Referendum reflections

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Sir, – Through the letters page of the Journal and Gazette we would like to share some reflections on the Scottish Independence Referendum campaign and result.

Sir, – Through the letters page of the Journal and Gazette we would like to share some reflections on the Scottish Independence Referendum campaign and result.

Firstly, can we thank and congratulate the people of West Lothian for their participation in the referendum campaign and ballot.

The number of people who took part in the poll reached levels not seen in our country for over half a century, and the voter turnout of 86% in West Lothian was larger than that achieved nationally in Scotland, leaving no doubt as to the will of the people.

Secondly, we would wish to commend the generally positive way in which both sides of the debate carried out their campaigns in West Lothian and the high level of community engagement that both campaigns achieved. Whilst there may have been exceptions on both sides, in the main the West Lothian campaigns were not affected by the rancour that marred the Referendum in other parts of the country.

The result of the referendum vote was clear and decisive. The sovereign will of the people of Scotland is clearly that Scotland should continue as part of the United Kingdom, and as reflected in the Edinburgh Agreement it is now the duty of both sides to accept that result and move forward.

Both sides of the referendum campaign fought their cause with great energy, commitment and passion.

It is understandable that those whose cause did not prevail will feel great disappointment, perhaps even hurt, and that those wounds will take some time to heal.

By its nature a Referendum divides, but the task now for all Scots is to bring our country together again, to heal any divisions and to work for a better future for all in our country regardless of their view in the Referendum debate.

Scotland is a great country, full of great people, the things that unite us, a wish to see greater social justice, to see our NHS protected, to see an end to inequality, are greater than the things that divide us.

Our business now lies in the future, co-operating and working in solidarity with others to build a better country and a
 better future for all. - Yours etc.,

COUNCILLOR JOHN MCGINTY

Leader, West Lothian Council Labour Group on behalf of West Lothian Council Labour Group

No vote won’t ease devo calls

Sir, – With 45 per cent of voters in favour of independence and the No vote attracting a wide spectrum of support including those who would happily abolish the Scottish Parliament to those seeking the so called 
devo-max, it has to be expected that the majority of the Scottish electorate want further and substantial devolution.

Reflecting on this, Gordon Brown has guaranteed extensive new powers albeit it from his somewhat reduced status as a mere back bencher.

There are some 70 areas of government still reserved to Westminster.

At present, only some areas of taxation and social security are being proposed to be devolved which, while important, can hardly be described as being “extensive”.

Many more areas of responsibility must be passed to Holyrood if Mr Brown and the three unionist parties are to be seen as delivering on their last minute pledge which may well have been significant in determining the result.

Those of us who support independence accept the result of the referendum but it will not change our views on what is best for our country.

If the extensive new powers pledged by the unionist leaders are nothing more than devo plus-very-little, then those who were fooled by last minute promises will see their mistake and join us in our campaign. Gordon may once have “saved the world” but he might not have saved the union and only postponed its demise. – Yours etc.,

K. Macdonald

2 Market Lane

LINLITHGOW

EH49 7AJ

Campaign team thanks support

Sir, – On behalf of Bo’ness Better Together, a big ‘thank you’ to all the helpers who delivered, knocked on doors, put up posters - and above all, to all who voted No.

The result was delivered on a Falkirk Council basis, and not town by town, but looking at the ballot papers per polling district stacked together for the final count, a fair estimate can be gained for the town - the No vote in Bo’ness was around the 57 per cent mark ( whole 
council was 53 per cent ).– Yours etc.,

William Ballantine

by email

Coffee morning success

Sir, –I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came along to my annual coffee morning in aid of Macmillan. Total raised so far is £410, with a few more donations still to come in.

The bowling club in Linlithgow, as ever was fantastic and thanks to Oliphant’s for their donation of cakes, Paul Bradford at Truly Scrumptious who donated two beautiful cakes for the raffle, everyone who helped me out on the day from running the raffle to doing dishes, I’m so grateful, and a huge thanks to every person who came along and supported this great cause. – Yours etc.,

LYNN McLERNON

by email