I FOUND the article by Professor Gregor Gall fascinating (Working class never went away but it may be changing, Nov 7). As with my early social studies as a student, I was again reminded of my place in society, which I have never forgotten.

Indeed, I am working class, just like everyone else who doesn’t own the means of production.

I have slowly moved up the financial ladder and now live in my bought home, which might have been thought middle class 60 or 70 years ago. However – and this is the fundamental difference – my personality is still in the working-class mould.

For 50 years, I worked my way up in various jobs and professions, including seven years as a mature student, re-educating myself to degree level and a new career with a pension – but still with my working-class mentality intact. This enabled me to become heavily involved in the university workplace trade union, side by side with my new career.

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If I am any “example” of the professor’s notion of the working class having never actually gone away, then he is perfectly correct in saying we never went away, while mocking Starmer’s jibe suggesting we are “all middle class now”.

I have just returned from a holiday with friends living in America, some in homes that express a high level of wealth, others perhaps similar to myself.

The difference found was that where wealth accentuated a certain lifestyle, the people were all of the same friendliness. That I am still of the working-class mould made not a jot of difference to me. I fitted in perfectly. Handshakes, back-slapping, hugs, all just like old friends might do.

The UK population needs to get rid of its now old-fashioned notion of the class system.

As Professor Gregor Gall points out, there are the ruling classes who, well, rule. And then there are the different levels of those who control the means of production, from managerial to the floor sweeper. We are all equally important! We are the new equal class of employees, whatever our job description.

Without each other, the whole means of production would collapse, as has been so often proved in recent times, from barristers to train signalmen et al.

Alan Magnus-Bennett


WHEN asked by Martin Geissler what went wrong for Scottish Labour 15 years ago, Keir Starmer said – and I quote: “We didn’t align our priorities with the priorities of those who we were asking to vote for us ...”

So obviously, he and his party have not taken the lesson from that, as he continued to state that he thought or “we” think this is the priority for the UK at this time!

He just doesn’t get it, and probably never will because he doesn’t want to!

Just a shame that Martin failed to state the ridiculousness of Ireland being allowed a referendum every seven years but it’s once in a century, it seems, for Scotland. Starmer bigged up Anas Sarwar, but coming second in front of the Tory Party in council elections was an easy feat to achieve and will not be replicated in any great numbers in a General Election where, if Labour are lucky, they might get five MPs at best.

We did our best to talk England out of Brexit and it wouldn’t listen, so the result is perma-crisis that we Scots have had enough of.

Steve Cunningham


TUESDAY was an opposition day in the House of Commons and the main opposition went on pensions and the security of the “triple lock”. With an ageing population and rising poverty levels among pensioners this is a serious subject and worthy of debate.

However, should this debate (which lasted three hours) have been necessary, considering the 2019 Conservative manifesto commitment to retain the “triple lock”?

Successive Westminster governments have retained the shameful situation of UK state pensions being among the poorest in Europe.

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This debate heard speakers from all parties and it was encouraging to hear the SNP spokesman, Alan Brown MP, highlight the plight of the Waspi (Woman Against State Pension Inequality) women – women born in the 1950s who have been disproportionately disadvantaged by equalising the state pension age for men and women.

This debate went on to highlight time and again the lack of uptake of Pension Credit by those entitled. Only seven out of 10 who are entitled are claiming – this equates to close on one million pensioners not claiming, begging the question should not the Westminster government be running an information campaign or including a leaflet in the Winter Fuel Allowance notification to all pensioners?

In the summing-up remarks, the Conservative minister Laura Trott had the audacity to suggest that pensioner poverty had gone down during the Conservative reign in government, an outrageous suggestion considering fuel poverty figures amongst pensions and a less-than-inflation rise to state pensions this year by the Conservatives. Those outrageous claims reflect how out of touch and heartless the Conservatives are and I am sure nothing is about to change, regardless of the House adopting the opposition motion to protect the “triple lock” in 2023.

I say this because it was under the new Prime Minister, when he was chancellor, that the “triple lock” was abolished in 2022.

Catriona C Clark