Readers' letters: What’s the point of Labour in Scotland?

So, after 21 months as leader of the opposition at Westminster, it seems that Sir Keir Starmer may have finally found the guts to take on one of the most corrupt and malevolent Westminster Tory governments Scotland has ever had to endure.

But wait - the Labour party’s solution is to offer EU-supporting Scotland a ‘make Brexit work’ strategy!

Apart from the obvious fatal flaw, there is also the fantasy that (outside of the mainstream media) anyone in Scotland actually cares much about the British Labour party (the head office of the misleadingly titled ‘Scottish Labour’), which for all its years of power in urban Scotland achieved very little of lasting consequence.

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Whether it’s Gordon Brown and his broken vows (remember ‘lead us, don’t leave us, Scotland’) or Ian Murray, egged on by his wee pals in the Lib Dems, trying to fool us that a ‘fully federal UK’ is a real possibility (Note: Ian - federalism only works in countries with roughly equal constituent parts, like Germany or Canada), Scotland has moved on from this obvious nonsense.

There is also the fantasy that the British Labour party will automatically get an equal chance to form a more progressive Westminster government often enough and for long enough - and therefore protect Scotland from the permanently pro-Tory UK. (Since 1980, there have been five Conservative governments compared with Labour’s two).

Despite the apparently reinvigorated Sir Keir, the fact is that, as part of the UK, Scots face both this Conservative administration (with or without Johnson) until 2024, and subsequent Conservative administrations to 2030 and beyond. This simply isn’t good enough – either for our country or for democracy.

Our increasingly well-informed citizens know that what an outwardly looking Scotland needs to prosper in the early 21st century is more participation in European/global trade markets and international networks, and to distance itself from the UK’s isolationist position, its fabricated conflicts with our neighbours (EU, France, Ireland etc) and its obsession with pointless trivia (jubilee coronation ‘platinum pudding’ summer garden party anyone?).

D Jamieson, Dunbar.

Fire safety alarms

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I am somewhat confused as to the new laws being introduced in Scotland in February regarding home fire safety and alarms so I decided to phone the Fire Service to get some advice.

This is not as easy as I thought as the local No rings out without answer and the Scottish Fire service home visit line 0800-0731999 rings out but only plays jazz music and apologies for the delay.

I am now clueless as to how to get independent advice in the matter, as the cost of installing smoke and heat detection systems for my house can run up to several hundreds of pounds.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Labour for indy?

Someone in the Labour party floated the idea of pro-independence candidates standing under a Labour banner. Whether this would be a good idea or not is open to debate - pro-independence people probably already vote SNP and pro-union Labour people may be put off voting Labour. Might Labour-leaning voters in the SNP go to Labour - who knows? All in all, probably an idea best left to wither on the vine.

William Ballantine, West Lothian.

A bridge too closed!

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If the SNP/Lab-led Edinburgh council were interested in actually doing all they can to alleviate traffic congestion, then they would be reopening Waverley Bridge! But I would not hold my breath.

Cllr Susan Webber MSP (Con).

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