Eileen McCartin to become President of Scottish Liberal Democrats

Eileen McCartin has been a Councillor in Paisley, first for the SDP and then the Liberal Democrats for some 27 years. She and former MP for Argyll and Bute Alan Reid were Willie Rennie’s “political parents” as they were key influences on him when he was a student in Paisley. They helped him when he achieved a cracking 26% in a by-election in the Paisley Foxbar ward in 1988. Willie talked to the Scotsman about it here and you get a sense of how that campaign shaped his values:

After school he applied to Paisley College to study ecology and land management. Living in a flat which cost just 14 a month rent and rates – and had no hot water or heating of any kind – made Rennie more keenly aware of the divide between the haves and have-nots. “I had to wash at the old swimming baths in Storey Street.” he recalls.

I’d been interested in some political stuff at school. I used to get agitated about environmental issues and so on. But this was different.” He was elected deputy president of the Student Union, and took a year’s sabbatical from his course. “Don’t be silly, vote for Willie” was the never-to-be-repeated slogan. But when he returned to his studies he found that “cell biology just wasn’t the same.” So he stood for council election in Paisley Foxbar in 1988.

“The inequalities in housing and amenities were a real shock. I used to go into people’s houses in Foxbar, and I’d be horrified. There was mould growing on the walls, they were so damp. I remember one couple who lived at the top of a tenement in Foxbar. They couldn’t ever leave the house at the same time, or their neighbours would break in and strip the place. No-one should have to live like that.”

Rennie forced the Lib Dem vote share from zero to 26 per cent, and a politician was born.

In the recent Scottish elections, Eileen was elected President of the Party, succeeding Malcolm (now Lord) Bruce. She will take office on January 1st. It’s great to see the role go to a senior councillor. Eileen’s experience and common sense will be invaluable at a national level.

The Paisley Daily Express reported on her election last week – and illustrated it with a photo I took at our last Executive meeting of Eileen (right), Scottish Convener-elect Sheila Thomson and Party President Sal Brinton.

Sal, Sheila & Eileen from Paisley Daily Express

Scotland has at least managed to produce a majority of female office bearers with Sheila as Convener, Eileen as President, me as Treasurer, Isobel Davidson as Policy Convener  and Jenni Lang as Conference Convener. The individual committees aren’t particularly diverse at the moment but each individual committee convener has an obligation to consider diversity and has the right to make co-options accordingly.

* 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 News.
Advert

One Comment

  • What’s encouraging about the Scottish party elections is the real mix of experienced campaigners and new members who have been elected this time round. That in itself gives hope for the future.

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 AvatarAndrew Melmoth 29th May - 7:52pm
    We will get through this crisis because of the integrity and sense of responsibility of people like James, who represents the undiminished decency of the...
  • User AvatarIsabelle Parasram 29th May - 7:42pm
    Thanks for writing this article Anita. I've emailed you and hope to speak to you soon about some of your very practical ideas and how...
  • User AvatarStephen 29th May - 7:08pm
    James O’Brien is for me an honest journalist who is true to his beliefs if only more of the media were honest. He has come...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 29th May - 7:04pm
    I can't help feeling that 90% success for UBI might represent progress...How many people are stuffed by present arrangements?
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 29th May - 6:59pm
    " “Ten reasons why a ‘Greater Depression’ for the 2020s is inevitable" It looks like this article was written before the Covid-19 outbreak started and...
  • User AvatarDavid Garlick 29th May - 6:28pm
    It may take a while but the evidence seems to suggest that, much as promulgated here, there will be a return to an 'old style...