BY his announcement on Monday in Westminster, James Cleverly of the UK Home Office has just “stuffed” the following sections of the Scottish economy: agriculture, health, care sector and hospitality.

Donald Macaskill, CE of the care sector’s industry body, advised that the higher income level required by incoming job offer holders of £38K was well above the pay level currently offered in Scotland for ordinary care workers, where the need is.

READ MORE: Top Scottish business expert blasts Tory migration plan

He advised this would result in some companies operating care homes closing down. With a later announcement the Home Secretary “cleverly” removed this block by exempting care and health workers, but later another analyst commented on the additional restriction where incoming workers would not be permitted to bring a spouse or children. She also wondered if the UK Government had consulted with industry leaders or devolved governments. The thought was no.

I don’t know about you, but if I was offered a job in Singapore but not permitted to travel with my partner, I would have more than second thoughts about the job offer.

Additionally, current workers who currently have children or spouses living in the UK will need to consider the possibility of their spouse and children returning home when renewing visas.

READ MORE: New Tory immigration plans an 'act of self-harm,' says Humza Yousaf

For readers’ information, legal immigrants into Scotland last year were around the 30,000 mark or 0.005% of our population. Compare this to the 750,000 legal immigrants to the UK or 0.012% of the population. Scotland needs immigration – due to our ageing population we could handle more.

I see Cleverly forced to walk the plank with several Braverman acolytes at his back, jabbing at him, forcing him to walk further out with more restrictive policies to curb immigration, legal or illegal.

This group of ERG Tories, not content with shooting our collective left foot (Brexit), now want to hack off our left leg to stop the bleeding and pain.

With the next election on the horizon, it’s not the Tory party’s “fruitcake” policies we need to care about, it is if and when the UK Labour Party will swing in behind this for fear of being branded soft on immigrants and soft on the causes of immigration.

Alistair Ballantyne

THERE is a common statement attached to a huge number of people who had some kind of previous link to the Labour Party in Scotland: “I didn’t leave the Labour Party, the Labour Party left me”! That sentiment has been endorsed once again when one observes their see-sawing leader, Sir Keir Starmer, absolutely crossing a red line in praising the late Margaret Thatcher, a horrible Tory ex-Prime Minister, elected in 1979, who destroyed working communities throughout the country with no apology or contrition whatsoever. This selfish, arrogant woman is still despised by millions of folk .

READ MORE: Eight SNP MSPs back Alba motion slamming Starmer's praise of Thatcher

There must be many other Labour associates who are possibly toying with the idea of supporting this topsy-turvy party, now consequently having enough of this nonsense! And about time too! Pandering to the vote of Rufus from Tunbridge Wells and having no interest in Scotland or Scottish interests – including the whole constitutional question – while the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Anas Sarwar, and his cohorts remain embarrassingly reticent about this latest gaffe by their esteemed leader.

I recall another previously disgraced Labour leader, Tony “Bliar”, pulling off the same political stunt and similarly embarrassing/angering a huge number of people within the Labour movement. I also find it curious that there is a common factor attached to the titles of both these individuals – Sir Keir and Sir Tony – British establishment figures with a common interest (absolute power in a centrist government!) and a detrimental one for the Labour Party and for a sovereign country called Scotland!

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn hits back as Anas Sarwar names him amid Thatcher row

We don’t need either of these insincere chancers (and others like Gordon Brown, Ian Murray, Anas Sarwar or the smirking Dame Baillie) when it comes to the future interests of Scotland and attaining our rightful self-determination. I just hope that many more current and potential Labour voters in Scotland finally start to “smell the coffee” and seriously consider a new direction towards self-determination and the positive vision of a better, fairer, caring society attached to a well-being economy and a formal written constitution embedded in the way we are progressively governed in a country where the people are sovereign.

Bernie Japs

SO now the Right Honourable Sir Keir Starmer, Knight Commander of the Order of Bath, has denied he will take the country toward a Thatcherite future in spite of his earlier praise for the woman.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer denies he's taking UK to 'Thatcherite future'

Does this mean he will restore the rights of all working people that were taken from them under Thatcher’s legislation against trade unions? Will he restore the local authority housing stock that Thatcher sold off because she knew that people who were previously council tenants could not afford to go on strike if they had mortgages? Will he restore damage to the welfare state by reversing the steady erosion of income support and the value of the state pension? Will he renationalise all once state-owned services that were practically given away to profit the rich and powerful? I don’t think so. I have not one shred of hope that the London-based Labour Party will ever do any good for Scotland while they are in pursuit of Tory votes from among the English electorate.

As the Labour Party is taken ever further to the right under the Knight Commander’s leadership, the only hope we Scots have of avoiding going anywhere that Thatcher took us is to gain our independence from the toxic Union so that we can set about building a nation that aspires to social justice for all its people.

Ni Holmes
St Andrews