Tag Archives: nicola sturgeon

Five observations about last night’s debate

I actually enjoyed last night’s BBC Debate much more than I expected. Sure, I was livid that Nick Clegg had been excluded, but it was the price that had to be paid for David Cameron taking part in any debates at all. It was an interesting affair. There was no huge drama but it was mostly conducted in reasonable style. Nicola got her chance to bid for a coalition, Ed got the chance to rebuff her so honour was satisfied on that score. Conservative spin doctors trying to extrapolate post election chaos from that display just looked silly.

It told only half a story, though. Each of the four smaller party leaders outlined their own narrow (and in the case of Farage abhorrent) interests. The ideal coalition partner, who would govern for the whole country with fairness, responsibility and respect for civil liberties was not in the room. We have his pitch, though. I just wish the party would put the speech he made at the manifesto launch on Wednesday on You Tube. Particularly this bit:

At its heart is one word that is absolutely central to what Liberal Democrats believe: opportunity. No matter who you are, where you were born, what sexuality or religion you are or what colour your skin is, you should have the same opportunity to get on in life. We want to tear down the barriers that stop you from reaching your potential. We want to smash the glass ceilings that keep you from achieving what you want to achieve. Your talent and your hard work, not the circumstances of your birth, should decide what you can be.

Here are five quick observations from me about last night’s event.

Nigel Farage was a disgrace

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 52 Comments

This is everything a leaders’ debate should be – with one of the best put-downs ever

Last month, Scotland’s four main party leaders debated each other for Glasgow University’s Politics Society. Willie Rennie, Jim Murphy, Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon spent an hour and a half discussing everything from austerity to Trident to drugs policy. They did it with loads of thoughtfulness and bags of humour. It makes me very optimistic about the tv debate between these four on Tuesday night and the subsequent one with Greens’ Patrick Harvie later in the campaign. Unfortunately, UKIP will also be taking part in that second debate and given the horrid comments by their MEP about an SNP minister, that could really sour the atmosphere.

It’s actually a very good watch and relevant to people across the whole UK. Willie Rennie was very strong on the economy, highlighting how France had tried the sort of policies that Nicola was advocating and these simply hadn’t worked.  When Nicola Sturgeon implied that her party represented Scotland, he very effectively called her out. Another highlight came when he invited Ruth Davidson to write a joint letter with him to Theresa May asking her to release the drugs policy review that Norman Baker said the Tories had blocked.

That drugs question, by the way, saw an open admission that three of the leaders had taken Cannabis.

You can watch the whole thing below:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Nicola Sturgeon faces similar press trashing to Clegg in 2010 – but with added misogyny

I might have some fairly fundamental disagreements with Nicola Sturgeon on the best future for Scotland, but I have a great deal of time for her as a human being and as a politician. She is a much cleverer tactician than Alex Salmond ever was. I am perfectly happy to argue with people on their political outlook, but I’m not struck on the sort of nasty personal mudslinging that we see at PMQs, or in Labour’s deeply misleading personal attack on Nick Clegg last year and I sure as hell am not going to make up my mind how to vote based on how someone eats a bacon sandwich. Nor, I suspect, are the rest of the population.

It appears that after her very good performance in Thursday’s Leaders’ Debate that Nicola Sturgeon is, highly predictably, being done over by the right wing press in much the same way that Nick Clegg was in 2010. Remember Nick Barlow’s wonderful way of dealing with that – the #nickcleggsfault meme on Twitter where Clegg was blamed from everything to the weather to the cat being sick?

Of course, Nicola is getting much different treatment to a man. Her clothes come in to it. The Daily Fail describes her as a “glamorous power-dressing imperatrix.” Wow. A woman goes out wearing smart clothes. How remarkable. Of course, if she rocked up for FMQs in Parliament in her jeans, they’d have something to say about that, too. On appearance, women really can’t win.

The Telegraph’s splash is a bit different. Last night, when I read their account that she’d told the French ambassador that she’d prefer David Cameron to be Prime Minister, it didn’t seem right to me. Apart from anything else, the Nicola Sturgeon I know has more sense than to be so indiscreet. The paper bases its story on a memo written by a UK Government official who wasn’t even at the meeting in question and who actually doubts its veracity. It’s all very third hand and clearly questionable.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 87 Comments

Jo Swinson takes part in Marie Claire election debate

I had fully intended to keep tabs on Jo Swinson and four women from the other parties taking part in Marie Claire magazine’s election debate. However, life had other ideas and I spent the morning at A & E instead. Handily, Marie Claire have put everything together in a Storify thingy which you can read below to catch up on the events.

