A book-burning fairer society for all?

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This SNP government have spent their entire time in office focused on one issue, independence, to the detriment of all other matters of government.

They failed to achieve their goal (although they and their ardent followers won’t accept the result) and as a consequence they have failed in every other department and the recent news on the NHS is the greatest injustice of all, for which they are once again in denial.

“A fairer society for all” was their mantra, which meant everything would be free because, John Swinney said, “Scotland is the 14th richest nation in the world”. What chance of that, now the price of oil is predicted to hit $60 from a high of around $130, a full 40 per cent lower than the SNP’s assumed lowest rate to balance the books of the nation (it will always be above $100, they claimed)?

The SNP has been wrong about nearly everything and they will hide the truth when they think they can get away with it, as Alex Salmond did on the issue of legal advice concerning entry to the European Union.

The zealots who follow this party are indeed akin to all other current and historic nationalist movements, blinkered to a single ideology, to be pursued without regard for any opposing opinion. Letters in this paper from these ideologues have tried to defend the ritual burning of papers, even suggesting (Douglas Turner, Letters, 6 December) that burning of effigies of Mr Salmond and the burning of the Saltire are similarly disgraceful.

Not so. These other acts are specifically upheld as a public protest against the state and/or its government. The burning of papers and books is of a quite different order. As it was with Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, it’s meant to display a disgust for the past learnings and beliefs, and that Year One of the new regime will abhor anything which went before, without exception. No-one should not try to defend such ritual acts.

Not for a minute am I suggesting that this was a Hitler moment but matters such as these cannot go without condemnation; every journey starts with one step, and that path can be in the wrong 
direction.

Stan Hogarth

Palmerston Place

Edinburgh

Well here’s another irony for us to ponder. Right under a banner headline which says it all really, “Comparing Nats to Nazis is ludicrous”, Alexander McKay attempts to keep that pot boiling with his reference to “Nationalist movements which have plagued the human race for centuries” (Letters, 6 December).

These movements which have “plagued” us would include America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and a couple of hundred other countries which have sought and gained their independence from colonial rulers. Mr McKay then goes on to parade his impressive knowledge of the inner workings of the SNP. So much so that you could swear he had been a member – maybe several decades ago.

I’ve gone on record as saying that the councillors who burned pages from the Smith report were stupid, not least because they gave the media and partisan unionists like Mr McKay a stick with which to beat their favourite bête noire, the SNP.

We know that Mr McKay hates and fears the SNP, and this is understandable considering that their membership is around three times the combined membership of the unionist parties in Scotland.

In this context, his hope that this incident will make people think or change, seems a little forlorn. He is right about one thing when he referred to “a lack of toleration”. This lack of toleration was shown by Nicola Sturgeon towards the offending councillors.

And finally, could someone from the unionist side explain to me how is it that British nationalism is a source of joy and pride to unionists, and Scottish nationalism is a plague?

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

In support of Douglas Turner, can I observe that, sadly, there are fewer and fewer folk around who were young adults in the 1930s and 1940s, which is why we can read letters in our press from those who weren’t there, miscomparing mainstream UK political parties to the German Nazis and Italian Fascisti of those periods. It is – as your correspondence column header declared (6 December) – a ludicrous comparison, and thank you for making that plain.

My father (who chased – or was chased by – real fascists across Spain, France, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France again and eventually into Germany), would probably have dismissed any such comparison with a wry smile… he knew a fascist when he met one. There is no evidence that the four (soon to be ex?) councillors who burned the Smith report are fascists… they were just being very, very naughty little boys and girls.

David Fiddimore

Calton Road

Edinburgh