(Cut a bit by the Herald – this as published.)
IT is always a treat to see an old friend, such as the story told by Ruth Marr about the Labour Party (Letters, September 5). For all of my 37 years as a member, I have heard the same refrain: that Labour had lost its left-wing roots. Sometimes, the Labour Party itself believed the story, and tried to be a radical party of the ideological left. However, it was no fluke that at such times – most notably in 1983 – Labour was roundly rejected by real voters at the ballot box.
The reason why Labour is successful when it is sensible and pragmatic is because the voters know a fraud when they see it. Moreover, it is informative to contrast what Labour offers with the wilder promises of the pro-independence campaign.
Labour offers to tax the richest more, increase the minimum wage, and freeze energy bills. Labour will also scrap the Bedroom Tax- and indeed on Friday defeated the Tory government in a vote which means that it will not be charged on people with disabilities. In the case of that vote, Scottish voters should by now be very aware that only two SNP MPs bothered to turn up. It is easy to see where the priorities of the rest of the Yes campaign lie – and it is not with social justice or protecting the vulnerable.
In fact, when the claims of Yes are put to the test, they fail miserably to convince anyone. People know that you cannot have Scandinavian services with Irish taxes, and that North Sea oil will not bridge the gap, leaving a black hole of £6 billion in the budget of an independent Scotland.
They also have too much sense to gamble the entire economy on the off-chance that there may be a currency union between an independent Scotland and rUK in the face of most of the political and economic evidence. And having listened to politicians from all parties tell them since 1999 that the NHS is fully devolved, they will correctly not believe scare stories about it being at risk.
Peter A Russell,