Cynical to link nationalism with fascism

IF EVER I needed evidence that dark forces would soon be mustering their forces behind the No campaign, your cynical and vicious image of a swastika being hoisted aloft in place of the Saltire was it (The Week, 7 April).

I don’t know who Gavin Bowd is, but his argument seemed to centre on rather shaky ground – a Dundee hairdresser who spied for the ­Nazis in the 30s, the Protestant Action share of the vote in 1935, and Hugh MacDiarmid’s views in the 1920s. More significantly, you dressed up his specious argument with some dazzlingly relevant pictures – the said Dundee hairdresser, Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts marching in the East End, ­Paolo di Canio’s fascist salute (an Italian manager of Sunderland – spot the Scottish link here?) and an elderly cartoon from the Glasgow Evening Times.

As a proud adopted Scot of English birth who has lived here for nearly 40 years, I will not, in spite of your scaremongering, lie awake at night in fear of “Siol nan Gaidheal, Settler Watch and anti-English Braveheart hysteria”. All societies have their loony fringe and ours is no different.

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I would love to know who paid for this cynical and not very clever stuff. Probably not the CIA – I think they’re probably more subtle, though I’m fairly sure their dirty fingers will sooner or later be meddling (after all, the US is not going to want to risk an extremely useful European launchpad for future wars over Arctic resources having autonomy over its membership of Nato).

I suspect your bad judgment will have backfired on you.

Bronwen Currie, 
Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay

I AM contacting you to express my sincere anger and disappointment that a national newspaper, respected throughout the world, would make such a shameless and disrespectful journalistic error of judgment. The picture depicting the Saltire as a swastika will, I fear, come to haunt the editors. The image also does little to complement Bowd’s article, which is informative and well written. My grandfather fought the Nazis in France, and would surely turn in his grave to see the Scottish flag insulted in such a manner.

Darren Swanson, via email

HAVING just finished reading Mr Bowd’s article, I am compelled to ask why he would seek to distort the opinions of myself and so many Scots people in this way?

My maternal grandfather changed his family name from “Virtue” to “Cameron” in 1940 in the hope that Hitler’s invading Nazi horde would not shove them all into a concentration camp. For the avoidance of doubt he was the illegitimate son of a Glasgow Jew.

His grandson (me) happens to believe that an independent Scotland would be a good thing. Imagine how I feel, having read this article, portraying my views as fascist. I’m really quite proud of my Jewish, Spanish, French, Irish and English ancestry and none of this varied heritage makes me any less a proud Scot.

Being a proud Scot does not lead me to hatred or prejudice against others. Neither does it blind me to my country’s many shortcomings, sectarianism, which was referred to in the article, being one of the most shameful.

Please pass these comments on to Mr Bowd in the hope that he will realise that being a proud Scot and wanting Scotland to manage her own affairs does not require someone to be delusional or twisted. These are traits I have often found in people I have encountered who are fascists, or racists and more often in Scotland, sectarian bigots.

Jim Cook, via email

I AM writing to complain about the absolutely shocking cover of The Week. As I am sure your journalists and editors understand, Scottish nationalism is in no way fascist. On the contrary, it aims towards a socially democratic, just, egalitarian society. Your misleading cover of The Week is no more than low-brow propaganda. I expect better from a paper of your calibre.

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The referendum is next year. As one of the few truly Scottish papers, the people of Scotland look to you to produce cutting-edge, interesting journalism which will analyse the facts, not spin complete fiction. It is your responsibility to ensure that Scottish people will be able to make an informed choice in 2014. The kind of embarrassing journalism seen in last week’s paper does no such thing.

Sileas Campbell, via email