Author Archives: Andrew Reeves

Opinion: the biggest news story in Scotland

When Paul asked me to write this blog post I was so chuffed to be asked, but, given we are in the middle of the Scottish Parliamentary elections, I was also really worried about being able to find the time to write it.

However, I have found the time and here it is. It may not be what you are expecting.

There is a massive story doing the rounds in Scotland and it is not about the election but about the tragic death of Mercedes the polar …

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Scotland gets a better budget thanks to the Liberal Democrats

I’m so proud to be a Liberal Democrat today

As both a member of staff with over ten years service and a party member even longer, the last eight months or so have often been difficult with the media developing an acid tongue against us many times.

But yesterday in Scotland we had some exciting news.

Yesterday was the day when the Scottish Parliament approved the budget.

It is a better budget because of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, after securing concessions to the budget on college bursaries and places, modern apprenticeships and support for Post Offices across Scotland.

This is a better budget. It’s …

Posted in News and Scotland | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: What does Stonewall want if it isn’t gay marriage?

I resigned from Stonewall many years ago when I realised that they don’t speak for me or much of the UK’s LGBT community and is too blinkered and led by its own politics, rather than campaigning for what their members want.

Ben Summerskill and Angela Mason before him only appear to do what Labour wanted, when Labour wanted it.

In recent weeks we have seen Stonewall attacked for their silence on the issue of gay marriage, but I want to throw in an extra attack on them before I get onto gay marriage.

If you visit the main Stonewall website …

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Nicol Stephen to stand down in May

Nicol Stephen MSP has announced he is standing down after nearly three decades in public life, first being elected a councillor, then an MP and latterly an MSP for Aberdeen South.

This isn’t the first time that Nicol has taken the Scottish political world by surprise with an unexpected announcement – just over two years ago he stood down as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats deciding to put his family first. Nicol and his wife Caris have four children – Macleod, 15, Mirrhyn, 13, Mharni, 9, and Drummond, 6.

I recall the day really well and my phone was buzzing …

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John Lamont MSP sticks two fingers up the Kelly Report and outspends 128 MSPs

Holyrood has released the figures for last year’s MSP expenses and there is one name that stands out from the crowd. That’s Conservative MSPJohn Lamont, who has spent nearly £30,000 in the last twelve months on postage and office costs.

These figures were released on the same day that David Cameron was touring the TV studios telling everyone how the Conservative Party were fully behind implementing all recommendations of the Kelly Report on MPs’ expenses.

One of the specific things he mentioned was that MPs shouldn’t be members of two Parliaments, which smacks of breathtaking hypocrisy given that John Lamont, MSP for …

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Glasgow North-East by-election update

Nominations closed yesterday for the Glasgow North East by-election with a mammoth 13 candidates, who in alphabetical order are:

  • Charlie Baillie, British National Party
  • Willie Bain, Labour
  • Eileen Baxendale, Liberal Democrats
  • Mev Brown, Independent
  • Colin Campbell, The Individuals Labour and Tory (TILT)
  • Ruth Davidson, Conservative
  • David Doherty, Green Party
  • Mikey Hughes
  • David Kerr, SNP
  • Louise McDaid, Socialist Labour Party
  • Kevin McVey, Scottish Socialist Party – Make Greed History
  • Tommy Sheridan, Solidarity
  • John Smeaton, Jury Team

The seat became vacant over 120 days ago, when former Speaker Michael Martin MP resigned over the MPs’ expenses and his handling, or failure to handle, the scandal. Here is a brief summary of the 13 candidates.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged and | 7 Comments

How you can help the Lib Dems in Glasgow North East

With the writ moved on Friday, all four main parties in Scotland are getting on with the campaign and their campaign launches. On Wednesday, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP both launched their campaigns, Thursday it was the turn of the Tories, and then on Monday it will be Labour’s turn.

The good people of Glasgow North East have now been 117 days without Westminster representation, and – as our candidate Eileen Baxendale said at the launch with Scottish Leader Tavish Scott – this is simply unacceptable, and Labour should be ashamed of themselves they have left it that long.

Tavish Scott, Eileen Baxendale and Robert Brown MSP launched the Liberal Democrats campaign at the Red Road flats in Sprinburn and joined a family there to listen to how they have been badly let down by both Labour and SNP Governments.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and Scotland | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Muslims won’t play with the gays!

We often see claims of racism and homophobia in sport today, more often than not though it is the fans who are accused of chants that are not as PC as they perhaps should be.

So when news of this story reached my in box from a few sources, I dug around and to be honest was appalled.

