Aggressive elements on both sides

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Fraser McAllister (Letters, 29 July) wrote that the referendum campaign to date “has been characterised by civility”.

I don’t know which campaign meetings he has attended, but the ones I have been to have been characterised by truly awful aggressive barracking by the separatists and attempts to prevent the Better Together speakers from being heard by shouting them down.

The civility I have observed has been from the Better Together supporters.

At an open-air meeting in Leith, I tried to get an extremely aggressive separatist shouter to wait and ask his question reasonably at the next opportunity. I was immediately threatened by two other thuggish separatists who were obviously itching for a fight.

One separatist threw a bottle (fortunately plastic) at a Labour MP who was speaking. Numerous Better Together posters across Scotland, particularly beside motorways, have been defaced with insults and abusive language or torn down.

I agree with Barry Turner (Letters, 26 July) that a significant hooligan minority of separatist supporters are doing their best to instil fear into the Better Together supporters.

In this, they have been 
successful.

Many people I know do not display their Better Together posters or badges for fear of reprisal.

All reasonable thinking citizens have been thoroughly appalled by this loutish behaviour and bullying tactics.

It does the separatists no good and drives reasonable people towards the Better Together campaign.

Stuart Baillie Strong

Regent Terrace

Edinburgh

Here we go again: another Better Together supporter complaining about the intolerant, nasty Yes people while conveniently ignoring the fact that some of their own supporters are just as bad.

How does Stuart Smith (Letters, 30 July) know that the Better Together posters were destroyed by Yes supporters and not by some mindless yobs? Did he actually see who did it or just assume that it had to be the Yes camp?

Sadly, there is a tiny minority of Yes supporters who have resorted to things like cyber abuse but there is also a minority of Better Together supporters who are just as guilty. On more than one occasion Yes campaigners have been at the receiving end of foul-mouthed abuse while manning stalls.

I know of one person who was verbally abused on her own doorstep because she said she intended to vote Yes and another called a “stupid, ugly fat pig” when he mentioned his voting intentions.

The vast majority of supporters on both sides are decent people and those who resort to nasty, underhand tactics should rightly be condemned but the sooner Better Together realise that not all their supporters are saints, the better for us all.

B King

St Leonard’s Street

Edinburgh

Barry Turner mentions the “well publicised, aggressive, vitriolic stance” of a 
minority of Yes supporters but what about the similar but less well publicised 
actions of a minority of Better Together supporters?

There are Yes supporters who will not put a poster in their window because of fears of having the window broken. Indeed, I have heard of one person who had the word “no” spray painted over the poster in his window and another where dog dirt was smeared on the window.

One of my colleagues was verbally abused by a Better Together campaigner when she said she intended to vote Yes and while the terrible online abuse against JK Rowling for giving money to Better Together rightly received publicity and condemnation, much worse abuse was received by the Weirs for giving money to the Yes campaign.

Also, let’s not forget the death threats against the First Minister and his family.

The abuse of someone for holding a different point of view is totally wrong and must be condemned but Better Together supporters must come down from the moral high ground and acknowledge that it is not a one-way street and that it is a minority on both sides who are doing it.

C Lamont

Magdalene Avenue

Edinburgh