Tag Archives: Michael Moore

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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Michael Moore MP named as MP of the Year by Liberal Democrat Fairtrade Future

michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandMatt Whittles and I, as the co-founders of Liberal Democrat Fairtrade Future (LDFF), are delighted to announce that we’re awarding our first ever MP of the Year award to Michael Moore, the MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

We’re awarding him this honour in recognition of all of the hard work he’s put in to his Private Members Bill – currently working its way through Parliament – which will enshrine into law the UK’s promise to spend 0.7% of the UK’s gross national income on International Aid.

We couldn’t be more proud that it is a Lib Dem MP who has brought this Bill before Parliament and we fervently hope it gets signed on to the Statute Books.

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Labour’s attitude to abortion devolution says a lot about their attitude to Scotland

When I wrote about the Smith Commission report last week, I was intrigued by its decision not to devolve abortion law to Scotland despite all the parties wanting to do so,  Here’s a reminder of what I said:

One last point: I’d quite like to know the story behind the fudge on abortion and embryology:

  • The parties are strongly of the view to recommend the devolution of abortion and regard it as an anomalous health reservation. They agree that further serious consideration should be given to its devolution and a process should be established immediately to consider the matter further.
  • The devolution of xenotransplantation; embryology, surrogacy and genetics; medicines, medical supplies and poisons; and welfare foods (i.e. matters reserved under Sections J2 to J5 of Head J – Health and Medicines, Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998) should be the subject of further discussions between the UK and Scottish Governments. Those discussions are without prejudice to whether or not devolution takes place and in what form.
  • If they all agree, why not just devolve it?

    Scotland on Sunday had an explanation. Apparently, it was Labour who vetoed its inclusion:

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    Vow Max? Has the Smith Commission delivered for Scotland? And what next for Yorkshire and the north?

    In the febrile pre-referendum atmosphere, the Daily Record put together a “Vow” signed by all 3 UK party leaders to deliver “extensive” powers for Scotland in the event of a No vote. There would always have been further devolution. This “Vow” just put the inevitable on a more detailed timetable.

    A Commission under Lord Smith of Kelvin was put together to deliver on that timetable and has done a power of work in just over two months. They have consulted widely, taking submissions from the five main political parties and many civic organisations and individuals. I managed to get my own submission in at 2 minutes to the deadline.

    In the august surroundings of the National Museum of Scotland, Smith and the 10 members of the Commission unveiled the consensus they had reached. I have to say that I have been a little sceptical about this process. I knew that in the interests of self preservation it would have to deliver something credible or we’d be back facing another referendum before we could blink.

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    Rennie chooses Michael Moore and Tavish Scott to represent Liberal Democrats on Scotland Devolution Commission

    Willie Rennie announced two very different Liberal Democrat representatives for the Scotland Devolution Commission to be headed by Lord Smith of Kelvin. On one hand you have former Secretary of State, co-architect of the Edinburgh Agreement, statesman, diplomat. On the other you have plain-speaking, uncompromising former leader Tavish Scott. They will be quite a formidable double act,  a parliamentary good cop/bad cop. 

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    Michael Moore’s International Development Bill passes its first Commons hurdle

    michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandMichael Moore’s Private Members’ Bill, which enshrines the 0,7% of GDP target for international aid into law, passed its Second Reading in the Commons today by 164 votes in favour to just 6 against. It will now go forward to be studied in more detail by a Committee. In July he wrote for this site about why he’d chosen this issue.

    Speaking during the debate, Moore, who was International Development Spokesman for the Party in the run up to the last General Election, said:

    Right now we are in the midst of an almighty debate about our future.

    Development is a small but important part of the debate in Scotland. Reaching the UN target is an achievement of the UK as a whole, including Scotland.

    As part of the UK, Scotland belongs to a family of nations which are the world’s second largest donors of international aid.

    And we are not passive in this process either with 40% of the staff at DFID based in Abercrombie House in East Kilbride.

    Together, with the rest of the UK, our money goes further and our impact is stronger.

    Scots who want their country to be a force for compassion and relief should reflect on what we have achieved today.

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    It’s been a while since Liberal Democrats got 25% in a ballot…

    JUMP 4 JOYThat got your attention, didn’t it?

