Tag Archives: willie rennie

Better Together lets some of Willie’s “sunshine strategy” burst through

Better Together, the cross-party campaign for retaining the United Kingdom, must have been listening to LDV’s co-editor, Caron Lindsay (always a sensible precaution, we find…). Just a few weeks ago she cautioned against the deluge of negativity that seemed to be the No campaign’s main message:

Charles Kennedy was bang on last week when he said that the pro-UK campaign needed to be more positive. He could do with being a bit more explicit about what he thinks they should be saying. And then he needs to sit Alistairs Darling and Carmichael, Danny, Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader and Nick down and tell them. For the sake of the UK, they need to listen. Better Together is in desperate need of an injection of wit and warmth and not much time to do it in.

Here, then, is the new Better Together advert. Maybe not much wit, but a whole lot more warmth:

better together ad

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

In Full: Willie Rennie’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

Willie Rennie speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008Willie Rennie’s crucial final leader’s speech before the independence referendum highlighted the party’s achievements in UK Government – 8 words, Taxes down, pensions up, new jobs, more childcare.

He also highlighted his team’s contribution in the Scottish Parliament, pressing the SNP government over 18 months until they expanded childcare for 2-4 year olds and fighting against the “wrecking ball” being taken to the justice system. He announced that the party would be putting down amendments aimed at properly regulating stop and search to …

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Another wheel comes off the SNP’s independence bandwagon as EU Commission President says Scotland would find it difficult to join EU

It has not been a good week for Scottish independence campaigners and particularly the SNP. Their primary objective in their quest has been to achieve a break up of the UK without scaring any horses. We’d hardly notice, they said. Everything would go on pretty much as before. We’d still have the Queen and the pound and, of course, an independent Scotland would be admitted to the EU automatically on the same terms as the UK currently enjoys.

This week George Osborne, backed by Danny Alexander and Ed Balls, ruled out the SNP’s preferred option of a currency union. Alex …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 25 Comments

Bluff, bluster and bullying, says Salmond. Pot, kettle and black come to mind

That the SNP would dismiss yesterday’s announcement on currency by George Osborne should not come as a surprise to any of us.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have taken to the airwaves to complain of “bluff, bluster and bullying” by those nasty big boys from Westminster. It’s actually quite brazen to sit there and say, having been told a very firm “no” that the answer was really yes. But their aim was to whip up fury amongst their own supporters, to incite an emotional reaction in those who don’t like English Tories telling things like they are.

That was always going to …

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

Willie Rennie on Lib Dem prospects in Scotland in 2015: “I know all 11 seats can be won.”

William RennieScotland’s Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie is interviewed in today’s Times by Magnus Linklater – who describes him as “resolutely cheerful”.

On Cowdenbeath…

Listing a load of reasons why he shouldn’t be in good spirits, he asks Willie specifically about the Cowdenbeath by-election, where the party trailed in fifth:

“We weren’t surprised by it. We didn’t put a lot into it, and if you don’t do that, you don’t get it back. We had lost our deposit at the last election, with something like 3 per cent, so we didn’t have

Posted in Scotland | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Bedroom Tax no more in Scotland – with Scottish Liberal Democrat support

It’s been a big week for the Scottish Parliament. On Tuesday, Holyrood passed a much stronger equal marriage bill than we have south of the border. Yesterday it passed a budget which, with different ideas incorporated from Labour and the Liberal Democrats, will make a huge difference to many people in Scotland.

The Holyrood budget process is very different. You’d never find George Osborne publishing his budget 3 months in advance, letting all parties contribute to the process and then putting an amended budget through Parliament incorporating new ideas. It’s to Finance Secretary John Swinney’s great credit that he adopts …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Sir Menzies Campbell to develop plan for more powers to Scottish Parliament

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie puts some much needed positivity into the hitherto dismal and demotivating debate on Scottish independence. We’ve been drowning in a deluge of claim, assertion, counter claim and denial for months now and there are times when even this determined no voter is exasperated by Better Together’s inability to inspire. Yes Scotland and the SNP are just as bad.

The one glimmer of soul food for the federalist has come from Willie Rennie’s constant calls for the development of a consensus on more powers for the Scottish Parliament. He wants to see a common proposal to …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Willie Rennie warns against SNP “dismantling of Scottish justice system”

The other day, someone said in a comment on here that the SNP seemed like a liberal party. I don’t doubt that there are liberals in it, but they are not evident at the higher levels and particularly in regard to anything the Scottish government does in relation to justice.

Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Secretary has presided over a massively disproportionate use of stop and search powers, agreed to appalling overuse of solitary confinement for vulnerable female prisoners, failed to be mortified after a second damning inspection report at Scotland’s women’s prison, Cornton Vale and is now

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Christine Jardine selected as PPC for Gordon

S Delaney A McInnes W Rennie C Jardine M BruceChristine Jardine, who was widely recognised to have put in a great performance as candidate in the Aberdeen Donside by-election last June, has been selected as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Gordon, the constituency currently represented by our new Deputy Leader, Sir Malcolm Bruce. She is pictured second from the right here next to Sir Malcolm.

Christine is a journalist who previously worked in Aberdeen for the Deeside Piper and the BBC. She also spent a year as a Special Adviser in Downing Street.

Nick Clegg was quick to tweet his congratulations, although he needs to learn that the hashtag from that energetic and happy campaign in the Summer is actually #teamchristine:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

LDVideo: Danny Alexander explains decision to guarantee all UK debt up until Independence

It’s slightly annoying that the announcement by the Treasury pledging to honour all UK debt up till the date of Independence was made on the same day as Alistair Carmichael’s first keynote speech of the New Year, but there was little choice given ill-advised threats last week that an independent Scotland would default on its debts if it didn’t get its way on using the pound as part of a currency union. The markets were spooked. The Treasury had to act.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Cowdenbeath by-election gets underway as Willie Rennie and Jade Holden visit nursery

The Cowdenbeath by-election caused by the death of Labour MSP Helen Eadie takes place on 23 January. This week all the parties have launched their campaigns. One of these is very different from all the others.

Liberal Democrat candidate Jade Holden visited a local nursery with Scottish leader Willie Rennie on Thursday. This was particularly appropriate given that childcare is such an important issue. As we reported on Tuesday, Willie had to hastily re-write a speech after the Scottish Government went some way to doing what he had been pressing them for for months – to match Nick Clegg’s extension …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Willie Rennie: “In 20 years, they’ll be glad they had nursery education at an early stage because it might just change their life chances”

There were extraordinary scenes in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon. First of all, the Scottish Liberal Democrats didn’t even vote for their amendment, and nor did anyone else. They didn’t have to, because the Scottish Government had taken a big step to doing what they wanted.

For months, Willie Rennie has got up at virtually every First Minister’s Questions session and doggedly asked, pleaded, cajoled with Salmond to extend nursery places to 40% of 2 year olds from its current figure of 3%, just like Nick Clegg had done south of the Border.  And every time, Alex Salmond replied with varying …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 8 Comments

Willie Rennie MSP’s New Year Message

I am hopeful for 2014.  I’ve been checking the tea leaves and it’s going to be a good year.

I am confident the economy will continue to grow and that we’ll create more jobs, cut taxes further and increase pension higher.

I am also confident we’ll reaffirm Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom family of nations so we can share risk and reward for generations to come. We won’t undermine the progress by splitting Scotland from the UK.

My confidence also extends to a boost to nursery education to give children the best start in life.

And I am confident that there will be …

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Willie Rennie MSP’s Christmas message

As we mark the loss of close friends and distant heroes it’s important to take a moment to think and reflect on the year.

Christmas is also a time to make a special effort to reach out to others. Whether it be the distant friend, the estranged family member or the quiet neighbour, Christmas is a good excuse to make new.

It’s also a time to reflect on the year past with its successes and its challenges. It’s no different for me.

The progress with the Liberal Democrats in the last year has been significant.

We’re delivering our £700 tax cut for those on …

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Willie Rennie’s tribute to Nelson Mandela

This week, the Scottish Parliament paid tribute to Nelson Mandela. Here is Willie Rennie’s speech in full.

Like so many others, I saw today’s remarkable scenes from Johannesburg, with presidents and prime ministers, archbishops and cardinals, and village choirs and children from Soweto gathered in one place.

Nelson Mandela’s death was a moment that we all knew would come but, for most of our lives, we could only have dreamed that he would be able to pass on peacefully, in freedom and with the thanks of the world around him.

The vocation of politics to play a part in a changing world grew

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Jade Holden chosen as Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for the Cowdenbeath by-election

Jade Holden CowdenbeathThe Scottish Liberal Democrats have chosen Jade Holden, who’s 23, a current Euro candidate and former Liberal Youth Campaigns Officer, as their candidate for the forthcoming Cowdenbeath by-election. The poll was caused by the sudden death of Labour MSP Helen Eadie of whom Scottish Leader Willie Rennie said:

As fellow parliamentarians for West Fife, Helen’s intense, burning commitment to socialism was inspiring to observe. Although a gentle and kind lady you did not cross Helen without suffering from the sharp end of her tongue.