A Muslim amateur football team Creteil Bebel has pulled out of its planned game this weekend with Paris Foot Gay (PFG), saying it was against their religious beliefs to play against homosexuals.

In fact, Zahir Belgarbi, one of the team directors told Reuters: “As a Muslim,

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Opinion: Conservatives are complete hypocrites on LGBT issues as Section 28 raises its ugly head again

Do you remember Section 28, Clause 28 or even Section 2A? That awful piece of legislation introduced by the Conservatives back in 1988 prevented the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Thankfully it was repealed in Scotland on 21 June 2000 and then across the rest of the UK on 18 November 2003 – although living in Kent in 2004 was bad enough when the Conservative controlled County Council introduced their own mini-version of Section 28!

To be precise, the Act said; “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching …

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Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #6

It has been a busy time in Scotland over recent weeks and what with Holyrood in recess for a month before Westminster broke up, there have been holidays to work around, babies being born, MPs standing down and candidates being selected all over as well as an away day for all parliamentarians and campaign staff.

Archie Scott was born earlier this week, weighing 8.5lbs to the delight of Kirsten and Tavish, our sincere congratulations to them both.

Alison and Mike Moore also have recently had a baby, Ella Louise. Now, Ella Louise was born prematurely so Mike …

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Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism‏ #4

I have been in Scotland 11 months now and today I am shouting from the rooftops.

Today we have won two by-elections, not that we shouldn’t shout more often when we do win these but these two are particularly important for us in Scotland.

One was Inverness West ward, in Danny Alexander’s seat and although the SNP came second, we won this by-election on the first round with 60% of the vote and there was a 22% swing to us from the SNP and the Conservatives came a dismal 5th. So a fantastic result for Councillor Alasdair Christie, Danny Alexander MP …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Tagged | 4 Comments

News from Scotland: Save Our Forests

We have recently launched a major campaign in Scotland to “Save Our Forests” led by Jim Hume MSP, who served recently as a member of the Forestry Commission’s South of Scotland Regional Forestry Forum and for six years  a Trustee of the Borders Forest Trust.

The SNP are proposing to lease out 25% of the Forest Estate, but it is the most productive part – so according to the Forestry Union this would equate to 40% of the £41.4million income the Forestry Commission receives from timber sales. It would leave behind a very weak Forestry Commission (FC).

The FC was set up …

Posted in Scotland | Tagged | 3 Comments

Glenrothes

Now in my third month in Scotland, I’m on my second by-election.

Glenrothes has come around following the tragic death of John McDougall. It is one of four Parliamentary seats in Fife; we hold two of them, Sir Menzies Campbell in North East Fife and Willie Rennie in Dunfermline (which as you will recall we won in 2006 in the last by-election in Fife). Labour hold the other – it is Gordon Brown’s seat.

So, I’m asking you today to come and help us here in Fife.  I’m writing this piece as I watch Barack Obama’s speech knowing (and being jealous of) …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Update from Glasgow East

The poll from The Daily Telegraph shows Labour holding the seat with the Liberal Democrats in third place, but importantly ahead of the Tories.

This has been an interesting campaign and one where there has been such immense media interest.

There are four TV appearances for our candidate Ian Robertson, with the first having taken place as you can see here. The Scotsman rated Ian as coming out best in the debate, giving him 9/10:

Emerged as the surprise star of the show. He was effective, forthright and intervened sharply across his opponents.

Our sincere thanks go to all of the …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 10 Comments

Glasgow East latest

Well, they say a week is a long time in politics! Wednesday saw the shock resignation of our Scottish Party Leader, Nicol Stephen, on Thursday we selected East End Ian Robertson for the Glasgow East by-election and then on Friday Labour selected nobody because the favourite didn’t turn up … you couldn’t make this up, could you?

The Liberal Democrats have a great candidate in Ian Robertson, a great campaign office at 888 Shettleston Road, Glasgow, G32 7XN and a fantastic team coming together.

If you look at the posters on the lampposts it really is only the SNP and the Liberal …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged and | 22 Comments

News from Glasgow East

Just three and a half weeks after moving to Edinburgh to take up my new post as Deputy Director of Campaigns for Scotland, I find myself involved in another major election campaign!

We have selected born and bred Glaswegian Ian Robertson as our candidate to fight the by-election, and although the media are saying it is a two horse race we should remember that the SNP were in fact only 1,603 votes ahead of us in 2005.

This is an election that will be fought on the local issues that matter to the people in the East End of Glasgow – unemployment, …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 11 Comments
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