With polls showing a declining number of Scottish voters likely to vote for independence, and a recent poll of Scottish students in a clear majority in favour of keeping the Union, Alex Salmond today received a boost from an unexpected quarter as a group of English businessmen launched their "Independence for Scotland" campaign in Newcastle.
"It is clear to those of us who have had occasion to visit Scotland, or have had conversations with those who have met Scottish people, that the case for an Independent Scotland is overwhelming", said the campaign's chairman, Peter Carlisle, whose company Security First produces high security barriers, razor wire and security monitoring equipment, "and it is clear to this group that the future of Scotland should remain solely with the Scottish people, without interference from Westminster".
"We have commonality with the Scottish people that Scotland is better off paying off the debts of its own banks' mistaken lending policies rather than be controlled by the Bank of England", agreed the Deputy organizing Chairman Harold Davies, whose insolvency practice has dealt with thousands of companies bankrupted by debtors north of the border, "because the Scottish peoples' natural instincts to save money rather than fritter it away has been subverted by English largesse in building unnecessary schools, hospitals, roads and railways that spoil the natural landscapes of the Highlands and Islands.
"Far better that Scotland go it alone in partnerships with its natural trading partners of Iceland, Norway, Denmark and the Faroe Islands", added Julian Ffolkes-Whitstead, a campaigner for Scottish independence in the Home Counties, "because with those economic powerhouses, Scotland can find its own true place in the global economy". Ffolkes-Whitstead, whose engineering firm builds electric fences, tyre-shredding barriers and air-to-air missiles, added "and perhaps their cousins in Northern Ireland might be persuaded to join in this grand Scottish democratic experiment as true partners, without being dictated to by foreign occupying armies coming from England or even Wales"
Alex Salmond, on hearing the presentations, said "I am grateful for this group's support. I am sure that the Scottish people can agree that the vote for Independence cannot come soon enough"