Without a hint of irony Fraser MacGregor goes off on an extremist rant which is a small tour de force (Letters, 5 December). Using the most excessive language, he makes several allusions comparing the SNP to Nazis, while not actually having the bottle to say so outright.
He describes an act of thoughtless stupidity, the burning of some pages from the Smith report, as “sickening” and elevates the report to the status of “book” in order to contrive the continued Nazi allusion.
He completes his ludicrous fantasy by asking if one of the most infamous nights in German history, Kristallnacht, could happen here followed by a purge of Tories.
David Stevenson (Letters, same day) has mentioned that the burning of the St Andrew’s cross by Unionist thugs barely raised an eyebrow and The Scotsman published several letters from supporters of the Union who approved of the burning of an effigy of Alex Salmond.
I also contributed that the burning of the effigy was not worth getting exercised about and I don’t think the burning of some pages from Smith is worth the handwringing outrage it has induced in these columns either.
However, speaking as someone whose father spent five years with the Eighth Army in the Second World War, which was fought to end the scourge of Nazism, I feel that I and many others in the 100,000 SNP membership have the right to feel deeply insulted in being likened to the Nazis.
However, in one sense that was why that war was fought – in order to give people like Fraser MacGregor the freedom to be grossly offensive.
The controversy over the ritual burning of the Smith Report by the SNP councillors rumbles on, in The Scotsman correspondence columns and elsewhere.
What the furore has done, if nothing else, is show that beneath the surface there is little difference in the SNP and the other nationalist movements that have plagued the human race for the past few centuries.
The claims of a different, “civic” Scottish nationalism now seem a little thin.
Many of those attracted to nationalism have the almost fundamental religious fervour of people who have seen the light and are determined to thrust their views on others.
This underlying zealousness and lack of toleration is the Achilles heel of the SNP and is carefully controlled in the main, but occasionally surfaces such as in the ritual burning of the Smith Report and in the repugnant baying at Jim Murphy during the referendum campaign.
If this affair makes the people of Scotland think, it could still have a positive outcome.
New Cut Rigg
I infuriate my wife by removing old screws and nails from wood about to be discarded, straightening and sharpening them and putting them into the tool box for re-use.
Why do I do it, apart from the fact that my dad taught me to?
It’s because someone once used up a fraction of their life (even if as a machine operator) making the things, and throwing them away, when they could be re-used, feels like throwing away the person who once made it.
I felt the same when I saw the sad pictures of councillors burning copies of the Smith report in order to get their faces on YouTube – they simply have no respect for the labour of the people whose efforts went into producing (including other SNP officers), writing, printing and distributing the document.
In fact, it infers they that have no respect for anyone except themselves – and begs the question of whether anyone would want to be represented by such a councillor.
I applaud Nicola Sturgeon’s prompt action, and hope that she is setting a standard for the other Holyrood political party leaders – there should be no place in our political family for people so scared of printed words with which they disagree that they have to burn them.
I’m not even sure that they are mature enough to vote, let alone become councillors.