Column: Scotland Has Come Long Way in Equality Journey

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Categories: Column, News

Column from Alyn Smith MP, for local newspaper the Stirling Observer

In the hustle and bustle of modern-day politics, it’s easy to overlook the milestones Scotland has achieved in our pursuit of a more equal and prosperous nation. I was delighted to marry my long-term partner recently, and it’s worth reflecting that when we first met, equal marriage had not yet passed our Scottish Parliament. The struggle for equality takes many forms, but this is one fight I’m glad to see has been won. Opinion polling backs a sea-change in social attitudes towards equal marriage, with 78% of folks across the UK now in favour – up from 42% in 2011. We should take comfort from these seismic shifts – change is possible, even if it often seems inevitable in retrospect.

My immense thanks go out to the team at Bannockburn House who hosted the ceremony; their restoration efforts truly made the venue special, and I’m fully behind them in their future work. I’d also like to thank Michael Moore Butchers in Cambusbarron, Timorous Beasties from Bridge of Allan, Vera Bakery on King Street, as well as Ceilidh Minogue and Europa Records all for bringing the day together. We are immensely blessed in Stirling to have such vibrant and active food, drink and cultural sectors. In lieu of gifts, we were also pleased to raise £1545 for Start Up Stirling and £2490 for Marie Curie Cancer care, causes close to our hearts.

As Stirling’s MP, I’m privileged to meet with people in their communities across our constituency, and take forward the issues important to them. Even after serving as MP since 2019, I’m still struck by the deep care and affection constituents have for their neighbours and wider area. Often there’s a sense of frustration that things aren’t working as they should, or exciting projects or ideas have become gummed up in process or bureaucracy. I proudly serve everyone in Stirling, regardless of how they vote – or even if at all – and my door is always open for people to get in touch.

Should you have an issue related to UK Government competencies – state pensions, HMRC, personal independence payments, international trade, immigration issues, child maintenance, European issues, Universal Credit to name a few, then please get in touch with my office at alyn.smith.mp@parliament.uk. Or perhaps you have an idea on how to improve public services or your community? I’ll work with anyone to make Stirling a better place to live, work, study or visit.