Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #10

Last month – in Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #8 – Ruaraidh Dobson wrote about the upcoming Freshers’ season, and how it was an exciting time to be in student politics. He wasn’t disappointed.

Liberal Youth Scotland and university societies across the country signed up droves of new party members, and vastly increased our university presence. St Andrews in particular, a society which had been in the doldrums for many years and has only recently been re-started, is now the largest political society at the University.

Aberdeen, who only re-started in January, signed up 60 new members to their society, making them one of the biggest university societies in the country. Glasgow University Lib Dems signed up 57 new party members, more than any other society in the UK in 2008.

These societies were all supported in their efforts by Liberal Youth Scotland, providing materials and manpower to help achieve these phenomenal successes. However, the work does not stop here.

All good Lib Dems know the overused slogan: “working hard all year round, not just at election time.” Well, Liberal Youth Scotland need to do the same, and are planning on doing just that.

This Saturday, 17th October, a large Liberal Youth Scotland contingent will descend on Edinburgh South to help campaign for Fred Mackintosh PPC, a candidate heavily involved in Edinburgh University Lib Dems. They will be joined by George Lyon MEP, in what is sure to be a very successful day. If you wish to join us, there will be a pick up from Haymarket train station at 1.30pm, and there is a guarantee of absolutely no tenements!

Liberal Youth Scotland continue to work with other youth organisations to fight for young people’s rights across the board. Last month, Tavish Scott signed up to NUS Scotland’s “Overstretched and Overdrawn” pledge, showing the Scottish Lib Dems commitment to working together to fight for students. Liberal Youth Scotland have also supported the NUS’s campaign for a national tenancy deposit scheme, a campaign heavily promoted by Katy Gordon PPC for Glasgow North, whose constituency encompasses Glasgow University.

Liberal Youth Scotland will be visiting many constituencies over the coming months to help campaign to get Lib Dems elected everywhere. We all understand the value of an effective campaigning youth wing, and the perils of having the reverse. The youth movement is not just a breeding ground for the MPs of the future, it is an active, energetic campaigning group. It’s an exciting time to get involved, and our active membership is increasing every day, with more and more people wanting to help in the fight for students’ rights.

So how do we go about winning the student vote? Well, it’s simple. We get out there, and we shout the message from the rooftops. Labour and the SNP only offer broken promises. The Conservatives offer painful disappointment. Only the Lib Dems can take the student agenda forward, and many students are turning to us in this time of financial crisis.

Once you manage to talk to a student, they find it almost impossible not to agree with our campaigns, and to support our movement. Students want to be part of a movement for change, and only the Lib Dems offer this. Get involved!

If you wish to employ the services of LYS in your area, get in touch! We’re easily bought – all we need is a good pub and a bacon sandwich. Many areas already have – Kirkcaldy, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, your area could be next for the Liberal Youth Scotland rockstar tour.

Look out for Liberal Youth Scotland hitting a town near you soon.

*Callum Leslie is Vice-President(Communications) of Liberal Youth Scotland, and you can follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cleslie92, or look out for him posting on www.liberalyouthscotland.org.uk

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This entry was posted in Op-eds and Scotland.

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