VisitScotland (Website)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 18 June 2013.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I have rarely heard a more spurious and ridiculous accusation than the one that I have heard this afternoon and seen in publicity that was drawn to my attention today. I say that because the purpose of VisitScotland is to provide information about significant dates, events and matters of interest in Scotland.

Let me retell for members some of the information that VisitScotland displays on its website.

“1901 Queen Victoria dies”— not an event associated particularly with Scottish nationalist propaganda—

“1914-18 Scotland plays a significant role in the First World War ... 1919 The German High Seas Fleet is interned at Scapa Flow in Orkney”.

I could go on to list all the other years and events that are important to our history.

The idea that merely displaying factual information on a website is somehow party political is ludicrous. Had the website gone on to give some other dates—1970: the interests of Scottish fishermen are expendable for the purposes of joining the European Union; or 1975: Gavin McCrone’s advice to the United Kingdom cabinet that the oil wealth in Scotland would be of enormous proportions; or 2011: the most humiliating defeat in the history of the Labour Party in Scotland—we might have the beginnings of some scintilla of evidence.