MONDAY 7 JULY 2014
Revelations in tonight’s edition of Channel 4’s Dispatches programme reveal the extent of bullying and attempts at suppression at the heart of the Yes campaign.
Local Scottish Labour candidate and business owner Daniel Johnson calls for the SNP to clean up their campaign.
Daniel set out the attempts to silence him on BBC Scotland 2014 on Thursday last week.
“I was astonished to face boycott calls and blogs from ‘Business for Scotland’ attempting to question my credentials and the nature of my business. Now it seems it follows a pattern of bullying and attempts to keep business, academics and others out of the debate, which comes from the very top of the Yes campaign.”
According to media reports, the revelations in Channel 4’s Dispatches programme outline allegations that senior business figures have been approached by senior SNP figures, including Angus Robertson MP and individuals from the office of the First Minister.
Responding to these revelations, Daniel said
“We need the broadest possible range of voices in this debate on Scotland’s future. We need people from all experiences and walks of life to say what they think and feel able to freely express their views. For the SNP to attempt stifle debate in any way is shocking and unacceptable. Intimidation has to stop. Scotland deserves better than this.”
Daniel appeared on BBC Newsnight Scotland in late 2013 to discuss comments from some supermarkets that prices might rise following independence. In the following days the chair of one of the Edinburgh branches of the SNP tweeted suggesting that Daniel’s shops should be boycotted. Gordon McIntyre-Kemp, who works for the official Yes campaign group ‘Business for Scotland’, also published a blog post claiming that Daniel did not have the credentials he claimed.
McIntyre-Kemp’s blog alleged that Daniel did not own his business and was in fact an employee of his father’s. This is not the case, and following emails from Daniel to Mr McIntyre-Kemp the blog was corrected.
“These attempts to damage my business , undermine my credentials and question my reputation because of the views I hold on independence cannot be acceptable in a democratic debate. For key figures in the SNP and the business arm of the Yes campaign to behave in this way was completely unacceptable. It seems, however, that Dispatches may have discovered that this is just the tip of the iceberg.”