Monday 8th September 2014


With the Referendum less than two weeks away, some of you reading this column will still be making up your minds on how to vote.

So let me tell you why I think we should remain as part of the United Kingdom.

As a labour party member and a trade unionist for over forty years, I believe that by the strength of our common endeavour we can achieve far more than we can achieve alone.

I believe this is a much bigger idea than the division and defeatism of nationalism.

By pulling and sharing our resources with our friends and neighbours in the rest of Britain we have achieved so much.

We defended our shores from fascism. We created a national health service free at the point of need.

We built a social security system that gives financial support in times of sickness or unemployment.

We created an education system that gives every child the right to free education and the state pension which helps 11.5 million pensioners across the country with 16,000 here in Inverclyde.

We introduced the minimum wage for all workers and maternity leave for our mothers.

 And of course here in Scotland we created the Scottish Parliament with the benefit of home rule over health, justice, transport and education, with powers over borrowing, taxation, and welfare to come.

I reject the pessimistic view that we are incapable of uniting with our friends and neighbours in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to create the political will and action that can and will bring about a fairer and more prosperous society.

That is why I believe that sticking together is the bigger idea and that devolution for Scotland is the better idea and the reason I hope you will say NO thanks on the 18th September.