Labour’s deficit

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TOMMY Sheppard makes a persuasive case for the Left in Scotland to support the SNP in the forthcoming Westminster elections (“Why Socialists must vote for the SNP”, 15 March).

After all, history is on his side. From the outset, there was huge resentment in Scotland at the inexcusable loss of its parliament.

So every campaign for democracy in Scotland, generation after generation, included a call for the return of a properly constituted, democratically elected, parliament in Edinburgh. That was the clear demand of the Scottish Chartists of the 1840s, and that of the Home Rule and Socialist movements that followed – particularly the Independent Labour Party, which called for what was termed “dominion status” for Scotland, i.e. an independent parliament under the Crown, like those in Canada and Australia.

This is where we are now. If it was true to its birthright, Scottish Labour would be part of the Radicals for Independence movement, and on the same side as the SNP, the Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party on this issue, namely that Scotland must have a fully independent parliament of its own, not subordinate in any way to Westminster.

This is about expanding democracy within the UK; it is about democratising the UK itself; and it is about honouring the ideals of Scottish Labour’s founder, Keir Hardie. How could Labour get this so wrong?

Randolph Murray