Spend your UK dividend on lard, apparently.
The British government came under attack on Thursday after suggesting Scots will be able to gorge themselves on pies, hotdogs and tickets to watch Aberdeen FC if they reject independence.
Earlier this week the Treasury published a report claiming the average Scot would be £1,400 a year better off if the country votes to stay part of the United Kingdom in the forthcoming referendum.
In order to promote this claim the Treasury has published a list, in the same format used by BuzzFeed and many other websites, entitled “12 things that £1400 UK Dividend could buy”.
Suggested uses for the money include “280 hotdogs at the Edinburgh Festival”, “636 joyful caffeine highs” and a season ticket at Pittodrie.
Each point is illustrated with a picture of a Lego model.
Pro-independence campaigners seized on the list and said it was an example of London-based officials patronising Scots ahead of the country’s referendum on 18 September.
“My first thought when I saw the UK government’s attempt at playful light-heartedness was, frankly, ‘spang’. It’s almost like committees of politically motivated civil servants do not produce the most gripping content,” said Stewart Kirkpatrick of the Yes Scotland campaign.
“It’s almost unsporting to point out that they’re reduced to using Lego models because, unlike Yes, they don’t have a genuine grassroots campaign of tens of thousands of people. This shows the problem of out-of-touch Westminster civil servants trying to run a campaign from London.”
Journalists and even some opponents of independence also said they felt the post was misguided. According to the MuckRack service the list has already been shared over 1,700 times on social media outlets but many comments were negative.
Actual people in the actual government actually thought this nonsense would persuade Scotland to stay in the union https://t.co/Qm0c0rbF74
can anyone depict a social media car crash in lego? https://t.co/MNtTa3hf5S
If I were Scottish, this would deffo make me to vote no. I only understand wealth in units of fish suppers. https://t.co/fKbJAhwe8M
A version of the Treasury’s list also appeared on BuzzFeed Community, a site designed to allow readers to create their own fun and lighthearted posts such as “12 Reasons Frank And Beans Should Be Your Favorite New Kittens”.
In common with many blogging platforms, anyone can post on BuzzFeed Community and posts are not commissioned or vetted by the BuzzFeed editorial team.
Both proponents and opponents of Scottish independence have published reports that claim Scots would be financially better off with their preferred outcome. Both sides also claim that the other side’s report contains flaws and miscalculations.
With just over 100 days to go until the independence referendum the ‘No’ campaign is still ahead, although opinion polls suggest their lead is narrowing.