I THINK we’ve seen it all now. From Home Rule, to devolution, to devo max, to federalism and now Mark Drakeford’s call for, what? A solidarity union! Oh yes please, let’s try one of those.

According to him, this would be a safety net for those out of work, as well as protecting the environment, consumer and trade union rights. What a good idea. What a pity though that no-one, no socialist-inclined political party had ever thought of such a state before.

I have in the past thought well of Mark Drakeford as he occasionally stood up to the those bully boys in government and on occasion those in his own party HQ. But really, coming to Edinburgh, yet another pale, stale male telling us what would be good for us. We have enough of those already thank you. Check out your host Gordon Brown this week.

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Any thinking well of Drakeford has now gone, just like the relevance of Labour to Scotland. It is Labour who are pro-Brexit, not pro the obviously differing economic, social needs of Scotland. It is Labour who are anti-migrant, even challenging the Tories by claiming that their most recent policy initiatives don’t go far enough. But Rwanda is fine, and far enough away I imagine.

And when did you last see Labour promote any form of proportional representation (PR) at a UK level, except here with what was considered a rigged system, configured to keep any single party out of power? To push through any form of change that would faintly result in a solidarity union, England as the largest partner in the unequal Union would be required to either give up or share more power.

For such to happen, voting hegemony would need to shift from the largest voting demographics in the UK to something more equitable. That requires PR. In December 2021 England had an official parliamentary voter register of 46,560,452 people. Can’t see PR happening there, can you? But it’s fine here and for Holyrood. So, Mr D, forget this latest vision of wanting to fool all of the people all of the time, without pondering that the Welsh indy-dragon is stirring.

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And while you’re at it, don’t forget that Labour voted with the Tories in Westminster for anti-protest legislation. And while you’re here, smooching with that yet-again-resurrected Gordon Brown, could you ask why Labour go into power-sharing with the Tories across Scotland in local authorities? If Labour are prepared to power share at that level, how much lower will they go? Tactical voting at the General Election, supporting Tories to keep the SNP out: a Tory MP as opposed to one from the SNP? Surely not. Or could you ask how denying a referendum, the clear choice for the majority of voters, is upholding democracy?

This is a country now dependent on propping up the working poor via food banks. But when workers reach the very end and decide to go on strike, Labour prohibits MPs from joining picket lines. No, Mr D, I didn’t leave Labour, they left me by seeking parliamentary power at any price – Red Tory price.

OECD poverty indices from 2021 indicated that Ireland had a poverty index of .074, whilst the UK’s was .112. And now, do you really want to see price controls? I happened to arrive back, not to Scotland but to England, in the 70s. Queues, self-perpetuating shortages, and what “control” is there when you don’t control the actual commodity far less supply? Yes, shop local, buy local: Keep Scotland the Brand.

But as the UK imports oil and gas, whilst Scotland’s own, along with wind power, the latest smash and grab engineered by Westminster, is exported to England, price and border control isn’t need, independence is.

I do hope you enjoy your visit, but the evolution of the UK will not be via a solidarity union.

Selma Rahman