IF you’re living in Scotland ­– and of a left-leaning persuasion – remind me again why you’re even thinking of voting Labour.

I ask in a spirit of genuine ­bafflement having heard Keir Starmer’s latest endorsement of Trident “the bedrock of Labour’s defence policy”.

He must know his own Scottish ­conferences have long indicated their ­opposition to Trident and its Clyde base. He knows too – because no less a guru than Sir John Curtice has confirmed it – that as long as he continues to woo ­middle ­England, Scotland is irrelevant to his ­electoral ­success.

As for Trident being “an independent ­nuclear deterrent”, the only relevant word here is nuclear. It is both politically and technologically joined at the hip to the US, dependent on it for some weaponry and its explicit permission to deploy. And where the senior Navy personnel go to be trained, with manuals written in American English.

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In short, we are the very junior partner in America’s nuclear defence policy which, of course, makes us a not-so-junior target in warfare.

As for deterrence? Can’t think of a single post-Second World War conflict which has been prevented by the fact that one party had a nuclear arsenal.

Instead we have Vlad the Impaler ­endlessly threatening nuclear devastation in Ukraine whilst the nuclear heavies in Nato wring their hands on the sidelines or – like America – refuse to ante up the defence capability which is threatening to derail Ukraine’s resistance.

The UK’s National Audit Office ­produced a coruscating report indicating that the MOD had continually signed up to ­contracts which were all risk and no ­reward (except for the contractors).

Don’t take my word for it.

Listen ­instead to Sir Simon Jenkins, former editor of The Times and the Evening Standard which hardly makes him a soggy liberal in these matters.

In a column penned for The Guardian, he wrote: “I can recall no head of the army and no serious academic ­strategist with any time for the Trident ­missile. It was a great hunk of useless ­weaponry. It was merely a token of support for an American nuclear response, though one that made Britain vulnerable to a nuclear exchange. No modern danger – such as from terrorism – is deterred by Trident (any more than ­Galtieri had been in the Falklands or Saddam in Iraq). But the money was spent and the rest of the defence budget had to suffer constant cuts – and soldiers left ill-equipped – to pay for it.”

In short, Sir Keir is investing ­shedloads of yours and my taxes paying for a ­weapons system which doesn’t do what it says on the tin and has had its shelf life extended to the 2040s.

The cost of the Barrow boats at £31 ­billion is north of the £28bn ­originally promised by his party to create jobs by having a green revolution – not jobs ­building weapons of mass destruction.

Modern warfare is about stuff like drones, whose rapidly advancing ­underwater technology could see off these subs anyway.

The National: Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer talking to a worker during a campaign visit to BAE Systems in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The Labour leader has said the UK's nuclear deterrent is the "bedrock" of his plan to keep Britain safe, and if

As for the monster aircraft ­carriers, AKA the biggest seaborne targets ­currently available? They pop up to ­Scotland now and then and berth at a newly ­constructed facility in Loch Long which has also swallowed up massive amounts of MOD dosh.

The MOD has an unsavoury track record when it commissions anything which relates – as Jenkins noted – to “global posturing”.

It’s surely past time a UK party of any stripe stopped pretending that there’s ­anything very great about modern ­Britain.

Sure it needs jobs and a growth ­stimulus. It could create both with a ­massive insulation programme, or serious investment in renewables where ­external companies and countries didn’t get a cheap deal for our money.

With farmers’ fields lying under water while Colombia has a water ban and while half the world suffers wildfires or droughts and the other gets regularly flooded, surely this is the top emergency to keep everyone safe? Is this not more ­urgent than making more missiles?

Step by step, pronouncement by ­pronouncement, this putative Labour ­administration have unblushingly severed any relationship to the kind of policies most of their previous adherents cherished. Certainly their Scottish ones.

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They has already stated they will keep the ­despicable two-child policy and have ramped up their anti-migrant rhetoric. It’s downright embarrassing how difficult it is to find a cigarette paper thin enough to insert between some of Labour’s policies and those of their Tory opponents.

They are no longer even mildly embarrassed to support Tory ideas, however unjust. Everything must be sacrificed on the ­altar of electoral success. No horses may be frightened on the road to No. 10.

This way, they calculate, they can win the trust of the blue-fringed centre – the folks who might have voted Tory in the past but don’t want to this time around since the Conservatives have made such a serial bourach of pretty well everything.

Labour’s shadow chancellor – mindful of the electorate’s view of the party’s reputation on the economy – constantly deploys the mantra that there will be no unfunded policies. Nothing for which she can’t spell out how they will be paid for.

That’s fine. But when we come to the really big-ticket items where serious ­savings could be made – like Trident renewal – there she isn’t.

Think how many thousands would have cheered if Starmer had stood up last ­Friday and promised a job-creation scheme predicated on resisting climate change rather than making missiles.

The National: Trident

Instead, regiments get decimated and ­cutting-edge technology gets ignored ­because neither qualify as proper willy-waving. The poor bloody infantry ­literally gets poorer, housed in whatever substandard accommodation hasn’t been promised by the present UK Government to migrant control.

We cut all the wrong corners. Saving on essential equipment, demonising foreigners and dumping those who seek asylum on elderly barges.

We impose impossible conditions on the working poor needing benefit s­upplements but ignore tax havens and hedge fundery from a very great height. The kind that make pin-striped ­gamblers very rich indeed.

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Last week, Labour said they would go after tax avoiders. Let’s hope that pledge doesn’t go the way of pretty well every other piece of mildly liberal commitment. Thus far, they’ve been busy making U-turns an Olympic event.

In contrast, does anybody really give a stuff if the UK has new Trident subs? Especially when everyone knows our role is to cough up for them, not to actually use them? Even if they were any use in a modern context? Everyone knows that big daddy in the White House has his finger on “our” nuclear trigger.

There are myriad reasons why Labour should not expect their former adherents to rush into Scottish polling booths to plight their support (provided they have the right ID).

This is a party that claim to respect democracy, yet see nothing undemocratic in refusing to let an entire nation vote on its own future.

If they are so sure, so utterly convinced that the Union was and continues to be Scotland’s best bet, let them do what ­every other democracy does and ask the people. All they have to do is come out from behind the sofa and make the case.

My earliest voting memories were ­supporting Labour. They’re not a party I ­recognise any more. It’s said that people get more right-wing as they age. Not guilty as charged.

I want Scotland to be independent ­because I believe that’s the best option for supporting all these left-of-centre policies which Labour is busy ditching. Just so they can say, “lookee here, we’re not Corbynite any more!”

I want Scotland to be independent so that it can fashion a future where policies are shaped by the needs of the population and not cynically revised by the last focus group to sit on political leaders.