2016: tu­mul­tuous and tragic year

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane - Clare Haughey MP FOR RUTHER­GLEN

It would be fair to say that 2016 has been ex­cit­ing, tu­mul­tuous and tragic in equal mea­sure.

As it draws to a close I have been re­flect­ing on the sig­nif­i­cant events of the year from a per­sonal, na­tional and global per­spec­tive.

The first four months of the year were spent cam­paign­ing for the Scot­tish Par­lia­men­tary elec­tion, which was held in May.

In an ex­cit­ing and hard-fought cam­paign I was pleased to be able to con­nect and talk with so many peo­ple and busi­nesses in all cor­ners of the con­stituency.

Be­ing de­clared the first SNP MSP for Ruther­glen con­stituency in the wee hours of May 6 was, of course, a great hon­our.

An im­por­tant step to en­sure that I can serve the peo­ple of Ruther­glen to the best of my abil­ity was the set­ting up and open­ing of my new of­fice in Main Street, Ruther­glen, in Novem­ber.

Hot on the heels of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions came the EU ref­er­en­dum.

Scot­land voted strongly to re­main in the EU.

How­ever, despite be­ing told dur­ing the in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum that the only way to se­cure our place in Europe was to vote No, we now face be­ing dragged out of the EU against our wishes.

Since the Brexit vote we have had months of con­fu­sion and in­de­ci­sion. Steer­ing a course through this con­fu­sion, the only co­her­ent and com­pe­tent po­lit­i­cal voice has been Ni­cola Stur­geon as she en­deav­ours to en­sure that Scot­land’s in­ter­ests are pro­tected in the months and years ahead.

As we were still at­tempt­ing to get to grips with the fall-out and im­pact of the Brexit vote the shock wave of the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sult hit us.

Despite win­ning the pop­u­lar vote by nearly three mil­lion, Hi­lary Clin­ton lost the elec­toral col­lege heav­ily and Don­ald Trump will be sworn in as the new US Pres­i­dent in a few weeks.

Given some of the in­tol­er­ant and of­fen­sive state­ments com­ing from the Trump camp dur­ing the elec­tion, it re­mains to be seen what im­pact his pres­i­dency will have on the US do­mes­ti­cally and glob­ally.

There are cer­tainly a lot of con­cerned mi­nor­ity groups in Amer­ica who are fear­ful for the fu­ture and we al­ready see rip­ples of con­cern in­ter­na­tion­ally around some of his for­eign af­fairs po­si­tions.

2016, un­for­tu­nately, also con­tin­ued to bring us hor­rific im­ages from Syria and Ye­men, as well as heart-rend­ing footage of the suf­fer­ing en­dured by mi­grants flee­ing these and other con­flicts.

Despite all of this, as we face into 2017 I look for­ward to the fu­ture with hope.

I would like to wish read­ers a happy and peace­ful 2017 and I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to rep­re­sent you at Holy­rood.

Please do not hes­i­tate to con­tact my of­fice if I can as­sist you in any way.

The shock wave of the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sult hit us

Hon­our Clare Haughey was elected in May

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