MSP Joan McAlpine’s reply to my recent letter (“Anti-Scottish allegation was malicious”, The Galloway Gazette, February 3) is a master class in bluff and bluster. I am intrigued that she has had the time to research my hobbies and pastimes. I would have thought, given the scale of the economic crisis hitting Scotland, her efforts may be better directed at fighting for the people she represents, not finding out about the interests of people in the letters page.
Ms McAlpine says that the election of the SNP “generated global interest in Scotland”. Obviously, Scotland was struggling to be recognised until the SNP came along and helped us out. Clearly Robert Burns, the discovery of penicillin and the invention of the television weren’t enough to get the world’s attention and pale into insignificance now we have Alex Salmond as First Minister.
I jest, of course, but Ms McAlpine’s response sums up the attitude of far too many SNP politicians. For them, the interests of the SNP come ahead of the interests of our country. They react as if any criticism of SNP policy is an attack on Scotland itself. This was the root of her “anti-Scottish” remark, which, however much she tries to distance herself from it now, was truly offensive.
Whatever my political allegiance, first and foremost I am a proud Scot and I won’t be lectured by anyone otherwise. The SNP’s political argument is black and white. To be a proud Scot you must believe in separation. If you are pro-devolution, and value the historic ties with the United Kingdom, you are labelled as holding our nation back and talking down to the Scottish people. The reality could not be further from the truth. No-one doubts the ingenuity of us Scots, but Scotland is at its best as part of strong team with the rest of the UK, working together when it makes sense while forging our own way with devolution.
Ms McAlpine paints our links with the UK as holding Scotland back. I suggest she looks back at Scotland’s proud history (pre-Alex Salmond, if she can) of pioneers, and tells us how they were held back. Scots have the finest tradition of changing the world – and we managed just fine without Mr Salmond.
Milton Mill, Dunscore.