Look to the future
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
“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.”