Those of your readers who have managed to maintain the enthusiasm and stamina to follow the Scottish Referendum over the past weeks will undoubtedly have come away with the clear impression that a vast swathe of the Scottish electorate has spoken at the ballot box. With a record turn-out of well over 80 per cent, few can deny the enthusiasm of ordinary working people to express their feelings in this the most important vote of their lives.
Like him or loathe him, much of the credit for galvanising the Scottish people into voting must go to the leader of the SNP - Alex Salmond. He may have lost the vote but he trusted the people - many of whom had never voted before in their lives. Also, he had the good grace to resign his position as Scotland’s first minister and party leader immediately on hearing the result. Credit - where credit’s due!
In sharp contrast, the devious manner in which our local affairs are managed - by a cabal of Tory cabinet members acting without a passing thought for the views of their electorate.
The one Conservative council member who broke ranks in regard to the planned massive development to the north of Horsham was pilloried by his peers - a cynical, mean spirited act which serves to illustrate just how bankrupt our district council really is. Reform is urgently needed if our elected councillors are to regain a modicum of trust and goodwill from all those who are entitled to cast their vote - but who simply cannot be bothered, knowing full well that their views will count for nothing.
Is it any wonder that turnout for local elections is so pathetic and trust in our politicians - at all levels - is at an all time low. Personally, wild horses would not have driven me to vote ‘Yes’ had I been resident in Scotland.
But I truly believe that we desperately need inspired politicians of the calibre of Alex Salmond in order to galvanise a disinterested electorate - which allows self-serving local politicians to thrive and carry out their devious antics - without a thought for those who elected them to office.
ROBERT B. WORLEY
Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham