RACHEL "there’s no more money" Reeves claimed English Labour has inherited “the worst set of circumstances since the Second World War”. Not so. In 1945, the UK had a debt-GDP ratio of 250%. Today it’s under 70%.

In 1945, the UK was flat broke. It owed the US for wartime Lend Lease programmes and its empire was imploding. What did the newly-elected Attlee Labour government do in response? It didn’t adhere to some made-up fiscal rules that artificially constrained it from acting in the people's best interest. It opened up the spending taps. It created the NHS from scratch. It bought out the coal mines, power companies and railways from private companies and invested more in them. It spent money on education, on social services, on social housing. For once, the people were the owners of public assets, assets that would be worth £trillions if they were in the public domain today.

What happened? The economy surged. There was full employment with low inflation. GDP grew substantially and the UK paid off its debts. Massive government spending on the people - health and education - and on productive investment, signalled to the private sector where to put its money. In other words, government spending led the way to economic growth and prosperity for all; it always does.

Ms Reeves not only needs a history lesson, she needs a lesson in government finance. Her solution, to provide public money to the private sector, hoping it will somehow grow the economy, will fail. And she ignores government’s chief obligation: to promote and protect the health and wellbeing of its people.

For the Scottish people to prosper, they must end this failing union.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Is there any hope of Scotland getting more Mhairi Blacks?

READ MORE: Someone has to tell the truth': Jim Sillars' letter to SNP members

READ MORE: Labour has just 20 months to make real change or SNP will roar back

Alexander beats Black

IT was with not a little incredulity that I read John Jamieson's bizarre sycophantic adulation of Mhairi Black (Letters, July 9).

He expresses delight in having an MP who has not quite finished a university degree; who has no experience of or exposure to the realities of the business world, or indeed any employment outwith politics; and who spent a substantial proportion of her time in London avoiding debates: being described by the Spectator as Westminster's laziest MP with an attendance record a small fraction of many of her colleagues. At the same time she was frequently among those claiming the highest expenses - well over £200k per annum - not only enjoying the gravy train, but regularly driving it.

Ms Black claimed to be standing down from her seat due to the toxicity of Westminster. In reality much of that toxicity was down to her generally abusive language and divisive rhetoric, and her "retiral" was more attributable to the visibility of the writing on the wall that her party was in meltdown: evidenced clearly today by the writings of Jim Sillars in his condemnation of the SNP's dictatorial leadership and intolerance of any opposing views.

In contrast, Douglas Alexander worked as a solicitor in public practice before first becoming an MP, has since had a successful career outwith politics before returning as an MP, and speaks rationally while being courteous in debate. Quite how anyone would be small-minded enough to see him as inferior to Ms Black's inexperience and blinkered rantings simply beggars belief.

Steph Johnson, Glasgow.

• I HOLD no candle for Labour or the new MP for Lothian East, Douglas Alexander, but I find the hatchet job done on him by John Jamieson a little strange and blinkered, especially when comparing him to the SNP's Mhairi Black.

He describes the latter as "a smart, committed young woman, who believes in Scotland" and being "direct and authentic" but offers no concrete achievement of Ms Black's during her term in Parliament. In fact, in the very same issue of The Herald, your columnist Kevin McKenna tells us Ms Black "threatened to quit the party if it rejected her staffer's bid to succeed her" ("Swinney must be removed now", The Herald, July 9).

This doesn't seem to mirror the rosy portrait painted by Mr Jamieson but, on the other hand, Mr Alexander isn't without blemish, as he "quietly repaid more than £50,000 in expenses" in 2009, according to Wikipedia.

I suspect that we are not losing out by saying "ta-ta" to Ms Black but I am far from convinced we are getting much better with Mr Alexander.

James Miller, Glasgow.

Mhairi BlackMhairi Black (Image: PA)

How can this be better?

LIKE Ruth Marr (Letters, July 8) I regret the fact that so many among our Scottish nation decided to vote Labour last week. She says they have been conned but I would class their behaviour as sleep-walking.

Anyone even half awake during Keir Starmer's tenure as party leader must have noted how his every word and deed has been so carefully chosen to appeal to those who had voted Conservative last time. His strategy paid off handsomely in urban areas of England where the only choice available to voters disillusioned with the Conservatives was between Mr Starmer's new-look brand of Tories and the Bungee Jump Party, which was preferred in leafier areas where old Labour's cloth cap and blue collar image has never been acceptable. Our left-leaning, pro-European, immigrant-friendly Scottish nation has been enticed into deserting the SNP, with all its faults and failings, in favour of a right wing, Brexit-tolerant, immigrant averse, pro-Israel party. How can this be described as a change for the better?

Willie Maclean, Milngavie.

• RUTH Marr never said a truer word in that " the rust of disillusion will soon set in...when voters realise they have been conned".

Well, the voters certainly realised that last Thursday and showed the voters just how disillusioned they had become with the SNP.

I fear there is going to be a long dark night before Ms Marr's longed-for dawn.

Isobel Hunter, Lenzie.

Why worry it's only nine?

THE turnout at the General Election was the second-lowest in a century and less than one quarter of registered voters did so for Labour candidates. Despite this the Labour Party has an unassailable majority of 181 at Westminster. Doesn’t sound very democratic to me! After experiencing decades of crippling austerity why did 40% of the electorate not bother to vote? Perhaps they decided it was pointless as they would get the same puppets wearing different rosettes. The film director Ken Loach has an interesting video on that theme; you should watch it.

The fact that the SNP lost so many seats in the General Election was so predictable that were I a Conservative MP I would have bet on it. It is however widely acknowledged that it is irrelevant who we elect to represent Scottish constituencies at Westminster as the winning party is determined by the voters in England by sheer dint of numbers. Many Scottish constituencies have certainly returned Labour MPs but that would have meant nothing had England voted Conservative.

When one reviews the negligible effect that 48 SNP MPs had on UK Government policy during the last administration why are we worried that only nine have been returned this time?

I voted for the SNP simply to demonstrate my continuing support for Scottish independence, not because I believe SNP MPs can influence what happens at Westminster. I believe our SNP MPs and the party should take a lead from Sinn Fein whose elected representatives do not take up their seats at Westminster; why do we play along with a system we cannot possibly change or influence? If the nine SNP MPs did take up their seats but took turns in the chamber at being disruptive even if it meant repeated exclusion or banishment at least it would echo public dissatisfaction at the status quo. Scotland and the SNP cannot change how Westminster functions and neither can Keir Starmer even if he wanted to.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

Can we have a break?

AFTER the SNP's historic thumping in the General Election, is it too much to hope for a two-year break in Holyrood from nationalist whining and grievance politics and the incessant and terminally boring repetition of the ''i'' word?

No matter how long the SNP has been running our domestic affairs in devolved Scotland, could it now go out in a flourish by turning its attention, after 14 years of disastrous neglect, to bettering our lives? To improving our broken NHS? Or tackling drug deaths? To end at once spending our money on crackpot nationalist projects that inevitably end up a fiasco?

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Protest against Russia too

FOLLOWING on from the shocking Russian attack on the Kiev children's hospital ("Russian onslaught strikes children’s hospital in Ukraine", The Herald, July 9), can we now expect to see a sea of Ukrainian flags within the ranks of those flying Palestinian flags and calling for a ceasefire over Gaza? Will the Russian embassy in London be a target for the protestors and can we expect those MPs elected in support of Gaza to add Ukraine to their grievance list? Will the protestors be calling out those who supply weapons to Russia such as Iran?

These are reasonable questions to ask. Will they get reasonable answers or any answer at all?

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.