Tag Archives: Michael Moore

Mike Moore to chair Borders Book Festival

Mike Moore
Former Borders MP and Secretary of State for Scotland Mike Moore has become chair of the Borders Book Festival. From their website:

The announcement comes as the festival’s creative team, Alistair Moffat and Paula Ogilvie, make plans for 2016 which will see a special focus on youth events and a weekend of Medieval re-enactment. The festival directors are also delighted to confirm the return of Scottish Opera with a new ‘Pop-up Opera’ roadshow.

Commenting on his appointment as chairman, Michael said:

“As a local resident as well as MP, I have always been absolutely committed to the Borders and the book festival is one of the jewels in our crown. I go every year and marvel at the stunning programmes of events that are always put together – I’m honoured and delighted now to be involved officially. I look forward to helping in any way I can as the festival continues to go from strength to strength.

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Three quick things about today

It’s too soon to go back to business as usual.

Obviously, coverage about Charles Kennedy will continue to dominate today. We have been sent some pieces by people close to him and we will be publishing them as well as covering tributes from Vince and Danny. There will also be a session of tributes in the House of Commons this afternoon which we will want to report on, too. Please continue to share your comments and memories and, if you haven’t already, sign the party’s Book of Condolence. 

I owe a massive debt of thanks to Paul Walter who kept things going on here yesterday while I was out and about. I’m sure you’ll agree that he did a great job, sharing some fantastic photographs, videos and bringing in a bit of Bowie too.

Many people have shared Steve Bell’s beautiful cartoon tribute:

We should also remember that today is the fourth anniversary of the passing of our great colleague and friend Andrew Reeves. On that awful day in 2011, Mark Pack shared his memories.

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Opinion: Here’s to our fallen comrades

Nearly two weeks have passed since the general election and while much has been analysed in reaction to that fateful day, as the party looks to turn a corner, it is also worth looking back and mentioning all of those good Liberal Democrats now out of office.

The election of 2015 will leave its mark in history for being the election of political scalps. Countless big names lost their jobs while the press looked on in disbelief as three leaders resigned all within a couple of hours of one another (and one even reinstated himself!). However we must also reflect on the loss of a large number of Liberal Democrats and their backroom teams whom the country will sourly miss. From Charles Kennedy in the North of Scotland to David Laws in the South West, Britain has lost many a servant to liberalism and the remaining eight MPs must shout louder than ever to have their voice heard.

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Rennie: Michael Moore is the sort of guy who gives politics a good name

Yesterday’s Ashcroft Poll for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk showed Mike Moore to be in a very tough three way fight with both the Tories and the SNP. It should be pointed out that the poll did not mention his name. If it had, the likelihood is that it would have boosted Mike’s rating significantly. However, Willie Rennie has changed his plans for today and headed for Galashiels to give Mike some additional support

The thought of a House of Commons without Mike Moore in it upsets me greatly. This is the guy who negotiated the Edinburgh Agreement with Nicola Sturgeon making sure that the referendum happened fairly. He then played a massively important role in the Smith Commission to bring people together and produce a credible package of reforms. It was his piloting of the Scotland Act through Parliament in 2012 that shows that statesmanship to the full. At the end of 2011, the Bill was under threat from Labour peers playing games in the Lords and from the Scottish Government who referred to it as a “dog’s breakfast.” Mike managed to turn that around and ensured that from next year, Holyrood, for example, can set its own income tax rate. It’s a really significant reform that has been forgotten about in the referendum and its aftermath.

It’s worth remembering how, in 2012, John Rentoul compared him to James Bond and said that he was as “skilful at judging politics of Whitehall as he is the mood of Scotland.

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That two horse race is on: Scottish Ashcroft polls show it’s Liberal Democrats against the SNP

As Scottish voters start to receive their postal votes in the next few days, they will have much to contemplate. To what extent will those who oppose independence be prepared to vote tactically to keep the SNP from winning Westminster seats.

Their decision may well be informed by yesterday’s Ashcroft polls which show potential SNP gains in all but one of the constituencies in question. Unfortunately, four of them were seats currently held by the Liberal Democrats.

I found the SNP fifteen points ahead in Charles Kennedy’s seat of Ross, Skye & Lochaber, up from five points in February. I also found the SNP leading by eleven points in Jo Swinson’s constituency of East Dunbartonshire, and by thirteen points in North East Fife, where Sir Menzies Campbell is stepping down after 28 years.

The poll found that Mike Moore is in a tough 3 way fight with the Tories in the Borders. He’s on 28%, the SNP on 29% and the Tories on 30%. It could barely be tighter.

All the polls show decisively, though, apart from the Borders, that it’s a clear two horse race between Liberal Democrat MPs and the SNP. The message to Tory and Labour voters is clear. Do they want an SNP MP primarily motivated by independence and forbidden from standing up for their constituents if their party doesn’t allow it, or a Liberal Democrat who will fight tirelessly for their area.

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Three things you need to know about the new powers going to Scotland

There are some very interesting articles about the forthcoming Scotland Bill, the details of which were unveiled on Thursday, in today’s press.

The Tories were trying to back out and Clegg, Alexander and Carmichael wouldn’t let them

According to Michael Moore in Scotland on Sunday today.

 It is not a surprise to me that the Conservatives fought tooth and nail to remove some of the key elements of the Smith agreement.

We saw in the commission itself they adopted two or three different positions in the space of 48 hours on welfare and were clearly in touch with London colleagues at every stage.

We resisted it there and I am glad that my Liberal Democrat colleagues have resisted it in terms of the bill. There is no question in my mind that without Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg digging in on this over the last crucial 48 hours before the bill was published, we would have ended up with the whole Smith process unravelling.

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LibLink: Michael Moore: The Smith Commission has delivered

The Vow deliveredThis was the week that the Government unveiled the 44 clauses of the Scotland Bill which will be debated after the General Election. Former Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore was a member of the Smith Commission upon whose report the clauses were drafted. He says in an article for the Scotsman that the Commission has delivered and “the Vow” has therefore been kept:

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    If this goes badly wrong Cameron will be remembered as the worst PM since Chamberlain.
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    Let me just remind everyone that, thanks to the Liberal Democrats, at least 434 MPs are required to vote to dissolve Parliament before the country...
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