MARTIN Hannan’s profile of Attlee gave a fair picture of a good politician (How far the Labour party have fallen, July 27). However, it should be remembered that Attlee did two notable disservices to the people of Scotland, in one case intentionally.

The Labour Party 1945 manifesto included a promise of “Home Rule for Scotland” – something which had passed its second reading in 1914 and was lost without trace after the First World War. When Labour won its huge victory, Attlee decided that “since we have won, Scotland does not need home rule”.

READ MORE: 75 years since Clement Attlee as PM shows how far Labour have fallen

The people of Scotland have suffered from this lack of action over “home rule” ever since: the sabotage of the 1979 Scottish Assembly vote when the people voted Yes; the distortion of the 1999 vote, for a parliament with tax-raising powers; the theft by trickery of 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters – with six oil wells and all the fishing, in a successful bid to further cheat the people of Scotland of any oil benefits – removed to English jurisdiction secretly. All these, which have allowed the oppression of the people of Scotland to continue and worsen to this day, could perhaps have been avoided if Attlee had honoured his manifesto commitment.

Attlee’s government nationalised most major industries – coal, steel, railways, energy etc – from Scotland and England, in the interest of all citizens. But when Mrs Thatcher’s government sold off these things – which belonged to, and were paid for by, everyone – she did not return Scotland’s ones to make a benefit to the people of Scotland but sold them off cheap to her friends with only loss to most people (including the people of England, Wales and maybe Northern Ireland).

Attlee forgot, or ignored, that the Westminster Parliament operates under English law and the English undemocratic version of sovereignty (it resides with “the Crown in Parliament” rather than as in Scots Law “with the people”). This means no parliament can bind another parliament, and so any laws can be changed at will – even overturning clauses of the Treaty of Union, breaches of which should render the entire treaty invalid.

Susan Forde

I WOULD thoroughly recommend that Alyn Smith MP consider a second career as a folklorist, because he can make platitudes sound like certainties like no other National columnist can (Indy will be won on centre ground with sound policies, July 29).

Of course, independence will only be won by appealing to a broad swathe of Scottish society in the centre ground, but any political ship must be anchored in the economic waters of either a left-wing or right-wing analysis. If not it will substantially flounder, as the SNP did in the disastrous Westminster election of 1979 because Scots were not sure what they were voting for beyond independence.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: Independence will be won on centre ground with sound policies

Political spin has certainly moved on in the last 40 years but I can see a situation where, despite very optimistic poll ratings for the SNP right now, its ship will run aground on the ambiguity of its policies, which Mr Smith has the right to argue are “sound” but which are patently not.

For example, he obviously sees the Social Justice Commission working in partnership with the regressive Growth Commission, yet anything the Social Justice Commission does, such as the very worthy project of examining a Basic Universal Income, will be like trying to build a house of granite on foundations of sand.

Smith the folklorist would have us believe that it will take an independent Scotland up to a decade to create its own currency. This fiscal dependency on a Tory-dominated Westminster would allow them to run amok promoting austerity, which would kill “sound” policies like a Basic Universal Income.

I have no doubts he is trying to genuinely enthuse the SNP members in their policy development, but Smith has to genuinely ask if his colleagues in Westminster and Holyrood will be listening. The SNP has over recent years abandoned its traditional social democratic ethos in favour of a menu of centre/right economics and a centre/right pro-Nato defence policy, with a distinct seasoning of authoritarianism as seen in both the Gender Recognition Act and the proposed Hate Crime Bill. This is definitely not a policy agenda which will appeal to “the centre ground of middle Scotland”.

Cllr Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

YET another beautiful eagle killed on a grouse moor in Scotland. How many more will die on a grouse moor over the next five years as we wait for a “licensing” system to start? Shut grouse moors now, and give them an incentive to do something more profitable with the land – like planting trees.

C Tainsh

IS it just me that thinks it ironic that the PM who has led the UK through 56,000+ Covid deaths, many of which could have been avoided, now thinks a diet is best for our health, at the same time as kicking out our food safety standards and importing toxic garbage for the masses?

Murray Forbes