GAINING a mere 9% of the vote in Scotland at the EU election, its former fiefdom, is a silent yet significant indicator of the denouement of Labour, the once dominant Unionist party here. Its slump is unprecedented and its internal crisis has begun with denial. It is bumping along the bottom as the SNP, on a clear programme of Remain, took the lead in all but two of the local government areas in Scotland.

There is anger at Jeremy Corbyn, but one must question why? As Unionists they are beholden to their head office down south. Richard Leonard does not lead an independent party here, as there is no separate Scottish Labour, merely Labour in Scotland, and by logical extension that is actually English Labour!

If they defer to the leader of English Labour then they cannot gripe. However, as the Brexit Party looks like it is devouring the duopoly south of the Tweed, Labour voters in Scotland need to consider one serious issue: namely, they are never going to gain any traction at Westminster for their precious Union where they alternate in power with the other official Unionist party, their fellow travellers in the duopoly.

They will surely come to the conclusion that leaving their Union is the only way they can have a future. That future begins when they stop belittling fellow Scots and Scotland and overcome their own subservient cottar mentality vis-a-vis Westminster. It is time to see that positive Scottishness, as exemplified by the SNP, makes gains!

It is sad that the party of Donald Dewar, who led the devolution process with the support of the SNP and the LibDems and who saw it as a first step in acquiring additional powers, has turned into a coterie of naw-sayers intent on halting Holyrood’s growth. That party cannot even refer back to its successes at Holyrood and champion more powers even within a devolved structure. In fact, Labour north of the Tweed has shrivelled up intellectually and politically. It has in its present form really nothing to contribute at all.

A Brexit Party-led UK is going to destroy the political landscape down south. Labour there will be demoted to an onlooker sounding out through a megaphone as the old certainties vanish. Yet, an independent Labour Party in an independent Scotland would no longer be a mere “branch”. If it continues in its decline it will hardly even be a twig.

John Edgar

SO, we have presidential state visits by some very unpresidential guisers!

We have statements and quotes about the NHS being “on the (operating?) table” included in future UK/US trade deals. Surely this subject is a major red line in any politician’s thought train?

However, we now have Trump publicly admiring Boris and we have a Tory party who publicly admit they are in an existential crisis.

This same party in existential crisis deny Scotland the right to self-determination at time when our leading party by a country mile, the SNP, are in completely the opposite position of our Tory rulers.

The SNP and also the other progressive parties are generally moving forward whilst the good old Tories languish in the 20th century.

Here’s hoping the existential crisis materialises and boom – the Tories are gone!!

Dougie Gray

SOME correspondents question the validity of Britain’s “special relationship” with the USA (Letters, June 5). l can assure them that it’s still enduring and can be best described as the relationship as between a dog and a lamp post, the USA being the dog.

Drew Reid

PETE Wishart MP spends a large part of his article telling us how different Quebec’s relationship with Canada is compared to Scotland’s with the UK, but then concludes that a second failed referendum would have exactly the same consequences for Scotland as Quebec’s second referendum had (Wishart warns of dangers to SNP of losing next indyref, June 5).

Why, Pete? You point out all the differences but then conclude that the outcomes would be the same, without a scrap of evidence.

While I agree that losing a second independence referendum wouldn’t be helpful, I think the difference in the relationships between Canada and Quebec on the one hand and the UK and Scotland on the other explains the different outcomes we have observed.

Support for a second referendum grew in Scotland because the UK side didn’t keep the promises it made to win the first time around. I see no evidence that a second loss wouldn’t have a similar outcome. One thing is for sure; if we are over-cautious and never call a second referendum for fear of losing it we will be no further forward than if we had had a second referendum and lost.

Neil Caple

SUPPORT for independence in Quebec has plummeted because after the second referendum they got 95% of what they wanted and were promised, their federalism and devo-supermax. There is no reason why Scottish independentistas would abandon the quest for self-determination and accept London rule just because there was a second referendum if the UK Government again kept none of its promises and actually made things worse than they were before the referendum.

The core indy support never went away after indyref1. People in Quebec lost their enthusiasm for independence not because they are tired of referendums but because most of them are happy with the situation now. Pete Wishart is confusing cause and effect. There is no positive case for continuing as a part of Empire 2.0. Time to persuade the soft No voters, because the choice now is a no-brainer.

Markus Mattila