A SENIOR academic has condemned Sir Keir Starmer’s brief overview of Scottish politics in his 12,000 word essay on his post-pandemic vision for the UK.

The Labour leader mentioned Scotland just three times in the piece, and all were opportunities to criticise the SNP – even describing the “multi-headed hydra of nationalism” as the issue “most immediately damaging to our country” - despite his party's own failing electoral fortunes north of the Border.

The SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, Kirsten Oswald, said the lengthy article provided Starmer is “completely out of touch” with both Scotland and his own party members.

In one section Starmer argues that nationalism and patriotism are not the same – claiming nationalism divides while patriotism unites.

READ MORE: 'Out of touch': Keir Starmer's 12,000 word essay mentions Scotland THREE times

“The Conservatives and Scottish National Party may define themselves against each other, but their politics is symbiotic, requiring one another to sustain and grow … Both the SNP and the Conservatives use culture to distract and deflect, creating division between people of these islands,” he wrote.

“The business of effective governance and improving people’s lives comes second to ideology. Both use nationalism freely to whip up fear of the other.”

This paragraph was quoted by Professor Tanja Bueltmann of Strathclyde University.

The National:

The professor, who is chair of international history at the Glasgow institution, said she hadn’t “read anything so ill-informed in quite a while”.

“I don’t know if he really doesn’t get it,” she tweeted, “but this is really quite insulting to many, many people in Scotland. It’s also just wrong.”

She went on: “Those points apply generally, but of course there’s also a specific point to make: if Labour ever wants to win back voters in Scotland, basically insulting many they need to win over, as the above does too given the broader implications it makes, isn’t a great strategy.”

It hasn’t just been Scots criticising the lengthy essay today. Soon after its release, the Tories jumped on the situation with party chairman Oliver Dowden commenting: “If this is Starmer’s ‘big vision’ then he should have gone to Specsavers.

“Labour are talking to themselves about themselves. They’re all essays and no action.”

The essay, published by The Fabian Society, has been seen as a bid to reset his leadership and craft an ambition for what Labour would look like in Government ahead of his first in-person appearance at a party conference as leader.

In the essay, Starmer sets out 10 principles which he claims would form the basis of a new contract between Labour and the British people.

At its heart is what he has dubbed a “contribution society”, where everyone has a part to play.

It comes at a time where Labour is again gripped in an internal civil war over potential changes Starmer wants to make to leadership rules.

John McDonnell, former shadow chancellor, has said he would support a leadership challenge if Starmer goes ahead with the plans to change the one-member-one-vote system that helped Jeremy Corbyn to power in 2015.