YOUR front-page report about the Scottish Labour Party conference in Dundee (“Brexit feud and gaffes mar Leonard’s first conference”, March 10) simply confirms what many of us have long suspected: that Labour isn’t fit to be considered for government, either at Westminster or Holyrood. It isn’t even making a good fist at opposition.

“The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party.” That’s what it says on its membership cards; I know that because I used to be a member. It is now a socialist party, though I’d point out that it was most successful electorally when it stopped talking about socialism.

But the basic problem is that, when you are ruled by your dogma, you view the whole world with a narrow vision. In today’s complex world, that rarely produces a good outcome.

As for democratic … The biggest issue facing Scotland today is Brexit. Of the Scots who voted in the referendum, 62% voted to stay in the EU; all 32 council areas voted Remain. Yet the Scottish Labour Party won’t even have an open debate about Brexit, because it’s been told by its big brother, the UK Labour party, not to. So we have the farce whereby a motion is stitched up in a back room, it is to be hoped no longer smoke-filled, and put before the conference to head off any meaningful debate.

Of course, that’s what happens when dogma rules, when everything has to be forced to fit in with your political beliefs. We have the shining examples of North Korea and Venezuela, both self-proclaimed democratic socialist states.

The people of those poor, benighted countries may hate the policies of their leaders, but the leaders would argue that their subjects (and they do view them as subjects) simply don’t understand the tenets of socialism. That being the case, they have to be told what to do, and any dissident voices have to be suppressed for fear of contagion.

We need a strong left-of-centre opposition at Westminster,but Labour isn’t it. And there is no excuse for the Scottish Labour party ignoring its responsibilities to the people of Scotland simply to pander to the dogma emanating from Labour in London.

The Labour leadership is harking back to its days of student protest, shouting and posturing from the sidelines when it should be fighting tooth and nail to stop us walking off the cliff to a catastrophic Brexit.

But it can’t even spell Keir Hardie’s name correctly, so there is not much chance of that.

Doug Maughan,

52 Menteith View,


AT the Scottish Labour Conference in Dundee, Jeremy Corbyn tells us he can take another 20 Scottish Westminster seats at the next General Election.

This is arguably a tad optimistic though the SNP’s grip on Scottish politics, while strong, is incrementally weakening. Certainly, 10 Nationalist seats have slim majorities and most are vulnerable to Labour.

Unlike Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Corbyn is a genuine socialist whose policies will inevitably play well in the urbanised central belt and Dundee that have lately become SNP heartlands.

Yet many pro-UK supporters regard his position on the Union as wishy-washy, compared to the unambiguous stance of Theresa May against a second independence referendum. He’s unlikely to steal Tory seats. Plus, Scottish Labour siding with the SNP over the arguably illegal Holyrood EU Withdrawal Bill is naive.

It seems the SNP cannily recruited Scottish Labour as allies in its relentless “them and us” games with Westminster.

Labour will increase its Scottish seat tally at the next General Election but, to increase to 27,Mr Corbyn must continually reinforce a crystal-clear, pro-UK, anti-Nationalist position.

Martin Redfern,

Woodcroft Road,


IT would seem that not only has the Labour Party forgotten its roots; it has forgotten how to spell the name of Keir Hardie, the man who planted those roots.

Labour’s Scottish branch office kicked off its conference with that gargantuan gaffe and went on to confirm its irrelevance to Scotland when the Shadow Scottish Secretary, Lesley Laird, demanded that the UK Government reveal the key list of Brexit powers three hours after the list had been published.

If the raison d’etre of the conference was to give Labour’s new Scottish party leader Richard Leonard a platform, it failed at every level, with even Jeremy Corbyn adding to his mortification when he was forced to amend his speech after getting wrong the number of Scottish MPs.

Throw in the usual endemic Labour tensions, infighting, and claims of a “stitch-up” with feuds between Labour members who are either for or against the single market, and you have a classic example of how not to run a party conference and why Scotland’s future must not be put into Labour’s hands; after all, if they can’t even run a branch office, how could they ever be trusted to run a country?

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road,


WILLIAM Campbell (Letters, March 10) forgets that, even if

every voter in Scotland had gone for Labour in the 2015 General Election, the Conservatives would still have won a healthy working majority in the House of


Judging from his Scottish Conference remarks about immigration and jobs, Jeremy Corbyn is also afflicted by the perceived threat from Ukip and comes across as much as a British Nationalist as the hard Brexiters in the Tory party (“Corbyn sparks row with plan to ban foreign cheap agency labour”, The Herald,

March 10).

This might explain why, in the latest opinion polls, he is still trailing Theresa May, the worst Prime Minister in living memory.

Fraser Grant,

61 Warrender Park Road,


I HOPE that Scottish Labour’s new leader Richard Leopard’s innovative attempt to liven the tedium of his first party conference by misspelling the name of party founder Keir Hardie will be adopted by First Minister Nicola Surgeon and Ruth (The Babe ) Rabbitson, although I fear that eloquent wordsmiths such as Sir Winston Churchall, Michael Hoot and Jo Grimace may be birlin’ in their graves, bringing a new meaning to political spin.

R Russell Smith,

96 Milton Road,