IN their most recent interviews, Vince Cable spoke of his intention to transform the LibDems into a “movement for moderates”, while Tony Blair bemoaned the fact that Labour’s moderates have lost the party to the left.

Oh how my heart bleeds for all those eminently “sensible”, principled, upstanding and conviction-driven “moderates” in the House of Commons who find themselves in the squeezed political centre-ground. You know – all those cuddly butter-wouldn’t-melt LibDems, and the smoother-than-smooth Blairites in the Labour Party, who in recent years have shown themselves to be all too ready and willing to throw the poorest in society under a bus.

Possessing the morality of a pack of hyenas, they have helped heap further immiseration and impoverishment on unemployed, sick and disabled people, carers, lone parents reliant on social security, the low-paid, not to mention increasing numbers of children. The LibDems, in their five-year bed-in with the Nasty Party, crucially enabling the shafting of poor people via the dismantling of the social security safety net, and the “moderate”majority of the putative opposition who either voted for or abstained regarding numerous aspects of the “welfare reform” that served just such a heinous purpose.

One of the most brutal lessons of recent times, in my view, is that “moderates” can’t be trusted to protect those who are the most socially and economically vulnerable – in fact, quite the opposite: they are only too ready to abandon them regardless of the harm and suffering this causes.

Mo Maclean

IS it a sign of the times when past presidents and ex-party leaders wish to exert an influence on today’s politics? Do they see themselves, perhaps, as elder statesmen or men wishing to have a second chance to rectify past mistakes?

Barack Obama didn’t have the strength to override those who hold the real power in the White House; Bill Clinton disgraced his position; Tony Blair took us into an unnecessary and illegal war against people’s wishes; and Gordon Brown failed miserably as a leader.

Apart from Mr Obama, they were all found guilty of lying to us. If they can do something to make the world a better place to live in then I suggest that it is done behind the scenes and not on the world stage. We are all too well aware of the legacy left behind by these discredited gentlemen.

Janet Cunningham

ANENT the demand by the Scottish Liberal Democrats that Nicola Sturgeon comes off the fence and declares, indeed leads, a call for a second EU referendum, I would respectively suggest she ignores this for three main reasons.

Firstly, in 2016 Scotland voted 62% to remain in the EU. Even if in a rerun Scotland voted 100% Remain, it would have little effect unless England and Wales changed their views. It is England which has to be persuaded, not Scotland. And this leads to the second point. A glance through the online issues of English newspapers shows an almost visceral hatred of Nicola Sturgeon on the part of many respondents. It may be very unwise, and indeed counterproductive, for Miss Sturgeon to be involved in any approach to English voters.

Finally there are the Scottish Liberal Democrats. They are demanding Ms Sturgeon declares for a second EU referendum, while at the same time demanding that if she does not abandon thoughts of a second independence referendum, they will refuse to support the proposed Budget in Holyrood.

Mr Rennie has been highlighting education and mental health provision for some time. Is he really going to scupper a Budget which attempts of deal with the very issues he champions? If he does then he will very much be seen as all noise and little substance.

Donald MacRae

RECENTLY I was part of a group demonstrating outside Holyrood protesting about the lack of democracy in the negotiation and ratification of trade deals.

We had just attended a meeting of the Finance and Constitution Committee which had taken evidence from George Hollingbery (no, I hadn’t heard of him either), a former parliamentary private secretary to Theresa May and now minister for trade policy in Liam Fox’s department.

In his evidence, Mr Hollingbery indicated quite clearly that there would be no role for Holyrood in the negotiation of trade deals, even where these deals clearly cut across devolved areas such as agriculture or fisheries.

The current trade bill also mandates the creation of a Trade Remedies Authority, which will consist of individuals appointed by Liam Fox who will work to ensure that UK businesses are adequately defended against unfair trading practices from other countries. When asked about these appointees Mr Hollingbery saw no necessity for any of them to have any expertise in, or knowledge of, the Scottish (or Welsh and Irish) business sector.

If we in Scotland are not careful and don’t make our views known, these moves will be the prelude to the end of devolution.

Graham Kemp
St Andrews

I READ with some alarm and eventually some amusement Ashley MacGregor’s letter (September 7). If the SNP and Plaid Cymru were to attempt to rally “nationalists” in England, surely such a vehicle would be car-jacked by the real and already evident nationalists in play within that country at present. The likes of Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage would love to take some lessons on getting the “soundbites right, fund it and get it right”.

While I agree there should be a party opposing all that Ashley sees as wrong in the UK, I have to point out that such a party already exists. The Green Party already oppose Brexit, corruption and cronyism.

Ian Ludlam

READ MORE: Letters: An English National Party could shake things up​