Scottish Democracy for Sale

David Cameron and Richard Cook
David Cameron and Richard Cook |


Peter Geoghegan’s excellent “Democracy for Sale” lifts the lid on the £435,000 “dark money” that was funnelled via the DUP to circumnavigate the Brexit referendum spending limits by former Scottish Tory Vice Chair Richard Cook’s Constitutional Research Council. Cook has also boasted of huge sums being available to make a “new and positive campaign for the Union” during any indyref2 and the leading anti self-government campaigning group Scotland in Union is building up a war chest for campaigning in the run up to May’s Holyrood elections.

In 2017, William Ramsay, then deputy chair of Scotland in Union, boasted to diners at an exclusive fundraising dinner in London that the pro-union group had been in talks with Cambridge Analytica.

In December 2017 a huge tranche of information regarding Scotland in Union’s networks, secret letter writing groups and it’s big business and land owner donors, including a foreign billionaire with Royal connections was leaked to Bella Caledonian  among others.  The leaked information included an exchange of correspondence with the Electoral Commission regarding the non reporting of large donations by a non party political campaigning group.   The leak included an extensive list of donors who helped raise £300,000 at dinners and auctions.

This information is clearly in the public interest but Scotland in Union’s lawyers and Pamala Nash immediately sprang into action with all sorts of legal threats and even reported the National to the independent Press Standards Organisation   Case 01538-18 Nash v The National 

Scotland in Union’s latest accounts, published on Companies House for the year to 30th November 2019, showed a surplus of £122,550, up from £62,529 for the previous year.

The accounts show that the millionaire grocery tycoon David Sands owner of David’s Kitchen in Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Falkirk was appointed a director along with Lib Dem former teacher Carole Ford and Labour trade unionist Johanna Baxter.

In its submission to the Electoral Commission, Scotland in Union stated that

SiU’s most recent accounts showed a balance of £122,550 as at 30 November 2019 but this year’s accounts don’t have to be lodged until after May’s elections. To date, Scotland in Union has not registered as a Non Party Campaigner with the Electoral Commission yet the “long campaign” for expenses will commence on 6 January.

Given the Brexit “dirty money” and wealthy individuals and organisations living outside Scotland donating huge amounts to the No campaign in 2014, it is essential that the rules governing IndyRef2 prohibit any body or trust or company giving donations to the Yes or No campaign other than those individuals who are registered for paying Income Tax in Scotland.

6 thoughts on “Scottish Democracy for Sale

  1. Being a member, I am aware how much it costs to contest an election, so for that reason I have made a small donation to my local branch. And I would encourage anyone who can afford to do so, to do the same. We must, more than ever, ensure a majority of Independence supporting M.S.Ps in 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Matters not a hoot how much money they have
    They are yesterdays people with yesterdays
    Policies and solutions
    And far too many know where all that has led to
    Better Together
    Let them Fester Together


  3. All this, plus they own the media in Scotland.

    As a better man than any of these poltroons said–

    “well, we say YES, and we are the people”!


  4. Please don’t underestimate their power and influence, never mind their financial resources. They, the British State, will do all in their power, and it’s considerable, to thwart our aim of independence.
    I canvassed, leafleted, throughout the last independence referendum, and my false sense of optimism was bolstered by the knowledge that our constituency would vote Yes. Well, we are all too aware how that turned out, so please, be cautious, but determined. I don’t want another disappointment.


  5. Ex London Mayor ken Livingstone used to say . . . “If democracy could change anything THEY would ban it”.

    Right now Democracy would create an Independent Scotland so THEY are going to do their damnedest to make sure there is no democracy!


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