In last week’s Southern David Barrie, a supporter of Michael Moore MP, claims I did not advance a single positive reason for voting for the SNP candidate in my letter the previous week.
It’s true that the main point of that letter was to highlight the many ways Mr Moore and the Liberal Democrats let down everyone who voted for them to keep out the Tories. They have resurrected the same old tawdry line for this election, somehow expecting folk to fall for the same trick twice.
Mr Barrie describes my letter as a series of tired and partisan attacks on Mr Moore for betraying his principles. Heaven forfend that anyone should dare to criticise an elected representative for something as trivial as that.
To describe pointing out the simple fact that a politician has misled voters, abandoned principles and joined the government of the party he assured us he was keeping out is neither tired nor partisan. To describe this election, as both Mr Moore’s Borders News and Scottish Borderer do, as a two-horse race between Lib Dems and Tory, using 2010 election figures, shows a politician in denial over the events of the last five years, and also one who seems to think voters zip up the back.
But enough of Mr Moore. Last year Scotland came alive. An energising and dynamic referendum campaign left huge swathes of our people, whether they voted Yes or No to independence, keen and optimistic to shape our future and that of our children for the better. For this we need the tools to do the job, powers we were guaranteed if we became independent, but which we were also promised if we stayed in the Union.
That mood has, if anything, intensified in the months following September 2014, and all the polls indicate that Scots intend sending a strong detachment of MPs to Westminster in May to ensure that the promises of real, effective power over our own affairs, hollow though they may have been when made, are now properly honoured.
Our beautiful Borders needs no longer be the land that time forgot. Changes are already happening and the return of the railway to Tweedbank (longer than any built in Britain for more than 100 years) has already put the spotlight on us. Imagine the Great Tapestry of Scotland (the longest in the world, which has had tens of thousands queueing to see it on its current national tour) situated at Tweedbank, drawing visitors from all over, visitors who will then look for Abbotsford, the abbeys and the attractions of our historic Borders towns and countryside.
It’s no surprise that Mr Kerr is totally behind this project, which has led to so much carping and negativity among his opponents. It’s a project characterised by vision and enterprise. It will bring benefits to the whole region. It’s the kind of development we so badly need, a symbol of a part of Scotland which is no longer prepared to remain a backwater.
And there is one final point – only voting for Calum Kerr in May really will keep out the Tories.