Scottish independence is an important part of the SNP formula so long as it is never realised and so long as the campaigning is run through SNP political elites.

Sturgeon’s National Investment Bank for the common good of Scotland’s people has morphed into a tool for corporate business to capitalise on.

The “bank for the people” set up to make strategic investments for the common good, has morphed into yet another avenue for corporate Scotland to capitalise on.

For instance, tourism technology business Travelnest Ltd has received an initial £3 million in funding from the SNIB.

The company specialises in providing infrastructure for holiday home owners to list and manage their properties.

It turns out that the bank, rather than acting as a countermeasure to the failures of the market, is nothing of the sort.

Take a look at some of the corporate networks involved:

The Chair of SNIB is Willie Watt. Watt is an Advisory Board Member of Scottish Equity Partners, a private sector Glasgow-based investment consortia which is already investing in projects into which SNIB is investing.

Carolyn Jamieson is a Non Executive Director of the Scottish National Investment Bank and is also an Advisory Board Member of Scottish Equity Partners.

She is formerly Chief Legal Officer at Skyscanner.

Interestingly the new “Chief Entrepreneur” is also formerly a top executive at Skyscanner. Small world.

In 2021 Kate Forbes set up something called the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review.

It was led by Mark Logan. As ever, the process was outsourced.

This time a contract worth £100,000 went to a private business called Ipso Facto Ltd.

Mark Logan is the co-founder of Ipso Facto.

He is also a Director of, drum roll, Travelnest Ltd.

All of this fits neatly into the system of patronage set up around the leadership of the Scottish Government sprawling beyond the corporate sector and into wider parts of public life.

Thus, the Chair of the Economic Recovery Group, is also the Chair of Buccleuch Estates and is also Chair of the National Galleries of Scotland board, alongside Andrew Wilson of Charlotte Street Partners who is also the author of the Growth Commission, alongside Willie Watt who is also the inaugural chair of the Scottish National Investment bank.

The First Minister is perfectly positioned in this context.

Outwardly progressive, inwardly focussed on delivering for the corporate lobby.

Outwardly appealing, internally dictatorial.

In the world of the Scottish establishment the interests and concerns of the schemes which mobilised in 2014, and who then went on to deliver the SNP their political hegemony, are not on the agenda.

Parallels with New Labour are drawn. But this is only partially accurate.

This is why independence is an important part of the SNP formula, so long as it is never fully realised, and so long as the “campaigning” is run through political elites.


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