Starmer leads way for greater devolution - your views


Starmer leads way for greater devolution

A socially just Scotland in a modern United Kingdom was the title of Labour leader Keir Starmer’s speech on the future of devolution last week.

At its heart was a bold promise to spread “power, wealth and opportunity” out of Westminster and to the nations and regions of the UK.Scotland was very much at the centre of his remarks.

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His intention is to set up a UK-wide constitutional commission, advised by former prime minister Gordon Brown, to deliver a “fresh and tangible offer” to the Scottish people, as well as explore plans for devolving power in the rest of the UK.

He insisted that it is Labour’s duty to offer a positive alternative to show the Scottish public they do not have to choose between a broken status quo and the uncertainty and divisiveness of separatism.

It is refreshing to see a political leader focusing on devolving power and the opportunities that offers to tackle inequality, rather than hording it for themselves as we have seen over the last decade, at both UK and Scottish level.

Most importantly, I hope it will help us break away from the increasingly binary approach to Scottish politics that we have seen develop since 2014.

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It is clear to most people, whether they are for or against independence that now is not the time for another referendum.

The next Parliament will have to be focused on the recovery from Covid and getting Scotland’s health and economy back on track

By making the alternative case for a devolved and socially just Scotland in a modern United Kingdom, Keir Starmer has helped to shift the focus back to the potential power of devolution and what we can all achieve by working together rather than breaking apart.

Iain Gray MSP, Holyrood, Edinburgh.

Time MSPs began to make economies too

I found the ‘annual report’ from Gordon Lindhurst MSP which arrived by post at my work, illuminating, although probably not in the way he had intended.

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The glossy folded A3 leaflet really didn’t have much to say, but it did manage to squeeze in 20, yes 20 photos of Mr Lindhurst.

The leaflet helpfully informs us that: ‘The costs of this publication have been met out of parliamentary resources.’ In plain English that means that we the taxpayers paid for it. This was entirely unnecessary expenditure. Currently, over 95 per cent of the population has internet access. Anyone who wants to know what Mr Lindhurst is doing can visit his website.

The country is in the middle of a major economic crisis. The Chancellor expects to borrow just short of £400 billion this year. He also expects unemployment to rise by a further million to 2.6 million by the middle of next year. Inflation is accelerating.

It is high time that our MSPs realised these facts and started to make prudent economies.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

Comms make the world go round

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Scots have taken to online technology like never before to keep in touch during this difficult time.

When we first went into lockdown, there were concerns on whether our networks would cope with this big increase in online traffic. But, although customers’ usage of data more than doubled during the period, our networks were able to stand up to the demands.

I’m proud of the role my colleagues have played in keeping the country connected during this crisis. We’ll continue to work with governments and local authorities to make sure that no areas are left behind.

Jane Wood, BT Group Scotland, Lochside View, Edinburgh.