A grotesque distortion of the debate

I write in response to the letter by Michael Wilson which was published in The Southern last week (May 22).

During his rambling contribution, Mr Wilson drew a parallel between the campaign for a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum and examples of religious and nationalist extremism throughout world history.

What a grotesque distortion of the current debate.

The Yes campaign is not one of narrow, ethnic nationalism conducted against a background of intolerance towards non-Scots, but is an inclusive and vibrant movement motivated by the ideas of democracy and fairness. The vote on September 18 is about Scotland and the people who live here, wherever they are from, making the decisions that matter and electing a government that is representative of the people’s opinion.

I consider myself an internationalist and have spent my adult life campaigning against the narrow nationalism, hatred, xenophobia and bigotry of political groups such as the British National Party, National Front, Scottish Defence League and Britain First, all of whom are in favour of a No vote. Like thousands of others, I am not campaigning for a Yes vote because I’m a nationalist, but because I’m a democrat.

Mr Wilson finishes his letter stating that our sanity is being questioned worldwide. I wonder how many of the countries of the world would give up their status as independent nations and instead vote to subsume themselves into political unions that mean their people have governments imposed on them that they did not vote for?

Graeme McIver

(chair, Yes Galashiels)