LONDON, June 9 Former Prime Minister Gordon
Brown said on Monday a government attempt to persuade Scots not
to vote for independence by using Lego figures to show how much
they could save was "patronising."
Brown, prime minister from 2007 to 2010, has been taking an
increasingly prominent role in the campaign to stop Scots
rejecting the 307-year-old union when they vote in a referendum
on Sept. 18.
But he was scathing about his own side's attempts last week
to show Scots what they could buy with the extra 1,400 pounds a
year London says they could save by staying in the union.
The choices, posted on social media site Buzzfeed and an
official government website, ranged from taking a holiday
outside Scotland, with a Lego woman sunning herself on a beach,
to watching soccer club Aberdeen play all season with a few pies
Other suggestions included traveling between Edinburgh and
Glasgow 127 times by bus, scoffing 280 hotdogs at the Edinburgh
Festival and paying a year's worth of household utility bills.
Brown also criticised nationalist leader Alex Salmond for a
stunt at the Wimbledon tennis tournament last year when
Scotland's first minister unfurled the Scottish flag behind
Prime Minister David Cameron.
"I think that was a very bad mistake," Brown, a Scot who
represents a Scottish constituency in the British parliament,
told Sky in an interview.
"Just as by the way last week when the Scottish office and
the UK government put out that statement that Scotland would be
1,400 pounds better off without independence and they gave the
example of fish and chips that you could buy, or holidays in
Torremolinos. I thought that was patronising," Brown said.
Polls show Scots are unlikely to vote to break the union,
with roughly 40 percent against independence and 30 percent in
favour but large numbers are still undecided.
(Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Stephen Addison)