Helen made waves for her causes and

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Willie Rennie’s St Andrew’s Day Message

Willie Rennie had this to say on the last St Andrew’s Day before the referendum.

2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Scotland. By St Andrew’s Day next year the referendum will be done and dusted and we have big events like the Commonwealth Games to look forward to.

The referendum has dominated the headlines over the last 12 months. But whether you support keeping Scotland in a strong United Kingdom or back independence there is more that binds Scots than divides us. I think sometimes we need to take a moment to recognise the many things

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

LibLink: Willie Rennie – St Andrew’s Day: A proud Scot making the positive case for remaining within the UK

Over at the Endeavour Public Affairs blog, Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems Willie Rennie marks St Andrew’s Day, 30th November, by reflecting on the importance of Scottish identity … within the UK. Here’s an excerpt:

It is because I am a proud Scot that I want to see a constitutional settlement which gives us the best chance to get on in life. 2011 was the first year where the number of people aged 65 and over was higher than the number of those aged under 15. When it comes to providing stability for pensions, welfare and our economy

Posted in LibLink and Scotland | Leave a comment

SNP’s white paper on independence – some first reaction and three initial questions from me

For months, years, even, whenever we’ve asked questions about independence, after we’ve been accused of scaremongering, we’ve been told to wait for the White Paper.

Well, that wait is over as the White Paper has now been published - or is it? Scotland’s Future, it’s called. That’s profound. We have a future? That’s kind of inevitable. It doesn’t promise a bright future, or a happy one.

On the big questions of the day, such as the three on pensions, currency and cost posed by Alistair Carmichael two weeks ago, we are really none the wiser. We know what the SNP …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 39 Comments

Liberal Democrats react to BAE shipyard closures and job losses

Today’s news that 1775 jobs will be lost at BAE systems yards across the country and shipbuilding ended completely in Portsmouth has been met with concern by senior Liberal Democrats. Nobody ever wants to see major facilities being closed and so many people without work. It’s no surprise that one yard was going to have to close once the work was done on the aircraft carriers,  but foreknowledge doesn’t make it any easier.

First of all, Portsmouth Council leader Gerald Vernon Jackson told the BBC that this was the wrong decision at the wrong time and that the Government should have waited until the Scottish independence referendum was over to preserve shipbuilding capacity in England in the event of independence.

I’m no

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Willie Rennie and Iain Smith praise Sir Menzies Campbell

mingWe told you earlier that Sir Menzies Campbell had announced that he’s retiring as MP for North East Fife in 2015.  Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and fellow Fife Parliamentarian Willie Rennie had this to say:

Menzies Campbell’s wise and intelligent counsel has guided our nation through some of its most testing dilemmas.  From Yugoslavia to Iraq to Syria he has been insightful and calm but never feared standing out from the crowd.

For over thirty five years Ming has dedicated himself to his constituency of North East Fife and in return local people have put their trust in him.  He converted a healthy Conservative majority into a healthy Liberal Democrat one.

Ming Campbell excelled in life – from Olympic sprinter to Advocate to political statesman.  To have excelled at one would be remarkable but to have excelled at all three is truly astonishing.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Dunfermline by-election: why are you in?

Tim Brett why are you inThe Scottish Parliament by-election for the Dunfermline seat is well under way now. Our candidate Susan Leslie and leader Willie Rennie have had a great reception on the doorsteps. The other night there was a reminder of why we do this. It’s all about making people’s lives better. A woman ran up to Willie and Susan in the street and thanked him profusely. I can’t say what he’d done for her while he was MP for Dunfermline but this had been her first chance to say …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Salmond scores a massive own goal on Royal Mail

This week, Alex Salmond told Scots that their postal service would get worse if they voted for independence. Of course he didn’t actually say those words, but it’s the effect of his proposal. At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, he said that an independent Scotland led by him would bring the Royal Mail and postal service back into public ownership.

Let’s just leave aside the hundreds of millions that would cost for a minute, as well as the complexities of breaking up a UK wide service and defining the Scottish share. The biggest problem that would arise would be that …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Nick Clegg: “Liberal Democrat Voice is intriguing, infuriating and inspiring”

Nick Clegg at LDV AwardsNick Clegg was due to come to our Liberal Democrat Voice Awards on Saturday night to present the award for Councillor of the Year, which was won by Abi Bell from Hull.  I fully expected him to breeze in at the allotted hour, present the award and breeze out again. Actually, he turned up for the start of the event at 10 pm in very relaxed form and spent time chatting to people. When the awards got underway, he even acted as Paddy Ashdown’s assistant, showing …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Conference Preview: Sunday 15th September

This is the second part of my meander through the conference agenda. You can find Saturday’s here.

