THE letter from Neil Brown (February 1) immediately reminded me of the very large, unnoticed elephant long domiciled in the Labour Party in Scotland. It takes the form of the visceral hatred of Labour towards the SNP, and their hierarchy have long been either totally unaware of or totally unwilling to consider the damage done to themselves and their ambitions by this pachyderm.

I am sure that in the earliest days of the Labour Party they were derided as a bunch of chancers with no hope of ever gaining power, just as people were told for years that a vote for the SNP was a wasted vote. But Labour kept faith in their ideals and goals, fought on and eventually had the chance of actually holding power in government, recognised as a genuine political party like any other.

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Have the SNP not followed the same path and now become a legitimate political party able to hold power? Sauce for the goose etc?

The hatred of the SNP quite clearly results from the unprecedented loss of Labour seats in both parliaments, seats considered theirs by right and taken for granted. Why, however, have they never stopped to analyse why they were lost? Why have they never analysed how seldom they would have gained power at Westminster without those Scottish seats? And why have they never worked out how to deal with this new scenario? Have they never heard “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”?

It has seemed to me for a long time that the Labour Party in Scotland have never asked themselves where they have let their electorate down, or whether that electorate’s priorities have changed. The entire focus has been on hating the SNP and trying to show how

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bad they are – tantamount to telling the electorate that they have been stupid in continually voting for this terrible, dangerous party! Voters, I suspect, do not appreciate being told they are stupid.

At the moment, they need to realise that the people of Scotland have left them behind, the old mantras and tactics will no longer work, and if they want a better future they might start by driving the elephant of hatred out, trying to find out what the voters want of them, and cooperating with whoever wants to follow that path.

Right now, I think that means working with anyone at all, of any party, who wants to protect Scotland from the harm in which we will all share without having a hand in imposing it.

For the record, I voted in the past for both Harry Ewing and Dennis Canavan, men of principle who put their constituents and the people of Scotland first, whatever the personal cost. Would that we could see their like again in the Labour party!

P Davidson

DOES any British political party have the least idea what will happen to the country’s infrastructure after Brexit? Our two leading parties seem to have less idea than most and are more intent on internal squabbling than doing what’s best for the nation. The Tories are split over which person actually leads their party (Boris Johnson or Theresa May) while, although Labour state that its leader is Jeremy Corbyn, few Labour MPs seem to agree.

Stephen McCarthy

MARTIN Hannan’s analysis of the mix of speakers in Politics Live is well-timed (Politics Live is proof of BBC’s bias, says survey, February 2). Along with lack of representation on Question Time, I would add the regular erosion of the time given to “the news where you are” – which often starts more than three minutes late.

However, the picture of the naturalist Chris Packham on an item about ravens reminded me of the few times this last week when I dipped into Winterwatch, which came from the Cairngorm National Park. Chris Packham is a well-respected naturalist, and the Welsh Iolo Williams knows his stuff, but I am surprised there do not seem to have been any Scottish local experts even to have given a short presentation, never mind a daily spot during the week.

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We have plenty of naturalists in Scotland whose expertise would have added to the programme and might well have had more depth of knowledge than people from elsewhere.

I may have missed a Scottish contribution as I did not watch any episode right through, but did note a salmon expert with an English accent. Perhaps I am being oversensitive but it seems a bit like the BBC are using people from other parts of the UK to tell us in Scotland about our wonderful wildlife. Frankly this is patronising.

This seems to be a creeping trend that we should be aware of, if we are not already. Unfortunately complaining to the BBC is pointless, but not paying the licence tax can show our disapproval.

Ann Rayner

HOW right Martin Hannan is to complain about BBC bias against Scottish interests. It has long been my intention to write to complain about Sunday Politics Scotland. Gordon Brewer has just got into his stride with guests when it’s time to wrap up. Half an hour is ludicrously short to do justice to matters arising from the present political situation! One lone voice is hardly enough when making a formal complaint, but I would be willing to add my name to any future campaign to right the wrongs.

Janet Cunningham

IS it not time we stopped crediting the BBC with an over-inflated degree of influence? The fact of the matter is that their viewing and listening figures in Scotland are down. Less than half of Scots trust them to be impartial. And increasingly the public seeks its news online. The demographic for the BBC is clearly the older generation, and probably middle-class. So stop giving them free publicity. We are paranoid that they will seriously influence the next referendum. They won’t. They’ve been found out and are increasingly an irrelevance in Scotland. Chill!

Simon Taylor