LIBERAL DEMOCRAT COUNCILLOR
Celebrating the Royal Burgh
A recent Facebook post showed incredible film of the 800th anniversary celebrations in 1926 of the founding of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen in 1126 - or, more precisely, of the grant of the royal charter by King David.
The provost and dignitaries, many superbly decorated floats, pipe bands and hordes of children dressed in mediaeval costumes: the whole burgh turned out in style for the event and immense work clearly went into the preparations.
We often underestimate the importance of local communities, not least in a community which can trace its history back for the best part of 1000 years.
Photographs of yesteryear bring back memories of childhood and of relatives and friends which are an important part of our collective memory: a familiar shop, a teacher, games and activities, landmarks that have vanished, where the trams went, the neighbours.
Memories like this are important to our sense of place. Some care homes have a reminiscence room used to stimulate memory and bring about a sense of familiarity and comfort in elderly people with dementia.
It is now only nine years to Rutherglen’s 900th anniversary. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have the biggest celebration ever and match the excitement of 1926?
Why should we not build up such a head of steam by then so that all the local organisations, the local schools, the churches, the youth organisations, musical and cultural groups and the whole population leave a legacy of heightened community activity and charitable endowment worthy of our history?
The indications this week were that the Government are not only planning to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union but also to leave the single market and the common customs area. Has Theresa May got a mandate for this? I rather think not.
Indeed, much of the case made for leaving the European Union suggested that we could stay in the European single market, generally recognised as important to our economy.
Liberal Democrats want Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom and the UK to stay in Europe. We are the only party arguing that case.
The need for a Brexit vote on the terms of exit eventually negotiated is getting stronger by the day as the dire implications of leaving the single market become obvious.