Both C Hegarty and Ian Johnstone (Letters, 25 April) try hard to answer the question in your headline: “What’s the Labour Party for in Scotland?”
Both fail to mention the name of the present leader of the party and therein lies the reason for their failure to adequately answer the question.
The various reasons for the existence of the Labour Party in Scotland are now history, but the sole reason Ed Miliband’s party is so fiercely committed to the No campaign is that it desperately needs the votes of the bus load of Labour MPs that Scotland has always sent to Westminster.
It is going to be interesting in the next few months to see whether the old base, negative tribal loyalties to Labour, hold or whether modern Scottish voters have higher and wider aspirations than that for their country.
So Ed Miliband has popped up to Scotland to tell us everything will be OK if we vote No in September then vote for the Labour government in next year’s UK election. Who’s he trying to kid? The Labour Party is now indistinguishable from the Tory Party on virtually every issue. According to the OECD we have the worst state pension in Europe.
On measures of equality and social mobility we come near to or bottom of the league tables. Levels of business investment and productivity are amongst the lowest of any developed economy.
When you look at our national treasure, the NHS, we have fewer beds, fewer doctors, fewer nurses, and significantly fewer MRI and CT scanners than the average in the OECD (which includes countries like Estonia and Chile).
Mr Miliband will tell you this is all the fault of the Tory government. This is simply untrue. All these measures are evidence of long-term decline and given the Labour Party was in charge for 13 of the past 17 years it seems pretty obvious who is more to blame.
Andrew S R Gordon
Listening to Ed Miliband being interviewed by Jim Naughtie on BBC Scotland on Friday morning gave me a great laugh to start the day. Does Labour seriously consider that he will be an asset to the Better Together campaign in Scotland?
In my view definitely not, based on how he responded to the questions put to him.
He spouted the same old sound bites about foreigners and border controls but seemed unable to answer the question of how exactly his grand plan of winning the next Westminster election would work – without the support of 50 Scottish Labour MPs, who, in the event of a Yes vote would be missing from London Labour.
This was only one of many questions he was unable to answer. Reverting to the bluff and bluster so beloved by Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, he waffled on at some length without actually answering anything.
Thank you, Mr Miliband. You will have given the Yes campaign a wonderful boost by the end of your visit here in Scotland.