known facts the ordinary Scottish citizen is supposed to be too poor, small, or stupid to comprehend is that Wood accused the Scottish Government of exaggerating the amount of North Sea oil still to be extracted by 60 per cent. Taken at face value of course this declaration, from an acknowledged leading expert in oil and gas, was a damning blow for Yes. Fast forward a few weeks and while publicly advocating for fracking to begin in Scotland rumours abound that behind the scenes The Wood Group has already rather confidently applied for an extraction license.
At the risk of this post spiralling fully into an episode of Dallas, the Houston-Grampian Association, celebrating the twinned regions, deserves a mention here. At the association’s networking events and social mixers they will no doubt be discussing this industry news too, but all they need do is ask The Wood Group, they are this association’s corporate underwriters after all, and what is the name of one of their corporate sponsors, oh yes, Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Wood Group sold their wells support division to General Electric for $2.8 billion in 2011, at the same time they bought PSN Ltd for $955 million. These transactions needed bilateral lending facilities (short to medium term corporate financing options), so who helped Wood out to the tune of $151,500,000? Yep, that’s right, Royal Bank of Scotland. But hey, maybe you think Wood Group is a good bet? Then of course you should speak to Andrew Rose, he is the Group Head of Investor Relations at Wood Group. He spent just ten months somewhere else before walking into a job at Wood back in 2007. He was Director of Corporate and Structured Finance (bilateral lending facilities and the like) at..where was it… oh yes… Royal Bank of Scotland.
No matter how much Thatcherite policy spangly Tory stars like Boris Johnson try to ram down our throats, trickledown economics does not exist. The small amounts of money we as regular working lads and lassies deposit in the bank, for the shopping, the bills, a holiday or a rainy day, is the blood of the banks. In the system it then circulates, in the financial services vortex it swirls around and around, the vital liquid flowing in and out of multiple veins and arteries, from company to company, investor to investor. For us it is simply cash we use in our daily lives, deposited for what we had assumed was safe keeping, because the years of stuffing the mattress at home were supposed to be long gone. Butterfly Rebellion won’t tell you not to use banks, of course not, just pick one more likely to have Scotland’s interests actually at heart.
– Ealasaid Canonach for Butterfly Rebellion