Ref­er­en­dum that gripped the na­tion

Thoughts on in­de­pen­dence poll one year on

Rutherglen Reformer - - Chef’s Corner - Dou­glas Dickie

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.