Tag Archives: the herald

LibLink: Willie Rennie: SNP obduracy on using tax powers shows party is no champion of progressive politics

Willie Rennie’s ambition for better education and health services in Scotland has been clear and so has his ambition to use the tax raising powers given to the Scottish Parliament. His plan for a penny on income tax for an almost half billion investment in education to introduce the Pupil Premium, extend nursery education and reverse cuts to college and schools funding.

The SNP, having squealed blue murder for years about not having enough powers to do anything, fails to use them when they are given them.

Willie often says these days that the SNP “talk left and walk right” and he has written a damning critique of the SNP’s approach in the Herald.

As it was a Liberal Democrat Secretary of State who delivered these new tax powers, it is perhaps not surprising that we were the first to propose using them to transform education in Scotland. By putting a penny for education onto income tax bands, we would raise £475 million a year.

Willie’s proposals have brought outrage from SNP and Tories alike. Finance Minister John Swinney said he would rather sacrifice public sector jobs (which in turn affects the most vulnerable) than raise tax rates. The Resolution Foundation says a tax rise is progressive. Willie challenges the SNP:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

LibLink: Alistair Carmichael: Cameron’s shocking example of self-serving politics is biggest threat to union

Alistair Carmichael has written a devastating attack on David Cameron in today’s Herald, accusing him of “psychopathic ruthlessness” and of “one of the most egregious pieces of self-serving politics ever seen” in stoking up English nationalism. It’s strong stuff.

At 7am in the morning of September 19, following the referendum result, the Prime Minister emerged to thank the people of Scotland for sticking with one of the most successful political unions the world has ever seen and to reaffirm his commitment to its future. This was his time to tell the people of a continuing UK that he understood what had

Posted in News | Also tagged | 15 Comments

The Herald: “All power to the Lib Dems for standing up for our liberties”

Willie Rennie - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsHerald columnist Ian Macwhirter is not known for writing nice things about Liberal Democrats. In fact, I think it actually causes him pain to do so. It is always welcome when someone who is not your biggest fan says nice things about you. He was very complimentary about Willie Rennie the other day. As someone pointed out on my Facebook when I posted this originally, “All Power to…. is not the most civil-liberties friendly headline, but it’s appreciated nonetheless.

As James Baker wrote a few weeks ago, the Scottish Government were trying to sneak in plans for what is effectively a massive ID database capable of even more surveillance than that set up by Labour. Once Willie got to hear about it, he set about questioning it and used a rare Liberal Democrat opposition day debate in Parliament to highlight the issue. He called for the creation of such a database to be the subject of primary legislation. He was never going to win, because, you know, SNP overall majority and all that – and they don’t take kindly to rebellion or even criticism from their parliamentarians – but he inflicted a bloody nose on the Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Macwhirter wrote:

I think now we have an answer to what the LibDems are for: they’re the only major party, Greens aside, that really takes issues of civil liberties seriously, as we saw yesterday with their debate on the Scottish Government’s plans effectively to create a national identity database.Leader Willie Rennie’s motion to stop the measure being rushed through without proper parliamentary scrutiny succeeded by 65 votes to 60 in the Scottish Parliament after an intelligent and thoughtful debate; a rare occasion on which Deputy First Minister John Swinney was sent back to think again

We need parties that keep a vigilant eye on government. Labour has never quite got this privacy thing having been, for most of its existence, a party very much of and for the big state. The Tories are supposed to be the party of the individual but their law’n’order populism, hostility to immigration and preoccupation with state security have made them suckers for any agency – police, spooks, tax authorities and so on – that wants to snoop into our affairs.

The Tories seem to recognise threats to civil liberties when in opposition. Their spokeswoman Liz Smith MSP is opposing the latest plans from the Scottish Government as “identity cards by the back door”.

The SNP are similarly schizophrenic. They opposed the introduction of a national identity database in 2005 when it was proposed by Tony Blair’s Labour government. But once the Nationalists got into government they started succumbing to the same pressures to tighten up all round and, of course, to praise our wonderful police, as Nicola Sturgeon did last week.

That would be the same wonderful police, by the way, whose senior management are, for the second time, being hauled back before a parliamentary committee for failing to deliver what they said they would. On both stop and search and armed police they have not kept their word and their chief constable has not shown an acceptable attitude towards scrutiny.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 10 Comments

LibLink: Charles Kennedy: Why our destiny must lie with the F word

Charles KennedyThe Independence Referendum campaign continues to be depressing. The only really good things associated with it tend to come from Liberal Democrats and most especially Charles Kennedy. He’s written a thoughtful and persuasive article in the Herald about the dilemma facing Scotland beyond 18th September as, whoever wins, we’ve all lost out from increasing centralism to Edinburgh in recent years.

He outlines the problem:

In the pre-devolution days of one- party Tory domination there was much legitimate railing against the excessive concentration of power within Whitehall. The centre accrued and amassed while

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 24 Comments

LibLink: Alistair Carmichael MP’s heartfelt appreciation of John Morrison

A week ago, former East Dunbartonshire Liberal Democrat Council leader John Morrison died soon after being assaulted in Glasgow. In today’s Herald, Liberal Democrat chief whip in the House of Commons Alistair Carmichael, a close friend of John’s for 30 years, has written an appreciation of his life. He takes us through John’s university days as a top debater, through his professional life as a solicitor, and his role as a senior councillor in rescuing East Dunbartonshire Council from a dire financial situation. For our chief whip, John was

  a friend and a 30-year source of support, honest advice

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGordon 1st Oct - 7:48pm
    Syria's tragedy is that there are three overlapping wars being fought out in its territory. Some are calling it the "first theatre of WW3". Scarily,...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 1st Oct - 7:45pm
    As a recent broadcast showed the Met Office as made huge strides since Michael Fish made his famous forecast. We remember it well, a row...
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 1st Oct - 7:39pm
    Paul We do campaign as you say on bread and butter stuff, but I think we have often been drawn in to extolling the EU...
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 1st Oct - 7:30pm
    Barry There is a lot of stuff I didn't mention, not just wealth creation. As you noted, I have only 500 words - LDV like...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 1st Oct - 7:28pm
    Stevan Rose: Continuous pressure is needed. There are severe flaws in US democracy. What they do affects us all, for instance George W Bush invaded...
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 1st Oct - 7:24pm
    Phil It doesn't really work to say neoliberal is an abusive term. I'm not using it abusively. I am using it in the sense you...