Dystopian murk

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Stan Hogarth says that the burning of some pages from the Smith report was not a “Hitler moment” (Letters, 8 December).

No, in Mr Hogarth’s book, we “zealots” who support the SNP are to be likened to Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. This very nicely encapsulates the ignorance of current mainstream politics mentioned in David Fiddimore’s letter (same day). However, the problem is that trying to present the SNP as a bogey man and silly references to national/­socialism only illustrates the ignorance, prejudice and fear of the writers. They appear to be blundering about in some sort of dystopian Orwellian murk.

I should point out that this “ideologue” did not defend the burning of the pages, as Mr Hogarth says. In fact, I’ve twice condemned it. Secondly, no amount of hyperbole can ­elevate this document to the status of “book”. At 48 well-spaced pages, it does not even warrant the description of a novella. There is nothing in it about “beliefs or past learning”. It contains nothing of literary or cultural merit. I doubt Lord Smith attributes any sacred qualities to it. It is in fact the result of party political wrangling and is a deeply disappointing compromise. That is why the councillors burned it. There is nothing “ritual” about it, which implies some forethought and planning.

Another problem people such as Mr Hogarth have is that they are incapable of differentiating between a party (the SNP) and a movement. Mr Hogarth describes himself as a “serial businessman” and I wondered whether the news in a poll that 48 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds plan to vote SNP presents a business opportunity for him. Now, what colour do you think the uniforms for the SNP Youth should be?

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

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