Friday, 1 August 2014

YES big-hitters head to North Ayrshire

The campaign for a YES vote in next month’s Independence Referendum has announced another two public meetings in North Ayrshire.

The first will take place in the Brisbane House Hotel in Largs on Monday (August 4th) and will hear from writer and journalist Pat Kane. Mr Kane is possibly still best known for his lead role in the hugely-successful 1980s/90s pop band Hue & Cry.

Also speaking at Monday night’s meeting, which begins at 7:30pm, are Jeane Freeman of Women for Independence and Kat Boyd of the left-wing group Radical Independence. Jeane Freeman formerly worked as an adviser to ex-Labour First Minister Jack McConnell.

YES North Ayrshire, organisers of the meeting, say the pro-independence panel will be happy to address any questions from the audience, and particularly encourage the attendance of anyone who is still undecided on how they will vote in the referendum.

A previous pro-independence meeting in Largs was so well attended that people who turned-up just before the start-time were unable to gain access as the venue’s legal limit had already been reached.

Looking forward to speaking in North Ayrshire, Pat Kane said, “A victory for YES in the referendum rests on a peaceful, methodical mobilisation of several key sectors of Scottish society. Firstly, the women and men of a politically reignited working-class. They will know that the great levers of social and economic progress – productive investment, supportive welfare, greater access to the conditions of a stable life, such as quality employment, affordable housing and improving health and education – have been put in their hands by a YES vote.”

The next YES public meeting – on Monday, August 11th – will see Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, return to home ground as she speaks at Castlepark Community Centre in Irvine. The meeting, to be chaired by local MSP Margaret Burgess, starts at 7:30pm.

Ms Sturgeon, who grew up in Dreghorn, recently spoke about how Irvine and the wider North Ayrshire community had helped shape her political outlook. She said, “Growing up, I felt the sense of disempowerment that came from having a Tory Government we didn’t vote for.

“When I was at Greenwood Academy, unemployment was very high and I was acutely aware of a sense of hopelessness among a lot of people I was at school with. There was also a very strong fear, particularly among my dad’s generation, that if you lost your job, you might be unemployed for the rest of your life.

“What played on me then, and is still the motivation for my politics today, is that we had a right-wing, uncaring Tory Government that we didn’t vote for doing significant damage to the fabric of our society. That just seemed wrong to me.

“It remains at the heart of what I do now. We should get governments that we vote for – not governments we reject.

“Independence will bring tangible benefits, but my belief in it is as much about the sense of being in charge of your own destiny. It is empowerment, the feeling that we are responsible, accountable and capable of making our own decisions.”

The Deputy First Minister will answer questions from the audience at the Castlepark meeting.

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