In RESPONSE to Carolyn Taylor’s reasonably-worded letter (13 July) – more courteous than mine was, I acknowledge – may I gently point out that the occasion of all this controversy was nothing but a sporting event?
If a private citizen had waved a Saltire that day at Wimbledon, it would not have attracted a moment’s notice from anybody: why does the same action arouse such passion when performed by the First Minister?
Alex Salmond’s Saltire is no more a portent of Balkan-style bloodshed in Scotland than The Railway Children is a sinister threat to children’s safety; and the reactions which I criticised in your correspondents are as ridiculous as the latter suggestion. “Please don’t let this happen to Scotland”, Carolyn Taylor pleads. She has no need to worry: we are not going to. Allan Massie’s excellent article (Perspective, 10 July), praising the moderate and civilised tone in which the independence debate is (for the most part) being conducted, shows much better powers of observation than the recent Saltire-fuelled diatribes.
There’s plenty of footage of Prime Minister David Cameron raising the Union Flag from his seat in the audience at the London Olympics.
Those for whom the introductory footage of the Olympics brought a tear to the eye and yet who assume faux rage and fulminate about unstatesmanlike behaviour when Alex Salmond raises a Saltire at Wimbledon are hypocrites of the first order.
IF CAROLYN Taylor was puzzled by Derrick McClure’s letter about the attacks on First Minister Alex Salmond following his waving of the Saltire at Wimbledon, then her response to it completely bamboozled me.
She managed to get in reference to three major conflicts: Culloden; the Balkan wars and the Second World War. Then there were references to “baddies and goodies” and “white settlers”, none of which played any part of Mr McClure’s letter. I read Mr McClure’s letter as being against the gratuitously offensive comments that characterised the attacks on Mr Salmond. In this instance, regardless of how laudable her intentions might have been, to raise the spectre of anti-Englishness where none existed with references to “white settlers” was unfortunate to put it mildly.
People in the independence movement who care passionately for the future of Scotland value and respect the contribution to our country made by the many English folk who live and work here, whether or not they choose to vote Yes. And the shared history with our nearest neighbours (if we can move a bit closer to the present than Culloden) is also something to be cherished. We simply want to move to a position of enhanced mutual respect, which will flow from independence.