Keep the campaign clean

As the general election campaign’s final stages loom on the horizon, the decibel levels emanating from various sides of the debate are on the up.

In fact, to a level heard during the run-up to last September’s independence referendum. Nothing wrong with that – passions are running high, as are the stakes.

But an increasingly-hysterical and menacing tone is being introduced.

One national newspaper journalist, in a tweet, likened Monday’s SNP manifesto launch to a Nuremburg rally, while London mayor Boris Johnson, a colourful character, to put it euphemistically, said the SNP in government would be akin to leaving King Herod in charge of a baby farm.

Tongue-in-cheek or not, this kind of stuff can inflame the wilder sections of society.

And it’s not all one-way traffic. Only this week a contributor to our letters pages requested – unsuccessfully – if he could remain anonymous, citing fear of “Cybernats”.

In the Borders during the weeks leading up to the referendum, there were instances of vandalism to posters and signs.

There’s nothing wrong with robust debate and putting points across forcibly, but going beyond that can only serve to demean the democratic process.