Author Archives: Ian MacFadyen

Liberal ideas for the future of Leeds – new book in a ninety year-old tradition

The Leeds Yellow Book 2018: Essays on a Liberal Future for Leeds, was launched on Friday 16th February, in a packed venue by Lord Dick Newby, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Honorary Leeds Alderman Michael Meadowcroft, Liv Powell of Leeds Young Liberals and Ian MacFadyen (all pictured above at the launch from left to right, Ian MacFadyen, Lord Newby, Liv Powell, Michael Meadowcroft).

The Leeds Yellow Book 2018 is a collection of essays by Liberal Democrats and liberals outside the party offering ideas on how to ensure that everyone in Leeds, however they started, can make life better for themselves, their family and their community. The Leeds Yellow Book 2018 has been compiled and edited by Michael Meadowcroft, Liz Bee and Ian MacFadyen. It is available from [email protected] or 0113 257 6232.

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Forget a second referendum!

For the UK to remain in EU, a second EU referendum on the terms of Brexit is a false goal. It implies Liberal Democrats will oppose the terms when they are known, whatever they are. We risk being accused of wanting the worst outcome for our country, to justify our opposition.

Actually, the terms don’t matter. Most Brexiteers, especially in government, just want to leave, without terms, a divorce bill or a transition, in order to end immigration and continental entanglements.

Calling for a second referendum, assumes Remain could win. The lamentable Remain campaign in the 2016 referendum and the …

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Opinion: How to tell the SNP?

No yes scotland photo by kyoshi masamuneHow do we point out to SNP supporters that they should vote No next Thursday to save their party, without alarming No voters?

The survival of the SNP depends on a No vote.  The party exists to campaign, lobby and bully for independence achieved through a Yes vote in the referendum.  It has no other purpose.  If it wins the referendum, even by a single vote, it will have achieved its purpose and have no further reason to exist.

The SNP is not a liberation movement like the ANC or SWAPO, whose victory founded democracy in states where the previous oppression and authoritarianism meant there were no alternative democratic political parties and the liberation movements have continued while politics develops.

Scotland is a vibrant democracy.  Scottish Parliament elections change Scottish governments.  The Liberal Democrats – and Labour and the Conservatives and the Greens – have purposes related to improving people’s lives and pursue policies related to doing that in changing circumstances.

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Opinion: I’ve changed my mind on Scottish independence

I’ve changed my mind over Scottish independence and so on which way I would vote in the referendum on 18 September.

Although a Liberal and Liberal Democrat, I welcomed the SNP’s election progress from the 1967 Hamilton by-election to their first administration in the Scottish Government.  As a school and college student, trying to be different, I would talk to girls about Scottish independence.  As a chat up technique it was a total failure!  Only a few years ago, I wrote in an email about wanting to be on the northern side of the border when Scotland became independent.

I displayed a sham certainty that melted several years ago before the prospect of a referendum after the SNP’s election victories.

In fact all along I was arguing for federalism with a passion that persists.

Why when, Liberal Democrats are jostling to explain why they are voting Yes, have I abandoned my flirtation and do I passionately want a No vote?

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 2:33am
    Peter Martin, I don't want to repeat the same conversation ad infinitum. This recent Intelligencer article summarises the points I have previously made re: MMT...
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 21st Jan - 12:04am
    David, I obviously meant Lib Dem, not Lib Cem! (It’s getting late - so it’s now goodnight from me.)
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 20th Jan - 11:52pm
    @David Raw - 10.51pm Sadly, you’re most probably right that it is unlikely, largely for the reasons that you’ve stated. I’ve been a loyal Lib...
  • User AvatarMartin 20th Jan - 11:26pm
    The somewhat strange vote of confidence means that May can struggle on, priding herself on her inflexibility, yet delaying the Brexit problem as much as...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Jan - 10:51pm
    @ Sean " suspending normal party political rivalries and fighting that election (in Scotland at least) as a ‘Stop Brexit’ Coalition …. " Very unlikely....
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 20th Jan - 10:23pm
    @David Raw - thanks for posting the excellent speech by Betty Boothroyd; she’s clearly as sharp and incisive as ever and certainly doesn’t mince her...