WHAT is Labour for? A YouGov survey recently says 51% of the UK population think Labour does not stand up for working people! This is a damning indictment of Labour’s ineptitude on both sides of the border.

You would think that Labour’s demise in Scotland would be a wake up call. Both leaders have consistently sided with the Tories both at Westminster and in local government. Anas Sarwar (or should I say Jackie Baillie) really doesn’t get it. Suspending Labour councillors for NOT voting with the Tories, complaining that the Scottish Government should fund workers pay increases whilst at the next breath, denying workers in Edinburgh a 5% pay rise.

The SNP on Edinburgh’s council rescued the deal but only after using its casting vote. I fail to understand why?

I can only imagine that Jackie Baillie – sorry Anas Sarwar – has a hidden agenda just to undermine the Scottish Government, using local government workers as pawns. What a sad state of affairs.

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It’s clear, only The Scottish Government will stand up for the people of Scotland!

The so called Vow in 2014 was unceremoniously ditched by the Labour Party who voted against giving further powers to the Scottish Government, eaving the Scottish Government to mitigate for the bedroom and the so-called “rape clause”. (Plus all the extra benefits that the Scottish Government has implemented for all the people of Scotland irrespective of income or background.) The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Labour were in power for 11 years but did absolutely nothing for the people they claim to represent. All we got was partial devolution, Gordon Brown’s PFI, an illegal war and a shambles of the over-60s bus pass. That was supposed to be a UK-wide system but as with everything else, the Devil’s in the details.

So instead of the UK Government covering the cost, it was left to local government to pay from local government budgets. Now in England it’s only over 65s and vulnerable people get the pass. Where as in the devolved government areas it’s over 60s, vulnerable – and now in Scotland also those under 23.

The Scottish Government has done all it can to mitigate the cost of living crisis. But with a fixed budget any additional funding must come from Westminster. I’m not holding my breath for that!

The so-called UK Government is in hiding until the worst PM in British history is replaced by an even more extreme bampot!

We all know the Tory’s are heartless, the Liberal’s a complete waste of time.

But Labour was supposedly created to provide support for the millions of people who actually work for a living. Kier Hardie was a hero to working people, Kier Starmer is a disgrace. If a General Election was called tomorrow Labour would likely lose or, certainly wouldn’t have a majority. So back to the original question: What is Labour actually for?

Colin Counter

via email

JAMES Dipple’s long letter (Displaying ‘Tory scum’ banner does nothing to help the Yes cause) certainly drew my attention esp after attending the recent anti-Tory demo at the Perth Concert Hall. His letter had some very good comments regarding the positive way forward for the Yes campaign.

It’s a case of not dropping our standards as there has been very little criticism down the years of a predominantly peaceful and friendly campaign to attain Scottish self-determination.

Note that many protesters in Perth never saw these banners due to their position located behind them or not easily viewed from other side positions.

I observed a big banner that clearly cost a fair amount of money to produce, but it didn’t list the Tory “scum” who practise “gutter politics” on a weekly basis. Therefore, it can be easily misinterpreted or used against the Scottish independence movement by Unionist media people and others who wish to undermine our indy objectives. In which case – don’t display it at all!

The banner of interest actually comprised white lettering on a black background, unusual colours to use IMO; it was tied up on a barrier in front of the Waspi women protest group to the east of the Concert Hall frontage.

I have my doubts, but it is possible they set it up on the barrier. A good number of people in my vicinity frowned on it being displayed and that’s a fact.

Some Yes women agreed the tone of it was too extreme and open to misinterpretation and criticism from anti-independence opponents.

May I add such a banner could easily be placed on said barrier by anyone with ill intentions well before the demo began. Also there were definitely some infiltrators, Unionist or other, at this gathering – they “stand out like a sore thumb” and gave away their presence when two very big police officers “plucked out” a young lad (possibly a known pickpocket?) from the crowd and briefly apprehended/interrogated him behind the protest lines.

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The melee that ensued around these police officers was astounding with some media people mixed in with these shady operators trying to take photos/video shots on their mobile phones. All trying to acquire possible damning photographic evidence on the nasty independence campaign full of horrible people, soon to be called “separatists”?

This is all part and parcel of the world we live in with lots of these people practising from a populist “spin” manual coupled to a biased right-wing agenda that has never changed since the horrible days of 1930s Germany and the Third Reich or Franco’s fascist Spain.

The methods used are more subtle, but generally the same. We must not drop our guard as many of these chancers will be in our midst, something Mr Dipple has intimated as well.

