Wilson’s figleaf

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AT LAST Brian Wilson (Perspective, 28 February) has said something with which I can agree. Namely, voters should vote for the party closest to their hearts and eschew tactical voting. Of course, this is completely different from what Jim Murphy is saying, who maintains a vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories.

For the umpteenth time, Mr Wilson returns to the vote of confidence that brought down the Labour government in 1979. He prefers to forget he chaired “The Labour Vote No Campaign” co-ordinating Labour’s anti-devolution faction. This group, which included George Cunningham MP, placed Jim Callaghan in an impossible position by forcing the imposition of the infamous 40 per cent rule.

When Mrs Thatcher learned the SNP and Liberals intended to support the no confidence motion and she as leader of the opposition hijacked the SNP motion, Mr Callaghan quipped that: “She had discovered the courage of their convictions.”

When the vote was lost, I have no doubt Mr Callaghan had people like Mr Wilson in mind when he asked whether the Lab­our MPs who put him into that invidious situation, “Ever reflected on the damage they had done to their party and the country?”

Mr Wilson now relies on the figleaf of time to obscure his machinations.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

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