    Actually, it wasn’t so much a ballot but a great big raffle. This morning the annual draw took place to select twenty MPs to select Private Members’ Bills. Five Liberal Democrats were allotted slots, with the top two places going to Andrew George and Michael Moore. John Hemming, Sarah Teather and Martin Horwood complete our quintet.

    photo by: Renee Silverman
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    Michael Moore MP’s Road to the Referendum… A Vote for the United Kingdom: A positive Choice

    IMG_2186Making a positive choice for the United Kingdom in the vote on Scotland’s future is as much a matter of the heart as well as the head.  Recently, those involved in the argument for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom have begun to argue more assertively that a vote for the UK is the positive choice.

    We have just over five months to decide whether we stay in the United Kingdom family or go it alone. Five months to choose between remaining part of this four-nation partnership that we have built together or to break away and to start again.

    I believe in the contribution Scotland has made over the last 300 years along with our friends and families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – our common effort to create and share something bigger and that serves us all well.

    photo by: ianpatterson99
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    Michael Moore reselected for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

    Michael Moore MP with apprentices Cameron Collins and Mark Tully at Mainetti 30 08 1349 years ago today, the Liberal Party created a political earthquake in the Borders when David Steel won the Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles by-election as the Liberal Democrat History Group remembers:

    In the winter of 1963-64 a vacancy arose for a Liberal candidate in the much more winnable Scottish Border seat of Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles, whose Conservative incumbent, C. E. M. Donaldson, was elderly and ailing. Steel jumped at the chance to move and in January 1964 was adopted as the Liberal candidate. He failed to win the seat from the Conservatives at the general election of that year, but nonetheless moved his home to the Borders and took a short-lived job in television with the BBC. The death of Donaldson in December 1964 gave him his opportunity. Steel won the byelection in March of the following year with a handsome majority. He held the constituency (subsequently re-drawn and re-named Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) at the eight general elections from 1966 to 1992 before bequeathing the seat in 1997 to Michael Moore (q.v.) after more than thirty years in Parliament.

    Twenty years after the by-election, David Steel announced he was stepping down as MP and Michael Moore was selected to fight the seat which he won in 1997.

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    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    Scotland’s place in the UK 

    As the Referendum date quickly approaches, I was glad to have the chance to speak in a House of Commons debate last week on Scotland’s place in the UK.

    As part of the United Kingdom we have fantastic economic opportunities through the single market, greater security due to having a seat at the top table at NATO, and the ability for Scotland to punch above its weight internationally due to the UK Foreign Office network around the world.

    It …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged | 3 Comments

    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    A Stronger Economy 

    Last week, I welcomed the announcement of the strongest GDP growth figures since before the financial crisis began in 2007, with the UK growing by 0.7% in the last financial quarter and 1.9% throughout the whole of 2013.  Growth is vital for our prosperity so this is a really important development.

    We have also seen the inflation rate dropping to 2% from a peak of 5.2% in September 2011, decreasing unemployment and both the World Bank and the IMF indicating …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    Free Childcare

    My colleagues in the Scottish Parliament have been making the case for extending child care provision in Scotland for some time. So the fact that from August 2014 thousands of two-year-olds in Scotland will be entitled a free childcare place for 15 hours a week is excellent news for families across the Borders.

    This means that we now catch up with the situation in England where the Liberal Democrats have helped to deliver a similar plan for two years now. The …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

    Michael Moore appointed as EU Business Adviser to Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg has asked former Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore to be his Adviser on European business affairs. The unpaid role will see Michael working with businesses across the UK to understand the key trade, investment and regulatory issue affecting their dealings in the European Union.

    He will carry out a review of the issues and report to Nick Clegg by the Summer.

    Michael Moore said:

    Britain’s engagement with the rest of Europe is fundamental to our future economic well-being. At this crucial moment in the development of the UK’s relationship with the EU, I am delighted to take on this

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    Government reshuffle: party members’ views on Moore, Heath and Browne

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

    News of this week’s mini-reshuffle – Simon Hughes’s elevation to government in place of Lord (Tom) McNally – came too late to be included in our latest survey. But we did ask about the previous reshuffle in October, when Nick Clegg made a number of changes to the Lib Dem ministerial ranks, including his first sacking …

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    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Mike Moore rocket look of wonderment croppedLiberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    Apprenticeships Campaign

    Over the last few months, I have been campaigning to encourage local businesses to take on apprentices. I have visited many businesses across the constituency to see how they have managed to create very successful apprenticeship schemes.

