Referendum - A golden opportunity to do so much better

The Fife Free Press begins a series of features on the people at the heart of the local campaigns - both prominent and from the grassroots.

The prospect of an independent Scotland is so appealing for one Kirkcaldy mum that she felt compelled to fight for the cause.

Marie Penman, organiser of Yes Kirkcaldy

Marie Penman, organiser of Yes Kirkcaldy

Mum of four Marie Penman (46) is the organiser of the Yes Kirkcaldy campaign and is devoting many hours of her spare time each week to try and persuade Langtonians to vote Yes on September 18.

A lecturer in journalism at Fife College, Marie says that she’s always had a keen interest in politics but had never become actively involved until now.

“I’ve always voted SNP, and I’ve always felt we should be independent, I just never thought it could happen in my lifetime.”

Two years ago Marie joined the SNP for the first time and began to attend meetings. It was then she decided that Yes Kirkcaldy should be apolitical.

“We started about 18 months ago and I felt very strongly that it should be run separately from the SNP.

“We hold meetings once a month and the majority of people there are non-SNP and I think that speaks volumes. Also, a lot of people aren’t interested in politics - they just feel very strongly that independence is the way to go.”

The campaign has been growing and working hard to get its message across. Marie said. “We have a stall on the High Street every Saturday, we canvass four nights a week, we hold public events every six to eight weeks, we use social media, our Yes newspaper comes out every two months and we’re leafleting all round Kirkcaldy.”

Marie said that despite her heavy workload she’s as determined as ever.

“It’s a huge amount of work but I love it. Everyone in the Yes campaign is so enthusiastic and positive.

“Running it has taught me a lot about multi-tasking. The amount of stuff I’m juggling at the moment is ridiculous but it’s amazing what you can push yourself to do!”

Like everyone else in the campaign Marie is optimistic of a Yes vote, and says it’s a chance for Scotland to start again.

“It’s a blank slate, a chance to make a new country and we can make it much better this time.

“Let’s start afresh and lets make a fairer and more equal society where there’s not one in five kids growing up in poverty, where there’s not foodbanks in every town. We could do so much better than this.

“What an opportunity we have here! We’ve been handed this on a plate and I can’t believe anyone would turn it down.”