Intimidation has come from both sides

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Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 9 July) displays his ignorance of the Yes campaign.

Whether his story about spray-painting in Aberdeen is true or not there are dubious characters on both sides of the debate who choose to express their views in unfortunate ways, the recent Orange Order march in Glasgow supporting a No vote being the most prominent example.

If he cares to look there are numerous examples of Yes supporters being intimidated both verbally and physically.

A recent survey of those using social media found 
that significantly more Yes supporters reported online abuse than those supporting No.

He then refers to the recent spin from the Better Together campaign regarding the supposed intimidation of business leaders, which seems to amount to the Scottish Government asking them to stay neutral.

I assume Mr Gray thinks it’s OK for David Cameron to appeal to business leaders to speak out for No and presumably influence their employees as well.

The real intimidation, of course, is coming on a daily basis from the Better Together campaign – businesses will all leave, we’ll lose the BBC, we’ll be cast adrift in Europe, we’re too wee, too poor etc.

They have even suggested we might not host the British Golf Open again if we vote Yes. If this isn’t intimidation I don’t know what is.

The reality of the Yes campaign is that, in the main, it is a true grass-roots campaign where thousands of ordinary men and women are engaging in a rational, calm and uplifting debate about the future of this country.

If he doesn’t believe me perhaps he should read the article by George Kerevan (Perspective, 9 July) in which he discusses the Common Weal and the National Collective.

At least Mr Gray is honest enough to admit that many people who currently intend to vote No won’t do so out of conviction. If they are 
voting No due to the spin being put about by Mr Gray and the Better Together campaign that is a very sad situation indeed.

Andrew SR Gordon

Craiglockhart View

Edinburgh

My heart goes out to Tony Rush (your report, 9 July) who has been leaned on in some way for his opinions and is emigrating with his family to Norway (a small country which, foolishly, claimed independence from its 
larger neighbour some time ago, has no national debt to speak of, and is not even in the European Union) from where he can safely vote No in the referendum.

I, too, have been subjected to intimidation, principally from men in suits from a place called “Westminster”, threatening all sorts of dire consequences for me and mine should I have the temerity to consider voting Yes.

Most recently I received a summary of these threats in a booklet from an organisation calling itself “HM government” which, from the contents, would seem to be a front for the No campaign.

I know others have been subjected to similar threats but are too cowed to let their names be known.

Let us hope that, in time, all the shadowy arm-twisters can be dragged into the light and brought to book.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh

It is understandable that people should want their country to be independent and also that others should be afraid of change, but it is less understandable that a government should threaten some of its own people if they choose independence.

It just makes for unnecessary hostility whichever way the vote goes.

Let the people choose without intimidation.

John Kelly

Park Avenue

Edinburgh