Claire Baker, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, writes a regular column for the Stirling Observer newspaper. Here’s her latest one:
“As a politician it feels that Scotland has been on a continual election footing since the 2010 General Election, so I can only imagine what it must feel like for voters. A common complaint from a voter on the doors used to be “we only ever see you at elections,” now we are more likely to hear “weren’t you here last week?”
Yet every election from 2010 onwards has brought with it something different and this upcoming one is no exception. When voters enter the booth to put their ‘x’ beside a candidate’s name it will be with thoughts of two referendums; brexit and indyref 2.
Labour is the party which best represents the majority view of the electorate. We support Scotland in the UK and we want to see a close relationship between the UK and Europe. Meanwhile the Conservatives pursuit of a hard brexit and the SNP’s continual insistence that independence is the answer, whatever the question, is damaging Scotland’s interests.
Voters deserve more when choosing the direction of the country for the next five years than two parties promoting their own constitutional agendas. Voters deserve better than the uncertainty and division than these referendums bring. Scotland, and the UK, are at their best when there is a common interest and when the have governments that work to promote prosperity, fairness and opportunity for everyone.
That is why a Labour Government will focus on creating a better society. We will invest £500 billion in infrastructure and industry, backed by a National Investment Bank, we will tackle exploitative zero hour contracts that make it impossible for many people to plan their lives and we will build a progressive tax system.
It is not fair that those who have suffered the most as a result of the banking crisis are those that had the least. In recent years, the burden has disproportionately fallen on the poorest and there is a need for us all to take responsibility for increasing equality in our country.
We also have the opportunity to elect local Labour MPs that will stand up for their communities, not use their position to posture on the constitution. Many will already know Labour’s candidate Chris Kane as someone who cares passionately about Stirling and someone who is able to bring communities together to work in the common interest. Chris Kane can be your local champion who will fight for the many, not the few and make sure Stirling’s voice is heard.
It is worth remembering the difference a Labour Government can bring – a minimum wage, paternity leave, investment in public services, devolution, creating and protecting the NHS.
A lot has changed since the last General Election only 2 years ago. The SNP surge has become a slump with their national share of the vote dropping significantly from almost 50% to 32%. Many seats now look vulnerable to a challenge and this snap election might have a few surprises in store across the country.
Yet whilst a lot has changed, one thing remains clear: if you want an MP who stands up for your area, who will always put you and your community first, and who will stand against a second independence referendum, there is really only one candidate to look to, Chris Kane, the Labour Party candidate.
I urge you to give Chris Kane your vote on 8th June.