Tag Archives: Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon appoints controversial Brexit Minister

In the immediate aftermath of the EU Referendum, Nicola Sturgeon played an absolute blinder. She seemed like she was the only grown-up in power. She was calm, she was reasonable and she put up a massive big tent that allowed all parties to unite. Well, not the Tories, but who cares about them in Scotland, anyway?  Given the chaos they have inflicted, as Brexit gets underway, I suspect that their good performance in the Holyrood elections will turn out to be a high water mark.

Within days of the result, the Scottish Parliament debated and passed a motion which authorised the First Minister and the Scottish Government to look for a way to preserve Scotland’s relationship with the EU. It was not, Nicola Sturgeon told Parliament, about independence.

However, let me be clear that if the Government concludes that the best or the only way to protect Scotland’s place in the EU is through a referendum on independence, we will return to Parliament with that judgment and it will then be for Parliament to decide. I am emphatically not asking Parliament to endorse that step today. A vote for today’s motion is not a vote for a referendum on independence.

I was glad to see that the Scottish Liberal Democrats backed Nicola Sturgeon’s efforts. Everyone seemed to be working together well with the SNP even removing wording from the motion to make sure it was  something all the parties except the Tories (who ultimately abstained) could sign up to.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Willie Rennie says it is time to think again about Named Persons

 

Those of us south of the border have been somewhat puzzled by the furore about the proposal for ‘Named Persons’ in Scotland. The Scottish Children and Young People’s Bill proposed assigning a single point of contact – the ‘Named Person’ – to each child from birth until the age of 18. Throughout the lifetime of the child the actual person holding that role may change – starting with a midwife, then health visitor then one or more teachers. As a ‘Named Person’ they are to provide a common contact for any other professionals, such as social workers, working with the child.

Originally the Liberal Democrats supported this proposal when it came before the Scottish Parliament in 2014.

Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, writes:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

How should Liberal Democrats react to Named Person law judgement?

This week, the Scottish Government was told by the Supreme Court tae think again about the controversial  Named Person law. The Court said that it couldn’t be implemented as it currently stood following an application from parents and organisations, among the the equally controversial Christian Action Research and Education (CARE). This law makes sure that there is one person with responsibility for bringing information together about a child and co-ordinating necessary interventions.

The Court was at pains to point out that the intention of the legislation was benign but there were concerns that some of the information sharing provisions in …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 23 Comments

Liberal Democrat position on Police merger vindicated by Scottish think tank

The Lib Dems have form for calling things right – the Iraq War, the Credit Crunch, Mystic Clegg’s account of what would happen post Brexit vote. We also said from the beginning that merging Scotland’s eight police forces into one was a disaster waiting to happen. So it has been proven in many ways from routine arming of Police in the Highlands to the failures related to the M9 crash where two people died after being left for 3 days, to the closing down of saunas in Edinburgh, ruining years of a system that worked.

Now think tank Reform Scotland has published a report that vindicates the Lib Dem position and supports the measures for reintroduction of local accountability that we called for in our Scottish Parliament election manifesto. Its research director said:

However we remain concerned that, under the current centralised structure, there is no obvious way to actually make localism happen.

For that reason, we have proposed that both the funding and governance structure must change. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and on that principle we believe that local authorities should again be responsible for funding 50% of policing, with the Scottish Government continuing to fund the other 50%.

Furthermore, we believe that each local authority should be able to nominate a member of the Scottish Police Authority to ensure that local priorities are adequately represented.

The creation of Police Scotland was a mistake, and in the absence of any further wholesale reform we all have a responsibility to make the smaller changes which can help re-create local policing.

Liam McArthur, Scottish Lib Dem Justice spokesperson said:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

WATCH: Alex Cole-Hamilton’s speech to March for Europe: No Tory civil war will take our EU identity away

“If you change your mind, I’m the first in line” from Abba’s Take a Chance on Me was not quite what we expected to come blaring out of the PA system at the Young European Movement’s rally after the March for Europe in Edinburgh this afternoon. The good tunes just kept coming, though, with Dancing Queen and the Proclaimers 500 miles featuring as well.

There was a pretty big turnout, which was amazing given that the event was up against Andy Murray winning his second Wimbledon men’s singles title.

The Lib Dem contingent was pretty big, too. We were led by Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton who gave a stonking speech. We are here, we are united, and we are citizens of the European Union, he told the crowd. He told people from elsewhere in the EU living here that this was their home, they are our family and they are welcome here. His speech was extremely well received by the crowd. Watch it here.

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

Vikings, Unicorns and an open, inclusive Parliament to be proud of

Scotland’s Parliament is just 17 years old, but compared to its centuries old neighbour, it’s really been the grown-up this week. Four of its parties have really got to grips with strategic thinking, looking for ideas to help us through the current mire in which we find ourselves, a mire not of our making.

Today we had our equivalent of the State Opening of Parliament. It only happens once every five years and I was lucky enough to have a ticket. It\s very different from the Westminster event with all its pomp and tradition. True enough, there was a little bit of pomp, with the Queen’s Archers and bearers of such wonderful heraldic titles as “Unicorn Pursuivant.” However, this is very much an event for the people, filled with music, poetry and performance.

We were seated in the Gallery by 10am, an hour before the festivities were due to begin. We originally had fantastic front row seats, but were moved on because they were apparently reserved for the media. The National Youth Choir of Scotland sang songs including the Skye Boat Song, which has a special meaning for Lib Dems, and Burns’ Ae Fond Kiss.

At about 10:50, the state trumpeters who play the fanfare appeared near us. Screens showed the party leaders lined up outside, waiting for the Queen to arrive. We were slightly apprehensive about whether Willie would behave as he has form round royalty. Our fears were heightened when he bounded into the Chamber grinning and was the last to sit down and be quiet. We found out later that Prince Philip had complemented him on his buttonhole. The Duke wasn’t to know that five years ago, Willie hadn’t realised he had to have a buttonhole. His blushes were spared by Annabel Goldie, the then Tory leader, picking him a flower from one of Holyrood’s courtyard gardens.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Tim Farron at #marchforEurope: We stand with EU citizens living here

Tim Farron led a noisy Liberal Democrat contingent at the March for Europe in London today. From Facebook:

Unfortunately the BBC couldn’t fit him on their list of speakers at the event, but speak he did.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 15 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 29th Aug - 4:07am
    Colin, you do not understand ,perhaps , surely , the feelings expressed on here on the previous or any thread about a progressive alliance ,...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 29th Aug - 2:41am
    "This woman has become a candidate – against all of the odds and without family connections. " What has that got to do with H...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 29th Aug - 1:56am
    I have tried to find sources that explain in plain language where the deficits came from and all I can find is that BHS didn't...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 29th Aug - 1:10am
    60% of the population are not interested in the voting system. Two thirds of those that are interested prefer FPTP. We had that referendum, the...
  • User AvatarJamesG 29th Aug - 12:03am
    Perhaps some 'Liberals' here managed to notice the violence on the Corsica beach which was caused by Islamic extremists before there was any ban there...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 28th Aug - 11:52pm
    @Dave Orbison "Not for the first time, and no doubt not for the last, you simply make wrong assumptions of anyone who had the temerity...