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.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 14 Comments

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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    Katharine Pindar 5th Jul '20 - 7:16pm Yes, and conveniently the politicians who made the decision to omit social care from the NHS are all...
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    Picking up a few points that Anthony and Peter have made on cars The 6500 target is I think just for rapid chargers on motorways....
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 5th Jul - 7:16pm
    Having listened to the excellent interview with Sir Simon Stevens again, courtesy of BBC I player, he was linking the idea that Beveridge would want...
  • User AvatarPeter 5th Jul - 6:04pm
    Antony, where are you going to get the electricity to power millions of cars, especially on a windless night. Where will you get the cobalt,...
  • User AvatarKevin Langford 5th Jul - 5:11pm
    3) on party strategy; this has many elements. In relation to the points raised a) We need to have some consistent, clear and distinctive things...
  • User AvatarKevin Langford 5th Jul - 5:10pm
    So quite a bit to respond to here - and apologies to some that I was out when this went live! To pick up three...