“This is the biggest decision our generation will ever have to take,” says Alasdair Morrison.
The Gazette Big Referendum Debate is taking place on Monday night and Alasdair Morrison- a former Labour MSP for the Western Isles - will be on the panel putting forward the case for a ‘No’ vote on September 18th.
All tickets have now gone but you can still see the debate streamed live online. Register to watch the event at: tinyurl.com/nu33qyk
There will also be full coverage of the debate in next week’s Stornoway Gazette, out on Thursday 4th September.
See below for an interview and video with Alasdair Morrison explaining why he is voting for Scotland to remain in the Union by Stornoway Gazette reporter Jenny Kane.
Alasdair Morrison talks about the referendum on Scottish independence
It was 2007 when Alasdair Morrison last hit the campaign trail and now, several years on, the former MSP is back in action at the helm of the local ‘Better Together’ group.
The Labour Party member sees the campaign for Scotland to remain part of the union as more important than any party political push and has worked to ensure the voices of island ‘No’ voters are being heard.
With that in mind Mr Morrison has travelled across the Western Isles spreading the word and drumming up support for ‘Better Together’, most recently alongside Jim Murphy MP and the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party Anas Sarwar MP.
“It is an important vote,” said Morrison. “It’s not a here today, gone tomorrow election for a parliament or for a local government election. It’s the biggest decision our generation will ever, ever have to take and that’s why you have got the level of engagement we’re currently seeing.”
He added: “Politicians come and go, First Ministers come and go, but this is above and beyond that.”
The rise in the number and popularity of island meetings, face-to-face discussions and the hunger for answers has not surprised him, and he is keen for people to reach out for information from less traditional sources.
“It’s not just what the political classes are saying that people should pay attention to,” he said, “you should also pay attention to the practitioners who are out there, running companies, helping to manage companies and those who are representing workers in these companies.”
So what questions and topics does he expect will come-up at the Gazette debate?
“Clearly we have got island specific issues,” said Morrison. “Inter-Island links, transportation and ferries, these are very island specific. But the big issues which are being discussed, like currency and what currency fishermen are going to be selling their goods in and trading, membership of the European Union, pensions, mortgage rates, interest rates, all the issues that are being debated the length and breadth of Scotland are the ones that are being debated here.
“Public meetings, or the engagement at the shows, or the street stalls or knocking on doors, the questions that people ask reflect the concerns they have as individuals and families. They are no different to the concerns you would get on a doorstep or a show in Dumfries, in Shetland, Orkney or in Glasgow or Aberdeenshire.”
Mr Morrison summed up his part in the debate as the interview came to a close. “I’m just one person in a huge team of people,” he said. “Clearly I’m identified with the Labour Party, and I made no bones about that, but I’m also working with people of all political persuasions and people of no political complexion.
“It doesn’t matter where your starting point is, you come to the same conclusion. And that conclusion is that separatism is divisive and it’s not needed. Hopefully after the 18th of September that will be it away for 300 years.”