REBECCA Long-Bailey’s long-winded hark back to the Labour past and the noble working-class struggles of the 19th and 20th centuries, in her bid to become party leader, is so Anglo-focused it is not a pan-Labour programme. It is also greatly out of time and place. At least we were not given the usual meme of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the usual soundbite.

Like all seismic, problematic crises in political parties, she digs in and forgets that issues change, and society in 21st-century UK across its four nations is not a remake of things long past. One wonders if her stance could even find echoes north of the Tweed in a Labour party here which is totally rudderless after the election last month.

READ MORE: Rebecca Long-Bailey confirms she will run for Labour leadership

Gordon Brown, former short-term leader of the party and failed PM, does not even relate to Scotland or Labour, whatever it is, any more but to the Union. He represents a weird pastiche of Britishness alongside the Borisonian-Ukip concoction labelled Global Britain in a world far removed from end of the 19th century, which the Britishers of today still use as a fixed point of reference.

The UK is littered today with relics representing a past or trying to recreate a past which was far from glorious. The UK and its wider institutions are in decline in terms of status and position in the world and its representatives are in denial.

Westminster is caught in an existential quandary. Land of Hope and Glory sounds hackneyed and is indeed a damning indictment of the UK’s imperial past. People who boast and chant jingoistically that “Britons never never shall be slaves” forget that the land they boast about was responsible for acts of slavery and enslavement on a global scale across its empire and beyond perpetrated by all levels of the then British society, from politicians to ordinary soldiers and civilians.

As the UK’s right and left struggle to find a way post-Brexit, it has not yet re-appraised its past and searched its secular soul. All Rebecca Long-Bailey and the other lot on the right continue to do is to tread old paths and spout old memes.

John Edgar

DURING a recent BBC radio interview the present Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, “did not agree at all” that the UK is a voluntary union of nations. May I correct the arrogant ignorance of this Tory minister? He should

know that a union is a coming together, a partnership, not a subjugation. The 1707 Union was not a conquest like that of Wales and Ireland, it was in fact a poor and immoral political and business arrangement between two sovereign nations, which ultimately led to the enslavement of peoples as the British Empire expanded.

For more than 200 years the policy of every Westminster government has been to use the assets and entice talent from all regions of the UK, to fuel the wealth of the London establishment. The United Kingdom has never been a union of four nations, far less a “union of equals”. It is now a debt-ridden, broken, post-imperial state with no written constitution. This new Tory government stands alone and aloof from Europe, looking to revive the great in Great Britain.

The continuing intransigence of Westminster only shows how desperate London is to retain the wealth, talent and energy of Scotland for a disintegrating United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There is no doubt that in the near future an independent Scotland is inevitable, along with a united Ireland.

Grant Frazer

THE UK Government’s response to the US assassination of an Iranian General in Iraq is utterly appalling and completely unacceptable. It was an action of unbelievable stupidity and, even worse, utter wickedness. And excused by infantile and easily debunked lies. The US obviously believes it can kill anybody it likes anywhere in the world. So what’s new? “Poodles” doesn’t even begin to describe empty vessel that makes up the UK’s Tory government. We have to get out of this.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll

THIS current crisis which could easily drag the UK into another war demonstrates the recklessness of the far-right-wing Leave campaign. The UK will be isolated after January 31, leaving us exposed to Donald Trump’s “my trigger finger is bigger than yours” brand of diplomacy.

What price will the UK pay now that the USA have a stranglehold on the Tory government, who are so desperate for a trade deal just as we are about to abandon trade deals with 124 countries?

Mike Underwood

SCOTLAND should aim to secure membership of the EEA, the so-called Norway option. This should become SNP policy. The advantages for Scotland would be the following: membership would be easier and faster to secure, with Scotland being closely aligned to single market already; it reduces the potential of EU states such as Spain to be difficult; EEA members can pursue independent trade deals, allowing Scotland to strike a more workable arrangement with the rUK, whilst accessing the single market; it allows Scotland more influence over fishing and agriculture if wished; it is a compromise to the Scots who voted Leave, whilst placing Scotland inside the European family.

Andy Golan
via email

WHEN I mentioned to a friend that Jackson Carlaw had launched a bid to be the Tory leader in Scotland and the only other entrant was Michelle Ballantyne, he riposted: “Will that mean a Ballantyne’s Day massacre?” I could not possibly comment.

Jim Lynch