Im­pact of par­lia­ment can­not be de­nied

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

His­to­ri­ans will no doubt view 1997 as a piv­otal year for the UK.

Af­ter 18 years of Con­ser­va­tive rule, Tony Blair’s New Labour revo­lu­tion swept to power amidst a flush of op­ti­mism.

One of Labour’s first acts was a ref­er­en­dum on whether Scot­land should have a de­volved par­lia­ment within the United King­dom. On Septem­ber 11, vot­ers went to the polls and over­whelm­ingly backed the move.

In South La­nark­shire, more than three-quar­ters of vot­ers said they wanted to see a Scot­tish Par­lia­ment. Two years later they got their wish.

With this week mark­ing 20 years since that mon­u­men­tal vote, it is only nat­u­ral to look back on what has hap­pened since.

Scot­land has cer­tainly changed in that time, but it may de­pend greatly on what side of the po­lit­i­cal di­vide you fall on whether you think it has been for the bet­ter or the worse.

The par­lia­ment has been a trail­blazer in some in­stances es­pe­cially the smok­ing ban which is still seen per­haps as its flag­ship leg­is­la­tion, but ques­tion marks re­main over the scru­tiny of the govern­ment us­ing the com­mit­tee sys­tem.

To mark the 20th an­niver­sary, we spoke to some of the main play­ers who cam­paigned in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang in 1997 to find out if their hopes or fears had been re­alised. You can find out what they had to say on page 32.

Our pri­mary one pic­tures con­tinue this week. Pupils at Loch, St Bride’s, St Colum­bkille’s and West Coats are fea­tured in our spe­cial pull­out in the mid­dle of the pa­per.

Do not worry if your child has not been fea­tured yet. All the lo­cal schools will be in the pa­per and we will post de­tails of when they will ap­pear on Face­book.

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