Just over a year ago I asked if the registered charity the Scots Language Centre (SLC) was getting a wee bit out of control. You can see my post about it here. The essence of it was that they had material on their web site that had too close an association with a political ideology. They removed it pretty quickly but I was interested in the people involved in the organisation. Sure enough, what I judged to be a disproportionate number were nationalists. Their director for example (admittedly, not wearing his work hat) had tweeted:
When I last dipped into their web site, in early December, I found them promoting this:
I looked today and it’s still there (of course, if they remove it that link won’t work).
Nothing wrong with a calendar of course, but check the name of the seller – it’s an outfit called Indy Prints. Their page advertising it for sale suggests other ‘Related items’ you might be interested in buying:
Scout around their site and you’ll find it’s commendably honest about its purpose:
Political art created in Scotland … Art prints and more celebrating Scottish culture, the politics of the left and the ongoing campaign for Scottish independence.
The clue of course was in the name ‘Indy’ Prints, which appears on the Scots Language Centre web site. I have no quibble with a business that makes its living out of this material. Indeed, take away the overt politics and I quite like some of the graphics.
What I do have a problem with is a charity that gets too close to those overt politics (see my previous post on the SLC). I complained to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. Sadly they didn’t agree with me:
We have reviewed the information in your email and our assessment is that we are unable to take forward your complaint because we do not consider that by providing a link to a vendor’s website (to purchase goods consistent with their charitable activities) means that this charity are endorsing any particular political viewpoint (e-mail received 17 February 2017)
I don’t like the decision but it’s theirs to make.
But what if that link had been to, say, an outfit I’ll call Better Together Prints who happened also to have produced a calendar in Scots? On their web site they might say:
Political art created in Scotland … Art prints and more celebrating the place of Scottish culture in Britain, the politics of the centre and the ongoing campaign for a united Britain.
And when you click through you might see related items, perhaps a book entitled ‘Continued Days of a Better Britain,’ and a ‘Vote NO postcard set.’ Why not? Plenty of Scots who want to maintain the union speak Scots.
Do you think the Scots Language Centre would promote that, and if not, why not?