HOW could such a political dullard as Wes Streeting possibly recognise anyone as “one of the sharpest political minds in the UK”, far less the politically inconsequential Jackie Baillie?

Labour’s problem here in Scotland is that we Scots know full well that Scottish Labour IS just a branch office, just like the party treats Scotland like a branch colony of the Westminster empire.

I regret voting Labour almost my entire life, and in doing so voting to be treated as second-class. I will never vote Labour ever again; I can no longer identify with them politically.

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We already have a blue Tory party run by posh boys; we don’t need a red Tory party run by another posh boy. Starmer is a Tory “cuckoo” in the working-class movement’s nest. For me, he is Margaret Thatcher’s greatest “achievement”. He’s proof that the working class’s historic party representing it has been neutralised. The Labour Party have been cleverly seduced into the centre ground, believing that’s where the battle should be fought and where they stand the best chance of winning power. And the price Labour are willing to pay is to abandon their founding principles, and those whom they’ve traditionally claimed to represent, as demonstrated by their stated intention to retain many of the harsh policies and actions of the most draconian Tory government should they be elected.

Labour RIP.

Jim Taylor

SO, what is Labour’s message to Scottish voters? The question arises after shadow health secretary Wes Streeting suggested UK Labour do not have to sing from the same hymn sheet as Scottish Labour!

The UK Labour Party have recently been heard to abandon their principles, hanging hard-working families out to dry, by confirming that the Conservative two-child cap on benefits would be retained by Labour should they win the next UK election. But it is not only policies relating to welfare that have raised eyebrows. Sir Keir Starmer has gone completely against his Labour MSPs’ voting record on gender issues. So, what is Labour’s message to Scottish voters? Is there a split between UK Labour and Scottish Labour? Are Scottish Labour picking and choosing what they think voters in Scotland want to hear?

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Mr Streeting claims Labour are the party of devolution and devolution means devolved powers. However the two-child benefit cap is not devolved, but retained by Westminster, just like 86% of welfare spend in Scotland. The gender issue, being devolved and democratically voted upon at Holyrood (including by Labour MSPs), is now being undermined by Westminster who have called it in.

Wes Streeting can’t have it all ways. The message to the voters in Scotland from Scottish Labour must include the message from the UK Labour Party who, barring independence for Scotland, hope to be the next UK Government.

Catriona C Clark

I AM replying to the “stooshie” that Shona Craven mentioned (Aug 8) regarding Richard Walker’s article (Aug 4), Neil Mackay’s critical letter (Aug 7) and Ruth Marr’s supportive letter (Aug 8), as both Prestwick SNP branch organiser and Yes Prestwick organiser.

Here are some simple facts:

• We didn’t plan the dates of either the Prestwick Prom event or the Ayr march (correct).

• We knew members of both groups were going to the march anyway (correct).

• We knew that more supporters would be at the march so there would possibly be more marginal people to chat with at the prom (correct).

• We decided it might be better to have a presence at the prom among people who might not be influenced by a march (correct).

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• We suspected there would be a Tory stall there too since there was the last time (we were incorrect this time).

• Almost all who staffed both stalls have been on as many marches as we possibly can over the years and will continue to do so (correct).

• Two of our number were, like Ruth Marr, unable to march (correct).

• One of our number was involved in setting up the flags on bridges on A77 and then came to the stalls (correct).

• All this was coordinated between both groups (correct).

• Some of us were there for six hours, plus planning and organising material beforehand (correct).

The “banter” that Richard talked about (and grateful to him for his attendance) was because some of us were swapping the yellow SNP hi-viz jacket for the Yes Prestwick blue one depending on numbers at each stall! (correct)

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• In an email to branch members both the march and the stall were highlighted (correct).

• All these decision were made at branch level and had nothing to do with SNP leadership (correct).

Regarding Neil Mackay’s letter , the most “divisive behaviour” that I can see is his attitude to drawing conclusions, making statements and being critical without knowing any of THE FACTS. Many of us work our butts off to campaign for both Yes and an independence party – as best we can – for the goal that we all want, but Mr Mackay’s letter is such a typical example of a divisive and indeed belligerently inaccurate narrative which only serves to please all Unionists.

Yes Prestwick will be displaying their large banner, yet again, this Saturday in the Main Street, Prestwick between noon and 2pm. I invite Mr Mackay to attend!

Tom Mathers

REGARDING Monday’s letter from John Baird. Perhaps talking to random voters is considered more important at an election than talking to each other. I reckon the FM got that right.

Archie Drummond