Friday, 20 September 2013

Forthcoming Our Islands Our Future Conference

As the Western Isles Council delegation prepares to depart for the Our Islands Our Future Conference in Kirkwall the Comhairle’s SNP Group wish all those attending every success.

As SNP Group Secretary Cllr Philip McLean stated in the council chamber last week, at the recent annual conference of the SNP Councillors Association held in Airth Castle in Falkirk, both John Swinney MSP and Derek Mackay MSP cited recent meetings with representatives from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland as examples of how the Scottish Government continues to engage with local communities.

The aspirations of the islands is very much in tune with the sentiments contained in the Scottish Government’s Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill and so for them the current engagement with Our Islands Our Future is an easy and welcome process.

What’s less clear is what the NO side in next year’s referendum on Independence will be able to offer the islands. In a week when their London masters were forced to contradict three Scottish Labour politicians totally unfounded claims made on TV that Labour would remove the Bedroom Tax if re-elected, how can they as a party come together to agree on anything – and how can they come together with the others in the NO campaign – the Tory’s, Liberals, UKIP and others to offer cast iron guarantees on anything for Scotland’s islands in the future?

We therefore look forward to what Labour’s Ian Davidson MP and the Liberal’s Lord Wallace from the NO side have to say at the conference and to how the political journalist Iain Macwhirter chairs the event.