BACK in the 1980s, the Conservative Party embarked on a disastrous and short-sighted policy – to sell off national industries and social housing and leave the economy of these islands to the mercy of individual greed and corporate “restructuring”.

At that point in British political history the Labour Party went into meltdown.

Under Neil Kinnock, the party became engulfed in a prolonged internal quarrel and failed to oppose the Tory policies which were destroying contemporary society.

The Conservative Party, unopposed by a completely ineffectual Labour Party, shrunk the UK’s manufacturing sector by two-thirds (the greatest de-industrialisation of any major nation). Scotland – a previous home to coal, to steel, to shipbuilding – is still suffering from that economic vandalism which was ignored by a navel-gazing Labour Party. In the aftermath, a whole generation was lost.

Some 30 years on, are we witnessing a repeat of history, devoid of meaningful learning or any intelligent reflection?

As a consequence of the Conservative Party’s perennial feud on EU membership, the UK is about to leave the European Union and lose the economic and cultural security that membership guarantees.

What has the Labour Party opted to do to protect our society from imminent economic suicide? It has chosen to embark on another political meltdown with very public resignations in the House.

And as Brexit enables the Conservatives to wreck what remains of our industry, it also puts at risk those very things that distinguish the UK from the rest of the world – the NHS, the Scottish National Health Service and the welfare state.

One question must be asked – what will be the cost to the next generation from the latest bitter quarrel engulfing the rank-and-file of the Labour Party? Will it cost more than the toll of Labour’s blundering internal strife of the 1980s?

I humbly suggest that, this time around, it will cost Scotland a great deal more. Unlike the relocation to Europe and beyond of UK industries such as Airbus, Flybmi, Ford, Honda, Sony, Dyson, Panasonic, Hitachi, Toshiba, Philips, Unilever, Dyson et al, Scotland’s industries and resources (wind, wave, water, rainfall, fish, arable and pastoral land, oil and gas) can’t relocate because they are geographically bound.

In a matter of weeks, Scotland will be removed from the EU with all the risks that such a shock to an economic system entails. Unlike the rUK, the risk to Scotland isn’t relocation of industry, but the stagnation of a country forced into international isolationism and unable to effectively export to the world and stimulate its economy.

Brexit will be the creator of a moribund Scotland. A Scotland dragged to the bottom of the economic abyss. A Scotland at the mercy of those who dominate the British state. A Scotland birthing another lost generation.

Let’s man the lifeboats now before it’s too late. Look after Scotland and the people who live and work here.

The people of Scotland can’t trust the archaic political status quo of Westminster, Tory or otherwise – not in the past, not in the present and most certainly not in the future.

TO BE CONTINUED (for another generation)?

Mark Saunders
Port Glasgow

NO doubt the staff of Question Time will be warming the chair for representatives of the independent group freezing out the SNP even more.

Kenny Burnett