Murphy’s law

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Anyone who has watched the video evidence of the abuse suffered by Jim Murphy MP while out street campaigning in Dundee and Kirkcaldy this past week can only conclude that we’re not in Scotland just having the supposed mature discussion about the merits or otherwise of independence that many commentators, rather self-importantly and smugly, keep going on about.

What’s also been created is bitter division. There can be no stable political future for Scotland when around 45 per cent of the electorate will feel that they have lost out in this zero-sum game now being played with our minds and hearts.

I am a No voter – because my values don’t stop at the Border. I care as much about someone in Liverpool as I do about someone in Livingston. People then ask me about Leipzig – but I recognise that you need to draw a line somewhere in practice. For me that line is the coastline of this big island that we all share. My identity is both Scottish and British.

I understand the attractions of nationalism and I’m sure that many Yes campaigners have good intentions. But, having lived all my life in Scotland, I now for the first time ever feel uncomfortable living here. I know that many others feel the same way.

Lawrence Marshall

King’s Road, Portobello

Edinburgh

Jim Murphy had to call off his speaking tour of Scotland because of the unacceptable behaviour of supporters of independence (your report, 30 August).

Protest is one thing. But a mob co-ordinating persistent barracking in order to drown out what a speaker is attempting to say is something else. Nor was it only Mr Murphy’s democratic right to speak which was denied. Members of the audience attempting to ask questions were similarly shouted down.

The Yes side would of course point to unacceptable behaviour from No voters. If anything remotely approaching this level of physical intimidation has been perpetrated then it should be brought to light.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue

Edinburgh

Perhaps Jim Murphy would understand the frustration of Yes supporters at his speeches if he were to remember that he represents the opposition to the government, and his primary role is to stand against them.

Unfortunately both the Labour and Liberal parties have forgotten this basic duty which enables voters to hope that the incumbent party can be guided and eventually replaced by the opposition. In their resistance to Scottish independence the Labour Party has quite lost sight of this main pillar of British democracy.

Iain WD Forde

Main Street, Scotlandwell Kinross-shire