PREDICTABLY Stephen Paton is jumping for joy at the thought of a coalition government involving the Greens and is to be congratulated for getting through an entire article without referring to anyone as a “bigot, fascist, racist or transphobe” of some kind, although irrational hatred of Alex Salmond did squirt forth here and there (Why SNP-Green collaboration could be the start of something great, May 31).

The Scottish Government should not be entering any sort of coalition with the Greens for the simple reason we (the normal working stiffs, the proletariat) did not vote for them! 92% of Scots rejected them as the crackpots they are. Let’s not forget that outside their fan base the great majority of their votes come from their policy on independence. They are a Yes party and feed from that one policy. When the time comes they shall, to their credit, vote for a new independence vote or face the wrath of the voter. There is no need for a coalition government as we returned the government we wanted with yet another landslide victory.

READ MORE: Stephen Paton: I welcome the prospect of a formal collaboration between SNP and the Greens

What we as a movement and the SNP government do not need are more idiotic arguments by hysterical fringes of the Greens alluded to in said article or enormous free gifts to our political enemies and Unionist press such as forcing companies to punish their workers by making them pay for car parking, remember that? Green idiocy, picked up by the BBC, and spread around as an example of SNP policy.

The Greens have more influence on Scottish life than their vote share warrants as it is, and should not be handed more power unless we, the voters, instruct our government to do so. This is really very simple stuff. What nobody needs is a sort left-wing Ukip foisted upon the voters, and I am not only talking about Yes voters either. Our duty is to talk and persuade those who are doubtful about independence, not bulldoze through extremist policies straight from cloud cuckoo land upon the 92% of Scots who didn’t vote for them.

Rory Bulloch

THE voters knew all about Johnson when they handed him a landslide victory at the election. I do not think the Cummings revelations will change his popularity because they do not care as long as they are not affected. Nothing short of a hike in income tax, VAT or welfare benefits would trouble them.

We may have our rump of the Johnson cult here, but popular they are not. That country is just foreign to me. Nothing wrong with being foreign unless they rule your country and believe that a desire for independence is just Anglophobia. What an Anglocentric view that independence is “leaving”, and not positively striding to new global dignity.

Peter Barjonas

THE small article titled “Genocide recognised” in Saturday’s edition compelled me to write again about misunderstanding of the true meaning of the word genocide. Sadly, misuse of the term is perpetuated by journalists.

Journalese is often said to be the language used by newspaper writers, eg excessive use of alliteration “I am writing an article about Gordon Brown. What other words begin with B. Ah, yes: ‘Brown Blasts Back with Federal Bombshell’.” That kind of thing. The most recent buzzwords or neologisms are “to call out”, which gives rise to “Boris Johnson called out over expenses used to decorate No 10.” What was wrong with “accused of”, or “criticised”? This would appear to be an Americanism that even ordinary Americans don’t use, having been a snappy, buzzy word favoured by the US media.

Turning now to genocide, the article referred to Germany recognising the colonial-era killings of ten of thousands of people in Namibia. Now the offences were against a specific tribe. These were shocking atrocities but it was not genocide as there were survivors. It was ATTEMPTED genocide. And this is why. A standard dictionary definition of the word genocide is “the extermination of a race.” By strict etymological definition genocide has never happened in human history, thankfully, but it has often been attempted.

To develop my argument, let us break down the word itself. Geno refers to “gene” and cide refers to “kill” ie genocide seeks to kill, destroy or exterminate the gene. This cannot be partly done. If we think of extinction relating to a species, genocide is the human equivalent.

The term is misunderstood, often by those who should know better. In international law reference is made to “acts that could lead to genocide” In other words, slaughter was halted in time. Attempts have been made to replace erroneous use of the term by “mass murder” and “ethnic cleansing”. But the confusion still remains. One of my students defined genocide as “killing a lot of people”. She was right in the sense that this is becoming the popular definition of the word, but wrong in that the meaning is incorrect.

So a note to journalists and others. If you are going to use the word genocide please prefix it with “attempted”. Let us hope that genocide is never, ever committed in the real sense of the word. Tragically, our history has demonstrated a few near misses.

WJ Graham
East Kilbride