Author Archives: Hamish Mackenzie

Opinion: Where now?

Over the last two years I have worked as a campaign organiser with Lib Dem MPs in the Highlands and Islands. However, after last night’s terrible results that is now over for me. I can’t pretend that I am not bitterly disappointed, not merely for myself but because we have lost some of the finest politicians of this generation from the Commons, at a time when experienced level headed liberals are needed most. Many excellent Constituency Organisers, who I have worked with, have now lost their jobs and many wonderful volunteers have given up their time and effort and feel like it has come to nothing in so many places. All of this is through no fault of their own and in spite of running brilliant ground campaigns as Lib Dems so often do. But, hey, that’s democracy.

As Lib Dems we are hurting; every member, activist and supporter should feel hard done by because we went into coalition because it was in the national interest and we’re being punished for it. Our opponents and the media have now written us off as a sideshow or an irrelevance, but I truly believe that we can come back, that we can once again act as a constructive alternative to the “red to blue to red to blue” politics that we’ve all campaigned against for so long.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 24 Comments

Opinion: Federalism and Constitutions

When I was 17 I took AS level politics, it was possibly the most unpopular subject in school,  my most abiding memory of this class  was talking about constitutions. We went into great theoretical depth about the type and purpose of constitutions before discussing whether or not the UK should have one. Everyone just assumed that having a codified and entrenched constitution (aka written constitution) was a far off fantasy that served no real purpose; we hardly even bothered mooting the positives of such a document.

The Scottish independence referendum has made it abundantly clear that the UK will be changed forever. A central plank of the Yes campaign was the writing of a new constitution. The very fact that no one, on either side, questioned the need for an Independent Scotland to have a constitution shows that people in the UK aren’t uniquely incapable of grasping the case for a constitution but rather the fact that things seem to be OK right now so why bother? There is, simply put, no impetus for a UK constitution.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 8 Comments
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