Robert Brown


Rutherglen Reformer - - News from the Pews -

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?

Hard Brexit

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.

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