By Steven Paterson former MP for Stirling
We’re all familiar with the great postal vote conspiracy, right? The industrial scale deception perpetrated by agents unknown to ensure the Yes side didn’t win the 2014 Independence Referendum?
After all, the evidence was overwhelming, and all over social media afterwards, so it must be true. All those piles of votes being shifted about: it was fixed!
Except there’s one wee problem with this particular conspiracy theory, which it shares with other whoppers such as the well-known faked moon landings: its complete and utter nonsense. There would have had to have been fleets of bin lorries transporting hundreds of thousands of ballot papers to be incinerated somewhere – at every count nationwide – and nobody talking about it afterwards, or else we would have to believe that the many experienced SNP counting agents witnessing the count somehow missed hundreds of thousands of votes being deliberately miscounted.
So what? Well, the perpetuation of the ridiculous independence referendum ballot paper conspiracy continues to have an unwelcome consequence for those of us who support the SNP and independence for Scotland. It’s this: due to mistrust of the system this fiction encourages, supporters of the SNP are far less likely to sign up for postal votes than supporters of other parties, and especially the Tories. And since postal voters are 96 percent likely to vote versus non-postal voters at 73 percent likely to vote in any given election, this gives a clear advantage to our opponents, and especially to our Tory opponents.
PAY RISE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS AND LOWER TAXES FOR 70% OF SCOTS
Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has hailed the huge increase in people using Active Stirling gym facilities since the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
In 2014, Active Stirling membership was 3,107. It has since more than doubled and the 2017 membership number sits at 7,302 – an increase of 135%.
As we move on towards the end of another year as ever here at Stirling SNP it is time to reflect on the year that was.
On June 23rd 2016, Scotland voted overwhelmingly – by 62% – to remain in the European Union. Indeed, my own constituency voted by more than two-thirds to remain. The Scottish Government’s position is that the will of the Scottish people must be upheld.
In 2014, ahead of the Scottish Independence Referendum, Westminster unionist political parties told the people of Scotland that a No vote would secure our nation’s place in the European Union as part of the UK. Whilst claims that Scotland choosing to become independent would result in the country being ejected from the EU are completely baseless and false, nevertheless it is undeniable that this was a major plank of the No campaign and many people in Scotland rightly feel that they were sold a falsehood as they voted by a small margin to stay in the UK and by a large majority to stay in the EU.
Whilst the wishes of the people of Scotland were clear in last year’s referendum, the Scottish Government has lobbied the UK Government for a compromised approach that would ensure that Scotland would be able to retain the rights and privileges of the European Single Market and the Customs Union once the UK leaves the EU. However, to date, the UK Government has stubbornly refused to make such a commitment, instead aiming for what is known as a ‘Hard Brexit’ where we leave the Single Market too.
The Stirling area is benefiting from increased roll-out of superfast broadband because of decisive Scottish Government action.
Superfast broadband coverage in Stirling prior to the SNP Scottish Government’s intervention through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme was at 59%. Recent figures show that following Scottish Government action, the percentage of premises with access to fibre broadband in the Stirling constituency is 89.7% – and puts Scotland well on course to meet the 100% coverage target by 2021.
Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has commented on the devastating impact that Universal Credit is having on individuals and families who have applied to it.
The Tory UK Government was defeated in a Commons vote by 299 – 0 on halting the rollout of Universal Credit.
SNP MP Tommy Sheppard took part in a Westminster Hall debate this week (Tuesday) on Devolution in Scotland.
The Edinburgh MP – who is the SNP Spokesperson on the Cabinet Office, Scotland Office, and House of Lords – took part in the debate and highlighted how the Stirling Constituency had specifically benefitted from Scottish Government policies what did not exist in the rest of the UK.
At the beginning of this month, the First Minister announced the SNP Scottish Government’s legislative programme for the next year. The ambitious Programme for Government sets out a blueprint for a more progressive and fairer society.
The day before conference, Saturday October 7th, the SNP Equalities Day will be held in The SEC Centre in Glasgow.