What’s the word on the streets of Levenmouth?

Ken Caldwell
Ken Caldwell

On the eve of the Scottish referendum, campaigning has been as intense across Levenmouth as anywhere else in the country – with passionate opinions on either extreme.

The task of encouraging support and canvassing views on both sides of the debate have been carried out by a number of willing volunteers and participants – and the Mail has spoken to a couple of them.

Cath Cunningham

Cath Cunningham

Yes advocateKen Caldwell and Better Together supporter Cath Cunningham, who have been speaking to people on the streets and on the doorsteps, both remarked on how grateful voters appeared to be to have the chance to discuss issues and how engaged they were in the process.

SNP member Ken, from Methilhill, retired in July from the fire service.

He said the future of the £ and pensions and whether Scotland could afford to go independent had been the main subjects people wanted to talk about.

“It’s been good to have one to one conversations and the reception on doors has been very good,” said Ken (56).

“There’s maybe been a little bit of animosity here and there but even the No supporters have been happy to speak.

“I think people are quite grateful for having someone to explain things to them one to one, as you can get a bit lost with the media and be bombarded with material.”

Ken added: “The main thing for me was getting to make our own decision in Scotland to benefit the people of Scotland.”

In terms of economy and welfare, Ken said there was a “very unequal society” in Britain and he wanted to see wealth more fairly shared and distributed.

“I don’t like things getting squandered,” he added, referring particularly to oil revenue, and said there should be an oil fund set up for when the resource did eventually run out.

Tomorrow’s (Thursday) vote was “not for our generation – it’s for our children and grandchildren,” said Ken.

“People voting ‘no’ don’t like change but there will be change, whichever way we vote,” he added.

“There will be many more austerity cuts to come.”

One of the biggest things about the debate had been people from all walks of life working together for a common cause, added Ken.

He hoped people would still engage in the community and feel they had expressed a voice which was heard, whatever the result.

For Better Together, Cath Cunningham (54) was not a Labour Party member but supported its campaign, as it was the only party for unity, not division, she said.

Cath, from East Wemyss, said many people she had spoken to felt there was a lack of clarity about the Yes campaign and Scotland had been portrayed negatively, amid some senseless arguments.

“They felt quite insulted by the level of debate and have been shying away from the aggressive tone of some of it,” she added.

“Some people were hesitant to say what they thought publicly in case it caused arguments in their community.

“Emotions have been stoked up quite a bit.”

The No supporters knew the seriousness of the situation and believed people needed to work together as part of a union, added Cath.

“I love my country and I love it with a passion,” she said. “I am not any less Scottish because I want to stay part of the UK and I resent the implication that comes across.

“We have a wonderful NHS and a welfare system second to none. It’s not been done in isolation – people have worked together to achieve that.”

Cath disagreed with the view that Scotland was worse off than many other places.

“That mentality downgrades our ambition for people,” she said.

Cath said she identified closely with working class areas and was ambitious for change in the UK.

Working together on common issues was the best way to build a stronger community, she added.