Bernie Japs


I’VE noticed we never seem to hear in the media from any wealthy folk that feel it is only fair, right and proper that they pay more tax to help those less fortunate than them. They must exist. They can’t all be selfish.

So after doing a bit of digging online I found an article from January 2020 in the Evening Standard about very wealthy people publicly declaring that they want to pay more tax. I’m afraid I couldn’t find an equivalent one purely for Scotland.

The article stated that a group of 120 billionaires, millionaires and wealthy celebrities from eight countries signed an open letter demanding higher taxes for the ultra-wealthy. Among them were actor Simon Pegg and screenwriter Richard Curtis. The letter was written to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The letter claimed that the wealth gap had hit crisis level, resulting in erosion of trust in societies, increasing resentment and undermining of basic social cohesion. It described philanthropy as an inadequate substitute for government investment and that tax increases were the only appropriate way to provide societies with adequate funding.

It also stated tax avoidance had reached epidemic proportions and that in some nations the wealthiest actually pay lower effective tax rates than those of modest means. Research was cited suggesting that close to a 10th of the world’s gross domestic product was hidden in tax havens and about 40% of foreign investment passed through empty corporate shells.

Simon Pegg separately said, “Almost half the world’s population was trying to survive on £4.18 a day or less. The rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013, whereas in the past decade the number of billionaires has doubled. Inequality is not inevitable. It’s a policy choice. It’s the product of governments passing policies for the very wealthy at the expense of the less fortunate. Fixing this broken economy might feel too complex to many world leaders, so help the millionaires get you started. Tax them, tax them more and do it now!”

I’m a pretty avid consumer of news and current affairs and unsurprisingly I can’t recall that being highlighted in the UK media at the time. What a great idea though, if a similar type of letter could be published in as many newspapers in Scotland as possible and highlighted in the media.

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However not just by billionaires and millionaires but, to make a real difference, from a broad base of comfortably off folk in our country including from business, politicians, the public sector, the arts, sport, celebrities, the media, printed press, etc. There is no better time than now when so many families’ standards of living are currently plummeting at a rate of knots.

Surely there must be some altruistic influential folk somewhere in our great country that can take up the baton on this and run with it, persuading many others? The sentiment doesn’t necessarily even have to be altruistic. Just think about the brownie points you will accrue when it’s time to approach those Pearly Gates, with that smug feeling of leaving your selfish counterparts behind, condemned to eternal damnation!

Ivor Telfer

Dalgety Bay, Fife

I AM a member of the SNP of South African Indian origin. I want to support the points in Julian Smith’s letter of August 23 2022 – Our work to build a Yes Movement is being undermined.

The only way we will get Scottish independence is by involving all the people’s organisations and all strands of political opinion, as happened in South Africa. Liberation movements are built on unity.

The African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress came together in Kliptown in 1955 to adopt the historic Freedom Charter.Their slogan was “The People Shall Govern” and over the next 40 years that slogan led the struggle to smash apartheid.

All manner of lies and disinformation will be thrown in our path towards independence and we will need rock solid unity to overcome these efforts. What is needed is for active members of the SNP to speak out in support of a united front as Julian has done.

I am very disappointed by Toni Giuliagno’s apparent attempts to exclude organisations.

The proposed Yestival on September 18 in George (Freedom) Square Glasgow has already been pledged support from more than 40 Yes Groups and organisations.

La Passionaria when faced with growing fascism in Europe said: “Better to die on your feet, than live forever on your knees.”

Radha Chetty


I WAS very moved by Jackie Kemp’s article on Sunday about the “bus party” which toured Scotland before the devolution referendum. It was a privilege to ride and talk and sometimes sing with Mairi Campbell, the late and so great-hearted Willie MacIlvanney and the rest of them. But I wasn’t an organiser. That was Will Storrar, from the energetic wing of the Church of Scotland, who used countless contacts to bring us together, host us and book halls. All I contributed was the idea itself: a political-cultural bus party, something I had seen done across back-country Germany by the novelist Gunter Grass, trying to inject life into a strikingly dreary election campaign.

I’d add another point. We didn’t tell, we asked. We didn’t blether about how great a Scottish Parliament would be . We asked folk what they would like a Parliament do. It says a lot about the old political culture that many were astonished to be asked for their own opinions. When they got used to the idea, they quite liked it. “Scotland , yes! But what sort of Scotland?”

Neal Ascherson

Poltalloch, by Kilmartin