(We suspect this might become a regular series.) We try not to take any notice of the often-ludicrous propaganda churned out by the official “Better Together” campaign, but today’s was too utterly ridiculous to ignore. We’re not going to deface our nice pages with the image, though you can see it here if you want to without giving them any hits.
The graphic claimed, mind-bogglingly, that the award of £2.3bn in grants to good causes in Scotland by the National Lottery since its advent in 1993 was “another reason we are better together”, as if the figure represented some great largesse towards Scotland on the part of the UK. This, as any reader with an IQ higher than the number on a lottery ball will immediately realise, is such a monumental and obvious misrepresentation of how the lottery works that we can only concur with the Twitter user who enquired “When will the glue-sniffing stop at BT strategy HQ?”
The National Lottery dispenses funds as a proportion of revenue spent by players. “Good causes” get 28p for every £1 spent on tickets, which means that – assuming grants are more or less proportionately disbursed across the UK – Scottish players have purchased £8.2bn of tickets in order to get £2.3bn back in grants. Of the rest, 50% comes back in prizes, 12p (or just under £1bn) goes to the Treasury to use as it sees fit, and 5% (just over £0.4bn) goes to Camelot in costs and profit.
In other words, the lottery has COST Scotland around £1.4bn since it began, in money siphoned out of the country and given to the Westminster government and the Camelot Group, based in Rickmansworth in south-east England. Or if you prefer, every £1 of “grant” cost Scots £1.61 to obtain.
(It’s actually slightly more than that, as retailers also take a 5% cut and many tickets are sold by non-Scottish supermarket chains, but we don’t have any information on the precise statistics so we’ll keep things simple.)
In essence, the lottery has stolen Scotland’s wallet and then handed it back with a large chunk of the money missing, and the No campaign wants Scotland to be grateful for the gift. As we say – they think you’re stupid.