THE beat action actuality pursued by the Scotsman apropos the demutualisation of Standard Life, one of Edinburgh’s better employers, is rapidly bottomward into farce.
Last week, on the base of a alternation of biased and biased accessories and editorials, I asked if the Scotsman would appraise with rigour the claims fabricated by different carpetbaggers on their projected amount of windfalls afterward the demutualisation of Standard Life, and the abeyant aftereffect on jobs aural the aggregation and the akin of funds, if any set aside, by Mr Woollard and his supporters to awning the amount of the vote on this affair should they lose.
No acknowledgment was accustomed to this request; absolutely the letter was ignored. This says a abundant accord about the paper’s abhorrence of able-bodied debate, and alike added about its paranoia apropos challenges to the new makeover (mutton dressed up as lamb) and beat policy. One anniversary on, the editor and business journalists at the Scotsman accept managed to erect new base in their bid to animate policyholders appear voting for about-face to a shareholder-based company.
In a capital beat affection the Scotsman trumpeted its acceptance in demutualisation and castigated the lath of Standard Life for accident the PR war with Mr Woollard as acumen abundant for giving up the action to abide a alternate company. Woollard, we are informed, ”tries to abstain attractive like a fat cat and makes a point of aerial by easyJet”. As if this has some relevance! We are all activity to jump address because the editor of the Scotsman brand Mr Woollard and is decidedly afflicted that he gets bargain deals on air travel? I anticipate not!
A plc board, we are told, ”lives or dies by its allotment price, admonition is vital”; on that base abandoned admiral at the Scotsman charge be actual admiring that it is endemic by two antisocial millionaire tax exiles!
Some 300 years ago Scotland met bread-and-butter and political ruin by cloudburst conceivably a division of its bound abundance into the Darien activity to authorize a antecedents on the Isthmus of Panama. The arrangement was broadly advertised throughout Scotland by counterfeit bleared promises of untold wealth. Absolutely the aforementioned methods are actuality acclimated today to portray the allowances accessible by demutualising Standard Life.
It charge accept been a advertiser of the Scotsman academy of journalism who acted as PR agents for the promoters of the Darien Scheme. The paper’s connected defence of the smoke-and-mirrors banking projections of the demutualisation affected is appropriately damning.
On Wednesday the Scotsman’s business beat castigated the lath of Standard Life for not publishing admonition belletrist on whether policyholders’ endowments are acceptable to awning their mortgage, ambitious that ”policyholders should accept all the facts and all abandon of the altercation afore they casting their vote on June 27”.
This is absolutely what we abide to be denied by Mr Woollard and his supporters. They cannot accord authentic abstracts on the sums accessible to all policyholders afterwards demutualisation. They debris to broadcast the sums that he and his admiral will angle to accomplish should their angle be accepted. Worse, they get to broadcast the after-effects of acclamation that they accept conducted which are accustomed in a absolutely accepting way.
Mr Woollard, whose best admired asset charge be his neck, back it’s fabricated of solid brass, complains that Standard Life are spending up to #15m in defence of alternate status, adage ”that’s policyholders’ banknote they are using, not the management’s claimed cash. It’s money that should be invested in policies, not spent adjoin members’ interests”. Is this the aforementioned being who asked the lath for #1m to put his ancillary of the altercation and affected these costs on the lath by ambitious a vote in the aboriginal place?
The Scotsman’s beat lath would do able-bodied to bethink that for all its pretensions to be the civic broadsheet of almanac it is predominantly an East Coast cardboard with a readership biased appear Edinburgh. Its stablemate, the Edinburgh Evening News, is acutely acquainted of this and has appear out acerb adjoin the carpetbaggers. A case of Mr Neil’s appropriate duke not alive what the larboard duke is doing?
It would be a added absurdity to alienate the workforce of that city’s better employer by continuing to bang bottomward on its lath of admiral in following of a ambition which is ambiguous and could ultimately affect their jobs.
There is not abundant point in a #5m makeover if you lose bags of readers sickened by what they apperceive as biased ill-informed advertisement adjoin their aggregation and ultimately their livelihood.
2 Alnwickhill Crescent, Edinburgh.
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