Labour failings

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The article by Kenny Young (Analysis, 11 May), who is at a loss to account for Scottish Labour’s crushing defeat by the SNP, seems to me to encapsulate the reasons for that debacle.

He says Labour offered to “tax the rich and redistribute wealth and opportunity to those sorely lacking it” and cannot understand why this should be rejected.

This is what the Labour Party has been offering for as long as I can remember, and the fact that this is still its principal offer shows it has failed to deliver even after its recent 13 years of untrammelled power.

It is this continued failure, I suggest, that traditional Labour voters have at last woken up to and has led them to look elsewhere for the promised land, or give up on voting.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.

Mr Young also says “Labour’s offer was a socialist step to the left”. However, there is nothing really socialist about the measures he cites – some new and increased taxes on the well-off.

They are not going to make any fundamental change in 
society. This disconnect between radical rhetoric and performance has bedevilled Labour for many a year.

I think it was Ramsay MacDonald who was described as a moderate reformer who kept tripping over his red flag.

It breeds disenchantment.

Lord Mandelson’s call for Labour to appeal to those with aspirations chimes in with Jim Murphy’s remark that he wants everyone to be middle class.

I am sure such a vision gets the support of many present and lapsed Labour supporters – and indeed many Conservatives.

Perhaps the Labour Party needs a new rallying cry: “Brothers, we are on our way – to the dictatorship of the petty bourgeoisie.”

At least it might be more honest.

S Beck

Craigleith Drive

Edinburgh

Given that the last Labour leader imposed on the party’s MPs by the unions, Ed Miliband, proved to be unsuccessful, surely the wise thing for the barons to do would be to keep their mouths closed on the subject (your report, 13 May).

Union intervention in leader selection is an anachronism in any case. These dinosaurs should fade away and let the elected MPs or MSPs do any selecting.

As for bankrolling the Labour Party, the whole system of party financing needs re-examined and changed radically.

Party leaders and policies should not be imposed or controlled or influenced by big business, trade union barons or even by millionaire lottery winners.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg

Edinburgh