Monday 29th September 2014


The Referendum campaign was long and hard fought. It was heated at times. Passions ran high. Heart-strings were pulled.

But now that it’s over and a decisive result confirmed across Scotland, it’s important that we return to normal politics and address the questions that matter to peoples’ everyday lives and which have been raised with me on the door steps.

How do we ensure work pays? How do we protect and enhance our health service? How do we help young people onto the housing ladder? How do we develop our childcare services?

Unfortunately, I fear a return to normal politics may take longer than I would like. Statements made by the First Minister and his deputy in the past week indicate that they have still not come to terms with the result. There have even been threats that another Referendum may be on the cards.

If we are to get back to normal politics, the ‘Yes’ side must accept that a clear majority of Scots want to remain within the United Kingdom, just as the ‘no’ campaign must recognise that the status quo is no longer an option.

They should also acknowledge that people voted ‘no’ not because they were feart but because they believed that change would best be achieved by staying in the UK.

We cannot waste another two years being distracted by the constitution, let us make a difference to people’s lives in the here and now by using the substantial powers the Scottish Parliament already has over things like housing, health, education, justice and social care.

Let us unite and find common ground so that we can achieve the real change that people are crying out for.