Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yes Scotland forced into a web U-turn as opponents accuse the Scottish National Party of deception, external oversight is required on shop floor!

Dear All

The Independence launch was a flop as an event.

Everyone panned it.

Some in the SNP like Muslim list MSP Humza Yousaf said that the event was historic?

Set in Cineworld?

The event was run by Yes Scotland which is seen by many as an SNP front since it is run by the SNP and they are putting up the cash. There are other little organisations popping up to join the cause like the Scottish Independence Convention and they have SNP members running them as well.

It is a bit stupid because they can be researched and their membership found by a bit of digging.

Back to Yes Scotland which is being run by people connected to the SNP, they have already blundered badly after opponents of the cause claimed they were being misrepresented as apparent backers.

Remember how I blogged on a lack of talent in the SNP?

George Laird was right again.

After being accused of deception the independence campaign has promised to make changes to its website.

Too late damage already done and self inflicted, makes it even worse, not enough attention to detail and probably didn’t care either.

Leaders of the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign were accused of employing deliberate deception to exaggerate support.

Does anyone believe that people who follow someone automatically support their views?

I follow someone from the Westboro Baptist Church on Twitter but I certainly don’t believe a single word of their rantings.

Last night a senior organiser of the Yes campaign, Jennifer Dempsie, said:

"The intention was never to mislead. We are prepared to change this."

How thoughtful after being caught out.

She insisted it was a new, organic website which was changing all the time, and denied the phrase "people o' independent mind" implied support for the campaign.

Crap that is what it definitely does.

She said:

"It was never our intention to categorise people that way and those coming in through Twitter have to opt in and agree to conditions."

Just plain stupidity then!

The story of the deception broken when Liberal Democrat blogger Caron Lindsay expressed her astonishment at appearing on the site as a supporter without her knowledge or consent.

She said:

"Beware when you hear the Yes campaign bragging about how many supporters it has. They are counting the electronic equivalent of someone taking a leaflet off them in the street."

Scots LibDem leader Willie Rennie said:

"Following an individual or group on Twitter should not be misrepresented as support. This is an underhanded way to pad out numbers to make it look like more people support the break-up of the UK than is actually the case."

Twitter uses the word "follower" to describe anyone who tracks an online site, but in fact many of those who do so are neutral, such as journalists, while others are hostile, including political opponents.

Everyone needs to know what the opposite opinion is.

The Yes site used names and photographs of such followers to create a section on the website, stating: "Powered by people o' independent mind, like you."

Yesterday the site added the line

"- following Yes Scotland on Twitter and Facebook," but this was seen as insufficient to clarify the issue.

Second time lucky and still f*cking up, I guess that is what they mean by “organic”.

Labour MP Tom Harris and Labour MSP Drew Smith found themselves also co-opted to the independence cause.

Harris, MP for Glasgow South said:

"Everyone who owns a Bay City Rollers CD assumed to be a supporter of Yes Scotland."

Glasgow MSP Mr Smith said:

"This system doesn't just deceive – it is designed to deceive. My name, photograph and supposed endorsement must be removed from this website immediately."

Labour MSP, Richard Baker, said:

"This is a shambles. From a lacklustre launch last week, we see the SNP deploying increasingly desperate measures to exaggerate support. The partial U-turn overnight throws up more questions than it answers, and raises serious privacy questions for the Yes campaign. To give the impression of having support from people who are merely mentioning the referendum on Twitter is deeply misleading and will infuriate people."

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

"This is clearly designed to deceive. Alex Salmond has been caught out once again."

You know you just can’t buy this type of “expertise” of garnering bad publicity, the SNP are so lucky to have a party membership that has these type of 'gifts' in depth.

I am looking forward to the re-launch and if I get invited make sure there is a buffet, I think better while munching ‘freedom’ chicken!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


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