ABUSE is harmful and upsetting, trust me I’ve been at the wrong end of enough of it. The three male SNP parliamentarians calling it out, publicly in The Herald, are right to have their opinion but should they expect others to be told on public forums that they need to adhere? Was it wise to use the labels they did? Any Yesser will be all too used to having these thrown at them daily.

Is there an issue of abuse on social media? Oh, you’re damn right there is! I presume the three men who spoke out will be all too familiar with online abuse, they will be victims of this too. Is the abuse from others within the Yes movement? Yes, sometimes it is. Although it is far more common for us all to be abused by British nationalists.

I have no issue with calling out bad behaviour – I do frequently. However, I do have an issue with double standards. I should agree with Alyn Smith, Angus Robertson and Stewart McDonald, except they have all been silent over the abuse that their female colleagues have been put through recently. None rushed to give solace to the three MSPs who had their private Twitter messages published over social media. I am therefore left asking myself, what was to gain from the Herald piece that took the shine off a wonderful weekend that saw tens of thousands march in solidarity in Glasgow?

Another stalwart of the SNP has also now been dragged into this. By trying to defend the three men, Mhairi Hunter took to Twitter to say “some yessers are trash”. There is no defence to this dehumanising language, none. However, I do not want to attack Mhairi in her use of this. I understand that she meant a tiny minority of the wider movement is problematic. I understand that she meant the very few who do not share her inclusive vision for Scotland.

And perhaps this is where the problem lies. You see, Twitter and such are not real life, but they are inhabited by real people. By people who share the goal of living in an independent Scotland but share little else. It is not for politicians to try to tell others how to behave. It is not up to elected members to police the general public. They should simply lead by example. They should practice being an advocate for independence in everything they do.

Whenever we see abuse, we should call it out. Not just when the recipient aligns with our politics. You see, if it’s just for a piece in the paper, then that is publicity hunting. If Alyn Smith and the others actually meant what they said, then the female MSPs who were trolled for days would have already been contacted by the men who took the time to make a piece for The Herald. In case you, like me, are wondering if this has happened, the answer is no, it hasn’t!

Wee Scots Wifie

IT was somewhat late in the evening before I read the Wee Ginger Dug’s column (Yes marches are vitally important – this is why, May 7).

I was astonished to read that Michael Gove, Tory Prime Minister hopeful, said that they would withhold funds from the Scottish Parliament Budget so they could add the funding of NHS Scotland and Education Scotland to Westminster.

This is obviously the first step to abolishing the Scottish Parliament. It is also possibly a ploy to gloss over the fact that the Tories lost more than 1300 seats in the English local government elections.

Mr Gove was addressing the Tory conference in Aberdeen, and in the piece it said “there was scarcely a peep of protest in the Scottish media”. I wonder if he got rapturous applause from his audience, since he is looking for support and must have thought he would get that?

As one who had a major operation just three years ago I am impressed with our NHS – without their swift and dedicated actions I would not be alive today, and I know the English NHS is in trouble. It is also ripe for privatisation.

I am beginning to think that Scottish Tory is an oxymoron.

Jim Lynch