WHY WE REALLY ARE BETTER TOGETHER
- 09:00 am, Tue 9th Oct 2012
In 2014 residents in West Dunbartonshire will join voters across Scotland to make the biggest decision in our country’s history.
The SNP is obsessed with separating Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom, while Labour continues to fight for the things that really matter to our local area – jobs, housing, better health care and good schools for our children.
Since announcing his intention to hold a referendum on independence, Alex Salmond has done a lot of talking but offered very little information on how his plans would actually work.
Indeed, this lack of information has been highlighted to me when I launched the Better Together campaign in Dumbarton recently. Hundreds signed their name in opposition to Alex Salmond plans – raising their own fears about Scotland’s future should it become separated from the rest of the UK.
Topping the list of worries was jobs opportunities for people living in Dumbarton and Alexandria. At present, there are currently 30 people chasing every vacancy in West Dunbartonshire, with the latest figures showing that over 2,200 people, aged between 16 and 64 are currently looking for work in the area.
The SNP has failed to provide West Dunbartonshire with a single penny to tackle unemployment in this area – despite 19 per cent of the population struggling to find work.
Then there is the matter of defence. The SNP say that in an independent Scotland nuclear weapons would be removed, with the loss of 11,000 jobs from HM Naval base Clyde at Faslane. The removal of these jobs would have a knock on effect on the West Dunbartonshire economy given that 1 in 4 people rely on the base for employment.
I came in to politics because I care about social justice – tackling poverty, providing opportunity and delivering fairness. And there remains a pressing need to tackle action on all these fronts, but the SNP’s response is to put the country on pause.
They suggest that we need to wait four years and with independence everything in the garden will be rosy. This approach is simply rooted in fantasy and does nothing for people who are hurting now.
Separation will do nothing for jobs, the economy or to improve our communities. These are the things that people care about, not the colour of our flag.