The past few days, weeks and months have been acrimonious times in the world of politics and beyond.

Last week Neil Mackay, our Writer at Large, bemoaned the toxic culture that encases the SNP and the left.

Read his article here 👈

Today one of our reader rails against the “hysteria and hyperbole” in Scotland’s political discourse.

Get the Letter of the Day straight to your inbox.

The Herald:

Gemma Clark of Paisley writes: "Neil Mackay's article resonated with me regarding the current toxic climate in Scotland, particularly towards those who are even vaguely left of centre or in favour of Scottish independence.

"Like Mr Mackay, I am not a fan of the SNP, but for anyone to accuse Nicola Sturgeon of a lack of awareness on women's issues is ludicrous. As a woman, I was pleased with her leadership on feminist issues, particularly reproductive rights, and especially because I do not want hostility towards minority groups in my name. Scapegoating minorities is not feminism.

"I am also glad that the abuse Patrick Harvie is subjected to has been highlighted. It is abhorrent and makes me fearful for my LGBTQ friends and family. Homophobic trolls do not just exist online; they also exist among us in the real world, and this vile rhetoric puts people in danger.

"As the article pointed out, the abuse directed at comedian Janey Godley is particularly sinister. Even a woman living with terminal cancer is fair game for cruel abuse, including receiving images of a gravestone with her name on it and being taunted for being abused as a child. I wonder if these trolls' families are aware of what they say to her and if they would be ashamed. The abuse directed at Godley serves two purposes: the abusers simply enjoy sending her abuse, knowing there will be no consequences, and they use it as a warning to any woman who dares to speak out, defend trans people, or step out of line.

"I find the hysteria and hyperbole in Scotland's political discourse exhausting. Instead of having a nuanced, careful, and considered debate about the upcoming assisted dying bill, we see certain lobbying organisations labelling doctors as "killers" or claiming that people suddenly want to murder their loved ones for "convenience". This hysteria drowns out the voices that deserve to be heard, such as the concerns raised by disabled individuals and those living with terminal illnesses.

"I have the utmost respect for pro-Union politicians like Labour's Monica Lennon, who consistently calls out hate towards minorities and gives credit to her political opponents when it is due. Unfortunately, politicians like her are scarce nowadays. Despite bringing forward ground-breaking legislation to help end period poverty in Scotland, Ms Lennon is subjected to constant abuse as well.

"I remember the solidarity that Kezia Dugdale and Ruth Davidson showed to Nicola Sturgeon when she publicly discussed her miscarriage and faced disgusting abuse over it. Unfortunately, it is difficult to imagine such solidarity occurring in parliament today. Click farming, tabloid hysteria and unchecked social media hate have dragged this country to a political space that I can hardly recognise now. Or… that I do recognise. It is reminiscent of Germany roughly 100 years ago, and nothing good can come from this."