Monday, 29 December 2014

Scottish Independence campaign dominated 2014 - my review of 2014 national / Scottish highlighs

Scottish Independence dominated this year as I made repeated trips north of the Border to speak, campaign, cajole, request and argue the case for the Union. My thanks to the many Scottish locals who accommodated me, and came to events in Argyll, Aberdeenshire, Fife, Edinburgh and all across the Borders. I got to know our neighbours very well in many ways north of the Border and in this review of 2014 a few awards must follow:

1. Best voters on both side of the independence debate were found in Hawick, in the Borders, where we argued forcefully but with great politeness with many people with barely 3 weeks to go to polling day.  The same day we also knocked on the door of Alex Salmonds sister high up in the hills surrounding the town of Hawick. They were not in favour of the union! I love the photo of us on the campaign trail - a motley crew of conservatives, and non conservatives, coming together to try and save the Union.

2. Best tea shop award goes to Main Street Books, the amazing bookshop, cook shop and top tea shop in St Boswells, just outside Kelso, in the Borders -
It is worth the journey itself and has won countless awards. Amazing cooks, cakes and people. Perfect pit stop for the North bound traveller.

3. Parliamentary highlight of the year for me was our success on the Air Ambulance campaign  - a change that allow more missions and will save lives.

4. Political Visit of the year was my recent visit to South Thanet to campaign against Nigel Farage. Having campaigned there in November and met the candidate and the support team for the conservatives I do not believe Farage will win there in May 2015- and opinion polls agree:

5. Best visit as an MP: without a doubt the Syrian refugee camp in Nizip, on the Turkish Syrian Border in early January 2014: it moved me hugely.
Our campaign to continue to support people there continues.
In April I hosted a debate in the commons on this issue.