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Agenda:

Women's votes are going to determine this referendum.

They are the ones saying, "no thank you".

Perhaps we have better memories.

I've had a much better life than my parents. I was the first girl in my scheme in Coatbridge to go to university. The neighbours came to their doors to see me off. They were the same neighbours who would draw their curtains so that they did not embarrass another woman if there was a warrant sale.

How could a bus driver's daughter go to university? The answer is, first, a brilliant education at a great state school and, secondly, the 1948 Education Act.

This was an act of the UK Government, paid for by taxpayers from every part of Britain.

My mother was an invalid. She had a stroke and a heart attack when I was 11 years old. She lived on, often in hospital, with world-class care, paid for by taxpayers from every part of the UK, and still there for me as my mum, until I was in my 40s.

She saw me get married and met her grandson and grand-daughter. How did that happen? It was because of the National Health Service, set up by a UK Government.

I became an MP, and I will never forget the night we passed the law that gave us the National Minimum Wage because I had family members, friends and neighbours, almost all of them women, who were paid terrible wages. This was a UK law, passed by MPs from every part of this country.

My story is no different from millions of Scottish, English, Irish and Welsh women. I don't have a problem being Scottish and in the UK. It is why I say, with quiet determination, no thanks to independence.

I puzzle over why men are still swithering over whether to join us women who know that we have the best of both worlds.

Polls show that the solid base of Better Together is female.

The importance of women to the No campaign vote was perhaps in the mind of Alex Salmond's advisor, Campbell Gunn, when he watched a woman called Clare Lally on TV and sent an email to a newspaper that said she was not an oprdinary mum. What had this woman done to provoke this response? She said she would vote No.

JK Rowling is a very different woman. We all know the story of her triumph over poverty, the heartache of a failed relationship and the need to provide for her daughter.

Her great success is built on her own talent and hard work. When she became wealthy, she used her money to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis, which killed her mother. We would all love to be able to do the same.

Now she is using her money to support the nation that is her adopted home.

Rowling has braved online vilification by the so-called cybernats who inject a crudely abusive and bullying tone into the separatist campaign.

What did the author do to enrage the internet numpties? She said she would vote No.

I don't believe these verbal assaults on women represent the real Scotland. It's certainly not my Scotland.

We have fewer than 100 days to go in this campaign, although even that seems a very long time, but the image I am going to hold in my mind is of Clare Lally.

A bonny, feisty Scottish mother, she had the courage of her convictions, and she has paid a price for protecting her own.

She says: "No thanks". Me, too.

Contextual targeting label: 
Education

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