Keir Starmer hammers final nail into Labour's coffin in Scotland - readers' letters

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Rehashing Gordon Brown’s “British jobs for British workers” mantra, Starmer told viewers “we’re recruiting too many people from overseas into, for example, the health service” and “freedom of movement is not returning” as Labour turned its back on even a partial return to Europe. Brexit is a major reason that the UK is facing severe recession and falling living standards yet Labour persists in pandering to Little Englander Brexiteers.

Starmer then showed that he lives in a North London bubble when he attacked Scotland’s A&E waiting lists, seemingly oblivious to Labour’s much worse record in Wales which is 50 per cent higher. Part of the UK-wide NHS problem is delayed discharges caused by a shortage of staff in social work and care settings yet Labour say we have too many foreigners working in the NHS.

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To cap it all, Starmer confirmed Labour’s opposition to the Scottish Parliament’s democratic mandate to hold a referendum on our constitutional future. Like the Tories and Lib Dems, Labour refuses to set out a democratic road map for Scotland’s return to self-government.

Keir Starmer ruled out an independence referendum in Sunday’s interview

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

Kick on for the good of the Scottish game

There has not been a level playing field in football since the 1980s (Alexander McKay, Letters, 7 November). Thanks to Champions League money, most countries are totally dominated by the same one to three clubs every season.

However, Scotland’s EUFA club co-efficiency is currently ninth out of 55 European nations and our league attendances per head of population remain the highest in Europe.

Very few fans want a British league but if it were to happen Hibs would likely start in the National League North with mouth-watering games against Brackley Town and Banbury United while Hearts supporters would never again look forward to exciting European trips.

On average, Scottish league matches on TV attract a higher audience than the English Championship, which receives £119 million a year. Therefore, it was ludicrous for Neil Doncaster and the SPFL clubs to accept a poor £30m TV deal some three years before the existing deal expired.

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Norway, in 17th co-efficiency spot, has no clubs with the international profile of Celtic and Rangers, yet manages to attract £65m a year in TV rights. If broadcasting was devolved, or in an independent Scotland, the TV companies would have to up their game and all Scottish clubs would reap the benefit.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh

Politicians should take lead on pensions

The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is looking for ways to close a £50 billion black hole in the public sector finances. In the private sector there are very few final salary schemes because they are far too expensive for employers.

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However no such problem exists for the public sector and politicians, where final salary pension schemes are paid for by the taxpayer and council taxpayer.

Politicians should lead by example and change to a cheaper defined contribution scheme in which pay-outs are based on contributions from both employer and employee. New employees in the public sector should only be offered the defined contribution scheme and if they do not like it then they refuse the job. Others will be queuing up.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow

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