Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

A Year to Go

These are exciting times to live in Scotland. In less than a year’s time, people the length and breadth of Scotland will make a choice that will affect our nation’s future forever.  This is an absolutely defining moment and a once-in-a-lifetime choice. That’s why I hope people will think carefully as they prepare for the vote.

I firmly believe that Scotland will be stronger, more secure and more prosperous if we remain as part of the UK. Remaining as part of the UK gives Scotland the best of both worlds.  Together the UK family of nations has pioneered state pensions, established a National Health Service, and developed the most successful network of universities that Europe has ever known.  We have been at the cutting edge of scientific research, at the forefront of global trade and at the sharp end of war where we stood – alone at times – in the fight against fascism.

I’m sure the year ahead will be both challenging and exciting as the arguments crystallise and people prepare to cast their vote. It will also be memorable and, above all, historic. We are all privileged to be able to play a part in it.

Conference

More than 5000 people from across the UK descended on Glasgow last week for the annual Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference.  Thousands of people, including many people from the Borders, as well as politicians, business people and the UK’s media, gathered for lively policy debates, fringe events and bustling exhibitions.  I was very proud to welcome so many people to Scotland to attend our national conference in Glasgow. I suggested to many delegates that they should visit the Borders on the way here.  The city of Glasgow was a very fitting setting considering there is a year to go until the vote on Scottish independence.

Action on Hearing Loss

I have used the conference to meet with many charities that are important to people in the Borders, as well as me personally.  On Saturday I had the privilege of talking with Delia Henry from ‘Action on Hearing Loss Scotland ’.  Action on Hearing Loss Scotland represents the 8050,000 people who are deaf or have hearing loss in Scotland.

Delia spoke with me about how her charity is trying to break through the barriers faced by people who are deaf or have hearing loss in accessing services, employment and education opportunities.  We spoke specifically about how I can help promote more people to take lip-reading classes, so that people develop their skills in understanding lip patterns when others are speaking.  We also talked about their campaign to ensure shops, businesses and services have working induction loops.  Induction loops make a huge difference to hearing aid users because they reduce or even cut out background noise, helping the listener to hear sounds far more clearly.

* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland.
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