KEVIN McKenna’s article (Angela Rayner only views Scotland as a source of election fodder, Aug 10) benefits by looking at the decline of Labour party values through a historical lens.

Starmer is simply the final act of the revisionism of the Labour party that started more than 70 years ago with Gaitskell, then Wilson and Blair. Each progressed the idea that political trade unionism was no longer needed and socialism was a relic of the past. They regarded trade unions as an embarrassment to the Labour government.

On January 17 1969 the Labour government published “In Place of Strife”, which contained proposals for discouraging strikes whereby breaches of the proposed legislation would be dealt with by the courts.

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In 1995, Blair tore the very soul out of the Labour party with the abandonment of Clause 4 of the party’s constitution, thereby ending its claim to be a socialist party.

In 2013 we looked upon the disgraceful failure of 47 Labour MPs – including Gordon Brown, Anas Sarwar, Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy – to vote on its Commons motion to scrap the “Bedroom Tax”.

Then we witnessed “red” Ed Miliband’s finest moment when, immediately prior to the 2015 General Election, he said would prefer a Tory government to a progressive Labour-led coalition with the SNP.

Labour MSPs opposed the devolution of employment law (minimum wage and trade union rights) during the Smith Commission and passage of the Scotland Act 2016. This could have protected workers in Scotland from the draconian Tory 2016 trade union legislation. Even the erstwhile Brexit Minister, David Davis, described the original bill as being like Franco’s Britain rather than Queen Elizabeth II’s Britain.

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Tony Benn once commented that “the Labour party was hoping to rise above its past as a product of trade unionism and present itself to the country as the natural party of government, strong enough to govern the country even when opposed by the trade unions”. Starmer now makes complete this revisionism by controlling the rank and file through the party leadership that has no accountability, as reflected at conference. He has relentlessly hunted and rooted out those Labour MPs with any semblance of left-wing tendencies to the point of sacrificing past electoral success.

Starmer’s revisionism was made crystal clear when he made it known on the Andrew Marr Show in October 2016 that he would support the Tory hostile immigration policy by approving the then proposed Tory policy of forcing employers to identify non-UK-born EU nationals who were in their employ.

Is it any surprise, therefore, that Labour is in decline? Who now represents the interests of labour? There is no confusion about which parties are behind capital. When was the last time that a Labour government rolled back Tory anti-trade union legislation?

The Labour party has now sold itself entirely and has betrayed the people it is supposed to represent. Yet it still pleads for their support, portraying itself as the least bad capitalist political party.

Scotland has only one option left to it if it wants a different future, and all those reading this know what that is.

Gordon Murray

THE reference to Angela Rayner in Kevin McKenna’s column concerning her Edinburgh Fringe one-liners made me smile, inespecial her reference to Ashton-under-Lyne.

I did wonder if, through perhaps not understanding Scottish culture in every shape and form, she mistook Auld Lang Syne as being about the Manchester suburb. It wouldna be too difficult to phrase in ... “fae th’ sakes o’ Ashton-under-Lyne”.

That one is even better than Rishi Sunak thinking Darlington belongs to Scotland.

It really is amazing (or perhaps not) the ignorance shown not just by Tory MPs but now Labour MPs.

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Also, just how much is Scotland “THE key to Manchester”? As much or little I know about Manchester is that it receives 100% more attention from the English government than Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland put together.

So if my adopted country holds the key to any considerations from what is left of England’s ministerial gatherings, then yes, we can certainly give you a few pointers to becoming an independent country, called perhaps “Mancuria”. So, good luck with that one, and you just keep plugging away Angela. You’re doing just fine.

Alan Magnus-Bennett

I’M sure Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the “Bringlish” Labour Party, is a smart and likeable politician – although possibly a bit naive – but she was ill-advised to trot out the old guff that “I don’t think the people of Scotland should leave behind the people of Ashton-under-Lyne...” as a reason for the Scots not to seek independence (NB “leave behind” implies we will prosper).

She and her leader are understandably desperate to win a few Scottish Westminster seats at the next General Election, as this might earn them a narrow victory over the Tories, but I doubt the good people of Ashton-under-Lyne give a stuff about Scotland. I’m guessing a majority of them voted for Brexit – and still believe that “British is Best” in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – thus saddling Scotland (and Northern Ireland) with English policies for English people.

David Roche

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak reaffirms plan to divert cash from poor to rich areas

HOW considerate of Rishi Sunak to divert funds from poor urban areas so they can go to wealthy Tory ones. It says a lot about him that he takes pride in taking from the poor to give to the rich. If only Mr Sunak had been so prompt to get his wife and billionaire father-in-law to divert all the millions they invested in Russia.

Stephen McCarthy