Why a Scottish nation would be good for growth

This is an article by Kenny Murray.
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In 2014 the people of Scotland for the first time will have a say on Scotland’s attachment to the British state.

There is a very good chance that they will vote yes in the independence referendum, thus creating one of the newest independent nations in Europe. This can only be described as the most captivating political battle in Scotland ever.

I must declare a vested interest. I am a Scottish civic nationalist; I feel that my small but great multi-cultural and innovative nation will be best served by independence. I’m not going to argue and attempt to convince you of independence but what I will say is this:

Scotland is a nation and nations are best served when they govern themselves.

Kenny Murray

What I will write about is the effect Scottish independence will have on the PR industry within Scotland.

Many anti-independence politicians and lobbyists claim that businesses will leave an independent Scotland and jobs will be lost. This is a ridiculous argument. It surfaced when Scotland was fighting for its own parliament and was proven wrong then.

On the contrary I believe that independence will be good for not only the PR industry but many other industries in Scotland.

I mean what sane CEO would move his company out of an emerging market? Surely to be involved in the early days of a better nation is a dream of many organisations?

In PR especially this would be true. Many English-based agencies have Scottish offices, which more often than not are tiny and have a small number of specialists due to the nature of a British state.

However with a newly declared independent Scotland they would surely create HQs in Scotland as a nation they know a lot about anyway.

They would by proxy have to create jobs if they wanted to maintain their image as a public relations firm in Scotland, to serve all the nations who have shown interest in investment in an independent Scotland. This would mean more substantial jobs in PR.

Also as an independent innovative nation there would be a growth in boutique PR agencies as the competition sought to fight over the fledgling new nation. Imagine the catalyst that would create in PR. All that innovation, all those new companies and new jobs.

It would be foolish to think that Scotland would lose jobs; it would also be foolish to think lots of new meaningful jobs would not be created.

From an academic point of view, some of the top courses in PR are in Scotland, not just in England. In Scotland you have top HND courses such as City of Glasgow College as well as degrees.

From a university point of view, Scotland already produces more research papers per capita than any other nation on earth. Imagine how this catalyst of independence and a new self governing nation would produce!

Also from a professional development point of view. The CIPR is London-centric. PR would need a professional body in an independent Scotland which would see the more hands-on role of a professional body in Scottish PR than has been present before.

To sum up, new jobs would be created in European PR; new agencies would be formed, with more offices opening. More academic research would be encouraged and the European PR scene would be the centre of innovation rather than leaving it all up to the yanks!

Imagine the competition between our friendly nations if we both had equal servings of the PR pie. The sparks created would be worthwhile in making European PR the centre of the industry, rather than where it seems to be going, America.


  1. You are certainly passionate about this issue and express your views well. However I think a lot of your assertions may be unfounded.

    Salmond has already admitted an independent Scotland would still share military forces, currency, the monarchy – even the BBC with the rest of the UK.

    In my view, this is not true independence, this is the result of an individual seeking his own agenda by conjuring up medieval sentiments. However coming from this south side of the border, I accept it’s a biased one. Nonetheless, the former points cannot be denied.

    Even if Scotland were to become truly independent, the City isn’t going to go anywhere. Industries follow markets, not politics.

    I agree with everything you said regarding Scotland’s excellent PR courses and growing prospects in the industry, what I take issue with is your rose-tinted opinion of the implications of such a political division.

  2. Aah,

    It isn’t political division. What will happen, will follow similar circumstances in other nations. Although more democratically. People will always follow new markets. Scotland will be a new nation, and people will want to work in a new nation, especially with Scotland’s success at attracting business. Exclusive deals renewable companies to name a few.

    Yes the monarchy would remain until a republican campaign gained momentum. It would be the same as Canada and Australia though. The queen is still the queen of those nations too.

    The currency would be shared as many other nations share currencies. Although in my opinion this is merely a developmental route to develop Scotland’s own currency. It would be foolish to declare a new currency straight away. If you look at the Mcrone Report he states that the Scottish pound would have been the hardest currency bar the Kroner in the world. If this is taken and introduced into the model where Scotland is not only relying on oil but also a third of Europes wind and tidal capacity, it seems more favourable.

    They wouldn’t share military forces, perhaps some resources.What is vital about that though, is Scotland would make the choice whether to enter wars. They wouldn’t be sending their soldiers off to “liberate” other countries and come back to a country ruled from another.

    Sure the stock market may be stronger in London, but Norway seems to manage well without this reliance on stocks.

