WELL, here we are after all of two years since the last General Election. So, what do we do? The only thing I can say is that you must vote in accordance with your honestly held views and judgement. Please, do vote. People died and suffered to achieve the right to vote, especially for women and working men. Whatever your views, please don’t besmirch their memory and sacrifices by shrugging and ignoring this with the lazy and easy cop-out of “why bother, what’s in it for me?”

What’s in it for you is that you can use the next five weeks to read, study, inwardly digest and come to a reasoned decision as to where you place your cross. The outcome is especially important for Scotland as we read that the powers of the Scottish Parliament, especially with regard to the Scottish NHS, could be diminished and reincorporated within Westminster, as Prime Minister Johnson recently declared in the House of Commons.

READ MORE: Westminster parties 'buckling under pressure' of demand for independence

This election is UK-wide and on UK issues. However, we will not be able to avoid the issue of Brexit. Indeed, the Prime Minister is making his position of “leave at all costs” the centre point of his pitch.

A major feature of this ambition is a trade deal with the USA. One thing we can thank the USA for is that they don’t beat about the bush. They have made it absolutely clear that any deal with the UK will be on their terms. If we consider agriculture alone (and their farmers are just waiting to sell us their pigs, beef, lamb, chickens, or fast food) you are surely aware that food standards in the USA permit chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef, whereas processed foods are permitted to contain a certain degree of mouse, rat and other droppings, maggots and insect fragments. Also, any disputes are decided on their terms as determined in their trade contracts, so forget about UK “sovereignty”.

READ MORE: General Election: Brexit Party's Nigel Farage will not stand

With regard to the NHS, in any “deal” of course the USA is not going to buy the English NHS like a sack of spuds, but will demand access to contracts to further fragment it into a myriad of contracted services each competing with each other. The warning signs are that such access to contracts could similarly be imposed upon Scotland. There is little information as to what the USA is eager to purchase from the UK other than what they already do. A one-way street methinks, with unknown consequences for Scottish agriculture, horticulture, farming and whatever else.

One outcome of the General Election would be that if Prime Minister Johnson is returned by the overwhelming weight of English votes, we in Scotland can say goodbye to our enjoyment of freedom of movement throughout Europe for us all and especially our youngsters. Also our musicians, creative artists, architects, accountants, engineers, bricklayers, plasterers, plumbers, joiners – indeed anyone who wishes to travel, work, love, settle within Europe as of right with reciprocal health treatment, again as of right, will have this denied to them.

I am 77 years old and remember the time when travelling within our continent was difficult. I remember the Berlin Wall going up in 1961 and coming down in 1989. I remember David Bowie visiting the Berlin Wall and singing his memorable song Heroes, which demonstrated the absurdity and cruelty of a wall dividing a city and a continent due to blind politics. Please, please don’t elect to go back to those days, which I fear PM Johnson, even in ignorance, may encourage, along with a fear of foreigners, or perceived non-English/British, whoever or wherever they may be.

For me, these are real and vital issues that affect us all and should be seriously considered when deciding where to place your cross.

Michael Clarke