Labour and PR: Herald letter.

TOWARDS the end of the Thatcher-Major era, I was convinced of the case for proportional representation by the late Robin Cook, including his observation that if first past the post provided “strong government” in that form, he would prefer the alternative.

A few years later, one of his Scottish Labour MP colleagues roundly disparaged Holyrood’s Additional Member System, on the grounds that it had given the Tories a lifeline. It is now of course deeply ironic that Labour has at least for the time being been kept alive by that same lifeline.

I am disappointed by Labour’s showing in the most recent election – truth be told I am bloody furious, with my own party above all – but there will be time for that. However, it is clear that the big winner is the case for PR, despite the predictable grievance-mongering of Alex Salmond (“Salmond claims Holyrood electoral system manifests ‘peculiarities’”, The Herald, May 12).

I hope that it is now only a matter of time until Labour joins the rest of the major parties in the UK (including the SNP) in campaigning for some form of PR at Westminster, as Robin Cook recommended.

Peter A Russell,

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