Friday 25th May was an interesting day, not just for me, but for the whole of Scotland. I attended the launch of the Yes campaign in Edinburgh and felt privileged to be asked to be one of the first 100 to sign the Yes declaration, which was published in the Sunday Herald.
The press are fond of telling us that the business community is a little cool on Scotland becoming independent, but as my father always told me, “Never believe a thing you read in the papers.” Not only were there lots of businesses people at the launch, BUT there are many who have approached me to ask what they can do to help with the Yes campaign.
I am convinced that the business community is even more open to saying Yes than most.
I have recently witnessed three LinkedIn polls where business people voted on their desired constitutional future. In a poll that preceded a debate, the No vote won 60% to 40%. Then, two polls that followed a detailed online discussion demonstrated significant gains in support for Scotland being independent.
Becoming independent won a multi-choice poll:
The Status Quo 30%
Devolution Max 20%
Don't Know 3%
Won’t Vote 7%
The accompanying debate hosted more than 1,600 additional comments and so another poll was introduced, but this time with only two options: Yes and No. Of those that have expressed an opinion, the voting currently stands at:
Yes to Scotland becoming Independent 55%
No to Scotland becoming Independent 45%
So not only does the Devo Max vote split fairly evenly after a discussion on the issues, but business people are definitely open to persuasion. Many of those who voted No in the latter poll have said that in reality they have now switched from an outright No to a Devo Max position were they given the opinion. They are on a journey.
The Sunday Herald described me as “one of the recruiting sergeants of the Yes campaign” which is almost right, but as I am looking to recruit business people to the cause, I see myself as more of an “executive recruiter”!
We all know that in an independent Scotland we will have the tools and the opportunity to significantly boost our businesses, the economy and our national culture, to the benefit of all Scots. An Independent Scotland is a means to an end, and I encourage all business people, owners, managers and executives to sign up to the business group on the site so that we can discuss, inform and shape the business case for an independent Scotland together.
We would like you to join us and help make Scotland better for business.
Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is Managing Director of Intelligise - Be Brilliant