    As part of this ongoing campaign to increase apprenticeships in the Borders, last week I visited Hawick Cashmere to meet the apprentices there.

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged | 1 Comment

    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    As local MP, I am determined to do as much as possible to boost job opportunities for young people here in the Borders.  I believe that apprenticeships offer a great opportunity for businesses and young people.  They are not just for the traditional trades but can be in anything from marketing to business administration and customer service.  Apprenticeships help businesses reduce recruitment costs, lower staff turnover and improve productivity.

    Over the last few months, I have been campaigning to encourage local businesses …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged | 1 Comment

    Grangemouth: a summary of Liberal Democrat reaction

    It’s a grim day in Central Scotland as 800 people face losing their jobs at Grangemouth. It’s impossible to overestimate the effect that Ineos’s decision to close the petrochemical plant, which shares the site with Scotland’s only refinery, will have on the Scottish economy.

    There are still some hopes that Ineos can be persuaded to reverse their decision, which was based on the Unite trade union’s rejection of changes to terms and conditions of employment. A further meeting takes place this morning. Unite are reported to have offered major concessions. Logic would dictate that if they’ve been offered what they want, Ineos should keep the plant open. We will have to wait and see.

    If Ineos don’t change their minds, efforts will shift to finding a new buyer for the site

    It’s been good to see Scotland’s two governments working together very collaboratively, broadly saying the same sorts of things. In the UK government, three Liberal Democrats share responsibility for this: Ed Davey, Alistair Carmichael and Vince Cable. Here’s what they and others have been saying:

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    Michael Moore “turned down chance to resign Cabinet post”

    A report in today’s Herald suggests that former Scottish Secretary Michael Moore was offered the chance to resign from the Cabinet rather than be sacked. A “spend more time with his family” scenario was apparently Nick Clegg’s first choice method of removal. Moore, though, was reportedly not having any of it:

    In what might have been meant as a conciliatory gesture, Mr Clegg offered his Cabinet colleague the chance to resign. But friends of Mr Moore made clear the Borders MP rebuffed the offer immediately, telling his party leader: “If you are going to sack me, sack me. I won’t

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    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    A New Phase

    Last week I was very grateful for all the very kind comments I received locally after finishing as Secretary of State for Scotland.

    It was a huge privilege to serve as Scottish Secretary for over three years. The constitutional debate reached a rather critical point in that time and I am proud of the part I played in it as part of the government so far. I intend to continue to contribute, if from a different vantage point.

    Delivering more powers …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged | 3 Comments

    Reshuffle redux: how Lib Dem members rated the ministerial performances of the sacked and the promoted

    I posted earlier the most recent ratings by Lib Dem members of the party’s government ministers. Here’s how those affected by the reshuffle have done over the three-plus years we’ve been running our members’ surveys


    Michael Moore (Secretary of State for Scotland, May 2010 to Oct 2013)

    michael moore performance

    Jeremy Browne (Minister – Foreign Office, May 2010 to Sept 2012; Minister – Home Office, Sept 2012 to Oct 2013)

    jeremy browne performance

    David Heath (Deputy Leader – Commons, May 2010 to Sept 2012; Minister

    Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , and | 9 Comments

    Today’s Lib Dem reshuffle: 4 thoughts from me on what it means

    Four quick thoughts from me on what today’s Lib Dem reshuffle means..

    1. Nick feels secure enough to be ruthless.

    Sacking both Michael Moore and Jeremy Browne is not something Nick would have been able to contemplate a year ago. Then – with the economy still mired in recession, his apology video still fresh in the memory, and Vince reminding everyone he stood ready, willing and able should the need arise – Nick was vulnerable, in need of allies. Now – with the economy recovering, Eastleigh defended and all key conference votes won – Nick feels able to asset himself.

