Referendum that gripped the nation
Thoughts on independence poll one year on
Rutherglen and Cambuslang’s two most senior politicians have given their thoughts on the first anniversary of the independence referendum.
Margaret Ferrier MP and James Kelly MSP both played active roles in their respective campaigns.
And while the SNP’s Ms Ferrier thinks the legacy of the referendum is “still being written,” Mr Kelly feels it is time for the country to move on.
Ms Ferrier, the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said: “Since last year’s referendum, I’ve not had much time to stop and take things in.
“This past year has been non-stop for me, between the remarkable surge in membership and support for the SNP, and my campaign and subsequent election to Westminster.
“I think people will forever view the referendum as an event that changed the entire political landscape.
“People generally feel more engaged with politics, and as such expect more from their elected representatives.
“Politics was made relevant and accessible to people again. One of the things I loved about the campaign was the return to town hall-style debate.
“People discussed the merits of independence in community halls and pubs, on buses and in shop queues. People were truly enfranchised.
“I think the legacy of the referendum is still being written.
“I welcome recent polls indicating that the majority of Scots now back independence, but take nothing for granted and will continue to work hard to make the case for Scotland to manage its own affairs.”
But Mr Kelly, the Labour MSP for Rutherglen, said people should view the result with “relief”.
He said: “Scotland showed certainty last September in deciding by a clear majority of 400,000 votes in a once-in-a-generation vote to remain part of the United Kingdom. One year on I am relieved that the Scottish people showed remarkable foresight.
“If we were in process of transferring to be an independent country we would be doing so with oil at less than $50 a barrel.
“For Scotland this would mean a £7bn deficit in our budget. For Rutherglen and Cambuslang, that would mean less money to spend on GPs, new homes or teachers in our schools.
“There are some people who would run the referendum every year until they got the result they wanted.
“One year on the Scottish Parliament is in the process of setting up greater power with increased tax and borrowing which give greater control over spending.
“The 2016 Scottish Parliament election gives us the opportunity to move Scotland forward from the Referendum debate. It is time to stop arguing among ourselves and time to start to get things done.
“The opportunity exists to build a fairer Scotland where young people have opportunities and we look after our citizens from the cradle to the grave.
“Let’s move on and deliver for the people of Scotland.”
Better Together James Kelly MSP made his feelings clear in the lead up
Yes Margaret Ferrier (right) during last year’s campaign