Congratulations to Sir Malcolm Bruce!

One of the highlights for me of the Queen’s Birthday Honours last month, as I wrote at the time, was the news that Malcolm Bruce, Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon since 1983, had been given a knighthood. This comes in his 30th year in Parliament and the 50th anniversary of him joining the Liberal Party.

Sir Malcolm is a former leader of the Scottish party and in that role made a searingly passionate speech to the 1992 Federal Spring Conference in Glasgow. Remembering it even twenty years on gives me goosebumps. Malcolm spoke for all of Scotland when he described his feelings of anger and betrayal over the Conservatives’ failure to deliver any sort of devolution. To this day, his speeches are a real Conference treat for me. He can do the knockabout political stuff with sharp humour, but his speeches have a scholarly, thoughtful, quality that always teach me something I didn’t know.

For me his knighthood is fully deserved for several reasons. Firstly, whether it’s challenging some deeply unpleasant governments over human rights, or, in his capacity as chair of the Commons International Development Select Committee, he is a wise, experienced and statesmanlike voice in international politics and relations.

Secondly, he’s worked tirelessly as an advocate  for people with deafness and hearing loss and remains a Vice President of the National Deaf Children’s Society, having originally become involved as his daughter was deaf.

Scottish leader Willie Rennie congratulated Sir Malcolm, saying:

This is a well deserved honour for a long serving and distinguished member of our party. He continues to be a strong liberal voice in Parliament and for his constituents

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is full of admiration for the Gordon MP, saying:

I want to know what Malcolm’s diet is because he clearly eats or drinks something that keeps him forever young. He is one of the most energetic MPs in the House of Commons today much as he was when he entered the Commons 25 years ago. It is amazing to see him run circles around MPs half his age in his tireless dedication to his constituents. He really is an institution in his own right in his own constituency but also in Westminster, as a chairman of a very important select committee. He is widely respected across party boundaries. I wonder whether his constituents realise how lucky they are to have someone who is not just a good constituency MP but someone who is really respected in Westminster. Westminster is a rough and rowdy place. There are not that many MPs – and Malcolm can count himself amongst them – who are listened to respectfully by all parties.

The impact that Sir Malcolm’s 30 years of public service have had, locally, nationally and internationally, make him a worthy recipient of one of the UK’s highest honours.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

3 Comments

  • Malcolm has undoubtedly had an impressive career and I have a high opinion of him. But MPs do seem to get Knighthoods rather easily compared to other fields. There are about 15-20 MPs with Knighthoods in Parliament (ie out of 650ish) – many of whom could not be said to have been the at the absolute head of their field in the way is required in other areas.

    Eg in Cricket your talking about Bradman, Botham, Richards, Hadlee, Hobbs, Hutton, Sobers and the like. With Olympians Hoy and Redgrave. I always feel slightly harsh when making this point but I’ve said the same about Bob Russell, Archy Kirkwood and Alan Beith over the years.

  • Tony Dawson 25th Jul '12 - 7:55pm

    Without doubt, the best Leader we Lib Dems never had.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJeanette Sunderland 16th Oct - 12:40am
    How disappointing that you referred to the colour of Joe's dress before you commented on what she said.... So disappointing.
  • User AvatarRoland 15th Oct - 11:01pm
    @Ross - Its probably more to do with peoples understanding of UK English grammar and thus the correct usage of Licence and License.
  • User AvatarTonyH 15th Oct - 10:17pm
    David Evans - "Ryan didn’t have any experience of UK politics." I was actually thinking about one E. Pamplin, but maybe that's ancient history now....
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 15th Oct - 8:14pm
    While I understand some of the concerns expressed in this thread I disagree about the threats facing us. Right now, it seems to be that...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 15th Oct - 8:09pm
    @ Katharine, I did think twice about including Guy Verhofstadt. I haven't done an extensive background check on his views, but I did turn up...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Oct - 8:05pm
    It also increases Iran's influence. Right next door to Israel sits an ally of theirs. Syria has a battlehardend population and army, with no fear...