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Scot-Buzz editor Bill Jamieson recoils at yet another report with another predictable conclusion. Set up another business quango? What's the point, asks Bill. Do we really need another one? The authors went all the way to Massachusetts to get answers to improving Scotland's innovation and entrepreneurship. Sadly, says Bill, the result is one of the most cliché-infested regurgitations of long familiar problems with a prose style best described as Dead on Arrival...
This week all things constitutional get overheated, McAuntie gets another panning and we look forward to the great debate, but are we any nearer knowing how much this will cost us? There's a change at the top for Labour and a Tory runs amok. Should we ditch the pound and go for the Krone? Wait a moment says Honey - we've still got football commentators, Wimbledon's starting with Andy's pushy Mum, and today definitely belongs to the Bruce. So who needs indyref...
There may be a surge in business confidence, but of a resurgence in bank lending to business there is still no sign. The latest hard lending figures from the Bank of England continue to disappoint, with an appreciable drop in bank lending to businesses. Yet it's vitally important for sustainable, balanced UK growth that all companies who are in decent shape and who do want to borrow can do so, and at a non-punishing interest rate. If not the banks, is unlocking more direct investment from pension funds and insurers the answer?
RIP Paxo. John McGurk says in the end it was like a death in the family. He had reportedly wanted little fuss, but his leaving Newsnight seemed to be trailed everywhere. John wonders where the great man goes from here. Is there still life in the programme he made his own or have serious news programmes and skewering interviews had their day? And who will replace him? Graham Norton perhaps?
This week Ken Houston says our increasingly diverse country has just celebrated Scottish Refugee Week and, apparently, a good time was had by all. Across Scotland there were 120 refugee-related events, ranging from lofty discussions to dance, theatre, comedy and West African cookery shows. While it’s good to know that Scotland still offers sanctuary to people fleeing torture and persecution, Ken wonders how exactly we tell who is, and who is not, a genuine refugee...
Glasgow-based Weir Group is one of Scotland’s biggest and most successful companies. It employs approximately 600 directly in Scotland including Head Office staff and spends around £75 million in the local Scottish economy annually.Last week its chief executive Keith Cochrane [pictured] spoke in Edinburgh about the likely impacts of independence on Scottish business. In view of the importance of his remarks and their relevance to those beyond the business community, Scot-Buzz carries almost the entire text of this speech as a service to readers. We believe you will find it of considerable interest...
Another battle comes to Stirling Bridge. Well, almost. If you're a business in Stirling and bursting to have your say about Indyref, now's your chance. This coming Friday morning you can hear Gordon MacIntyre Kemp of Business for Scotland in debate with Lord Forsyth, a long-time supporter of the Union. It's organised by STEP, Stirling's business support organisation and there's an early start. Numbers are limited, so you need to book - here's how...
Now you see it, now you don’t – and now you see it again. Scot-Buzz editor Bill Jamieson says the amazing story of the Scottish Business Development Bank has taken a remarkable new turn. You'll recall last month's item “Farewell to the bank that never was”. It was supposed to help spearhead Scotland’s economic renaissance. We charted the appearance of the Scottish Business Bank in Scottish government announcements for almost a year… and its disappearance...
John McGurk says they really should make a movie when this referendum campaign is finally over. How about The Good, the Spad and the Ugly, the story of a young mother with a disabled child who is smeared by an nasty political adviser who is himself exposed by an irascible newspaper editor against a backdrop of the political battle for a nation? No prizes, says John, for guessing who's who in the title from the following outline of the script...
Regular Scot-Buzz readers could be excused a tingle of déjà vu on reading Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s warning last week that a rise in interest rates could come sooner than many expected. There was little such expectation here. Indeed, he could have been reading Scot-Buzz. We warned businesses and home buyers counting on ultra-low interest rates to last until well into next year should think again and Bank of England policy, we said, was now a shambles...
This week Ken Houston takes another of his occasional, irreverent looks at the best wee country in the world (perhaps). He takes a swipe at the humphy-backed, plook-ridden cybernat trolls making JK Rowling's life a misery. Ken knows both sides are capable of it, but thinks perception is everything. Then there's the thought that Scotland might go down in history as the only country in the world to win independence on the back of a lottery ticket. And the trams, Don't get him started...