WHEN Jackie Baillie tells us the Scottish Government has the power to change the Westminster government’s abhorrent two-child restriction on benefit and criticises the SNP for not having done so, has there ever been a clearer instance of Labour double-speak (Baillie panned for ‘car crash’ BBC interview, Jul 19)?

While the currency-issuing UK Government has the ability to print money as it sees fit to fund its incompetence and political vested-interest extravagance, doesn’t Baillie realise that Scottish finances are restricted – it is a finite pot handed down to us based on Westminster control and not need – and therefore any money used to mitigate poor political decisions by Westminster has to be reallocated from other already hard-pressed budget areas?

So, where would she like the axe to fall? Perhaps she would prefer the money to come from budgets like health, transport or other public services, all of which she already criticises as “SNP failures”?

READ MORE: David Mundell’s pamphlet omits facts about Scottish Government funding

Perhaps she might prefer the money to come from other draconian Westminster policy restrictions on road tolls, bedroom tax, university fees or any of the other mitigation successes we’ve enjoyed from SNP government and no thanks to either the blue or red Tories?

Baillie wants us to do things differently in Scotland yet by denying us our fundamental democratic right to determine our own course like any independent nation, aren’t her utterances little more than political double-speak?

However, shouldn’t we be grateful to Baillie for highlighting how she, hapless leader Starmer and the Labour Party and its Scottish branch office are in such a mess – bankrolled by the trade unions which won’t even get the labour law reform they curiously expect a Labour government will deliver – as they sprackle for English votes so they can be elected to Westminster clearly in order to maintain the current Tory policy prospectus that Scotland overwhelmingly rejects.

It’s predicted by some optimistic souls that Labour are set to make gains at the next election. Well, let these meanderings of Baillie, and Starmer’s slavish adherence to the many Conservative and Unionist policies that should essentially be reformed to restore the humanity stripped out of them by Tory dogma, serve as a warning to all Scots that a vote for Labour is a vote for more of the same democracy denying Tory-type control and exploitation – any pretence of real change a political illusion.

Rather than having to mitigate bad diktat from Westminster, isn’t it time for Baillie and her ilk to realise that if she truly wants to do things differently, to benefit we who live here, then we need to replace our semi-skimmed type of devolution for the full-fat whole type of independence government here in Scotland, with full political and fiscal powers to address the problems created for us by being treated as a colony within this UK union we’re supposed to be full “partners” in?

Or does she doubt her and her party’s ability to rise to the challenge of running this best small country in the world and is just too scared to admit it?

Jackie, be a real democrat for once – campaign for the referendum and let’s see what you’re really made of.

Jim Taylor


The National: Ian Murray MP

IAN Murray is again pretending that Labour will offer an alternative to the Tories in the same week that Starmer executed his latest screeching U-turn by refusing to repeal the execrable two-child benefit limit.

The Scottish Government spends £600 million a year mitigating destructive Tory policies such as the bedroom tax and an additional £3.5 billion on social security benefits to supplement paltry Westminster payments.

Since Labour are pledging to continue these Tory policies and the Scottish Government is on a tight fiscal leash – it gets back just half of what it sends to Westminster – and must balance its budget, where is it going to get the additional money to support the Scottish people?

Devolution has failed because it’s Westminster’s creature. Scotland will be boxed into its corner while it remains in this Union fraud. It’s a fraud because the constitutional settlement in the Treaty of Union clearly defines the locus of power in each nation. In England, it’s parliament over the people. In Scotland, it’s the people over parliament and monarch.

READ MORE: National Archives files reveal tensions in Scottish Assembly committee

The Claim of Right Act 1689 was a precondition of the Treaty of Union. It affirmed the absolute sovereignty of the Scottish people to remove and replace a government that doesn’t serve them.

This permanent and irrevocable constitutional settlement has been repeatedly violated by the larger partner in this “union.” Furthermore, we have international law on our side, which guarantees nations the right to self-determination. All that remains is for the Scottish people to act to reclaim their rightful sovereignty.

Leah Gunn Barrett


The National:

THE Union-flag-backed map that the BBC claims is in the context of the coronation celebrations includes a foreign country, leaves out the Channel Islands, Scilly Isles, Isle of Man, Rathlin Island and Raasay while Ynys Mon and Mull have become attached to the mainland (BBC insists ‘no inaccuracy’ in UK map without Orkney and Shetland, Jul 21).

To many viewers the map is not only politically and physically inaccurate but offensive. However, this is apparently irrelevant as the BBC’s executive complaints unit “considered the complaint in the light of the BBC’s editorial standards of accuracy.”

Which at last explains why so many complaints on the content of its broadcasts are rejected.

John Jamieson

South Queensferry

SO, it appears those on the Malvinas – sorry Falkland Islands – according to our Prime Minister have a right to decide who they will stay loyal to but Scotland hasn’t been afforded such a choice regarding our sovereignty.

READ MORE: Malvinas: Row as EU recognises Argentine name for Falkland Islands

The EU seems to believe that Argentina may have some interest in the Falkland Islands after all. Well, who knows what it might think of and pontificate on next regarding Scotland and the right to indyref2.

Robin Hastie

St Andrews