Sun, Aug 31, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Scottish independence campaign hit by egg-throwing

AFP, LONDON

Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy speaks in Dundee, Scotland, on Wednesday as people hold “Yes” and “No” signs signifying support or opposition to independence from Britain. Scotland is to hold a referendum on the issue on Sept. 18.

Photo: Reuters

Insults, egg-throwing and rage: the campaign ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum is heating up, even forcing an intervention by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of heckling, but throwing things isn’t necessarily part of the democratic process,” Cameron said on Friday, after a “No” campaigner was pelted with eggs.

“I’ve always thought that it isn’t right to throw eggs at people — I had one myself in Cornwall once, it’s an interesting experience,” the prime minister told reporters.

The eggs were allegedly thrown toward Jim Murphy, an ex-Europe minister and formerly the Scotland secretary in the British government.

Murphy said he was temporarily suspending his grassroots tour, accusing “Yes” campaign members of employing intimidation tactics.

Pro-independence leader Alex Salmond also condemned the incident and said he too had been a target of harassment, being chased by an angry driver who was brandishing a “No” sign.

“All politicians should beware, yes of course we call for good conduct, online and offline, yes of course we do,” Scotland’s first minister said.

“But don’t confuse the actions of a few people with the 99.9 percent of the people of Scotland who are enjoying the most invigorating, scintillating, exciting debate in our political history,” the Scottish National Party leader said.

Earlier this week, Douglas Alexander, a top Scottish Labour politician, said the referendum was dividing Scotland after he was branded a “liar” on a live radio phone-in.

Alexander, another former Europe minister, said the challenge would be to “bring Scotland together” after the vote and said he had been called “scum,” a “quisling” and “Judas” after speaking out in favor of unity.

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown was heckled at a “No” campaign meeting in Dundee earlier this week by a man shouting “absolute rubbish” and “vote ‘Yes’ for Scotland.”

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