Author Archives: Willie Rennie

Willie Rennie MSP’s New Year Message

I am hopeful for 2014.  I’ve been checking the tea leaves and it’s going to be a good year.

I am confident the economy will continue to grow and that we’ll create more jobs, cut taxes further and increase pension higher.

I am also confident we’ll reaffirm Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom family of nations so we can share risk and reward for generations to come. We won’t undermine the progress by splitting Scotland from the UK.

My confidence also extends to a boost to nursery education to give children the best start in life.

And I am confident that there will be …

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Willie Rennie MSP’s Christmas message

As we mark the loss of close friends and distant heroes it’s important to take a moment to think and reflect on the year.

Christmas is also a time to make a special effort to reach out to others. Whether it be the distant friend, the estranged family member or the quiet neighbour, Christmas is a good excuse to make new.

It’s also a time to reflect on the year past with its successes and its challenges. It’s no different for me.

The progress with the Liberal Democrats in the last year has been significant.

We’re delivering our £700 tax cut for those on …

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Willie Rennie MSP writes…Equal marriage is an important step to a fairer society

Most people know that politicians can sometimes talk up goings on in Parliament in the hope of gaining a bit of newspaper coverage. Observers of Scottish politics will be familiar with claims that this or that debate marks a momentous change from what has gone before.

But this week at Holyrood we discussed legislation that can legitimately be described as historic. There is no need to exaggerate the impact it will have because it is plain to see that this Bill will change the lives of thousands of Scots around the country.an act that offers same-sex couples the same protections and …

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Conference: Willie Rennie MSP – A stronger Scotland within the UK

William RennieSpeaking to Scottish Liberal Democrat Autumn conference in Glasgow, Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said:

On the first Sunday of this month I took part in a relay race over the Comrie hills near Perth.

Covering 20 miles with teams of five runners we battled clubs from across Scotland.

For the third year in a row my partner was David Greig.

That’s right. David Greig, one of Scotland’s foremost playwrights.

We are equally matched runners.  Less equally matched playwrights.

We support each other up and down the hills.

Through the bogs and over the heather.

We both run for the team – Carnegie Harriers.

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Willie Rennie MSP’s New Year Message: 3 vital issues we must tackle in 2013

Saltire - St Andrews Flag - Scotland - Some rights reserved by byronv2After the merriment of Christmas, New Year is a time to look forward. A time to set new goals and ambitions. A time to confront those things that we have put off in previous years.

For most, this will mean eating less and exercising more but as a nation we are confronted with far greater challenges than losing a few pounds.

The welfare state was constructed and sustained with the goal of eradicating what Beveridge called “the five giant evils of society” – squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.

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Willie Rennie MSP’s Christmas message: Strong liberal voices fight for young people, stand up to vested interests and work with others

Scotland supporter Murrayfield - Some rights reserved by Random Things Entering My field Of VisionOver the last year journalists, opponents, perhaps even some supporters were writing us off.  How could a group of five MSPs, cut by two thirds in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections, make any impact on the Scottish political scene? Although our opponents will always deride us in public, I know that in private they are fizzing that Liberal Democrats continue to punch above our weight.

Scotland is, by and large, a tolerant, liberal, understanding, compassionate country. Its …

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Willie Rennie writes: Salmond must tell us what Ryder Cup trip cost

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie writes for local newspapers in his Mid Scotland and Fife constituency:

The excitement surrounding Team Europe’s victory in the Ryder Cup should bring the opportunity that comes our way at Gleneagles in two years time into sharp focus.

250,000 people poured onto the course between the first strike of the ball during the practice rounds and the last putt of the final pairings.

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Willie Rennie’s New Year Message

In May, we were nearly wiped off from the Scottish Parliamentary map. I got it. I understood why that happened.

But equally I am convinced that liberalism, not nationalism, will dominate Scottish political landscape in the years ahead.  Our values are embedded in a rich seem of Scottish history and endure despite political setbacks.

Our small team in the Scottish Parliament has shown over the last six months why we need strong liberal voices.

On centralising of the police, places for college students, housing for those in need, the Supreme Court, equal marriage, riots, prison reform, sectarianism and so many other issues we …

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Willie Rennie’s Christmas Message

As we gather with friends and family this Christmas, it is important that we, both individually and collectively, look back, take stock and reflect on the last year.

There is no doubt it has been an extremely testing time for political leaders with falling budgets, economic turbulence, growing unemployment and social problems that threaten to rip the fabric of society.

Making decisions when there are no easy answers is difficult but those problems are nought compared with those who are unemployed, face the threat of unemployment or are struggling to make ends meet.

To be fair, this is the focus of all politicians …

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Willie Rennie MSP writes: Time for radical action on alcohol misuse in Scotland

Alcohol misuse continues to blight the whole of Scottish society, wrecking individual lives and harming families and communities. I have seen and heard the impact when I am talking to people on doorsteps. From damaging public health, through crime in local neighbourhoods, to dependence pulling families apart, we all suffer. I believe that radical action is needed and will therefore support moves to introduce a minimum unit pricing mechanism in Scotland.

​There is no quick fix to Scotland’s alcohol problem. The scale and complexity of the challenge requires a fundamental change to our culture of drinking to excess. Over the last few years we have seen significant changes to licensing law and many positive new powers have been put in place. A Licensing Act came into force in 2009, banning happy hours and irresponsible promotions in pubs and clubs. More recently the 2010 Alcohol Act bans multi-buy promotions in shops and supermarkets, restricts promotional material on display in shops and requires all retailers to operate the ‘Challenge 25’ scheme to tackle underage sales.

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Opinion: How the Liberal Democrats should fight the European elections

European cooperation was initially designed to avoid another world war but because this has been so successful only a few on the extremes believe there is any prospect of war between western European countries today. It’s not a danger that most British people think is realistic. Although Lib Dems will highlight this major achievement in the European Elections in June it is unlikely to shift a significant number of votes in our favour.

The European Union has also made significant improvements to the lives of people which is something we will highlight in our communications. Yet people rarely …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged and | 18 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Reynolds 17th Apr - 3:50am
    Helen. Please re-read my comments carefully and you will observe that I do not make the sweeping conclusions you allege. Nowhere do I imply that...
  • User AvatarAmalric 17th Apr - 1:21am
    It is a good thing that unemployment has fallen to 6.9% and this means 2.24 million people are out of work looking for employment. However...
  • User AvatarAmalric 17th Apr - 12:50am
    I agree with those who say that the Student Premium has not been explained very well. However to those who say we can’t afford to...
  • User AvatarPaul Pettinger 16th Apr - 11:47pm
    'He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against...
  • User AvatarFred 16th Apr - 11:22pm
    Gojam, isn't it also clear that Jack McCann and the Labour Party were also aware of Smith activities. The RAP article suggests McCann got Smith...
  • User AvatarRichard Church 16th Apr - 10:47pm
    @ Helen Tedcastle. No, Humanists are not included in SACRE's. Sometimes they are invited to participate as observers, but the 25% of the population who...