Keir Starmer can benefit from an independent Scotland

PUBLISHED: 12:08 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:44 10 July 2020

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer discusses employment and post Covid-19 support for businesses with staff at engineering components manufacturer, Beard and Fitch in Harlow. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer discusses employment and post Covid-19 support for businesses with staff at engineering components manufacturer, Beard and Fitch in Harlow. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Labour will fare better once the issue of Scottish independence is resolved, claims reader David Roche.

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It was heartening to see four letters supporting the further (d)evolution of the well-past-its sell-by date United Kingdom in TNE #201. In particular, councillor Andrew Parrott’s rationale – as a “liberal Englishman” with sympathy for liberal-Labour policies – for joining the Scottish National Party was impressive.

He is right to point out that if Keir Starmer is relying on Scottish seats to win power, that is not going to happen. Starmer would need 25+ Scottish seats and a huge swing to Labour in England, a nation that is probably lost to the left for a generation.

The Scots, and increasingly the Welsh, watch England retreating into a fantasy of ‘greatness’ and we know that independence for our nation is inevitable.

Labour in Scotland – and there is a small prize for those of your readers who can name its leader – are increasingly showing signs of recognising that if they support independence at all elections until it is won, the SNP becomes ‘just’ another left-of-centre party on day one after independence day.

The Scots are predominantly left/liberal, believing in the fair distribution of wealth, education and opportunity, and the Scottish Labour Party would have an excellent chance of forming the government of Scotland at, say, the second general election in an independent – and probably back in the EU – Scotland.

It’s either that or nine or 10 – maybe more – years in the wilderness. Life’s too short.

David Roche

Perth


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Councillor Parrott’s letter – along with other letters – points out the obvious fact that unionism as an ideology is on the wane in Scotland. This still escapes the notice of many of your correspondents who are looking at things only from a London perspective.

Peter Kellner (“Where the polls are pulling us”, TNE #201) offers advice to the “three main Britain-wide parties”. In what sense are they “Britain-wide” any more?

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It is clear to many people in Scotland now that there are two different, competing identities: one Scottish, the other English/British. The traditional establishment seems to believe that this phenomenon will wither away in time. That is wishful thinking, I believe.

We have been here before on these islands, resulting in the emergence of the Republic of Ireland.

The establishment seems incapable of learning any lessons from history.

Richard Ross

Edinburgh

Jacob Rees-Mogg compares Nicola Sturgeon’s desire to protect the Scots from Covid by trying to properly manage entry at their border to the classic Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico, saying in parliament: “There are no internal borders within the United Kingdom – it is one country, I am glad to say.”

He seems to have forgotten that one of the consequences of his actions and policies on Brexit are leading to the introduction of a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom – I wish this was a fictional and entertaining comedy with a happy outcome like Passport to Pimlico – sadly, I fear, it will turn out to be a very real tragedy.

Nick Roberts

Selly Oak

• Have your say by emailing theneweuropean@archant.co.uk. Our deadline for letters is Tuesday at 9am for inclusion in Thursday’s edition. Please be concise - letters over five paragraphs long may be edited before printing.

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