UK government removes Lego figures from Scotland independence campaign

LONDON Sat Jun 7, 2014 2:05pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The British government has removed images of Lego figures enjoying the possible gains of Scots rejecting a vote for independence, after the Danish toy maker complained about the use of its characters in a online campaign.

The government produced a list of 12 things Scots could buy with the extra 1,400 pounds a year it said they would have if they voted to stay part of the United Kingdom in a September 18 referendum, using figures made from Lego to illustrate the options.

The choices, posted on social media site Buzzfeed and an official government website, ranged from taking a holiday outside Scotland, with a Lego woman sunning herself on a beach, to watching football club Aberdeen play all season with a few pies thrown in.

Other suggestions included travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow 127 times by bus, scoffing 280 hotdogs at the Edinburgh Festival and paying a year's worth of household utility bills.

But not all Scots were amused by the campaign, venting their anger on Twitter, and Scotland's ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) decried it as typical of the attitudes of London-based MPs.

"This is the kind of patronising attitude to Scotland we have come to expect ... presumably the establishment elite think we spend all our time eating fish and chips and pies," SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for unlisted, family-owned Lego said the company had asked the government to remove the images.

"We wouldn't give permission for our stock images to be used ... We maintain our position as being a politically neutral company," said the spokeswoman on Saturday.

The UK Treasury could not immediately be reached for comment but the Lego characters were no longer featured on the government website and had been removed from Buzzfeed and replaced with generic images.

The economy has emerged as a key issue ahead of the referendum, with the UK government hoping to sway voters by saying they would be 1,400 pounds better off saying in the union. Scottish nationalists, however, say independence could benefit each Scot to the tune of 1,000 pounds a year.

Opinion polls show voters remain reluctant for Scotland to end its 307-year union with the United Kingdom, although support for independence has risen this year.

A poll by Populus published in the Financial Times on Saturday found 47 percent of about 500 respondents questioned in Scotland between May 28 and June 6 wanted to stay in the United Kingdom, while 40 percent wanted independence. The poll found 13 percent remained undecided.

* For the list of what Britain's government suggests Scots could do with 1,400 pounds, see: here

(Editing by David Holmes)

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Comments (1)
ScotFree1320 wrote:
What possible gains? We’re already in the union so where are these benefits NOW?

The only certainty of a NO vote is the abolition of the Barnett formula, which all three main unionist parties are signed up to: That would COST Scotland £4,000m annually, equivalent to around £750 per head.

George Osbourne promised austerity for the UK until 2020, so when will this magical £1,400 materialise? Would that be AFTER the Tories have dismantled the welfare state? Add to that Johann Lamont’s commission to review the ‘something for nothing’ that Scots actually pay tax for to get ‘free’ at the point of use – Care for the elderly in their homes, Prescriptions, Dental check ups, University Fees and more – and it’s obvious that Labour are no better than the Tories they work hand in glove with to keep Scotland chained to the union.

More reasons to vote YES on Sept 18th

Jun 07, 2014 5:50pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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