Labour of love

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Those who recommend a move to the right to resurrect the fortunes of the Labour Party have got their navigation 100 per cent wrong.

Blair and his successors have already lurched so far to the right as to be on the brink of extinction in Scotland.

When Ed Miliband made it all too clear that he would not entertain any kind of an arrangement, formal or informal, with the SNP, even if it meant opening the door of Downing Street for David Cameron, it was not only the plot he lost.

He lost Scotland and perhaps has lost it forever.

Next year we have Holyrood and the following year the council elections. Both of those are coming too soon for Labour, especially with the paucity of talent in their ranks.

Whereas Labour enjoyed 41 offices in Scotland, maintenance and staff paid for by Westminster, they now have one, as against the SNP’s 56.

This huge turnaround represents a collapse, not only in finance, but in profile, which appears insurmountable.

Is there an escape route? Well, maybe, if they pick up on their original key policies of redistribution of wealth downwards, and, dare I write it, home rule for Scotland.

Otherwise it looks like 
oblivion.

Joseph G Miller

Gardeners Street

Dunfermline

One wonders how bad it has to get for the Labour Party in Scotland before activists such as Scott Arthur (Letters, 23 June) shun their negative obsession with the SNP and a Scottish Government operating within a fiscal straightjacket due both to the past economic incompetence of Labour at Westminster and the socially irresponsible policies that have since been imposed by an ideologically driven Conservative Party.

In his latest attack on the First Minister, Dr Arthur demonstrates that he and his party have still not figured out that the majority of the Scottish electorate have already correctly assessed where the bulk of the blame truly lies for Scotland’s current economic predicament.

Instead of living in denial, those still associated with the Labour Party in Scotland should wake up to the reality that if they sincerely wish “their party” to recover any faith with the Scottish electorate they must establish a financially independent “Scottish Labour Party” to positively promote Labour’s founding principles.

An unequivocal commitment to “home rule” (read full fiscal autonomy) would undoubtedly reinforce the new focus but only through enthusiastically supporting Scotland’s independence will the “Labour Party” again become a serious voice in Scottish politics.

In the meantime Dr Arthur, other Labour activists, Labour spin doctors and Labour politicians should all contemplate, before electing a new leader in Scotland, whether the long-term interests of the “Scottish Labour Party” and those of the Scottish electorate will be best-served through supporting independence before or after Scotland breaks free of Westminster 
rule.

Stan Grodynski

Longniddry

East Lothian

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