I HAVE been following the discussion in The National, over the last week or so, of the chant which regularly is shouted out by some after the rather uplifting cries for “Independence! Now!”. The phrase is “Tory! Tory! Tory!, Out! Out! Out!” and I am one of the many unhappy with it.

There are legitimate reasons for anger at Scotland’s treatment by Westminster and I have no problems with expressing it. However, like many others, I do not care to be associated with what can inevitably be heard as a form of hate speech against another group of voters – and so potential Yes voters – rather than just the politicians representing them.

On these marches I have often kept shouting for independence when the more questionable chanting commences and, having a good pair of lungs, it has occasionally had the effect of hurriedly moving on an individual leader of the chant equipped with his megaphone.

However, my preferred variation that I try to use sometimes is “Westminster!, Out! Out! Out!”. Something which all on an independence march can surely agree, and sentiments which chime with at least one of those commenting on your letters pages on this.

On the last AUOB march at Stirling a marcher near me had a plastic vuvuzela-type horn – as available fairly cheaply on Amazon – that he seemed to be making good use of whenever the chanting nearby reached the “Tory, Tory, Tory” stage, and that was even more effective. A sufficiently loud whistle or any other loud noise-maker, used judiciously, would be a way for those who wish to disassociate themselves from this aspect of the chanting to do so.

As Neil Mackay says, marches should be self-organising and those who wish to signal that they disassociate themselves from this aspect have as much right to express themselves as those who wish to continue with it. However, surely it would be better if a form of words we could all agree on was used to express at once a legitimate anger and a remedy for our situation.

“Westminster!, Out! Out! Out!” – for Westminster out of Scotland and Scotland out of Westminster – seems to me to fit the bill for that. Especially so now, when the appalling way politics are conducted at Westminster is being so clearly exposed to all.

Mike Wallace

I WOULD like to add my tuppence worth to the ongoing debate between Neil Mackay and others regarding the negative chanting at AUOB marches.

I have been a regular and very enthusiastic attender to the marches almost from the beginning and although some people feel they don’t do a great deal in bringing on board doubters of independence, I personally feel they raise the morale of marchers. They are optimistic and joyful and I love to see the positive response from the bystanders.

However, I am in total agreement with the readers and with Alyn Smith, who have all commented on the constant shouting of “Tories, Tories, Tories, out, out, out!”, particularly through a megaphone. Like them, I find this so negative and off-putting.

I am not marching to get Tories out of Westminster. I actually don’t care who is in Westminster, to be honest. In fact, if anything, Tories in Westminster can only do our cause good. There may also be some traditional Tories who are seeing that a vote for independence could be a positive step forward.

I notice Neil is encouraging positive chants and music and singing, bright colours and flags.

I’m all for this. Let’s do it and let’s ditch the negativity.

M Giblin
via email

WHEN anyone uses the “nat” word, as a euphemism for Nazi, in reference to the SNP, or suggests that “all nationalists are the same,” I find that a useful retort is: “Those who can’t tell the difference between the politics of Adolf Hitler and the politics of Nicola Sturgeon should not be allowed to vote.” Silence ensues.

Alan Adair

THE Unionists seem to be gearing up on the use of derogatory words for anyone who is not Unionist. The latest buzz word appears to be “separatist” but it seems to be used by those who separated us from the EU, funny that. Prepare for the assault. Why not Scotland?

M Ross

FIRST, my thanks to Jim Taylor (Letters, July 7) highlighting Miriam Cates’s quote. I was unaware of this, and am not at all surprised by the arrogance – but perhaps some of our “undecideds” need to read this relatively young MP speaking of “we in the ruling class”? Next, interesting the delusional BJ was quoted extensively in the media yesterday that he would not stand down because of his “colossal mandate” in 2019. So would that be similar to the Scottish Government mandate which he has continually denied entitles us to a referendum?

Therese Abraham