This has been a momentous year for Scotland. Whatever we individually think of the outcome of the Referendum it undoubtedly resulted in a huge upsurge of interest with discussions going on in schools, workplaces and within families about the many serious issues which affect us all. The very large turnout is a credit to all.
Sometimes it is difficult to find much cheer in a world where the news seems to be dominated by war, terror and frightening diseases like Ebola. It would be so easy to turn off the news, close the curtains and ignore what is going on outside. Yet amongst this we see how we can come together to help one another. I have visited those collecting for food banks this Christmas and although it is a disgrace that they are necessary in twenty first century Scotland it is none the less heartening to see the dedication of those operating them and the generosity of people in donating to help those who find themselves in difficulties.
I and my staff continue to deal with a multitude of individual issues relating to all areas of government – from child support and welfare through to international development. The people of Angus are never slow to let me know their views.
Christmas is a time of Hope and Renewal. Although we will undoubtedly face other difficulties in the coming year, let us believe that we can tackle them and make our country a better place.
I would wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous and, above all, Peaceful New Year.