It seemed remarkably civilised with quite a lot of agreement. There does seem to be a reasonable consensus among women across politics about what needs to change in society.
Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Yet again Scotland’s political leaders outclass their Westminster counterparts

Prime Minister’s Questions was even worse than usual today. Both Cameron and Miliband jumped into the gutter from the start and neither of them emerged. It was bizarre watching these people who had blocked every single attempt to reform party funding argue about each other’s paymasters. It was a matter of some considerable annoyance that Cameron kept saying how his government had done more to make sure people paid their taxes than the last one. Does anyone seriously think the Tories, left to their own devices, would have done that? Errr, no. That’s all been down to our man in the Treasury, one Danny Alexander. Cameron taking credit for our policy is bad enough. Using our success to cover his own party’s issues is worse.

It was all a bit classier in Scotland, though. Remember a couple of weeks ago how Scotland’s party leaders joked on Twitter about cancelling FMQs and drinking Pimms in Nicola Sturgeon’s office while watching Andy Murray’s semi-final in the Australian Open instead?

Well, they’ve done it again. After a journalist teased Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson about the fundraiser where a mega-rich Tory donor paid £17500 for a shoe-shopping session with Theresa May.

To cut a long story short, a shoe shopping session with all of Scotland’s political leaders is now to be auctioned to raise money for Scottish charity Cash for Kids. Buzzfeed has the story.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 12 Comments

First same-sex marriages take place in Scotland

 

At just after midnight last night, the first same-sex marriages took place in Scotland.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Abusive site Wings over Scotland is embedded into the Scottish Government and Yes movement – Willie Rennie proves what we knew already

I’ve written before about the appallingly abusive Wings over Scotland site. It’s a pro-independnece blog written, ironically, by the self-styled “Rev” Stu Campbell who lives in Bath.

His shameful content and comments he allows on his site and on social media  have included:

  • Using a picture of hearses going through Royal Wootton Bassett in a mocked up “Better Together poster;
  • Showering abuse on Clare Lally after she spoke at the Better Together “100 days to go” event. Funnily enough, he then said he couldn’t find any abuse of her on his site. I helped him out. 
  • Doing me over when I said that being part in the UK meant we could do more in terms of international development
  • Disgusting transphobia towards Chelsea Manning
  • Referring to a Conservative MSP as an a******* and “sewer dwelling vermin”
Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 64 Comments

Carmichael: SNP’s energy plans have more holes than a Swiss cheese

At the SNP’s conference in Perth, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a plan to cut Scottish consumers’ energy bills after independence by having the Government pay the levy that funds green investment. This will happen, alongside renationalising Scotland’s postal service if Scotland votes for independence next year.

The SNP have always been good at coming up with ways to spend our money. In fact, many of their manifestos have spent all the available money several times over.  In September, the Institute of Fiscal Studies reported that:

If an independent Scotland wanted to deliver the same cuts to public service

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

No, Nicola, a vote against independence is not a vote for Trident

Writing blog posts based on the tail end of a radio interview you have caught  is fraught with danger. However, I want to take issue with something Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

She had been asked about today’s Guardian story which suggests that the Trident base at Faslane could be designated UK territory in a way similar to the sovereign military bases in Cyprus for a temporary period post independence.

She said that if the UK Government wanted to keep weapons of mass destruction, it could do so, but Scotland would just have voted against Trident, for independence.

On the ballot …

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

A year in the life of…..the Scottish independence referendum

Saltire - St Andrews Flag - Scotland - Some rights reserved by byronv2I thought it might be a bit amusing to trawl through the Lib Dem Voice archives and have a look at how certain stories have developed during 2012.

This time last year, it looked like it was all going wrong for the Scotland Bill that Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore was piloting through Parliament. On top of that, confusion reigned over the forthcoming referendum on independence with the Scottish and Westminster Governments seemingly on a collision …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Scottish Independence: one brief letter, one big problem for the Yes campaign?

