Readers' Letters: Labour election promises don't stand up to scrutiny

Would a UK Labour government really help Scotland, wonders reader?

Several of Labour’s election campaign promises don’t stand up to the mildest scrutiny, such as claims that GB Energy will lower bills when it appears its main purpose is to encourage private companies to invest in renewable schemes for a profit. Given the lack of willingness of UK banks to invest in renewable start-ups this seems to be mere wishful thinking.

Labour’s original £28 billion green energy promise claimed 65,000 British jobs would be created, now we are expected to believe Anas Sarwar’s claim that Scotland’s share of the remaining £4bn investment will create 69,000 Scottish jobs, particularly when Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce repeated their claim that Labour’s proposed Oil & Gas Windfall tax increase will result in 100,000 lost jobs in the North East.

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Due to the hard Brexit that Labour will stick to, Scotland will still face damaging customs and regulatory barriers to its biggest export market, while Ireland in the EU has unemployment as low as it's ever been, with net migration of around 40,000 new arrivals per year helping to sustain their economic growth.

Reader doubts Anas Sarwar's claim that Scotland's share of Labour's green energy promise will spark 69,000 jobs (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)Reader doubts Anas Sarwar's claim that Scotland's share of Labour's green energy promise will spark 69,000 jobs (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
Reader doubts Anas Sarwar's claim that Scotland's share of Labour's green energy promise will spark 69,000 jobs (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

Scotland has the highest Foreign Direct Investment outside London & South East, with the Scottish Parliament delivering investment and growth through its successful overseas trade offices selling and promoting Scotland to the world, yet Labour wants to bypass this and increase such powers in London in order to undermine devolution.

Labour MP Wes Streeting was right when he said that “All roads lead back to Westminster” when defending Labour’s poorer devolved NHS performance in Wales. Scotland’s NHS is performing significantly better compared to England or Wales, particularly in meeting the 18-week target for life-threatening conditions, and 84 per cent of Scots who need a GP appointment are seen within two working days while the average waiting time in England is ten days.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

Fantasy politics

It takes just a little scratch to ease the itch on the Labour “skin” to alert the electorate as to what lies beneath. From the politics of envy in attacking private schools with an uncosted and impractical policy to Keir Starmer declaring “Yes, I describe myself as a Socialist…and a progressive”. The only meaning of such a definition is higher taxes, more state intervention across all aspects of public life and the Starmer puppet strings being pulled by the unions. The “changed” Labour Party as described by Keir Starmer is nothing but fantasy and “caveat emptor” must be front and centre before they secure one’s vote.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Window tax

It was without a sense of irony that Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said that under a UK Government the Scotland Office would be “Scotland’s window onto the world”. Talking about promoting international links is all well and good, but this is from a party who are intent on continuing limiting access to our key markets through backing Brexit.

It is no understatement to say that Brexit has been disastrous for our businesses and consumers, limiting economic growth and restricting trade. Recent border controls will cost British business £2 billion through increased red tape, with the Scottish salmon industry alone suffering an additional £12 million of costs.

Last year, almost half of businesses (44 per cent) named Brexit as the main cause of difficulties trading overseas.

Across every sector of Scotland’s economy, Brexit has added red tape costs, limited access to vital workers and limited markets.

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Labour’s ambitions may be to make the Scotland Office our window onto the world, but that window is currently half-closed due to the devastating impact of Brexit.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

Dual nature

Nicola Sturgeon tells a Holyrood Committee that the reasons for the delay in dualling the A9 were mainly Brexit and the pandemic.

It has become the standard SNP excuse for all its own shortcomings to blame Westminster, but where it is a fully devolved matter such as roads that becomes more difficult. So blame Brexit. Did anyone on the committee ask her what possible aspect of dualling a road in Scotland was a consequence of the UK leaving the EU? Knowing the standard of committee hearings at Holyrood, probably not.

Would The Scotsman give her a ring and ask her? I would be fascinated to hear the answer.

