SCOTS speakers have hit back after a former member of the Scottish Labour party claimed the language facilitated racism.

In a blog post, lawyer and former president of the Law Society of Scotland, Ian Smart, discussed an article published in The Telegraph, which claimed that Afghan immigrants were reportedly turning down accommodation in Scotland and Wales because “it’s cold and they don’t speak English”.

Smart goes on to suggest that Scots is utilised by the Scottish Government as a “racist” mechanism to keep “refugees with black or brown skins” from moving to Scotland.

He said: “Scottish nationalists are trying to build a coalition that requires the involvement, no matter how deludedly, of those who regard themselves to be left wing.

“So Sturgeon needs a solution that keeps them on board while not confessing her personal politics are little different from those of Orban, Morawiecki, Meloni, Le Pen or [..] Farage.

READ MORE: 'Why Scotland needs to rethink its attitude towards Gaelic and its speakers'

“And that solution is not to say they can't come here, just that they really, really wouldn't want to. And her mechanism is Scots.”

The lawyer then concludes that there “is not such thing as a ‘Scots’ language” despite the Scottish Government officially recognising it as one of three official indigenous languages of Scotland alongside Gaelic and English.

The self-defined “Scottish Labour Party hack” – who was suspended from the party 18 months ago under a previous disciplinary proceeding – then claimed that those promoting Scots are “invariably white middle aged, and older, men on the blood and soil wing of the SNP”.

Emma Grae, a Scottish author who writes in Scots, tweeted that she was “disgusted” by Smart’s comments.

He then responded: “Another white nationalist writes”.

Speaking to The National, Grae said: “I think it’s going to really put people off even thinking about creating in the language if this is the kind of abuse that they get.

“It takes away from the language itself. At no point did I ever think a barrier I was going to face would be getting told I’m a white nationalist.

“As a writer of Scots everything I do has now been politicised when that was never my intention.

“When I started writing in Scots it was just the way that my granny spoke and politics never crossed my mind until other people brought it up.

“The amount of times I’ve been accused of being a nationalist just because I write in Scots is just unbelievable.”

Scottish folk singer Iona Fyfe said she was saddened to see Scots being discussed this way.

“I’m really upset that people like Ian Smart are using the language as a stick to beat folk with,” she said. “We know that there’s people of all political parties who are passionate about Scots and about Doric.

“This idea that you have to be a nationalist to use Scots or Gaelic in your every day life is mental.

“For example, Peter Chapman was one of the best MSPs to promote the Doric dialect of the Scots language in Holyrood and he is a Conservative.

“We have very different views – I’m definitely not a Conservative – but Peter’s a shining example of why the Scots language should not be politicised”

Fyfe helped form Oor Vyce, the official campaign for a Scots Language Act.

She said that the Mark Drakeford’s embrace of Welsh language as the First Minister of Wales proved that language doesn’t need to be threatening to unionists.

“The unionists are so, so toxic when it comes to using oor ain language as political bargaining chips.

“Years ago Unionists weren’t terrified of our language and culture"

She added that during her travels as a musician the reaction to Scots has always been positive.

“For me, I feel like the Scots language is very much a European, West Germanic language and that doesn’t tie in with the unionist agenda.

“So, they want to be downtrodden as much as they can. They’re terrified of the renaissance that Scots is going through.

“It’s crazy. I can’t understand why people are so disgusted in their own national languages”

Smart was approached for comment. 

This article originally featured in our sister title, The National, in Scotland.