year to go! By this day in 2014, we will have cast our historic vote in
response to the most important question of our lives: ‘Do you agree that
Scotland should be an independent country?’
have a choice between two futures.
watch the video here
path moves towards a fairer and more prosperous Scotland where everyone
can reach their full potential, where going to university depends upon
your ability not your bank balance.
Scotland where future decisions are made by the people who care most
about Scotland – the people who live here. Where weapons of mass
destruction have no place close to our most densely populated city,
where we can’t be led into illegal wars we voted against and where we
control our own natural resources like oil and gas.
the other path? Same old, same old, ruled by Westminster, the fourth
most unequal country in the world where the gap between rich and poor
gets wider and wider. A country where privilege rules and learning costs
tens of thousands of pounds, a country with no place in the world, a
dumping ground for nuclear weapons, our money squandered by governments
we didn’t vote for and who are out of touch.
First Minister says: “It’s a choice based on who you trust to make
Scotland a better country to live in: Politicians at Westminster or
people who live here, in Scotland?
vote means we stay with the present system, a Scotland stifled by the
repeated failures of Westminster governments.
vote means we choose a new direction for our country. With independence
we can take the decisions that are right for us, ones that will make a
fairer, greener, more prosperous country. That’s got to be the right
choice for all our country.”
if you won’t be voting in the Referendum, please show your support at
Referendum Bill passed Stage One on 12 September. This is the Bill that
sets out all the procedural requirements about how the Referendum will
actually be managed. It was drafted following the public consultation,
‘Your Scotland, Your Referendum’ and following the Edinburgh Agreement (http://tinyurl.com/awjma3b)
between our First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, and the British Prime
Minister, David Cameron.
This Agreement commits
both governments to behave in line with the legislation and the
Electoral Commission in the conduct of issues such as how much money is
spent on campaigning, what donations can be accepted and restrictions
placed upon producing promotional publications during the 28 day Purdah
period before voting takes place.
First Minister, Alex Salmond, MSP, and UK Prime Minister
David Cameron signing the Edinburgh Agreement.
Clearly, the current SNP Scottish Government is not only achieving its
aims but retaining its popularity. Normally, any national government
mid-term expects to be struggling to keep support and will see sometimes
drastic falls in faith.
was good to see the Sunday Times Panelbase poll put support for the SNP
at exactly the same level as its 2011 landslide victory. After six years
in government, that is a fantastic achievement by any standard. That
means we have by far the largest section of the vote in Scotland and we
are continuing to grow it further.
here want to have decisions that impact on their lives, their futures,
made inside the Scottish Parliament. Even those who have not yet decided
how to vote in the Referendum want that – by a margin of nearly
The late Hamilton South councillor, Bobby Lawson.
very special and great friend, Councillor Bobby Lawson, died a few weeks
back on 13 August. His shoes won’t be easy to fill but Josh Wilson, who
happens to work as my Parliamentary and Constituency Assistant, is going
to go for it.
already hard at work campaigning for the Hamilton South seat on South
Lanarkshire Council and is out pounding the streets. The by-election
will be on Thursday 24 October so he has plenty of work to do.
lives and works in Hamilton and has a real passion for continuing the
work and legacy of Bobby, also a close friend of his and from whom he
got great inspiration.
is young and I’m so delighted to see that he has that ambition to work
for his local community. He already knows the area and lots of people
know him, so he’s got a good starting point.
he’ll want to push to get the Council to commit to no evictions as a
result of the Westminster bedroom tax. He’ll want to see transparency
over equal pay and he’ll be supporting the Scottish Government’s Council
luck to Josh!
Josh Wilson, SNP candidate in the Hamilton South by-election
main Post Office in Hamilton suddenly closed this week, leaving hundreds
of customers shocked and confused. Many elderly people who had come to
collect their pensions were met with closed shutters.
reason was essentially that the small supermarket in which the Post
Office was housed had financial problems. Once it closed down, so did
the Post Office.
there’s a darker side to this, hopefully temporary, problem.
Westminster government has decided that it wants to privatise Royal
Mail. Though this is a separate ‘arm’ of the business responsible for
the delivery of letters and parcels, it is clearly the main reason why
Post Offices exist.
First Minister made it clear on Thursday at Question Time in the
Scottish Parliament that Scotland was having no truck with this mad
idea. He told MSPs that in the event of a Yes vote: “An independent
Scottish government that I lead – because it will be the decision of the
Scottish people – will bring the Royal Mail, our postal service, back
into public ownership.”
other political party in Scotland, not even Labour, would commit to that
promise. A Yes vote is the only way to ensure Scotland will have the
powers that can deliver the postal service we need.
a speech last week in the Chamber about Revenge Porn. The sickening and
offensive behaviour of ex-partners, mainly male, posting up on social
media the videos and pictures taken privately is gathering momentum.
can see more of what I said on the subject here:
It is interesting and
encouraging that the speech went viral with both the BBC and even the
Labour opposition commending it!
In Scotland, Women’s Aid
has set up a mini-site within its main site:
www.togetherwecanstopit.org and is to be commended for its efforts.
Revenge porn is no different from any other kind of domestic abuse.
It degrades, humiliates
and traumatises its victims, leaving them frightened and undermined. And
to add insult to injury, it has cost some of them their jobs as well.
Why do men do this? It
takes a particularly sick kind of mind to broadcast images of private
and intimate times. The question isn’t why someone agreed to the video
or pictures in the first place. It’s why the ex-partners think it’s all
right to use the material in this way.
Interestingly, the state
of California is seeking to introduce a law to make the practice illegal
and close down particularly on sites devoted to using revenge porn
material. You can read more about that here:
http://tinyurl.com/p89h7wm Revenge porn is already illegal in New