IN September 2014 the people of West Dunbartonshire voted Yes to independence for Scotland by 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the independence referendum, I know many Scots look back with regret that the rest of the country (with some notable exceptions) wasn’t quite ready yet.

The past decade under continued Westminster rule has resulted in tens of thousands of children needlessly pushed into poverty.

It’s seen Scotland dragged out of the European Union against our will, with billions of pounds of damage done to the economy and living standards suffering their biggest fall on record.

How different things could have been, had we known back then what we know now.

Instead, we’ve had to put up with a revolving door of failed UK Prime Ministers (PM), from Boris Johnson to Liz Truss, and now the soon-to-be ex-PM Rishi Sunak.

Sir Keir Starmer looks certain to be the next occupant of No. 10 after the election. However, whilst Labour may be riding high in the polls down south, the message I’m hearing from voters here is that they are unconvinced and uninspired by what Starmer has to offer.

And it’s no wonder, given Starmer and countless other Labour MPs have been queuing to praise the impact of Margaret Thatcher.

It’s remarkable that Labour has now shifted so far to the right that they proudly declare their admiration for a Thatcher Tory government which had such a detrimental impact on our communities.

I doubt the local Labour Party will be rushing to put that on their leaflets for the upcoming General Election.

But it is a timely reminder of why many voters in Scotland lost trust in Labour after 2014 when they campaigned side-by-side with the Tories promising we’d be ‘Better Together’.

The price of voting Labour in Scotland was made all too clear here in West Dunbartonshire just last month.

On the same day that the Tories at Westminster unveiled their latest austerity budget (backed by Keir Starmer), Labour-run West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) pushed through a series of devastating cuts to local services.

Cuts to local libraries, cuts to local youth clubs, cuts to local jobs – all implemented by the Labour-run WDC administration which refused to even listen to SNP proposals for an alternative no-cuts budget.

It’s no surprise people are asking what’s the point of voting Labour in Scotland when Keir Starmer admits they are wedded to the exact same austerity measures as the Tories.

There’s only one party that can always be trusted to fight Scotland’s corner.

Vote SNP to deliver real change for Scotland and the choice of a better future with independence.