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    Sometimes it makes sense to take one of your best players off the field – but it hurts

    michael-moore-mp-secretary-of-state-for-scotlandWhen I was about 10, I had a bit of an obsession with football. I quickly grew out of it, I hasten to add. I had my favourite players, most notably Sandy Jardine, Alan Rough and, above all, Kenny Dalglish. These three could do no wrong in my young opinion. Even then I knew playing for Partick Thistle was a good thing.

    I used to get very irked whenever one of them was substituted, especially when they were playing well. I just couldn’t see why you would take off a proven performer …

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    In full: Nick Clegg’s and Michael Moore’s exchange of letters

    As we reported earlier, Michael Moore is to leave Government and will be replaced as Scottish Secretary by Alistair Carmichael.

    When a Minister leaves office, there is always an exchange of letters between them and their party leader. Here is the exchange between Mike and Nick Clegg:

    Nick Clegg’s letter to Mike Moore:

    Dear Mike

    I want to thank you for the vital role you have played as Secretary of State for Scotland over the past three years.

    You became Scottish Secretary in 2010 at a critical time in Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom and you have managed the challenges of

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    +++ Carmichael replaces Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland

    From the BBC:

    Michael Moore has been sacked as Secretary of State for Scotland and replaced by Alistair Carmichael, another senior Liberal Democrat.

    The move comes as a reshuffle of Conservative and Lib Dem ministers in the coalition government is under way.

    Mr Moore was a leading figure in the No campaign ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence next September.

    Moore had been Secretary of State since he replaced Danny Alexander at the end of May 2010.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie praised Mike Moore’s achievements and welcomed Alistair Carmichael’s appointment. He said:

    Mike Moore is leaving on a high after

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    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

     Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    A Year to Go

    These are exciting times to live in Scotland. In less than a year’s time, people the length and breadth of Scotland will make a choice that will affect our nation’s future forever.  This is an absolutely defining moment and a once-in-a-lifetime choice. That’s why I hope people will think carefully as they prepare for the vote.

    I firmly believe that Scotland will be stronger, more secure and more prosperous if we remain as part …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    Ah, so Michael Moore was listening after all

    I will write more on the detail of Michael Moore’s speech tomorrow, but I just wanted to share one passage exactly one year out from the independence referendum.

    His speech was bold, gutsy and passionate. I really felt like he’d stepped up a gear in taking the fight to Alex Salmond and the nationalists.

    As you read this, you might want to take a wild guess as to who the activist might be…

    Back in the summer of 2011, just after the SNP won its outright majority at Holyrood, I brought a group of Scottish activists together.

    I wanted to hear from them how

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    +++Convicted violent abuser Bill Walker resigns as MSP

    16 days after his conviction for 23 charges of domestic violence against 3 former wives over a 28 year period, Dunfermline MSP has resigned his seat in Holyrood. Typically, he blamed the media pressure rather than his own actions.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:


    Bill Walker should have understood immediately the gravity of his situation but it has taken sixteen days for the penny to drop.

    It is sad that he continues to blame others instead of taking responsibility himself for his own actions.

    It would have been wrong for someone convicted of so many counts of domestic violence to return

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    Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

    Michael Moore MP with apprentices Cameron Collins and Mark Tully at Mainetti 30 08 13 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

    Jobs campaign

    I recently launched a local jobs initiative as part of the Liberal Democrats’ ‘A Million Jobs’ campaign.

    Apprenticeships are a really effective way of tackling youth unemployment because they enable young people to develop the training, skills and experience they need to enter fulltime paid employment. They also benefit businesses who gain value …

    Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

    No, Alex Salmond, the case against independence is not the case “against Scotland”

    By 10:30 pm last night, I thought the most shocking thing I was going to hear that evening was that the Blessed Mary Berry uses tinned, yes, that’s tinned,  peaches and pears in her trifle recipe.

    Sadly this was not to be the case. Yesterday was Scotland’s the equivalent of the Queen’s Speech, when the Government unveils its legislative programme, except we get Alex Salmond instead of the Queen. To mark the occasion, he was interviewed for Scotland Tonight.

    More of the interview than necessary was taken up with a discussion on which pro UK politician he would debate against in the …

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      Wish him well in Vauxhall!
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