Scottish Independence Campaign 'Bullying' Sees Fleet St Turn On Nationalists, And Twitter Doesn't Like It

Fleet St Turns On 'Bullying' Nationalists, And Twitter Doesn't Like It

With one day to go, the furore surrounding the Scottish referendum has reached fever pitch, with accusations of bullying from both sides now dominating the debate.

Turning to the nation's papers this morning, it's immediately noticeable an overwhelming majority focus on allegations that campaigning has "got nasty" both on the streets and online.

The Daily Mail's 'biased' front page

"The dark side of the campaign for Scottish independence can be laid bare today," The Mail starkly declares, going on to list a "string of sinister incidents" that demonstrate how separatists have used intimidation "to cow their rivals."

But the accusations were promptly dismissed on social media as a biased agenda by an English paper.

"This abuse is worse than anything I saw in Ulster," Tom Bradby, the political editor of ITV News added, describing the level of harassment journalists have faced when reporting on the referendum.

The National Union Of Journalists demanded earlier this week that campaigners must stop intimidating reporters after an extraordinary protest called for the BBC's Nick Robinson to be sacked.

"It is frankly absurd," Bradby wrote in the Mail, "those in Scotland who are quick to abuse and see bias around every corner might want to think about the face they are showing the world."

But, again, Scottish nationalists dismissed the seasoned reporter's concerns, branding him an "agenda driven hack."

The Independent's powerful front page declared Scotland "A nation divided against itself," describing the tumultuous events of Tuesday as the "most acrimonious day of political fighting" over the debate yet.

Yesterday Ed Miliband claimed the campaign for independence has an "ugly side" following chaotic scenes when he was mobbed as campaigners from both the Yes and No camps clashed in Edinburgh.

The Daily Mirror's front page also focused on "Nationalist bully boys" swamping the Labour leader as shoppers were trampled and pushed aside.

But the Independent's report on the incident, along with the Daily Mirror's, were described as "rubbish" by Yes voters and, like the Mail, also dismissed as bias (can you see a pattern yet?)

Alex Salmond himself faced accusations of bullying this morning, with the Daily Telegraph printing a series of emails that suggest Scotland's First Minister tried to silence the principle of St Andrews University when she warned of the impact of independence.

A spokesman for Salmond told the Telegraph the emails were part of "routine dialogue" and said all discussions were "cordial".

Yes voters, meanwhile, again, accused The Telegraph of bias.

Alistair Darling, the leader of the pro-Union Better Together campaign, said earlier this week that the atmosphere over the debate had "soured" over the last few days.

He said the animosity between some Yes and No voters had become "deeply depressing" - pointing the finger of blame at the nationalists. "We don't have CyberNats," he said, referring to aggressive online Yes supporters.

Salmond, who is engaged in the final few days of of campaigning across Scotland, meanwhile, said he felt the debate had been "peaceful and joyous".

Yes Scotland has previously said it condemns all forms of abusive, dangerous and offensive behaviour.

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