Report burning is a symptom of schism

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The Renfrewshire councillors who thought it would 
be fun to make the equivalent of a two-finger gesture 
at the Smith Commission ­report are guilty of far more 
than childish mischief 
making (your report, 3 
December).

It is chilling to realise that they felt it to be perfectly ­acceptable to film the burning of documents and to turn that gesture into a public event by posting their puerile video on YouTube.

The public burning of books and other written ­material is rightly ­condemned as an attack on freedom of ­expression, and has always been associated with totalitarian regimes.

Nicola Sturgeon’s swift, and fully justified response to this obnoxious act demonstrates that she is well aware of its ­sinister implications.

Like many others, I feel ­uneasy about the schism which has developed in Scotland since the referendum.

The bitterness and mutual recriminations which ­continue to inform the letters submitted to this newspaper three months after our “date with destiny” are a depressing indicator of our inability to accept a difference of opinion with good grace.

This animosity will ­continue as long as the ­emotional response to the loss of a dream overrides objective 
economic and political ­considerations.

The Renfrewshire councillors’ actions confirm that many Scots have barely begun the healing process.

Carolyn Taylor

Wellbank

Dundee

“The SNP must douse its firebrands” was your editorial headline (4 December). It appears to be doing so.

The burning of pages from the Smith report has got wide attention from the print and broadcast media. I do not ­recall such attention or ­condemnation when Unionists burned Scottish flags in Glasgow’s George Square on 19 September.

Lord Smith himself has
said that it would have been ­better to recycle his report, which shows perhaps a 
better sense of proportion than is evident in much of the media reporting.

David Stevenson

Blacket Place

Edinburgh

Whatever the moral ­perspective of the burning of the Smith Commission ­report by SNP councillors, it could be one of the last examples of this form of protest.

The rise of online communication, the tablet and the reduction in printed paper means that paper documents are heading into history.

Setting fire to a tablet doesn’t quite have the same ­effect.

Bruce D Skivington

Strath

Gairloch, Wester Ross

I was sickened but not ­surprised at the revelation of SNP councillors burning the Smith Commission report in a public place with self-congratulatory media circulation.

We have already suffered vehement vocal intolerance of people with differing views. We have had flag-waving marches and rallies and now the burning of books.

So much for acceptance of democratic processes.

Is there a lesson to be learned from history about the conduct of nationalist party zealots here?

What next? “Kristallnicht” with Tories being rounded up?

Fraser MacGregor

Liberton

Edinburgh