The word will quickly be, if it isn’t already, synonymous with the SNP and winning independence. It is important therefore that the Scottish Government has clear lines of demarcation between what is official devolved Government business and what is part of the referendum campaign.
The above may look like a page from the SNP’s prospectus on independence but it’s actually taken from the Scottish Enterprise website.
I missed this when Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale first blogged on it but I’m surprised the media hasn’t picked up on it yet as I rather suspect that this is the first of many instances where the SNP will be criticised for blurring its responsibilities as a Government of a devolved Parliament and its burning ambitions as a political party.
For me, it’s over the line, quite a way over the line, as it is quite blatantly an attempt to aid the independence campaign by associating it with government bodies. ‘You want growth, you say Yes to Growth, well vote Yes in 2014’ is the quite clear overture here.
It’s not all going to be one way of course. Indeed, the SNP has already fired a very meek shot across the unionist bows for using “Better Together” when (prepare to be outraged), NHS Scotland are already using that phrase. Personally, I think the unionists are jumping on the Better Nation bandwagon here and since we thought of that phrase ourselves we… (what’s that? Alasdair Gray? Dennis Lee?). Ok, never mind…
Taking every fair advantage to get one over on the opposition is reasonable, undermining fairness (and the potential inappropriate use of public funds) is really not. A heavy price would and should be paid by anyone who falls into the latter camp and so parties should tread with caution here. It’s easier to lose a reputation than it is to build one.
The SNP needs to hit everything with a straight bat for the next two years if it’s to have any chance of winning the referendum. This “Yes” linkage with Scottish Enterprise? Well, it’s just not cricket.