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We could all use something to cheer about just now and what a thrill it was to see Clydebank’s own John McGinn doing us proud by helping Scotland’s men qualify for a first major football tournament in 22 years.

“From the Reccie and John Broons to the Euros” declared John McGinn on Twitter – a true inspiration to all the young Bankies today dreaming about what the future could hold.

The battle against Covid-19 may feel like a never-ending struggle just now, but there’s been cause for optimism on that front too with the news that an effective vaccine may soon be made available. We all hope this will lead to the return of some sort of normality next year, but in the meantime we cannot let up in the fight against this deadly pandemic.

We’re seeing significant progress in West Dunbartonshire in slowing the spread of the virus. However, case numbers continue to be at too high a level, so we’re likely to be facing higher levels of restrictions for a while yet. We’re all feeling scunnered with lockdown measures but at least there’s now some light at the end of the tunnel. If we all dig in and stick to the rules we will get through this.

Meanwhile, in Westminster there’s been some welcome news with the long-overdue departure of the PM’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings. What this means for Boris Johnson’s future remains unclear, but you don’t need your eyes tested at Barnard Castle to see Scotland will continue to be an afterthought for this Tory government.

Boris had been banking on his pal Donald Trump remaining in the White House to help facilitate a damaging Tory Brexit. Though Westminster’s plans to undermine devolution and rip-up the EU withdrawal agreement though its Internal Market Bill were dealt a blow with victory for Joe Biden in the US elections. The president-elect has vowed he won’t give countenance to any form of Brexit that undermines the Good Friday Agreement, which is good news for those of us who still believe in the rule of international law.

Looking forward to the Scottish elections in 6 months’ time, I’m delighted that local SNP members have selected Marie McNair as our candidate to take over as Clydebank’s MSP from Gil Paterson. Gil, who is standing down in May, has been an outstanding representative for the communities of Clydebank & Milngavie and I know Marie is up to the challenge. Marie is a passionate Bankie and I look forward to the campaign ahead and working to build a better future for the people of Scotland.

Whilst we won’t take anything for granted, signs are looking good that 2021 may bring plenty to cheer about.

This article was written on 15th November for publication in the Clydebank Post.

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