Howard Lewis, Edinburgh

Teach respect

James Scott excoriates a “Tory wish to teach manners to… the unwashed youth who need to be taught Conservative values” (Letters, 29 May).

Perhaps Mr Scott is unaware of the horrific extent of bullying and violence in Scotland’s schools, which is a real disincentive to potential teachers joining the profession. There are too many children who are out of control and devoid of self-discipline. It is a lot more than "manners” that they need to learn.

But the age of 18 for “National Service” would be too late to rescue them. Perhaps some kind of project where such children can learn to respect their peers and their elders and to learn “do as you would be done by” in a supportive atmosphere at age ten or 11 would be more appropriate.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Improve city

Concerning The Scotsman article “Holyrood backs bill that could see UK’s ‘first true visitor levy’ ” (29 May), Labour's Mark Griffin said: “Revenue crucially must be used to improve the tourism offering and the services tourists appreciate and visit Scotland for.”

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Might I suggest that the revenues collected in Edinburgh be spent on collection of litter that blights our city and fixing the broken pavements. This would benefit both visitors and residents alike.

Peter Holmyard, Edinburgh

SNP wasters

Since 2014, in addition to the usual suspects of SNP failures – ferries, NHS, roads, police, education etc – there is a litany of shocking aspects of their tenure which should not be forgotten and on which millions of taxpayers' money has been wasted. Failed agricultural bill, botched census, failed broadband roll-out, £4.1m spent on mobile phones for prisoners, failed Named Person Scheme, Prestwick – millions wasted, Gupta – millions wasted, failed Aquamarine initiative, failed National Energy Company, failed Scottish Stock Exchange, Salmond Enquiry legal fees, Rangers Directors trial legal fees, “embassies” in far-flung places with “air-miles Angus Robertson” jetting round the world, failed deposit return scheme and on and on and on. And we have the highest drug deaths in Europe, highest alcohol deaths in the UK,

We have short memories. Hundreds of millions have been totally wasted by this misguided nationalist regime, a regime which has only one purpose, the break-up of the United Kingdom – nothing else is of importance. At the election, it is essential voters consider voting tactically, to ensure the party best placed to oust the SNP will triumph.

Douglas Cowe, Kingseat, Aberdeenshire

Lack of logic

The SNP's Kevin Stewart claims new border checks could cost Scotland £380 million. “We are paying the price for a Brexit we didn't vote for,” he claims, going on to state that it is “time to get out of Broken Brexit Britain”.

Has Mr Stewart, we must wonder, worked out how much a separated Scotland would have to pay for new border controls – with the UK, the EU and the rest of the world – should his party's raison d'etre and dream of breaking up the UK ever came to fruition? Do the SNP ever think things through past the headline they seek or the chance to use the latest catchphrase?

This alarming lack of ability to reason is another cause for the demise of the SNP and what looks like the upcoming Armageddon of a general election. Mr Stewart looks like being among the many nationalists who will be receiving their P45s on the morning of 5 July.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Twice happy

I could not agree more with Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 29 May) about being Scottish and British. I am proud to be Scottish and proud to be British. And long may my homeland be a proud part of the UK.

Brian Barbour, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Just so stories

I see SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has given his party's energy policy a bit of grade inflation from “Just Transition” to “Just sustainable energy transition”. Even if he went full Tonto to “just, inclusive, diverse, socially mobile sustainable” it wouldn't hide the true meaning, which is “just” until the election is over and I can hold onto my South Aberdeen seat which is under threat from the “Toaries” (only 4,000 votes behind in 2019) due to our suicidal oil and gas policy”.

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The only saving grace is that Labour (16,000 votes behind the SNP) is in an even worse position with their intention to stop future licensing, something that is going down like a lead balloon.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Czech mate

Royal Mail is to be acquired by Czech billionaire, Daniel Kretinsky. The Czech's in the post.

Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire

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