A letter published in the Falkirk Herald, sister paper of the strongly anti Independence Scotsman newspaper, describes YES supporters as “louts” and accuses them of intimidation has caused controversy in the Falkirk area.
For the first time in 2014 on Saturday 10th May there was no YES Scotland stall in Falkirk High Street as YES members and volunteers were employed in local campaigning activities.
Instead the High Street was occupied by No campaigners led by Michael Connarty the MP for East Falkirk and Linlithgow in the company of Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Douglas Alexander, and a group of what appeared to be activists from outside of the main political parties.
A number of YES supporters have reported that when they refused their anti Scottish leaflets some individuals and couples were verbally abused. An elderly couple from Denny were angry when advised that they would have their bus passes removed if they voted YES.
Others have similar stories and outright lies from people who reported that the Better Together activists seemed unable to answer the most basic of questions and merely repeated standard negative slogans, many of them personal insults directed against Scotland’s First Minister.
One badge wearing YES supporter, a professional woman from a well respected local family was pushed aside by a Labour MP when invited by a media photographer into a photograph.
However, what was not witnessed were “5 YES louts” intimidating poor former members of the armed forces.
YES Falkirk have therefore referred the contents of the letter to the press to Police Scotland for investigation.
Women for Independence convenor, Lorraine Alexander said,
“Make no mistake about it we believe the published letter is no more than a poor attempt by a desperate NO campaign to smear those of us working positively for decisions about Scotland made in Scotland.
The fact the so called incident is alleged to have happened on the one Saturday we were not present further feeds the belief that this is a stunt. However, if this person was accosted in the manner he alludes to then action should be taken as we, unlike our opponents have campaigned on a positive manner to raise both confidence and ambition consistently.”
As well as the official NO camp, whom the finger is being pointed at for this latest smear the role of the Falkirk Herald is being questioned,
A complaint has been lodged with the editor of the newspaper who had a responsibility to investigate the content f the letter from the unnamed correspondence before they published the bile that it contained but failed to do so.
The text of the letter is published below,
YES LOUTS INTIMIDATING
While talking to a member of the No campaign team on the High Street outside the Howgate on Saturday lunchtime we were suddenly accosted by five louts who proceeded to abuse not only those in the No team but those of u talking to them. This is the mentality of those supporting the YES campaign. They cannot bear to see someone who disagrees with them so they get nasty and intimidate people who care about our country. Having served my country in the armed forces for 33 years I can not accept this form of bullying and hope Alex Salmond and his YES team members who represent this area are as disgusted as I am.
Name and address supplied
Hardly a letter written by an individual with any tolerance towards those with a different viewpoint to his own.
The arrogance of the British Nationalist shines through the entire correspondence and yet the local paper saw fit to publish what must be the most inappropriate letters ever to disgrace the name of our only local paper.