IN a Scottish distillery on Thursday, Prime Minister Johnson was given a cosy little interview by ITN. He was so unchallenged it had the feel of a party political broadcast. As always, he refused to directly answer the stock question on whether he would allow another independence referendum by implying – but carefully not stating directly – that he would refuse one.

Not only was he not pressed for a direct answer, but he got away with calling the SNP “The Scottish Nationalist Party”. Interviewers must stop this nonsense dead in its tracks and challenge all and sundry including a devious, mendacious PM, by immediately asking why the name of the party of government in Scotland for a dozen years, a party which has grown beyond recognition over nearly 90 years, is somehow unknown. If interviewers don’t show them up for fools, then people like Johnson continually make fools of us.

READ MORE: BBC get SNP name wrong again after party writes to bosses

Johnson’s tactic is sleekit and deliberate. It’s a new form of dog whistle politics. The original type involved using racist/prejudiced language in a context or situation when only the target audience would notice. Johnson has used that type for many years but is expanding now. By deliberately misnaming the SNP in a way that looks and sounds like a mere slip of the tongue, he is implying they represent an extreme form of nationalism, when in fact the party is more inclusive, collaborative, internationalist and peaceful than any UK Conservative party I have ever come across. This is emphatically not the pot calling the kettle black, because the kind of nationalism rampant within the the new and purged, right-wing Conservative party is completely alien to the SNP.

Johnson’s ability to lie his way through life is matched only by his sly hypocrisy. He cloaks his divisive and dangerous views with a totally contrived bumbling, enthusiastic and seemingly humorous, even friendly personality. We should never fall for it and he must be challenged at all times. It is my view that Johnson’s form of nationalism is on the rise the world over, and the SNP and civic Scotland generally are strongly battling against that particular tide. We must prevail in that struggle if we are to achieve independence. So let’s call Johnson and his like out at each and every opportunity.

David Crines

IS it not time that we nailed once and for all this “once in a generation” myth about another independence referendum? Apparently Jeremy Corbyn has referred to the upcoming UK General Election as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Does that mean we’ll be waiting more than five years for the next election? Of course not, it could be in five years’ time or it could be sooner.

Sometimes a flood is referred to as a once-in-200-years event. It doesn’t mean there will be one every 200 years, it means that the estimated probability is that there will be one every 200 years but there could be one next year, or next month even. Similarly a once-in-a-generation event is one that typically happens

rarely, but depending on circumstances might well happen more than once every generation. It is a statement of probability linked to circumstance, not a matter of certainty.

Andrew Parrott

THE “once-in-a-generation” independence referendum jibe received another airing, inevitably, on Question Time this week. Had such a casual remark been a formal Vow to the people of Scotland – actually written down for all to see and signed by the head of the UK Government and other party leaders – that would be deemed binding and immutable, a Vow to be observed to the letter. Such a solemn Vow should ideally be inscribed in stone to assure its implementation. Is it time to renew our Vows?

James Stevenson