It’s DIFFICULT to know how to respond to your Nationalist correspondents (Letters, 15 February). I think calling your political opponents “anti-Scottish” or saying they must “loathe the very concept of Scotland” (as Kenneth Gibson SNP MSP said of me) is an egregious insult.
The Nationalists do not. They apparently think it’s OK to use such language.
Language is important in politics because it is the vehicle for your ideas and philosophy. It matters in this case because it indicates a deep psychological belief in some Nationalists that opposition to their views is somehow illegitimate and can be ignored and dismissed.
Those same Nationalists seek to persuade us that their own “concept of Scotland” is a vast improvement on the current set up.
How they expect to gain support while implying those who disagree with them, (which is the majority of Scots), are “anti-Scottish” or “loathe the very concept” of their own country, only they can tell. It is nasty and unnecessary, untrue, inimical to healthy debate and damages whatever case they think they have.
Politics is a rough old trade: sometimes insults do get slung around, and if you hand it out you have to take it. But there is a clear line between vigorous debate and unacceptable language and behaviour.
Believing and claiming that your opponent is “anti-Scottish” or must loathe his own country crosses that line by a long way.
(Cllr) Alex Gallagher
North Ayrshire Council