Readers' letters: Starmer’s memory is playing tricks

Someone should jog Sir Keir Starmer’s memory. In January 2020 he said the SNP would "have a mandate" for another independence vote if they won the Scottish elections in May 2021. The SNP won a fourth consecutive term.

Yet over the weekend, Sir Keir either forgot what he said or changed his mind, just like he did over electoral reform – not going to happen; renationalising public utilities - nope; strengthening workers’ rights – you’re kidding; and making the Green New Deal a key plank of industrial policy - never.

He ruled out any return to the Single Market. Brexit has made the UK the ‘sick man’ of Europe. Scots voted overwhelmingly to remain but, as usual, were ignored in this supposedly equal political union.

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His xenophobic claim that too many people are recruited from overseas to work in the NHS is a racist dog whistle to those who have been told to blame immigrants, not failed Westminster policies, for the UK’s economic sclerosis.

In 2020 Starmer said, “There’s no route back for Labour that doesn't run through Scotland.” At this rate, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of a Scottish Labour revival.

Starmer’s Labour party would make his namesake, Keir Hardie, spin in his grave. Sir Keir offers Scotland re-heated Tory policies delivered with bloodless efficiency.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Another month, another Tory PM

We are now suffering under our third Tory Prime Minister in almost as many months.

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It will be interesting to see how long Sunak lasts in post before his chaotic political party decides that he's not right for the job either and gets rid of him.

There are two consistencies in the revolving door of Tory PMs. The first is that they all come into post adamantly asserting that the policies of their predecessors were wrong, but that they know what needs to be fixed to get the country on it feet again.

This is said without any acknowledgement that they participated in the decision making and are collectively responsible for the policies.

The second consistency is that the policies they say are needed to fix broken Britain all involve austerity. But of course that means austerity for the little people, not for the one per cent who avoid paying tax by using accountants and lawyers to help them squirrel their money away in offshore tax havens.

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And the crowning irony is that this Tory party has been in power for 12 years. To hear Tory politicians speak you would think that it was a completely different political party which has presided over the mess we're in now. What hypocrisy!

David Howdle, Kirkton.

Bishop of Oxford faces uphill battle

We wish the Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft luck is his campaign to make the Church of England lift its ban on same-sex church marriage and marriage equality in its own clergy.

The C of E recently reaffirmed its official opposition to both and Dr Croft will be up against some acrobatic reasoning.

The idea held by some that a gay relationship is OK as long as the participants never have sex is prurient and ridiculous and claiming to be non-discriminatory yet denying access to marriage is tantamount to, “Yes gay people are equal, they just shouldn’t get equal stuff.”

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What the C of E prescribes for its own membership is its own business but as an established institution with unelected clergy in government and running a quarter of English primary schools, it should obey the law.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society.

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