No place for divisive language in debate

My sense of foreboding, which has been steadily growing as our “date with destiny” approaches, intensified after reading the
letter submitted by Mr
Thomas R Burgess (Letters, 22 May), in which he attacks two previous correspondents, Mr
Andrew HN Gray and Dr Roger Cartwright, for
expressing concerns about the potential for civil unrest following a Yes vote.

Mr Burgess could have chosen to base his counter-argument on an analysis of the financial and political points raised by the two
correspondents whom he criticises.

Instead of doing so, he chose to launch a personal attack based on their putative English nationality, which neither I, nor most readers of this newspaper, would claim
disqualifies them from
expressing an opinion on Scottish independence.

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Any doubts that people may have had about the
potential for divisions to be fostered by those who take an ethnocentric position on the independence debate should have been well and truly dispelled by his choice of words.

He suggests that both men should “flee across the Border to the safety of their motherland”, and refers to England as “their own country”.

Substitute the name of any other country whose
people have chosen to live here, and his prejudice would be highlighted and rightly condemned.

There is no place for this kind of divisive language in a civilised country. Mr Burgess should apologise to the men whom he has insulted in such a distasteful way. I feel ashamed that a fellow Scot could talk in this manner.

As well as being offensive, his argument is also built on shaky ground. Scotland
cannot claim the moral high ground with regard to
violent action, as Mr Burgess implies. We may not have experienced the recent riots in England, but we have our own problems.

So-called “recreational violence” and sectarianism have been the main drivers of violence in Scotland, rather than conspiracy theories against the government which are believed to have fuelled the violence down south. Scapegoating knows no borders.

Carolyn Taylor


Broughty Ferry