    Just a few points though.

  3. Great article, though surely all that would happen is a title change in offices and managers? The small Glasgow office of a London based firm would just turn into the ‘Scotland HQ’ and it’s manager would become ‘Scotland Manager.’ There’d be no increase in demand as there’d be no new people suddenly appear to create the demand that would warrant hiring more staff or expanding the ‘small offices’

  4. Well the way it would work is that many of the positions they can relegate to the staff in England is that due to different laws being introduced by parliaments, growing TV and entertainment as a nation and of course a growing economy with any of the new business that Scotland attracts.

    There would be new business as Scotland already has a good track record at attracting investment. There is no reason this would decrease after independence.

    It would stop folk using Scotland as a back office and suburb of England but as a separate nation. As they would quickly lose business if they used Scotland to gain money but refused to hire staff within Scotland.

    Scotland also has a big PR industry at present, which would grow to meet the demands of being an independent nation.

  5. It certainly is an interesting topic, and totally agree that Scotland currently attracts a lot of investment, but I think what I’m trying to say is why would the number of businesses change after independence? Surely businesses just react to demand and the demand, in terms of consumers, is going to remain largely the same.

    Once (well, if) Scotland gets independence won’t a lot of the organisations just say the same and keep their share of the market and customers they currently have unless some radical laws are brought in them up?

    As for TV and entertainment, it will be interesting to see how much the industry changes in an independent Scotland and if new competitors emerge or whether we just keep BBC Scotland, STV etc.

  6. Well, they would surely not be implementing a proper strategic management plan if they were a part of a market in Britain and when Britain is put aside for two new nations, not to change their current situation. Most foolish.

    Yeah, the media side is something I’m interested in. I know we will still have access to all these channels as do many other nations, but the programming may change a little, the license fee might be dropped in favour of commercials and more Scottish produced programming might come out. The show Scotland Tonight is an example of STV changing to meet this demand for a Scottish channel.

  7. I would agree it would be foolish not to change strategy, but a change of strategy doesn’t necessarily create new jobs, just redefines the roles of the current ones.

  8. Taylor Ch says:

    Scotland has such talent and potential but it is seen as a 2nd class within the UK union, the best thing to get a message out there is to have the eyes of the world on you. Look at the world-wide media attention Scotland is getting during just the run up to the referendum, that’s only going to grow. Post independence? The day of the vote and even the day of the Announcement, the whole world will be watching. By anyone’s logic that’s going to bring so much business, tourists and interest to Scotland. A new country, a new start has always been treated with massive enthusiasm, If it is done right and frankly I don’t believe the sky’s going to fall in once Independence comes, then we’re going to have a business revolution and it’ll be down to us to make that a big one and not a wasted opportunity. Have faith because the world is based on Psychology, simple fact. The more positive and active we become the better it gets, the more negative we become the more we stop it.

  9. Yeah I also don’t think the sky will fall in, and hopefully people will see Scotland as a prospective base for international business operations but I can’t see a huge rise in employment opportunities, at least not immediately. I think the world may watch and wait to see how things pan out, see what currency Scotland adopts, how it’s relationship with the EU (and Norway…) develop and see what the government, whoever that may be, do to encourage businesses to move bases here. It’s probably down to Salmond to gee up as many businesses as possible to declare they’d develop further in an independent Scotland before the referendum, not only would this show voters that there are prospects in an independent Scotland but it would encourage other businesses to make a move here.

  10. The point remains though. It could be good for growth. It certainly wouldn’t be bad. The worst thing that can happen is a small rise in jobs. In my opinion anyway.

  11. I’m concerned that your passion for this issue has somewhat blinded your logic. You’ve made quite a lot of assertions based on what you’d like to happen.

    If it’s not a political division then it’s really a division is it? And if we share the same currency then it’s not a fiscal division – so what exactly will be divided? Again, this sounds like politicians utilising a historical issue for personal gain.

    And I really must take issue with your assumption of a hypothetical foreign policy for an independent Scotland – many English citizens oppose interventionism too you know. The Iraq War Protests in 2003 were the biggest demonstrations in British history so I think that’s a rather naive viewpoint.

    If Scotland does become a truly independent country, which as I’ve already outlined seems unlikely from what Salmond seems to be advocating, then surely this would usher in trade barriers and red tape and considering Scotland’s geography, it could be argued this would impede growth if anything.

    And I wonder if Scotland would be able to retain its free university scheme if it were to separate from the UK…

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