The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been accused of authoritarian leanings after announcing they would be removing funding from groups who do not agree with their ideology. Some arguing that it is a form of censorship and a violation of freedom of expression.
The Scottish government has been condemned for de-funding one of the main critics against building new turbines in Scotland.
NatureScot [an organisation that is hugely committed to minimising climate change] has previously written to the government to argue against new onshore wind farm developments as part of its remit to protect and preserve Scotland’s countryside.
However, it was reported in the Scottish Daily Express in October that the quango’s capital budget is being slashed by 40 per cent in the coming years under SNP plans to ‘make savings’. The group received £2.5m in capital funding last year but this will be reduced to just £1.5m a year by 2025/26.
This move has been seen by many as an attempt to silence those who disagree with the SNP’s ideology. The point here is that NatureScot is clearly not a hard line climate change denying organisation. They are simply a voice that disagrees with the politically driven approach of the government. This should be a debate that is held out in the open, but instead the government is effectively de-platforming a Scottish agency under the pretence of cost cutting.
It is difficult to see this as anything other than the SNP ensuring that public funds are not being used to support groups with views which are contrary to their ideology.
It certainly doesn’t seem to be an approach promoting discussion or consultation.
Local fishmonger and self identifying climate scientist, Bob Felcher was approached for a quote, but declined to comment.