Tag Archives: scotsman

LibLink: Sam Ghibaldan: Clegg needs to be assertive

Clegg on OsbourneI’m not going to lie, I bet a lot of you are thinking Sam who? Chances are if you live in Scotland, you’ll be less curious because you will know that he was a Senior Special Adviser to Scottish Liberal Democrat Deputy First Ministers Jim Wallace and Nicol Stephen. As such, his perspective on who the Liberal Democrats should proceed in the run up to the General Election is highly relevant. In a recent Scotsman column, he said that Nick Clegg needs to get out there and shout about our core beliefs.

Some of the headlines faced by Nick Clegg were also seen in Scotland:

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LibLink: Tavish Scott MSP: Scots should put money on devo plus.

Tavish Scott has been writing for the Scotsman, comparing the necessary treaty for a currency union which would be required between an independent Scotland and the UK, and the idea of “Devo Plus” which, he argues, would give the Scottish Government more powers than independence.

First he tackles the realities of that treaty for currency union:

With the removal of political representation at Westminster following a Yes vote, the flexibility of a parliament will need to be replaced with a treaty. This will be neither flexible nor short. It will have to cover all aspects of monetary union starting with the role

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LibLink: Christine Jardine: Privatised Royal Mail might prosper

Former special adviser and Liberal Democrat candidate Christine Jardine writes in today’s Scotsman about the prospects fora privatised Royal Mail.

She first talks about her shock when she heard that our government was going to take this step:

Were they really going where Peter Mandelson had failed and Margaret Thatcher had not dared?

But gradually as I researched beyond the tabloid headlines and thought about it in detail it began to make sense.

After all, when was the last time I ordered a delivery and expected it to arrive in the daily post?

That same daily post that arrives after I’ve left for the day,

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A Level Results: are we too university focused?

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, A level students find out their results today. Will their grades be enough to get them into the university course that they want? For those who don’t, it’s likely that they’ll feel that their whole lives have been blighted and their opportunities for career success blighted. This is because we have come to equate success with a university education when in fact there are many other routes to a happy, fulfilling, lucrative career. Do we put too much pressure on our children to go to university?

Christine Jardine, former Special Adviser to Nick Clegg and …

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LibLink..Christine Jardine: Lib Dems taking high-minded road

After her excellent performance and decent result as our candidate in the Aberdeen Donside by-election, Christine Jardine has been back writing for the Scotsman. She argues that voters are much more positive about the Liberal Democrats and are starting to respect what we are going in Government.

She started off by highlighting a problem that wouldn’t be resolved by independence – bias towards the Central Belt:

But for me the one disappointment is that so many of the Scottish political establishment still don’t understand that politics in Aberdeen is different from the central belt. And it’s not just Aberdeen. The Highlands, Borders,

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LibLink..Tavish Scott: Our difficult decisions easier than in US

Tavish Scott, Liberal Democrat MSP for Shetland, writes in today’s Scotsman contrasting the battle over gun control in the US to the consultation in Scotland over licensing of airguns.

Of the situation in the States in the wake of the awful Sandy Hook shootings last Christmas, Tavish writes:

But Obama senses a moment. The Connecticut shooting was so awful that pressure on Washington lawmakers is now intense. Last week, the president met Sandy Hook families who lost children and then flew them in Air Force 1 to Washington DC. These parents then met lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They asked for mandatory background

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LibLink… Danny Alexander: Coalition tackling housing crisis

Danny Alexander writes in today’s Scotsman about the benefit reduction which has become colloquially known as the Bedroom Tax.

He argues that the Coalition had to take action after Labour mismanagement and failure to build houses:

However, they may not know that Labour also left a legacy whereby hundreds of thousands of families in Scotland are waiting for a house that is big enough for their family to live in. The government has a responsibility to make sure that we change housing benefit rules in a careful, sensitive and managed way. But we also have a responsibility to those families.

Housing benefit is

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LibLink: David Steel…New type of Union needed

The Scotsman carries an extract from David Steel’s Presidential Address to the David Hume institute in which he talks about the need for constitutional reform of the whole UK to give real power to its constituent parts. I was particularly struck by this passage where he talks about distribution, not devolution, of power:

Many of my former constituents would quite comfortably consider themselves a Borderer first and then a Scotsman. And the same incidentally applies for Borderers born south of the Tweed in Northumberland in relation to Englishness. Politicians at their peril dictate identity and culture. People can quite comfortably consider

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LibLink…Christine Jardine: Referendum drowns out more pressing issues

Former Downing Street insider Christine Jardine, now back in Scotland and selected as a Liberal Democrat Euro-candidate, highlights in the Scotsman how more urgent problems are being forgotten as Scotland gears up for the Independence Referendum.

While all the attention is on 18th September 2014, Christine reminds us that there is some serious stuff going on now:

Traditionally, conferences, like the SNP’s recent gathering in Inverness, are where policy announcements are made, government plans set out and ministers take the opportunity to highlight their successes in the full glare of the media spotlight. But not this time. This time I waited in

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LibLink…Tavish Scott MSP: Eastleigh could be a fresh start

In the post Eastleigh celebratory glow, Shetland MSP used his Scotsman column to issue a sharp challenge on the economy and welfare reform to Liberal Democrat MPs.

First, he praised the party for the way we had come together to win against the odds.

 A personal party scandal was badly handled from beginning to end. The Tory press scented blood and threw themselves at the Lib Dems.

