MANY thanks to Andrew Tickell for the excellent column on “mad scientist Starmer” in the Sunday National. Starmer and his fellow carpet-bagging politicians confirm the obvious that “Labour are the real conservatives now.’

So where does that leave former Labour Party members, their unpaid volunteers and former voters? Does the party think all it has to do is whistle and the lost Scottish voters will come running back? To what?

Labour are already aligned with the Public Order and Illegal Migration bills even before the starting gun for the General Election has been fired.

Brexit and its resultant negative outcomes have been reduced to the appeal to “make Brexit work”, alas without details.

The bi-partisan nature of UK politics does nothing more than swing from one to the other with the odd stutter in between.

READ MORE: Public Order Bill: Labour REFUSE to back SNP bid to repeal law

It has, however, demonstrated that neither of the two main Unionist parties sees Scotland as anything other than a rich resource from which to take and take.

Over the years, we’ve seen Labour adhere to the notion of blind Scottish loyalty as they’ve lurched from left to centre, centre right and worse, they’re now viewing the far-right landscape in an effort to gain and retain power.

Is that their main thrust for accessing Downing Street, the well-worn path of appealing to England and its larger, voting population? If so, yet again, Labour has failed to read Scotland. In the euphoria of 2014, we got to talking, listening and doing.

But Labour retained the self-serving idea that the mix of SNP, independence – some frothy idea of sovereignty of the people – is nothing more than an aberration and that post-2014, we’d get over it.

They have never been prepared to consider the depth and breadth of reasons for their lost votes, nor the vital fact that Scotland has moved to a changed direction, away from Unionism and its right-left roulette that is so detrimental to Scotland.

To help us return to the fold, there will be the equivalent of treats, sweets and baubles thrown our way again between now and the General Election as they defend their union, their monarchy, to the hilt.

The idea that Starmer will “do deals” with the SNP isn’t in the Labour mix. They want to govern, and are already targeting potential voters with jam-tomorrow nuggets: nebulous offers such as lowering the voting age and enabling “settled migrants” to join the voting ranks.

Be warned, it’s not in the manifesto, probably won’t be, and will remain a “consideration” for change. The Tories are caught in a self-destructive stance around scrapping the thousands of EU laws by the end of the year – or not.

For Labour to gain power just because the Tories are so despised, so prone to infighting, while Labour are still so out of touch with our declared preference for self-determination would be catastrophic for Scotland’s future.

We have to promote the positives gained via devolution and acknowledge its constraints – but the opportunities that would come with independence, far outweigh that.

Think small nations – Iceland, Denmark, Ireland. Think wealth funds, operating within the EU, the Arctic Council. Think of replacing that which is imposed on us with that which we could choose for ourselves. That would provide real change for Scotland, perhaps enough even for former Labour voters.

Selma Rahman