Those Powers that Be don’t miss a trick, do they? Part of Conference’s job is to scrutinise the party committees. So, when do they put on the report of the most unaccountable committee in the Party, the Federal Finance and Administration Committee? First thing on Sunday morning when many representatives will be sleeping off the effects of the Glasgow ales and whiskies from the night before. Immediately after comes the vote of the Parliamentary Parties. If you have any questions about, for example, …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

+++Convicted violent abuser Bill Walker resigns as MSP

16 days after his conviction for 23 charges of domestic violence against 3 former wives over a 28 year period, Dunfermline MSP has resigned his seat in Holyrood. Typically, he blamed the media pressure rather than his own actions.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

Good

Bill Walker should have understood immediately the gravity of his situation but it has taken sixteen days for the penny to drop.

It is sad that he continues to blame others instead of taking responsibility himself for his own actions.

It would have been wrong for someone convicted of so many counts of domestic violence to return

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Willie Rennie to Bill Walker: Do the right thing and resign

Hume_BettsworthWillie Rennie has written to Bill Walker, the MSP for Dunfermline who was convicted of 23 instances of assault against 3 ex wives and a stepdaughter over a 28 year period to ask him to resign his seat in the Scottish Parliament. Here’s his letter in full:

Dear Bill,

I am sure that you will be aware of the demands for your resignation from the Scottish Parliament from both members of the public and Members of the Scottish Parliament.

I was disappointed to read news reports that you are not planning to leave Parliament.

You

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

No, Alex Salmond, the case against independence is not the case “against Scotland”

By 10:30 pm last night, I thought the most shocking thing I was going to hear that evening was that the Blessed Mary Berry uses tinned, yes, that’s tinned,  peaches and pears in her trifle recipe.

Sadly this was not to be the case. Yesterday was Scotland’s the equivalent of the Queen’s Speech, when the Government unveils its legislative programme, except we get Alex Salmond instead of the Queen. To mark the occasion, he was interviewed for Scotland Tonight.

More of the interview than necessary was taken up with a discussion on which pro UK politician he would debate against in the …

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

Sir Malcolm Bruce MP to stand down in 2015

Malcolm announcement croppedSir Malcolm Bruce, speaking exclusively to the local newspaper in his Gordon constituency, has announced that he will be stepping down as MP for he seat he has represented for 30 years at the next General Election.

He told the Press and Journal:

I’d rather go when I’m fit, active, effective and, I hope, still enjoying it.

I think I’m going to feel quite liberated but I want people to know that I’m not retiring right now, I’m just announcing that I’m not going to stand at the next election. I’ll

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

There’s a convicted wife beater in my Parliament and he won’t resign…

It’s now 10 days since Bill Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, was convicted of 23 offences of violence against 3 wives and a stepdaughter over a 28 year period. So far, his only public comment has been to state to the Courier:

I never had any plans to vacate my seat and that’s it. I will just leave it at that.

That’s not good enough for many MSPs. Willie Rennie has put down a motion (like an Early Day Motion at Westminster) calling on him to resign. That has so far been signed by over 80 of his parliamentary colleagues. Willie has …

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



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarBill le Breton 20th Apr - 7:26pm
    Paul in T - I don't wish to labour the point nor am I saying that the Falkland's effect was a flash in the pan,...
  • User AvatarRoland 20th Apr - 7:12pm
    Thanks Simon for the correction. It would be interesting to know what the take up of the Stakeholder (personal) pension has been. As I suggest...
  • User Avatardaft ha'p'orth 20th Apr - 7:00pm
    @Ruaraidh "LDV below the line is just about as negative and dreary a place as it can be" It's a negative and dreary political universe,...
  • User AvatarRoland 20th Apr - 6:56pm
    Jenny Barnes - Thanks for the detailed response. I like your use of "Blue Peter" units to put some sense of scale on Ed Davey's...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Apr - 5:12pm
    On the question of how we will do in The Euros. We know that we have been reduced to our core vote in Local Elections...
  • User AvatarRuaraidh 20th Apr - 4:37pm
    @ChrisB I don't think there'd be a great reduction in the number of people visiting the site if there were no comments, given that it's...