Blairgowrie Advertiser

Abusive protesters don’t speak for SNP


It has been fantastic to see Perthshire bustling with such a diverse range of events this summer, with many taking place for the first time since the pandemic.

August alone has seen several Highland Games across the constituen­cy, including Aberfeldy, Perth and Rannoch – and Blairgowri­e and Rattray Highland Games is still to come on September 4.

It is unfortunat­e that Alyth Show was cancelled this year. Although, further afield, we have had Perth Show, Perthshire Pride and the new Otherlands music festival at Scone Palace.

Perth and Kinross is perfectly placed to host all kinds of events, so it is great to see that potential being realised again.

Unfortunat­ely, not all recent events have been so welcome.

Many readers will have seen coverage of the protests outside the Scottish Tory leadership hustings in Perth last week, where a small group of pro-independen­ce supporters caused shame to the movement by hurling vitriol at attendees and journalist­s.

Of course, people have every right to be angry at the Conservati­ves for the turmoil they have caused during their time in power, and for the contempt they have shown towards Scottish democracy.

People certainly also have every right to express their frustratio­ns in the form of peaceful protests.

However, nobody has the right to behave in the way these individual­s did and, if they were true independen­ce supporters, they wouldn’t want to.

Using insult and aggression as a tactic to sway voters is astonishin­gly counter-productive.

Independen­ce will only be won by persuading those on the fence of its legitimate, wide-ranging benefits in an inspiring and pragmatic manner.

Hatred and aggression have absolutely no place in the Yes debate, and those who think otherwise will never speak for the SNP.

At the heart of many people’s frustratio­ns towards the government is, of course, the spiralling cost of living.

At the time of writing, experts are now predicting that the energy price cap could exceed £5000 by next spring.

This has rapidly become a crisis on the same scale as the pandemic.

But, while millions dread the prospect of having to decide between heating or eating, the level of interventi­on that we saw during the pandemic remains nowhere to be seen.

This has given rise to widespread industrial action. Our fantastic public sector workers are rightly appalled by the fact that oil giants are making record profits while they struggle to make ends meet.

This is made more sickening by the fact that these profits have not really been earned.

Rather, they are a by-product of the current supply and demand imbalance in the energy sector.

It is therefore as impractica­l as it is immoral not

to impose a greater windfall tax and redistribu­te the funds to those in most need.

To suggest that doing so would deter investors, as Liz Truss has, is ludicrous.

Investors are attracted to economies with a skilled,

healthy and competitiv­e economy.

However, allowing millions of workers to fall into poverty and the tidal wave of socio-economic problems that would then ensue would do everything but attract investment.

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 ?? ?? Flashpoint Police outside Perth Concert Hall for the hustings on Tuesday last week
Flashpoint Police outside Perth Concert Hall for the hustings on Tuesday last week

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