Reasons for Labour’s failure in Scotland
In the latest of the volumes of invective aimed at the SNP on the letters pages, Martin Redfern (Letters, 12 August) seems to crave the return of an extreme left-wing government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
He is on a sticky wicket given Labour’s continual insistence that the SNP has stolen its clothes.
What, therefore, explains the SNP success in Scotland, and Labour’s abject failure? It must be the fault of the stupid electorate!
Painting the SNP as a left-wing party is disingenuous – the now “traditional” Labour establishment is terrified of Labour appearing left-wing, so that contradicts the previously desired image from Labour that the SNP was right-wing.
I doubt Mr Redfern could prove that Labour never U-turns, so maybe the SNP has already learnt something from Labour! I recall a Labour politician, on being challenged about a certain course of action not having been in their manifesto, replying that “we did not say in our manifesto that we would not do it”.
Regarding taxpayer-funded spin doctors, and silver-bullet sound bites, where was Martin Redfern when Alastair Campbell and his ilk were forging these measures during Labour’s 13 years in power?
Arguing on the head of a pin about who said what and when about a referendum is futile – the lesson from the recent general election results has not yet trickled through.
Accusing the SNP of being a single-policy party is like describing Labour as a socialist-only party.
And it is childish to accuse the SNP of milking wealthy donors – once again, Labour led the way.
And that coincided with their trampling on Tory territory in order to assist their victory in 1997, incidentally, when they gained power with a 176 majority with only 43 per cent of the vote.
Yet the SNP’s 50 per cent is not regarded by unionist parties as completely legitimate!
Is it not about time we heard from arch-unionists what positive policies they would propose to dislodge the SNP from power, because the level of negativity is bound to consolidate their position?
Douglas R Mayer
Martin Redfern’s jaundiced view of Nicola Sturgeon’s success as a politician tells us more about Mr Redfern and his politics than it tells us about Nicola Sturgeon.
It is precisely such biased and often bitter perspectives expressed in these pages which have turned people away from the Labour Party and towards the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon.
Under the leadership of Tony Blair the focus of the Labour Party moved from championing the rights of low-paid workers and those living in poverty to pursuit of the votes of “Middle England”.
It is only committed Blairites who still fail to recognise this and in Scotland continue to blame the SNP for all the Labour Party’s woes.
Certainly there is plenty of scope for improved performance by the Scottish Government in the areas of health, education and policing, but one would have to be reliant on news from BBC Scotland not to recognise the significant problems that exist in these areas throughout the UK, many of them a direct result of financial mismanagement at Westminster.
Where Mr Redfern also appears to part company with the majority of the Scottish public whose views he purports to represent, is that rule by a British elite, epitomised by a corrupt UK honours system and the anachronistic House of Lords, is acceptable in the 21st century.
I hope Jeremy Corbyn is asked this question at one of his Scottish rallies: “If you become the UK prime minister on your manifesto on equality, free university education, Trident, public spending, environment and foreign policy, will there be any need for an independent Scotland?”
His manifesto very closely mirrors the SNP independence white paper and has the added attraction of minimal upheaval – and keeping the pound.