Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of the times

In some quarters, the independence referendum campaign has been lauded as a model of democracy.

No bullets have been fired, no bombs detonated. Scots can be justly proud of the fine example they’re setting to the rest of the world, particularly in areas where causes have only been won via great suffering – even death.

Yes, at times things have got fairly heated and personal during the seemingly-unending campaign leading to Scotland’s date with destiny next month. Considering the magnitude of the decision we are being asked to make, it’s hardly surprising.

But, as we report on page eight of today’s paper, a worrying trend is emerging in the Borders.

Police are hunting for those who have damaged or stolen pro-independence signs during recent weeks.

Regardless of which side of the argument you are on, everyone who believes in the democratic process should condemn the actions of these people. They are not helping the No campaign and this sort of nonsense certainly won’t impress the electorate.

It’s vital that both Yes and No supporters are able to get their messages across to the voters – and using signs, posters and banners are an important tool in any campaign’s box. In fact, vandalism and theft may only serve to highlight the paucity – perceived or otherwise – of a certain point of view.