The argument put forward by Gordon Brown that Scottish Labour MPs are vital to sweep the Tories from power and return a Labour government at Westminster (your report, 13 May) is absolute nonsense and deeply patronising to those south of the Border.
We have had three decades of Tory governments being imposed on Scotland by Westminster – over half the period since 1959, including the long 18 years of Tory government after 1979, and the current Tory-led coalition.
By contrast, for only 26 months – from the 1964 to 1966 elections, and between the two elections in 1974 – have MPs from Scotland made any difference in terms of electing a Labour government.
Every other Labour government would have been elected south of the Border anyway and it is deeply patronising of Mr Brown to suggest that we in Scotland should somehow save England from itself should it want to return a Tory administration.
It is, of course, impossible for 8.4 per cent of the UK population, returning 59 out of 650 MPs, to dictate to the rest, and the electoral record shows that Mr Brown’s argument is totally threadbare.
The reality is that nations are entitled to choose their own governments, and it is only with independence that the Scottish people are guaranteed to get the government they vote for, every single time.
Labour is getting into a complicated mess by launching a “Better Apart” branch of the “Better Together” cult.
However they do it, they are supporting future right-wing, mainly Tory, rule from England in preference to centre-left rule in and from Scotland.
Their overall leader, the former chancellor Alistair Darling, was clearly chosen because nobody with a successful record and a bit of charisma was available.
Inspirational he has not been. Now as a Labour “refresher” we have Gordon Brown, an even greater failure as chancellor (and prime minister).
As a Nationalist, I think “Macavity” is a great choice. He will turn English sympathisers away. People here don’t realise how despised he is down South.
Where has he been these past three years? During the 2005-10 parliament he managed to attend 12.7 per cent of divisions. Given the high offices he held, this is understandable, but since 2010 and his retreat to the back benches his record has risen to only 13.6 per cent. Analysis (not by me) shows the average Labour back-bencher has a record of more than 60 per cent record. We know he romps the world for charity (several dozen times so far), but he wasn’t elected for that.
Thus, like nukes and anthrax, the Westminster/Scotland cast-offs relationship continues with Brown: if it’s toxic, dump it on the Scots – they’re too remote to matter.
Thomas R Burgess