I HAVE been a trade unionist and a committed socialist since I started work at Blairhall colliery in 1953.

My father was a miner, and a socialist and a strong supporter of the Labour Party. He told me all about the tremendous work of the Attlee Government 1945-51, an impressive record. I now know from studying the subject that he was absolutely right and that the Attlee Government was the most successful Westminster Government ever.

So I have been a committed socialist all my life and will die a committed socialist. Now how shall I vote in the coming election?

I am convinced that in order to achieve the sort of society which I believe in, Scotland must become independent. I am bitterly opposed to Boris Johnson, but I did vote leave in the EU referendum because I am opposed to the neo-liberal political structure of the EU, although I strongly support the UK and Scotland staying in the single market and maintaining good trading and co-operative links with the EU.

I believe that the UK media has treated Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon appallingly, and the attempt to claim that Corbyn is racist and that he uses bullying tactics against opponents in the Labour Party is nonsense.

I know Jeremy Corbyn personally. I work with him in the same trade union, and anyone who knows him knows that whatever failings Jeremy may have he is not racist, nor is he a bully.

My objectives in this election are, first, to move further towards Scottish independence, second, to see the Tories defeated, and Jeremy become PM, and, third, to see the Brexit nonsense put in perspective.

Now how can I best achieve these objectives? This seems obvious to me, I will vote for the SNP. Now if many of my socialist comrades in the Labour Party up and down the country do the same, then we can get the Tories out of Scotland and deprive Johnson of 13 seats.

This could be enough, depending on the voting in England, to get Jeremy into a position where he could get SNP support to become Prime Minister.

Now I am not a member of any party and so I do not have party loyalties to be concerned about, but any socialist in the Labour party must recognise that if 10 per cent of Labour supporters in Tory-held constituencies in Scotland vote tactically for the SNP this time, the Tories will lose every Scottish seat and Johnson will need to try and make that up elsewhere.

So those on the left of the Labour movement like me can have a powerful voice in this election and can act positively to get Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.

All they need to do is to vote tactically and wisely against the Tories.

Andy Anderson,


North Ayrshire.

CLEMENT Attlee and Harold Wilson, both great Labour leaders, would have found much to commend in the Scottish Labour election manifesto.

It advocates policies remarkably similar to those they espoused as Prime Minister. Even Tory Harold Macmillan, famously opposed to Thatcher’s ‘sale of the family silver’ through privatisations, might have endorsed it.

A big difference between Labour and the Conservative proposals, and with what currently happens under the SNP, is that Labour would take positive steps to reverse benefit changes that have caused so much hardship during nearly ten years of austerity.

Labour will replace the widely discredited Universal Credit with a more humane system, restore benefits for third or more children, improve benefits for the sick and disabled and abolish the benefit cap. The SNP have used part of the Barnett formula settlement to alleviate some of the problems with austerity; Labour will reverse them.

By contrast, the Conservatives would do nothing. All their savage benefit cuts which have caused so much hardship would be hard-wired into the system, and passed on to the SNP when they finally take this devolved power over.

It’s reliably estimated that under the Tories one in three of all children would live in poverty, a 60-year high.

On a recent visit to a foodbank, Home Secretary Priti Patel declared that her government is not in any way responsible for people having to use foodbanks but, rather, it is the fault of wicked local councils.

She had obviously never heard of the savage cuts in local spending including to devolved authorities, enforced by her government. Boris Johnson and Patel will never lift a finger to enable foodbanks to shut down, because they neither understand nor care.

Phil Tate, Edinburgh

IN response to Mark Smith’s column, “The trend that could bring down Raab and Blackford” (December 2), I fully intend to vote tactically in an effort to get Ian Blackford out. In my case, this means a vote for the LibDems. Actually, I would vote for E.T. if would help rid us of Blackford.

Susan McKenzie, Fort William

MARK Smith is right to point out that tactical voting began in earnest in the 1990s, but never has it been as important as it is now. The country has reached a serious point in its history. I believe a gung-ho Conservative government under Boris Johnston would be very bad for the country. We need to be astute in casting our vote next week.

M. Lewis, Glasgow