Look to the fu­ture

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

One year on from the ref­er­en­dum, it is surely time for peo­ple to ac­cept the re­sult and move on and for po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to try to heal the di­vi­sions the ref­er­en­dum un­doubt­edly caused in Scot­land.

I fought hard to keep Scot­land in the United King­dom but I also want to see the UK mod­ernised for the 21st cen­tury.

The House of Lords, the Lon­don­cen­tric pol­i­tics, the un­healthy dom­i­nance of the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, the un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive vot­ing sys­tem for the House of Com­mons – all this needs to change and change quickly.

On the one hand there are the ma­jor­ity in both South La­nark­shire and across Scot­land who sup­ported the United King­dom. On the other hand there are those who wanted Scot­land to be in­de­pen­dent but who recog­nised that there needed to be com­mon de­ci­sion mak­ing across the UK on many mat­ters such as the cur­rency, pen­sions and the Euro­pean Union.

I have long ar­gued as a Lib­eral Demo­crat that we need to build a mod­ern, fed­eral United King­dom where Scot­land, Wales, North­ern Ire­land and the his­toric English re­gions are prop­erly recog­nised within the con­sti­tu­tion.

This would be a far more sen­si­ble course of ac­tion than yet another ref­er­en­dum and a fed­eral Bri­tain should ap­peal to many peo­ple on both sides of the ref­er­en­dum de­bate.

The ref­er­en­dum was a hugely im­por­tant event in Scot­land but it left a legacy of di­vi­sion and dis­tress in Scot­land which has to be over­come.

Be­yond that all of us want to see good schools and col­leges, a top-class health ser­vice, the best pos­si­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple, the cri­sis in the po­lice ser­vice tack­led and ac­tion on all the other im­por­tant do­mes­tic is­sues, from which the ref­er­en­dum has been a bit of a dis­trac­tion.

The key is­sue for the Scot­tish elec­tions is the SNP gov­ern­ment’s record on these things and whether there are bet­ter pro­pos­als com­ing from other par­ties.

The SNP record on the NHS, on child­care pro­vi­sion, on school at­tain­ment, on col­lege and ap­pren­tice­ship places has been sig­nif­i­cantly worse over the last five years than the po­si­tion in Eng­land.

I hope ev­ery­one in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang will get in­volved in this, rather than look­ing back to the ref­er­en­dum or blam­ing some­one else for what could be bet­ter. Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown Ruther­glen South

I read with some sad­ness the news that Blair­beth Golf Club has made the move from 18 holes to nine in last week’s Re­former.

While the course was al­ways known for be­ing short, it pro­vides a stiff test with its nar­row fair­ways, thick rough and small greens.

But per­haps that in it­self is part of the prob­lem. As a lapsed mem­ber who has re­turned oc­cas­sion­ally to the course, it has ceased to be a joy to play and be­came some­thing of a slog. There can’t be many golf cour­ses where you miss the fair­way by a few inches and find your­self hav­ing to hit a pro­vi­sional ball.

What is most wor­ry­ing is the holes that have been se­lected to be played. I un­der­stand the logic of hav­ing the course all in the one sec­tion and it will cer­tainly be an eas­ier walk but it loses out on the sig­na­ture holes and those tremen­dous views over the city that are un­matched at any of our other lo­cal golf cour­ses.

Blair­beth will hope­fully still have its place in Ruther­glen. The sport of golf has, per­haps un­fairly, got a very stuffy im­age and Blair­beth was the ideal an­tithe­sis to this. The mem­bers are friendly and the club is com­pletely un­pre­ten­tious.

I hope this move means the club can con­tinue for a num­ber of years yet. John Maxwell name and ad­dress supplied

It’s re­ally en­cour­ag­ing to know that there are still kind-hearted and car­ing peo­ple out there.

The Re­former’s story about the gen­eros­ity of the good peo­ple of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang when it comes to col­lect­ing cloth­ing to help stricken refugees in the Balkans did my heart good.

It’s too easy to just dis­miss what is hap­pen­ing to up to 84,000 refugees stuck on the borders in Hungary or the count­less thou­sands risk­ing their lives in flimsy boats in a bid to reach is­lands in Greece as “noth­ing to do with me”.

But, thank­fully, the peo­ple of this area don’t think like that and have ral­lied round to do­nate cloth­ing and footwear for men, women and chil­dren who are suf­fer­ing ex­treme hard­ship.

As win­ter is now not far away it is even more vi­tal that they have some respite from the harsh con­di­tions set to come their way.

Castlemilk-based char­ity Glas­gow the Car­ing City de­serve noth­ing but praise for their ef­forts to help make this ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion bet­ter for count­less fam­i­lies trapped in ter­ri­ble con­di­tions.

And the or­gan­is­ers of that char­ity recog­nise the vi­tal part played by peo­ple here when they said that those from Cam­bus­lang, Ruther­glen and Burn­side are al­ways the ones who lead in get­ting be­hind char­ity cam­paigns.

But then who could have failed to be touched by im­ages of bod­ies be­ing pulled from Turk­ish wa­ters in what proved a fu­tile bid to reach safety.

So I urge ev­ery­one in­volved in this su­perb ef­fort to bring hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to those in trou­ble to keep up the good work.

What we don’t need are neg­a­tive mes­sages from peo­ple who ac­cuse refugees of com­ing to the UK just so they can claim ben­e­fits.

The ma­jor­ity of these peo­ple are flee­ing for their lives from the hor­rors in their own land. name and ad­dress supplied

Blair­bethlos­ing spec­tac­u­larviews

“I’m happy to see him cho­sen as the leader,”said Richard Camp­bell (80), of Ruther­glen. I think he’ll do a good job given time. He seems to want to re­dress the bal­ance be­tween the haves and the have -nots and that can’t be a bad thing.”

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