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Blog Profile / Douglas Fraser

Filed Under:Politics / UK Politics
Posts on Regator:390
Posts / Week:2.4
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Who speaks for Scottish business?

The distinction between lobbying and political campaigning can be a fine line. The Confederation of British Industry hasn't just stepped over it. In doing so, it's tripped over itself, and fallen on its face. Its registration with the...Show More Summary

The Shetland Dividend

Shetland has no intention of playing its oil card and pushing for its own independence, the council leader has told me. Gary Robinson says that would be too greedy. It would mean far more wealth than Shetland could possibly use. Whether...Show More Summary

Growth, insecurity and change

For most of these downturn years, the Scottish economy has behaved rather like that of the UK as a whole. As I've noted before, Scotland may be the outlier in its geography and constitution, but it's far more like the UK average than, say, London. The latest figures show that may be changing. Show More Summary

Chinese firm buys House of Fraser

From Mohamed al Fayed to Iceland's business buccaneers, the House of Fraser portfolio has secured its owners many of Britain's most prestigious retail locations. And at a time of unprecedented change for the industry, that is testament...Show More Summary

Scotch whisky exports stagnate

We've heard from individual distillers that the fall-off in the Chinese market has a lot to do with official government disapproval of conspicuous consumption, and a crackdown on the culture of business gifts, as they easily cross the line into corruption. It's a challenge that has hit the premium and luxury goods market in quite a big way.

Whisky joins the slowdown in luxury goods growth

BenRiach whisky has strong distribution in Africa, where two of its three owners live. In the Angolan capital, Luanda, oil-rich Chinese executives come through duty free sales at the airport, and when the senior guy picks up a £300 bottle...Show More Summary

Complex energy choices, and in whose interests?

You could view the independence debate as a binary, static choice; "Yes" or "No"? But it's worth remembering that it takes place amidst immense change. Forgive me if this seems a bit obvious. It's simply to point out that there are numerous...Show More Summary

Shared debt and common currency

Whether it's 'Yes' or 'No', we're burdened with a whole lot of government debt. That's at least one conclusion of a report from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. One big question is how much better or worse itShow More Summary

The very slow slaying of Sir David's Goliath

It was Rangers that brought Sir David Murray fame. His fortune had more to do with metal and property. The connection with the Ibrox club probably brings more notoriety than fame these days, given the way in which he sold it on, disastrously,...Show More Summary

Shetland sets sail for new horizons

Shetland's tourism sector is rather niche. It's for people who like going a long way off the beaten track, and don't mind uncertain weather or the risk of being fogbound. There's another problem this year. Shetland's very busy. I'veShow More Summary

Cupid's arrow changes target

At Cupid, the online dating company, chief executive Phil Gripton says the past year has seen "an inflection point". That's some euphemism. The Edinburgh-based firm was badly knocked off course by investigations for BBC programmes, finding...Show More Summary

Hitting the acquisition trail

You'd be forgiven for thinking corporate Scotland has suddenly gone acquisition daft. Wood Group has picked up a small engineering consultancy in the Canadian pipeline business. MB Aerospace, an unlisted Motherwell company has bought...Show More Summary

Has Scotland ‘de-globalised’?

As Scotland looks to a choice on its future, with the economy a feature of the debate, two academic contributions give us a new take on the past route that got us to where we are now. They're from Glasgow University economic historians,...Show More Summary

Scaling back the many-headed Hydro

SSE is today setting out a big re-structure, and it sounds several alarming notes for the renewable energy industry. Clearly, it is responding to public, regulatory and political pressure to bear down on prices, with its freeze until...Show More Summary

High pressure drilling for tax

If you're facing ultra-high pressure and high temperature, George Osborne has a little something to help out. This is not the first time the Treasury has tried to find a way to unlock investment in such tough-going oil wells. And included in Budget 2014, the tax break was welcomed by the offshore industry. Show More Summary

Scottish independence: how competitive is the economy?

I've been in conversation about the implications for business of Scotland's independence options. The resulting half-hour radio programme shed rather more light than heat on the subject, so it may not get as much attention as some debates...Show More Summary

Scots public spending deficit rises

The Gers calculations have been very important to the independence cause, in that they've established Scotland's finances have been at least no worse than those of the UK in recent years. With buoyant offshore tax receipts, GERS hasShow More Summary

Scottish independence: balancing the books

Beware: incoming statistics. GERS is back on Wednesday morning. Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland isn't the most riveting read, but it matters a lot in the independence debate. It is the assessment of Scottish government statisticians...Show More Summary

Shell boss: Scots should stay in UK

So why are businesses speaking up now? Partly, it's because this is a busy time of year for reporting financial results, and publication of annual reports, which require those risk registers to be made public. But there's another factor. Show More Summary

Scottish independence: business weighs in

Is Scotland's currency dispute going to be resolved by politics or by economics? Two of the Scottish government's economic advisers were at Holyrood on Wednesday saying it'll be economics. Joint control of the pound and the Bank of England makes sense for Scotland and the rest of the UK, they argued. Show More Summary

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