This was recently highlighted by the shocking revelation of the abuse heaped upon the late Charles Kennedy. That such behaviour is becoming commonplace in Scotland should be the catalyst which makes the electorate stop and think.
While David Starkey grabs attention by making outrageous remarks, there is a strong element of historical and political accuracy in his observations about the intolerance created by nationalism. Far from stopping the nationalists in their tracks, Holyrood has been a breeding ground for more extreme and grandiose SNP ambitions, feeding the desire for more power, ignoring the financial implications of full fiscal autonomy or separatism on the financial viability of Scotland.
We have a parliament building which cost the UK taxpayers dear to build and maintain, filled with highly paid officials and elected representatives, some of whom may be good constituency MSPs but fail to make much of an impact in parliament.
The net result so far is an increasing failure of SNP domestic policies.
It is unrealistic to expect that the clock be turned back. In order to combat a seemingly unstoppable advance in the willingness to march Scotland towards becoming a separate and undernourished poor relation in these islands, the calibre of opposition in Holyrood must be is raised to a higher level.
It is imperative that Labour in Scotland gets its act together and soon.
Ruth Davidson must lay to rest the myth that Tories are an uncaring party and that they are, in fact, pragmatists who realise that in order to assist the less well-off the country needs to be on a long-term sustainable financial footing.
Failure to achieve better opposition will be the downfall of us all.
It’s a sad day in The Scotsman when we have readers writing to support David Starkey’s absurd opinion that SNP supporters are akin to Nazis, when even the right-wing press in England has mocked his views mercilessly.
There was also a delicious irony in reading Alexander McKay (Letters, 16 June) appealing for a “fair-minded” assessment of David Starkey’s views given his oft-repeated demonstration of his obsessive hatred of the SNP.
Meanwhile, the 115,000 Scottish citizens who are members of the SNP and the 1,454,436 people who voted for them in the general election can sit back and smile as support for the SNP continues to grow and people like Alexander McKay and Allan Sutherland (Letters, same day) make paradoxical fools of themselves.
David Starkey’s confusion of the Saltire with the Swastika suggests two possibilities.
Firstly, as a historian he is probably aware of Scotland’s disproportionate contribution to the development of the world in so many fields and he is just jealous.
Or secondly, he is angling for a part in the next series of Specsavers’ adverts.
Bruce D Skivington
Gairloch, Wester Ross