Funding abuse

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On Thursday, I attended a public discussion event in Edinburgh, organised by the Scottish Government and at which Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet secretary for justice, answered questions from the floor.

It was chaired by Jim Wilson, a civil servant connected to the justice department, who informed us at the start of proceedings that he was there to ensure that fair process was followed. It was not.

It was a disgraceful set piece tableau of blatant SNP propaganda, much of which I latterly discovered was paid for by the hard-pressed Scottish taxpayer.

Let me set the scene. Mr 
MacAskill sat in front of various banners filled with happy pictures of nurses, builders and young mothers all intently reading copies of the 650-page tome, Scotland’s Future. In every picture, the sun shone and it looked too perfect for words.

Before the Q&A session began, we were each given a shortened 12-page pamphlet of Scotland’s Future with most pages containing bullet points proclaiming the myriad and fantastical advantages of an independent Scotland.

I assumed this extravagance must have been funded by private bank-rollers of the Yes campaign. However, I discovered from Jim Wilson, our civil servant, that it was funded by the gullible Scottish taxpayer.

I also asked Mr Wilson why there was no literature available from the Better Together campaign and also if he had made any attempt to procure any.

To his credit, he looked shamefaced and admitted that no-one on the organising committee had asked Better Together to supply any pamphlets to counterbalance the Scottish Government disinformation.

I am outraged that the SNP, aka the Scottish Government, is using our hard-earned money to fund its propaganda when it is desperately needed elsewhere.

Fiona Campbell

Stobo

Peebles