Tag Archives: scottish liberal democrats

It’s postal vote polling day!

Postal vote Scottish Lib DemsAs postal votes start hitting doorsteps in our elections, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have compiled a list of things people should know.

Here are 6 of them:

  1. We’re the only party with a plan to invest half a billion in schools, colleges & nurseries (find out more here: scotlibdems.org.uk/education).
  2. We’ll get serious about mental health (find out more here: scotlibdems.org.uk/health).
  3. We’re the only party with a credible plan to tackle the GP crisis (find out more here: scotlibdems.org.uk/health).
  4. We’ll take real action to make sure Scotland finally meets its climate change targets (find out more here: scotlibdems.org.uk/environment).
  5. We’re the only party that will protect your civil liberties, in Westminster & in Holyrood (find out more here: scotlibdems.org.uk/freedom).
  6. We’ll free public sector workers from top-down targets (find out more here: scotlibdems.org.uk/public sector)
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Scottish Lib Dems to oppose jail terms of less than a year

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have announced another major policy. A few weeks go, they announced their penny on income tax to raise £475 million for investment in education.

Today, Justice spokesperson Alison McInnes has announced that the party will oppose prison sentences of less than a year.

From the BBC:

As part of their 2016 election manifesto, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are to formally back doubling that, by extending the presumption to 12 months.

Justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes said prison sentences for more serious offenders should be complemented by “tough” community service programmes.
“One of the main priorities for Scottish Liberal Democrats is having a criminal justice system where if someone breaks the law, they are swiftly brought to justice,” she said. “But we also believe offenders deserve a chance to get back on track and community rehabilitation is a fundamental part of that.

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Sheila Thomson elected Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

Sheila Thomson has been elected Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. She beat Perth Councillor Willie Wilson and gained a spooky 666 votes.

Sheila has been Conference Convener for the past 3 years and was previously a Councillor in Aberdeenshire.

In the other Scottish internal elections, the following were elected:

Executive

Alan Reid

Allan Heron

Christine Jardine

David Green

Dawud Islam

Emma Farthing-Sykes

Galen Milne

Graham Garvie

Jacquie Bell

James Harrison

Jenny Marr

Paul McGarry

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Scottish Party elections: Sheila Thomson: My pitch for Convener

I am seeking election as Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats because I believe Scotland needs a strong Liberal Democrat party at all levels of representation from our individual communities, local authorities and Scottish, Westminster and European parliaments. To achieve this we need to ensure our party here in Scotland has a strong team supporting our members and the communities we live and work in, including the Scottish Executive, political leadership and staff team.

I have been a life-time supporter of liberalism, and I have a track record of over twenty years of party activism, working at all levels within the Scottish Party. I joined the Liberal Democrats because they were and remain the only truly liberal party, where we believe in allowing individuals to make their own choices, whilst ensuring that there is a safety net to help those who cannot manage without support.

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Scottish Party elections: Willie Wilson: My pitch for Convener

It is a privilege to have been nominated for the post of Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. We find ourselves at a difficult time for the Party. Our electoral base, both at Holyrood and Westminster has been eroded and at Local Government significantly reduced since the last Local Government Elections. I have no illusions that the challenges we face are enormous, however, they need to be tacked with hard work, determination, co-ordination and targeting. This will help us tackle effectively the financial, electoral and organisational challenges we face. The Leadership of the Party needs to be a spearhead in this process. I consider that I have got the necessary experience, knowledge and skills to tackle the post of Convener.

The work will not be easy and will require a huge amount of effort from Office Bearers, MSPs, our MP, Local Councillors and activists throughout the country. I have now been a Party Member since 1966 and a Councillor since 1980. I currently am Chairman of the Association of Scottish Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners, Vice-Chairman of the Conference Committee, Chair of the Mid-Scotland and Fife Region and Secretary to our local party in Perth and Kinross. I also play an active role as a Returning Officer for the Party. Clearly, if I were to win the election for Convener, this workload would be reviewed!

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Jo Swinson to take part in Willie Rennie’s gender balance working group

Willie Rennie has announced the four members of his working group into improving gender balance which he announced last month. He made it clear that he wants to see the party adopt a raft of measures including all women shortlists. Today he met with the Women 50/50 campaign to discuss improving gender balance.

What’s interesting about the make-up of his working group is that it includes people who have historically been sceptical about measures such as all women shortlists. If they support his plans, it will be a very clear message to the party that it is time for serious change. I would be very surprised if they didn’t come up with other measures, such as intensive support for the campaigns of female candidates. They should make sure that they consult LGBT Plus Lib Dems to ensure that the plan that emerges is fully inclusive for transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid and non-binary people.  Steering clear of long-term proponents of procedural measures to achieve gender balance may well be a clever move by Willie.

The members of the working group are:

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Rennie: Scottish Liberal Democrats are listening

It’s 4 years since Willie Rennie became Scottish Liberal Democrat leader this week. He was elected in the wake of a crushing electoral defeat and he celebrates this anniversary in the wake of another one. That is despite him regularly being credited with landing some real blows on the SNP administration at Holyrood with not even 5% of MSPs. Let’s just look at some of the accolades he and his small team have received.

Within weeks of him becoming leader the journalists were full of praise:

A doughty campaigner, with an unpatronising down-to-earth style, Mr Rennie may grow into an impressive leader, building a level of credibility… The Herald

Amid what was… a general air of gloom, there was one bright spark.  This was the performance of Willie Rennie, the new leader of the much depleted Liberal Democrats, whose brief sojourn in the Commons seems to have at least taught him how to frame decent questions, on this occasion about Mr MacAskill’s outrageous behaviour.”  Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph (not a known fan of the Liberal Democrats, to put it mildly)

“The former Scottish Lib Dem chief executive has made a decent start and showed he wasn’t afraid to throw a punch”  Andrew Whitaker, Scotsman

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