Readers' Letters: Keir Starmer's Labour is now part of the energy problem

In her column discussing the energy crisis (News, 27 September) Susan Dalgety ignores the fact that Sir Keir Sarmer has reneged on Labour’s promise to nationalise the “Big Six” energy companies. When Andrew Marr reminded him in an inerview that he said “public services should be in public hands”, the Labour leader denied this meant common ownership or nationalisation. Sir Keir said he didn’t believe Labour should be ideological, implying nationalisation of public services was an ideology, rather than a way to better manage public resources for the public good.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 7:00 am
Keir Starmer has apparenty ditched a pledge to nationalise energy firms

Labour now part of the energy problem

A simple case study shows how Tory and now, it appears, Labour, free market ideology has enriched private corporations at the public’s expense. Since the onset of oil and gas production, Norway has generated £386 billion more than the UK in tax revenues, even though the UK produced more oil. With this windfall Norway created the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund while the UK squandered Scotland’s oil and gas revenues on tax cuts and privatisation of national assets. It gave Big Oil a tax cut in 2015 then a year later eliminated the tax completely. If this isn’t gross mismanagement of a public resource, I don’t know what is.

Holyrood doesn’t control energy prices and its limited borrowing powers keep it from generating the financial support people will need as energy prices soar. Creating a national energy company to provide affordable energy will only happen once we are independent.

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The SNP/Green Government should have a single aim – to extricate Scotland from the UK.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh

Electoral maths

It was striking to note Jackie Baillie MSP, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, claim that Labour cannot return to power at Westminster without a revival in Scotland.

Since the general election of 1945 there have been only two elections where the return of Labour MPs in Scotland has been essential to the return of a Labour government.

In the 1964 general eection, Harold Wilson became Prime Minister after defeating Conservative Alec Douglas-Hume, securing an overall majority of four, and in February 1974 he defeated incumbent Prime Minister, Ted Heath, by a mere three seats.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

The ‘B’ word

We are fretting about the causes of our present food and fuel supply crisis, with ministers and newspapers saying it is an international problem, that we are not the only ones, that it is Covid, that it is just about anything but themselves and the altar on which we have all been sacrificed.

Now we have got control of our borders, we don't have to employ under-paid foreigners to do the dirty work that actually most Brits are not the slightest bit interested in, unless perhaps if they are paid a great deal more. I know that if we haven't got enough truck drivers – it must be because we haven't been trying hard enough to recruit British drivers, never mind that the working conditions and incentives are so poor that this is not surprising.

I know that we are all looking forward to higher prices for the food that we don't want to pick and which has been rotting in the fields, because, after all, though the Home Office is led by a second-generation immigrant, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is himself a second-generation immigrant, we certainly don't want any more of them.

Brexit is the cause that dare not speak its name.

Trevor Rigg, Edinburgh