Here at Liberal Democrat Voice, I have occasionally drawn the attention of readers towards the Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs and its inquiry into the economic implications for the United Kingdom of Scottish independence. And this week, the Committee appears to have obtained an answer to a question which has hung heavy over the debate until now, i.e. would an independent Scotland automatically become part of the European Union.

In response to an invitation from the acting Chair of the Committee, Lord Tugendhat (a former two-term European Commissioner), Jose Manuel Barroso wrote;

Whilst refraining from comment on possible future scenarios,

Posted in Europe / International, News and Scotland | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Rennie: SNP’s assertions blown apart by fact

Scotland has had its share of political drama these past ten days. First there was the Edinburgh Agreement which saw Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore given an honourable mention by CentreForum. Then the Scottish Liberal Democrats unveiled their vision for Home Rule and a federal UK. Then last Friday, the SNP abandoned their opposition to NATO membership ahead of the Independence Referendum, a decision led to the resignation of two of their MSPs. This leaves Alex Salmond’s Government with a tiny single vote majority in Holyrood. In practice, though, the two MSPs will mostly vote with the Government.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Local catch ups

In my work as Borders MP I have regular catch ups with local public services such as NHS Borders, Lothian and Borders police and Scottish Borders Council. These are valuable meetings during which I am updated on key local issues and I am able bring my constituents’ concerns to their attention. Last week, as part of these regular catch ups, I met with Chief Superintendent John Hawkins in Hawick to discuss the work of local police and the crime and policing issues.

Referendum

Ever since the Scottish Government announced their plan to hold a referendum on Scottish Independence, I have …

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

Opinion: Scottish reshuffle and the independence referendum

In amongst the fall-out from the reshuffle last week at Number 10, another reshuffle was somewhat lost in the news. In Scotland, Alex Salmond decided it was time to change things around a bit in Bute House – though unlike David Cameron, it was more a case of rearranging the deckchairs than bringing in new furniture.

The only departure of note was Bruce Cameron, along with two junior ministers, and in all those cases it was for genuine personal reasons. However, the big change was the move of Nicola

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

The SNP, equal marriage and a large dose of red herring

Equality campaigners across Scotland were quietly confident on Tuesday. It had been widely expected that the SNP Government would at least allow equality in civil marriage if not religious. After all, the measure had already secured the support of a majority of MSPs and the Equality and Human Rights Commission report suggest sthat it has the support of over 60% of Scots. The Government’s plans have, however, attracted vocal opposition from some religious organisations.

However, the Government announced that it was delaying the decision and setting up a Cabinet Committee to “further examine some particular issues of detail”. A …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #14: As a liberal republican sees it

Last week, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, launched the Referendum (Scotland) Bill consultation. The SNP has few aspirations, beyond independence for its own sake. I can’t help but think of them as someone courting a reluctant bride. They keep asking, and keep cajoling, hoping that eventually the electorate will say yes, and let them take them up the aisle.

On Friday, Nicola Sturgeon, who faced parliament about her own troubles earlier in the week, said “this isn’t about what the SNP wants, it’s about what the people of Scotland want”. Well, she’s wrong. This consultation actually is …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged and | 5 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlistair 30th Aug - 1:39am
    The last time I saw a woman getting hassled on a train it was by a rail employee - Southern Rail. Happy to report I...
  • User AvatarMBoy 30th Aug - 12:43am
    @Malcolm, are you equating having your bum/groin squeezed with having your nose broken? I've had both, and let me tell you there is no comparison.
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 30th Aug - 12:30am
    It's pretty obvious that most folk on here are pretty brassed off with Clegg's Lavender List (see Harold Wilson 1976) which has a dash of...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 30th Aug - 12:24am
    "if trains are safe for women they will also be safe for men" Indeed. Sadly the reverse is not necessarily true. That's why this is...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 30th Aug - 12:11am
    "More men are assaulted on trains than women." Are you sure about that, MBoy? Assaults on men are, I would guess, overwhelmingly openly violent assaults...
  • User AvatarChris_sh 30th Aug - 12:03am
    @Mike Drew "whenever we are challenged on gender balance and BME representation that we support STV for all elections which will produce automatically better balance."...