Dennis Canavan
Dennis Canavan

THE campaign for an independent Scotland will get off the ground in the town next week.

Yes Kirkcaldy will be holding a launch meeting at the Philp Hall in Links Street on Friday, March 29.

The event will be hosted by local MSP David Torrance and will feature guests speakers reflecting the all and no party nature of the campaign.

They include Dennis Canavan, chairman of the national Yes Scotland advisory board and a former Labour MP and Independent MSP, Allan Grogan of Labour for Independence and Shirley-Anne Somerville, a former Scottish National Party MSP who is also the campaign’s director of communities.

Ms Somerville, who was born, brought up and educated in the town, said she was delighted to be coming back to for the launch of Yes Kirkcaldy.

“As a former resident of the town, and someone who first got involved in politics at Kirkcaldy High School, I’m pleased and honoured to be invited back for this launch,” she added.

“I’m sure it’ll be a great night.”

Open invite

Mr Torrance stressed that the event is not a strictly speaking a political meeting and is open to anyone who wants to find out more about next year’s referendum and what the result could entail.

He said: “This is an open invitation to the people of Fife to come and find out more about what independence would mean for them.

“All the speakers at the launch, regardless of the party they belong to, are passionate about independence – come along and find out why.”

Marie Penman, a journalism lecturer at Adam Smith College, is an ‘ambassador’ for the campaign and is helping to organise the meeting.

Key questions

She said: “From conversations I’ve had about this, I know people have a lot of questions about what an independent Scotland would be like.

“ Our event gives us all the chance to ask these questions of people who might know the answers!”

The Yes Campaign is not affiliated to any political party and aims to convince people that they’d be better off in an independent Scotland, regardless of who is in government.

Mr Canavan has previously said that independence would be like “escaping from the political straitjacket” of control from London-based governments and has also stated that it would be “the best thing ever” to happen to his former party, which he left nearly 15 years agos.

His fellow speaker Mr Grogan, who is from Angus and helped found the controversial Labour for Independence group, has said he believes Labour has “moved away from its core values”, but that party’s supporters could be key to winning the referendum.

The referendum - during which 16 and 17 year-olds will get to vote for the first time - will be held in the autumn of next year, but First Minister Alex Salmond’s naming of a precise date is believed to be imminent.