WHILE I recognise that by-elections may not represent voter intent in General Elections, where turnout is generally higher, shouldn’t Labour failing to win the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Westminster by-election despite its victory in Selby serve as a warning to both Scottish electors in general and the SNP in particular?

The party’s lack of credibility as honest brokers to serve the electorate is clearly in no doubt. The foundations of this Labour Party leader’s direction are as solid as a house built on the shifting sands of fluid policies without any political commitment to achieve them.

Tories voting Labour in Selby is surely proof of this. No plan, no big idea, just more of the same democracy-denying Tory dogma – gaining power is what matters, not what to do with it.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer claims victory in Labour policy battle

Do those flirting with Labour really want to place their trust in an alternative to independence that will fail to deliver for them and all Scots?

As is usual for by-elections, voters take the opportunity to send messages to those in power ignoring them. And in Uxbridge and South Ruislip it is clear that Labour’s Sadiq Khan’s extension of London’s ultra low emission zone was sufficiently unpopular to almost certainly cost his party victory in this election.

Here in Scotland the SNP have driven policies that fail the test of popular support and acceptance by the electorate. The warning is stark. Whether it is “gender reform”, the bureaucratic and expensive bottle and can deposit scheme, marine protection zones, closing down an independent Scotland’s potential oil field revenues etc, it is clear that, like Khan, this SNP government is failing to listen to public opinion.

Dogmatic driving of policies against the tide of reason is placing the election prospects of the party, and the independence movement’s aspiration for self-determination, in jeopardy.

It’s time for the party to listen. Before it’s too late.

Labour are not the solution for Scots within this iniquitous and false partnership Union. Don’t the SNP need to show us why they are? And do so by listening and delivering?

Jim Taylor

I AM writing to say how much I enjoyed Kelly Given’s piece in Thursday’s National (Kid Starver and the end of proper Labour values, Jul 20).

As a former Labour Party member of 20 years (1979-1999), I can identify with every word! Blair and the abandonment of Clause 4 finished me! In that sense, yes, “they left me!” Also my support for Scottish independence and espousal of anti-nuclear causes did not go down well with some comrades in the constituency of Dounreay!

READ MORE: Stuart Cosgrove: Labour’s ongoing media issue, a Ming vase – and Laurel and Hardy

I can see now, with further hindsight, that British Labour was never a truly socialist party, which means the UK/Scotland has never had a socialist government. Even the post-war Atlee Labour government which created the National Health Service also swore continuing support for the heinous British Empire (what was left of it).

Having said all that, “Kid Starver” and the current Labour crop of U-turning, Tory-aping opportunist chancers really will be the final nail in the Labour Party coffin!

Shame on them indeed!

Drew MacLeod

THREE by-elections held in three constituencies in England previously held by the Conservatives, and the results? Well, considering we have the most right-wing government at Westminster in decades, how on earth did the Conservatives retain one of those seats? It really beggars belief. The constituency that the Conservatives held is a very affluent one, and they only saved their bacon by fewer than 500 votes, but it still beggars belief.

However, it is the performance of the party which hopes to be in government after the next General Election that poses some questions! Only winning one out of the three is a poor show in anyone’s estimation, and one that must be concerning the Labour Party nationally. The LibDems’ success in one of the three seats merely increases their representation at Westminster to 15!

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: Keir Starmer cannot choose, and therefore cannot govern

With the record in office of the Conservatives – crashing the economy, the cost-of-living crisis and partygate — the Labour Party should have romped home in all three seats. So are those by-election results giving any message to Scotland? Those results tell us that the Conservatives’ future in government is coming to an end, but then Scotland has not voted Conservative for more than 50 years and that is not about to change. They also tell us that Labour’s current message – that the country needs change – has not convinced voters in two of the three by-election constituencies, and the current message from Sir Keir Starmer on the benefit cap will not convince Scotland’s voters

In fact I am sure Scotland’s voters will see through Labour’s hypocrisy of more of the same, austerity and a cost-of-living crisis. Voters will not be hood-winked, as demonstrated in two of three by-election results last week.

Catriona C Clark

SO, three English nationalist parties won three English nationalist by-elections. No change there then.

Donald Anderson

I LIKE the irony in his address, but in his letter of July 21 Kenneth Burnett mentions that in Dumfries there is a Shakespeare Street which leads to Robert Burns’s house.

This is typical of Scotland, where we already have a surfeit of Cromwell Roads etc and other places named after the biggest raper, despoiler and murderer Scotland has ever had the misfortune to endure.

The sooner all such names are consigned to the dustbin of history the better. There should be a movement to support this.

Paul Gillon