Inaugural Meeting

Inaugural Meeting, Aberdeenshire Cricket Cub, Monday, 27th May

We had over 80 people at the inaugural Scotland Matters meeting.

A great night. Friendly, informed, engaged, enraged, great speakers and great contributions from the floor. There were still people arguing the toss after 10pm.

A huge thanks to Aberdeen Lord Provost Barney Crockett, Colin Clark.MP, Liam Kerr, MSP and John Waddell for their excellent speeches and contributions.

Robert Scott travelled from Fife . Here’s what he thought of it.

 “Having accepted a kind invitation to attend a political meeting in Aberdeen earlier this week, I was intrigued to find that in the Scottish North-Eastern Counties, at one time an SNP stronghold with names like Winnie Ewing, Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson and Eilidh Clark coming to mind, the bubble has truly burst. 

The canny folks of the Buchan and Banff have rejected the SNP, and are now truly suspicious of Nicola Sturgeon, her ‘Neverendum’, and threats to the UK Government.

The meeting was chaired by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett, leader of the Labour group, who expressed no confidence in the current administration at Holyrood.

If Sturgeon were to venture into deepest Buchan she might just get an earful – in Doric of course!

First Minister Sturgeon’s latest threat to hold another independence referendum late in 2020 is typically crass, and would be completely without the authority of Section 30(2) of the Scotland Act 1998. Why is it that when, as the First Minister of Scotland, that we expect her to represent all of us as citizens of this part of the UK, she threatens to take this sort of action and thereby undermines any faith in her Administration?

I really do honestly believe that we deserve better.”

Mark Openshaw wrote this summary

It was a resounding success and great to see representatives of the Unionist parties united in a common cause.

Timing was perfect with the SNP crowing over EU election results and raising Indythreat level to Defcon 2.  Established Unionist parties needing to respond effectively.

Nationalists tried to get their retaliation in first by targeting us with letters to press and suspected fake Facebook site and Twitter suggestions of booking places to block genuine attendees. (See below for details)

In the end we had 103 registered (Venue limit) and 79 attended from as far afield as Girvan. 

Attendees included Lord Provost Barney Crockett, Colin Clark MP, Liam Kerr MSP, and several Councillors representing all the established Unionist Parties There were local businessmen, people from all walks of life, political affiliations (or none) and ages from Students to 80s.

Liam Kerr MSP, Lord Provost Barney Crockett, John Waddell (Lib Dem Candidate) and Mr Ian Lakin

Allan Sutherland gave an overview of who we (Scotland Matters) think we are, what we wish to achieve, who we want to appeal to, how we think we can do it and how we can be of help to the Unionist Parties and vice versa. Acting as a repository for factual information and giving a vehicle and voice to those who would not normally participate in public forums or social media.  

Mr Crockett gave an entertaining and informative explanation of the local government funding formula which leaves authorities with virtually no control over their income and massively disadvantaging the North East leaving Grampian as the lowest funded region in Scotland. Gave several examples of how this affects healthcare, education and other aspects.

There then followed a very lively Q&A session with a panel of John Waddell, Liam Kerr, Barney Crockett and former Aberdeenshire Better Together chairman Ian Lakin hosted  by Aberdeenshire Councillor Marion Ewenson.  This was primarily exploring how we can help them to oppose the SNP successfully, how they can help us to be effective and make use of mainstream and social media. There were many topics covered in the 21/2 hour meeting resulting in around 30 themes, ideas and issues to be considered as part of our strategy. There was general agreement amongst those present that we were on the right track and that ‘Scotland Matters’ was worth pursuing.

Colin Clark MP summed up with much humour, but with a focus on highlighting the positive aspects of a Union has worked for 300 years, and how it still does work for the benefit of us all. Also gave examples of SNP efforts to disrupt this in Westminster.We aim to bring these examples more to the public eye.