Labour’s love’s lost

It seems Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont is opposed to Scotland’s independence on the grounds of her being a socialist and wishing to demonstrate solidarity with the people of England.

As someone who was a child of the 1950s in Scotland I wonder if I am alone in thinking it is a strange kind of socialist who wants to abolish free prescriptions in Scotland; remove bus passes from the over 60s in Scotland and re-introduce university tuition fees for young people in Scotland.

If this is Johann Lamont’s idea of socialism, or what passes for socialism within the Scottish Labour Party these days, then it almost makes the late prime minister Edward Heath seem like Arthur Scargill by comparison.

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Turning to the desire to demonstrate solidarity with the people of England, I recall that argument being used at the height of the Thatcher era when much of Scotland’s industry was being put to the sword and economic misery heaped upon many of our working class communities.

No doubt Lamont would claim that communities in England suffered from Thatcher’s excesses as well.

The difference, however, is that the people of Scotland never voted for Thatcherism but we still got it, regardless.

The collective amnesia of the Labour Party in Scotland or the absolute denial of what happened to our country in the 18 years between 1979 and 1997 is a major cause for concern among those of us who will never forget it.

Next September gives Scotland the chance to say never again will we have a government that we did not vote for. Sadly, that point does not seem to matter to Johann Lamont and Scottish Labour.

Gail Finlayson

Larch Tree Way

Banchory

Are we never going to hear the last of the pathetic Labour dodge of trying to blame the SNP for the fall of the Callaghan government and the disastrous Thatcher era that followed?

If Michael Kelly (Perspective, 19 September) could recollect the past a wee bit better than he can predict the future, he would recall that the Callaghan government had not only lost the confidence of the electorate but had forfeited any claim to support from the SNP by first bungling and then abandoning its devolution plans.

“Perfidy” is not a word that a Labour man should apply to the SNP in this context. And how did Scotland’s Labour MPs and local councillors conduct themselves during the Thatcher years?

Well, of course, by sitting on their dowps, meekly obeying Her Excellency’s orders to impose the poll tax and privatisation of services on Scotland, and watching the destruction of our industrial base without stirring the first joint of their fingers to prevent it.

Labour in those years was by far the strongest party in Scotland; and it might as well not have been there at all.

Whining that it was all the fault of the SNP for putting them out of office is simply beneath contempt.

Fortunately, the Scottish electorate has learned its lesson. The years of Labour’s dominance in Scottish politics are gone, and will not return.

Derrick McClure

Rosehill Terrace

Aberdeen