THERE has been a number of letters recently in The National about Labour stupidity in joining forces with Tories to run many councils. Maybe a bit of credit is due where this did not happen.

In South Ayrshire the SNP group prepared a detailed 28-page manifesto on the way forward for South Ayrshire. There was a lot in this manifesto that Labour locally could agree with and the Labour wish-list was not too difficult for the SNP to accept. So a deal between the SNP and Labour was done. The Tories had no local policies so nothing for Labour to agree with.

There is general agreement that the previous Tory/Labour administration in South Ayrshire resulted in stasis as little agreement could be reached on anything. I can only hope that the same inertia does not result in those councils with a new Tory/Labour-run administration — especially where there was not even a detailed local manifesto to form basis of agreement.

An unfortunate result of the STV voting system in South Ayrshire is that Allan Dorans, the previous SNP group leader, who was instrumental in putting the manifesto together, was not re-elected purely because alphabetically he was the second of two SNP candidates. His is a sad loss to the running of the council.

It has been suggested that candidates should be listed in a random order on ballot papers in future. This will not solve the problem and will encourage parties to refrain from putting multiple candidates forward in order to be sure that their favoured candidate is successful.

The only remedy is that in future parties should be able to state in which order they wish their candidates to appear on the ballot paper.
Tom Crozier

IN Theresa May’s own words: “This election is the most important this country has faced in my lifetime. Our future prosperity, our place in the world, our standard of living, and the opportunities we want for our children — and our children’s children — all depend on getting the next five years right ... If we succeed, the opportunities ahead of us are great.”

But what if you fail Theresa? What then? But this does not enter into her mind-set at all ... The Conservative manifesto is now published, and my advice ... read the small print, people! The apparent abandonment of the grey vote is a very risky strategy and one that [Lynton] Crosby has obviously considered expendable to gain the hearts and minds of middle earners. Remember one thing, Lynton: these people will grow old too and one day they will be the grey vote.

There will be no more triple lock, there will be pay-as-you-go healthcare which amounts to a death tax for the old. Myriad hidden clauses and stealth cash grabs abound. So in this headlong stampede to appeal there are some of us who will not even get a mention and the reason for that is obvious — more pain, brutality and suffering for the poor, unemployed, disabled and the sick.

I think May has been convinced that she is now unassailable and she can do what she likes to whom she likes. Big mistake methinks! It might work well in England but I hope now, if it needed hammering home, May and her party are known as dangerous and, if the expected result occurs on June 8, then we will have taken another small step towards a very ugly and controlling state. As such, we must vote against her in Scotland.

Remember, she has also pledged to refuse us a referendum until after all Brexit negotiations were complete. That in itself is outrageous and all Scots — nationalists or unionists – should see that as an affront to our country and our citizens.
Ade Hegney


Let’s not fall for the old trick of divide and conquer

LIKE L McGregor, I am dismayed that so many people, and especially the media, have fallen for the old autocratic trick, “divide and conquer” (Pensioners suffer an injustice when cast against the young, The National, May 19).

Turning one group in society against another is such an easy way of diverting attention from the calculated injustices inflicted upon society by recent governments. It used to be a joke that a ruthless selfish person would “sell his granny” but now a whole generation of young people are being indoctrinated to pursue this course.

We should not be so naive. We should not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked into attacking each other when we should be directing our fire at governments which protect the wealthy and powerful at our expense.
Lovina Roe

LISTENING to the alleged merits of individual political party manifestos, it seems that they all have one thing in common, which is that they are not spending wealth or assets, but managing existing debt, or making arrangements for new debt. There is no actual money left.
Malcolm Parkin
Kinnesswood, Kinross

I HOPE any voters who may be thinking of voting Labour will reconsider after reading Andrew Learmonth’s article (A vote for Labour is a ‘blank cheque’ for Theresa May’s hard Brexit, says Sturgeon, The National, May 18).

Some argue that only Labour could defeat the Conservatives and form the next UK government. Unfortunately the English electorate have been shown to only vote for a Labour party with right-of-centre policies. Any number of seats the left-of-centre Labour manifesto policies win in Scotland will be more than countered by the number they lose in England.

This has proved to be the case historically. For over 25 of the past 50 years, six Conservative and one Conservative/LibDem government have ruled over Scotland despite Scotland voting Labour.

Whatever the Labour vote is in Scotland we are likely to end up being ruled by a Conservative government. The losing Labour party may well remove an unsuccessful Jeremy Corbyn and move back to a Blairite position.

Vote for SNP politicians who have represented you well, opposing policies contrary to the best interests of the Scottish people and asking far more challenging questions in the Commons than Labour.

Any significant fall in the 56 SNP seats won in the 2015 General Election will be used as an excuse to legitimise a Conservative government’s refusal to approve a second independence referendum, no matter how badly Scotland fares under that government and its Brexit negotiations.

Do you want to end up in that position by voting for a Labour party who are extremely unlikely to win a majority and who have also indicated they would oppose another independence referendum?

It is more important than ever that you get out and vote for your SNP candidate otherwise you risk Scotland being treated as even more of a backwater, with little more prospects of future independence than any other northern region of greater England.
Jim Stamper

MAY is leading an attack on the idea of democracy, epitomised by the repetition of the phrase “ordinary working people”. I reject this patronising idea. People are extraordinary in many ways which the pooterish May is unable to understand. We must resist and we know how to vote on June 8. Let’s sweep them out of Scotland.
Cathie Lloyd

I WATCHED the leaders’ debate, and thought the female contingent were all impressive, particularly Nicola whose wee wink at the audience during one of Nuttall’s racist rants was brilliant, it made me smile. One weak wink was enough to ridicule him.

It was noticeable that the most appreciative response was for Nicola — in a town in Northern England.

I doubt very much that neither May nor Corbyn would have had much of substance to contribute.

However, it would have been good to see Nicola have the opportunity to skewer May and her policies.
George Greenshields
East Kilbride