But the Lib Dem by-election machine still has a kick. A win was needed and secured. Morale is on the up and belief returns. This will grow if Lib Dem Westminster MPs now get really stuck

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LibLink…Tavish Scott…SNP’s mistakes will be their downfall

Writing in today’s Scotsman, Liberal Democrat MSP for Shetland lists a number of mistakes made by the SNP Government in Scotland. The one most in the news at the moment is Audit Scotland’s report and concerns about the number of people marked socially unavailable for treatment which enabled them to be removed from the waiting times target.

On that scandal, Tavish said:

 It is now clear that health boards across Scotland were under enormous government pressure to meet waiting list targets. In 2007, the new health secretary declared that she would end the previous government’s waiting-time fiddle. Nicola Sturgeon did. The

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LibLink…Tavish Scott: Community councils empower the people

One of the big themes in Scottish politics in recent years has been the Labour and SNP impulse to centralise anything that stands still for long enough. The SNP Government, against all good advice and much opinion, recently merged Scotland’s 8 police forces into one.

In contrast, the Liberal Democrats under Willie Rennie’s leadership have been emphasising giving power to local communities. Tavish Scott, MSP for Shetland writes in the Scotsman about how giving more power to community councils could help deliver the sorts of services communities need, including schools.He cites the example of a plan to close a secondary school …

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LibLink: Christine Jardine… Stop pressuring our children to be perfect

Children in Quito, South America - Some rights reserved by epSos.deIt’s New Year and every single magazine aimed at women and girls will inevitably be full of the latest crash diet. Whether it’s claiming you’ll lose a stone in seven days, or banning carbs or suggesting you base your diet on cabbage soup or eggs, we are told that we should get rid of the excesses of the Festive Season as soon as possible with often drastic measures.

Jo Swinson recently wrote an open letter to magazine

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LibLink: Christine Jardine..A coffee with a sweeter taste

Christine Jardine was until this Summer a Liberal Democrat Special Adviser at the heart of Government. She is now back working full time in politics in Scotland and writing occasionally for the Scotsman.

This week she’s turned her attention to the fact that large corporations like Starbucks don’t pay tax in the UK and reflects on the good that local, independent coffee shops bring to the community:

As I sat there enjoying my Americano, eyeing up the chocolate cake and cinnamon swirls, I began to think about the value that the entrepreneur behind the counter had brought to my community.

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LibLink: Tavish Scott says college row marks a turning point for the SNP

Tavish Scott has written a column for the Scotsman criticising the SNP Government for abuse of power and neutering the Holyrood Parliament. His comments come in the wake of a row about the Education Secretary Mike Russell effectively engineered the resignation of the Chairman of Stow College in Glasgow. Kirk Ramsay had been a vociferous critic of Russell’s cuts in the sector.

The story so far:

Ramsay records Russell’s on-the-record remarks at a meeting with about 80 people present at which the Cabinet Secretary was discussing his plans for the Further Education sector. He did so because he suffers from Tinnitus and …

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Lib Link: Christine Jardine – Scottish Lib Dems on the ropes but definitely not down and out

Christine Jardine was until recently the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ very own CJ inside Downing Street as special adviser on Scottish affairs. She’s now returning to full time politics in Scotland and is looking towards Westminster and Holyrood elections in 2015 and 2015. She’s started off by writing in yesterday’s Scotsman about what she sees as the way forward for the party in Scotland.

She puts forward a robust defence of the calm professionalism of our ministers, MPs and advisers and argues that we activists need to get out on the doorsteps and take the message of their achievements directly to the voters.

For

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Former MP John Barrett talks about his Cancer – and how screening saved his life

I know that many party members across the country will be concerned to hear that popular former Edinburgh West Lib Dem MP John Barrett has recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his colon. He’s decided to talk about his experience in order to persuade others not just to leave the screening kit the NHS sends to over 50s to one side gathering dust, but to make sure they use it.

He spoke to the Scotsman about what he’s gone through and his forthcoming chemotherapy. It’s obviously been a huge shock and upheaval, but he’s recovering well from the operation

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Backing for electoral reform in the Scotsman and The Observer

A leader in The Scotsman / Scotland on Sunday backs a Yes vote in May’s referendum:

The fact that it is AV on offer and not one of the other systems is the product of three specific factors: the offer on PR made by the last Labour government to woo the Lib Dems; the arithmetic of the general election result; and the mechanics of the deal between David Cameron and Nick Clegg that delivered the coalition administration. It is the product of specific circumstances. It is also the only game in town. In the world of realpolitik an academic debate

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim13 22nd Sep - 9:03am
    John Roffey Your proposal for a "only take one day" recount of Referendum votes does have one big flaw - it actually requires an Election...
  • User AvatarIan Hurdley 22nd Sep - 8:01am
    There is and must continue to be no provision for 1st and 2nd class MPs at Westminster. The question of who may vote on purely...
  • User AvatarBill Le Breton 22nd Sep - 7:42am
    Fast tracking English Votes for English Laws can be portrayed as protecting the privileges of the Westminster elite, but obviously holding a policy of a...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 22nd Sep - 7:37am
    @ alec - "There really does not seem to be a demand for actual ‘state’ level entities within England." Thank the Lord, for a proper...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 22nd Sep - 2:51am
    Someone needs to explain to Clegg that devo on demand will increase resentment about democratic inequality and complication.
  • User Avataralec dauncey 21st Sep - 11:57pm
    Federalism demands either an English Parliament or Regional English federal entities. There really does not seem to be a demand for actual 'state' level entities...