WHILE I gainfully ploughed through former Labour MSP Neil Findlay’s politically myopic piece in the Sunday National while stifling a yawn, my attention was arrested with his intrinsically naive and flawed premise that Scotland “fails” over drugs policy despite having the same powers as England and Wales and therefore responsibility can justifiably be laid at the door of the Scottish Government (Hope over despair, June 4).

Isn’t the reality that drug misuse should not be looked at as an individual social problem but rather as just another symptom of the decline in which Scotland in the UK Union has been mired over decades and centuries?

Industrial and commercial decline, unemployment as a consequence of that decline, and the failure to reinvest and regenerate, capture and control of Scotland’s resources in energy, agriculture, fishing, science and education – all limited in scope by Westminster budgetary control – has resulted in social disadvantage and poverty which has fuelled despair and dependency on drug and alcohol abuse.

READ MORE: Labour would honour Rosebank licence if granted by Tories, says Sarwar

Isn’t the reality that a Scottish Government whose powers are restricted by the budgets set by Westminster will always struggle to deal with those societal disadvantages, which limit their ability to deal with the problems the UK political system has created and controls?

Unlike other similar-sized and similarly resourced independent nations, not only do we have to deal with limited resources but we are forced to use those limited resources to mitigate the wilder excesses of Westminster governments’ financial assaults on the poorer sections of society. And rather than deriding the Scottish Government, why hasn’t Westminster devolved full powers to the Scottish Parliament, and allocated resources to create the best solution to the substance-abuse problems? Isn’t that what a real caring UK administration would do? Or do they prefer having this stick with which to beat us down?

Findlay’s myopic adherence to thinking only inside his own mind’s politics box may give him some comfort in blaming everyone else for Scotland’s difficulties rather than the UK Union which has been in control for 317 years. It’s his slavish support of the Union that has never cared that is directly responsible – Scottish independence merely the only sensible way to even begin to address the problems the Union has created and fails to rectify.

READ MORE: Progress on land reform has been limited to baby steps

Perhaps Findlay’s biggest failure is not recognising that the Labour Party and labour movement he yearns for no longer exist, and won’t ever again; that ship has sailed. Labour’s adherence to Brexit – and its discarding of the best potential vehicle for achieving collective international socialism, in order to pander to the xenophobic mantra of English voters it needs to seduce to win power in Westminster – has seen it abandoning any empathy it ever had with traditional Scottish working-class values.

Findlay’s party getting into bed with Tories in Scottish councils, while denying the democratic rights of Scots to determine their own future, serves only to cleave a gaping wound in Starmer and Sarwar’s credibility for a party claiming democracy credentials while eschewing them.

Despite what Pete Wishart claims, Labour = Tory. They are indistinguishable. Let’s trust that Scots now know this and at the forthcoming election send them hameward tae think again.

Jim Taylor