The pro-British Union ‘Better Together’ campaign has been caught doctoring a photo and claiming Ayrshire SNP activists were masquerading as members of pressure group ‘Labour for Independence’.
the3towns understands the ‘Labour for Independence’ group of Labour Party activists has been very successful in persuading ordinary Labour voters to abandon the party’s support for the Union and, instead, embrace the cause of Scottish independence. As a result, ‘Better Together’ last week attempted to discredit the group by asserting its members were not genuine Labour activists, arguing it had ‘proof’ the body was simply an SNP front.
As ‘evidence’ of its assertion, ‘Better Together’ published the above photo, which it claimed showed ‘Labour for Independence’ activists who were really members of the SNP.
However, the photo was actually taken at an Ayrshire ‘Yes Scotland’ stall in Kilmarnock. ‘Yes Scotland‘ is the umbrella group that brings together all strands of the pro-independence movement, and the Kilmarnock event was attended by activists from the SNP, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Greens, alongside non-aligned individuals and members of ‘Labour for Independence’. It just happened that one photo was taken with a ‘Labour for Independence’ banner in the background.
The photo was originally published on the Twitter account of pro-independence activist Graham Barton, who named the people in the photo and clearly stated they were SNP members. But, when ‘Better Together’ used the photo, it removed the wording and alleged that the people in the photo were claiming to be members of ‘Labour for Independence’, when they were actually SNP activists.
One of the people in the photo is Cllr Douglas Reid, SNP Leader of East Ayrshire Council, a man hardly likely to present himself as a Labour Party member.
Better Together’s doctoring of the photo and misrepresentation of the people in it were subsequently picked-up and used by mainstream media outlets, including the BBC and Daily Record.
However, once the original photo and wording were revealed, it became clear Better Together had resorted to ‘dirty tricks’ by altering the post in an attempt to undermine the work of ‘Labour for Independence’.
A recent Opinion Poll showed growing support for independence amongst ordinary members of the Labour Party, putting the figure at 15%.