I KNOW that, with the Rutherglen by-election just a few days away, some voters are still considering voting Labour out of sheer frustration at the SNP’s lack of progress towards independence over the last few years. I hope, however, they will see that the new SNP leader intends to move us forward more positively, having already stood up to a Westminster diktat on safe drug consumption rooms, been supported by our most senior law officer and made Alister Jack back down.

Please, therefore, consider very carefully the record of the Labour Party in Scotland, led and registered in England, in fulfilling even promises in their manifesto. The Power Grab Prophecy makes clear that promises made are never implemented by the victor.

READ MORE: Polling guru John Curtice on Labour’s election odds in Scotland

In 2014, ex-Labour PM Gordon Brown, in The Vow, promised that voting No would guarantee our EU membership. With a No vote and then 62% Remain in 2016, we were dragged out and even refused a compromise deal like that of Northern Ireland. Also guaranteed was confirmation in law of the existence and powers of Holyrood and the Sewel Convention, to prevent a Scottish Government refusal of consent being overruled. Neither has happened, and refused consent has been overruled several times. More powers were promised, but instead some have been taken away. Yet Labour, who signed up to The Vow, voted AGAINST some of the proposals during the Smith Commission.

Having originally opposed Brexit, and then promising to negotiate a better deal, Labour have now stated that they no longer want to rejoin the EU but will make Brexit “work better”. They used to oppose new drilling licences and the opening of the Rosebank field, but now will not revoke these if they gain power.

They have made many other promises on which they are now reneging. Their manifesto stated: “we support further devolution … including borrowing and employment law” – now they are reneging on that. They also promised 1) to devolve drugs law, now they will not; 2) to repeal the two-child benefit cap, now they will not; 3) to reverse anti-trade union law, now they will not; 4) to scrap charity status of private schools, now they will not. Party leader Starmer has even instructed the Scottish branch manager Anas Sarwar to vote AGAINST these policies which they so recently promised to implement.

READ MORE: Insensitive timing for reference to Winnie Ewing's election victory

Set against this the fact that the SNP at Holyrood have put in place measures such as the Scottish Child Payment, Fuel Poverty Fund and free school meals, to try to help those struggling most during the Westminster-created cost crisis. As an independent country, we would no longer have our budget set as a population percentage of rUK spending, nor pay to send renewable energy to England, but would have all the tax income from the oil and gas in our territorial waters, instead of being credited with less than 10% while Westminster keeps more than 90%. Right now, unelected Labour peer Lord Foulkes is planning legislation to ban Scotland from ever being able to decide our own future.

On their past record, can the Labour Party branch in Scotland be trusted to implement all the promises they have made on the doorsteps of those about to vote, or will their actions, if elected, simply reinforce the Power Grab Prophecy? And if they consider honouring their promises, will their London leader allow it?

Rather than choosing to vote Labour to teach the SNP a lesson and help bring a change of government in London, remember that the Scottish vote has altered the outcome of a General Election only THREE times since 1918, meaning that the winner is decided on English votes without Scottish help. Moreover, Westminster will consider the SNP loss of even one MP as proof that support for independence is dead.

L McGregor

ARGUMENTS continue about how we gain independence, some ideas being hopelessly impractical and others illegal, but basically not being thought through. The consequences of attempting any illegal method are significant. However, whatever route or routes are followed, the key common factor remains as it has always been, that of convincing a majority of our citizens that a) being independent will work, and b) it is in all our collective interests to pursue a change to the constitutional status quo.

READ MORE: Robin McAlpine: I have a plan that WILL win independence in 10 years

No amount of activists’ frustration and complaints about the lack of progress resolves either of these. No amount of inter-party or inter-group squabbling changes that – both in fact undermine our cause. While we may get a majority of MPs and MSPs, the test of acceptance by a majority of our electorate remains necessary, so convincing them of the cause remains essential, and we ignore the fact that there is a motivated opposition doing their damnedest to frustrate us.

Complaining that current incumbents haven’t delivered independence in the face of that opposition while not offering any helpful and workable alternatives is a distraction, as is expecting “someone else” to take necessary action. Such complaints are doing the Unionists’ work for them.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire

THE environmental vandalism covered by The National on Friday (Sycamore Gap tree ‘deliberately felled’) is a sad example of a much wider problem. From litter louts visiting the Highlands to planners and developers dictating from a desk, those of us working the land are often up against ignorance and a lack of practical experience. After a lifetime of planting more trees than I ever cut down, your photo suggests the felling of this tree was more than the work of one 16-year-old boy. If this vile piece of desecration helps towards a growing environmental awareness, the tree will not have died in vain.

Iain R Thomson