FOLLOWING on from Jeremy Corbyn’s car-wreck speech at the Scottish Labour conference, it came as no surprise that the hapless Richard Leonard was left to try to upstage him, and upstage him he did (Richard Leonard says Labour are bulwark against ‘Scottish nationalism’, The National, March 10). His speech was a sorry reflection of the delusion that exists within the Labour Party, and in particular, within the Scottish branch office. Leonard railed against PFI’s, the complacency of the SNP Scottish Government and promised a host of truly fantastical moves regarding future economic policy for Scotland.

First off, PFI’s were championed by former Labour leader Gordon Brown during his reign as Chancellor of the Exchequer and it was him that left our country (Scotland) with these horrendous financial legacies for many years to come. His solution was to not have any further ruinous PFI’s in Scotland and to cancel out the current ones. Great Richard, but have you stopped for just a minute and done a little research you would have found that the SNP government has done just that and replaced them with a far less damaging alternative. As for cancelling the current ones, he says not a word on the logistics of such a move never mind the legal costs and implications. Again and again we hear these people friendly sound bites from this branch office, and as I have said before, it is easy to promise the earth in opposition, but quite another thing to accomplish them when in power. Though Leonard will never be in power!

He then had the audacity to state that the SNP Scottish Government was complacent and as bad as the Tories. Well that is rich coming from a party that has sat on it’s collective hands and refused point blank, due to their tribalistic loathing of the SNP, to engage in a collective opposition to the Tory Brexiteers in Westminster. Their record at Holyrood is no better where they have for years been content to snipe and oppose any ideas coming from the SNP that would improve our country’s wellbeing. The SNP have led the way in the fight against the Tory rush to the cliff edge and have since day one shown they have a greater understanding and awareness of the dangers of Brexit. Labour on the other hand, have flim flamed their way around the issues and are still no nearer giving us a definitive position on Brexit, due mainly to Corbyn’s antipathy to the EU.

It would serve Scotland better if Leonard and the Scottish branch office were to drop their ridiculous and prehistoric regard to the SNP, and admit that they have been in the vanguard of opposition to the lunacy that is Brexit. If they could do this and start to actually work constructively with the Scottish Government then maybe they could be treated seriously as a political party with credibility. Right now there is no sign of that happening, so we can assume they are, by default, prepared to let the Tories pillage and destroy our devolved Parliament, our standards of living and our economic and societal wellbeing. Stop talking sound bites Labour and become engaged with the real world, a world we in Scotland are fearful of losing thanks to the menace of May and her bunch of hooligans that are intent on taking away our Parliament and our way of life!
Ade Hegney

FURTHER to your article on the Labour Party conference this week, may I point out a political meta-narrative that exists in the Labour Party and it’s branch office in Scotland. Keir Hardie did not found the Labour Party. He formed the Independent Labour Party in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1893. He formed this to replace a working-class pressure group which had lobbied the Liberal party who claimed they would represent the skilled and unskilled working class. On the back of this, the Liberals were returned to Westminster and promptly reneged on their promises.

Hardie believed that the working class had to have their own independent body hence the birth of the ILP. His slogan for the new workers’ party was “peace, socialism, equality and home rule for Scotland”. The home-rule aspect has been removed by the present Keir Hardie Society from this logo. The society is currently chaired by Richard Leonard, They also cannot agree what home rule means!

Hardie also warned about the dangers facing working-class MPs returned to the Commons. They lost their convictions through time due to the “unlimited opportunities for meeting wealthy people and being patronised by society”. They became less comfortable in the company of the needy and soon live well distant from them.

At a recent meeting of the Keir Hardie Society, his great grandson was invited to attended. Before leaving the meeting somewhat early, he announced to the society that “Hardie would have taken nothing to do with the current Labour Party”.
WJ Graham
East Kilbride

A DEPARTMENT for Transport report has concluded that there should be tougher jail sentences for reckless cyclists.

This is to be welcomed since Charlie Alliston knocked over and killed Kim Briggs whilst riding a bike with no front brakes but was only jailed for 18 months, out in nine.

He was found guilty of “wanton and furious driving” which carries a maximum penalty of two years. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving is 14 years.

Until there is an ID system in place, reckless cyclists will pedal away and escape justice. Politicians must introduce such a system.

Will the Scottish executive or Westminster be the first to act?
Clark Cross