The leader of Scotland's pro-independence campaign, Alex
Salmond. has dismissed an accusation that grassroots supporters
had used "organised street mobbery" to try to silence a series
of street debates hosted by an opposition lawmaker.
The two sides in debate over Scotland's future have been
trading barbs ahead of a September 18 vote on whether to
become an independent state, or to keep the country's
307-year-old union with England and Wales intact.
A poll last week showed that support for independence had
risen after a televised debate, although surveys still show a
lead for the 'Better Together' anti-independence campaign.
The accusations of intimidation came from Jim Murphy, a
member of the British parliament who last week suspended a
tour of Scottish towns designed to promote the case for
Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.
Murphy, who was pelted by eggs during one debate, said he had
been the victim of a sinister and coordinated effort by
local-level campaigners to drown out his events.
"There are always hecklers. That's absolutely fine. But
what's happened over the past fortnight or so is organised
street mobbery, and that's unacceptable," Murphy told Sky
But Scottish nationalist leader Salmond dismissed the idea
that there had been a co-ordinated attempt to undermine
Murphy's events, writing such things off as the actions of a
"I condemn egg throwing or any intimidation from any side...
Let's condemn the odd idiot, because there are idiots on all
sides," he said, accusing Murphy of "ridiculous"
Salmond insisted that bickering should not be allowed to
overshadow the independence debate during its final days,
saying that the referendum had engaged hundreds of thousands
of Scots in a political debate for the first time.
"This is the most empowering story in history - certainly
Scottish history," he said.
However, not all Scots have engaged with the debate. Scottish
police said that a 28-year-old man had been arrested for
allegedly trying to sell his vote in the referendum through
the online auctions site eBay.