The SCOTTISH Conservative party has been branded “dishonest”after circulating ‘phony’ pro-unionist campaign leaflets.
The authenticity of promotional flyers was called into question after Tory MP David Mundell, MSP John Lamont and Tory candidate Alexander Burnett all expressed exactly the same views and gave the same answers – word for word - to identical questions posed by allegedly different constituents.
According to the pamphlets, issued to voters across the country, Neil from the Scottish Borders, Craig Wood from East Lothian and Jamie from West Lothian all wanted to know “What plans have been put in place to secure Scottish pensions following a Yes vote?”
Coincidentally, Mundell, Lamont and Burnett all issued the exact same response, writing, “The Scottish Government has refused to give people a straight answer on their pensions. They have not outlined the considerable costs and risks that come with setting up a seperate pensions system.”
Despite living in different areas, Mrs Douglas from Dumfries and Galloway, Trevor Adams from the Scottish Borders and Marcus from Aberdeenshire all wanted to know: the “positive case for staying in the United Kingdom?” and all were given the same reply word-by-word.
Seven questions in all were included in the campaign flyers, including, ‘If Scotland Voted No, are there any plans to give the Scottish Parliament more powers’ and ‘Will we still be able to use the UK pound as our currency if Scotland votes to become independent’.
In Mr Mundell’s leaflet, the story of why couple ‘Keith and Michelle’ will be voting No was featured in a family-friendly interview, although there was no mention that Keith is actually Conservative councillor Keith Cockburn.
Bizarrely, the exact same article was also printed in Conservative candidate Alexander Burnett’s constituency leaflet, except he and his wife Lavinia were the featured couple and were attributed identical quotes to the Cockburns.
A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: “This exposes just how dishonest the No campaign is - it shows you can’t believe anything on their leaflets.
For the best part of two years, Yes Scotland has built up the largest grassroots movement Scotland has ever seen. Whenever the No campaign attempts to artificially manufacture this they look silly.
“More and more Scots are moving to Yes, partly because we’ve been able to take our positive message to more than a million doors in Scotland, just one of many reasons why we believe we’ll win in September”.
Members of the public were also quick to hit out the flyers online, with one online commentator, Craig Evans, writing: “I got a similar leaflet from the prospective conservative candidate in Deeside/Garioch: Again the same lies.”
David Stevenson, added: “Yes, it’s quite a quirk of fate that Mrs Douglas of Thornhill thought up the exact same question as Trevor Adams of St. Boswells, ditto Mr Allison of Biggar and Andrew Meldrum of Lauder, ditto etc…”
Another online commentator, Fletch, wrote: “Leafleting fail! deary me! how dumb and gullible to they think we are?”