Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #2

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This is the second in a regular, and now named, series of articles by Scottish-based bloggers giving their thoughts about developments in Scottish politics.

On Friday evening I’d just completed a long week at the office in one sense wishing I was in Harrogate with my fellow Lib Dems – but at the same time too exhausted for a full weekend of Conference, having squeezed one full extra day into the week that would go without payment as a result of a freeze on overtime. But as I walked to the bus through Edinburgh Park I saw that lights were still on in some of the banks’ buildings – RBS, Bank of Scotland and HSBC – all of whom I passed. At least they were also working beyond 5.30 pm on a Friday evening, hopefully to help the economy in these difficult times. That is something that the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, would do well to remember.

The vote in Holyrood last Thursday, as covered here on LDV, wasn’t just something to scupper all hope of a referendum that the SNP hold dear (so dear in fact that it was described in Friday’s Times as Mr Salmond’s “fixation”). No, it did for more as the Lib Dem amendment was one to empower the Scottish people and parliament to help our economy in difficult times.

As we move on from a successful conference at Harrogate, Scottish eyes are already set for our own conference this coming weekend. There is a clear theme that takes up the message of that vote in Holyrood, and echoes Nick Clegg’s bold speech from the weekend. As well as looking at more powers for the Scottish Parliament the agenda also includes exploring an economic recovery package for Scotland, minimum income guarantees, and financial inclusion for low income borrowers.

So while the First Minister and his SNP colleagues were content to sit on a budget that does so little to address and help the economics of our time, the Lib Dems in Scotland will be looking at four substantive motions to help the people of Scotland. Like those who were working late on Friday in the banks I passed, our party isn’t prepared to do nothing.

Over the weekend no doubt the Scottish bloggers will be keeping you updated with how we are looking to offer help that truly paves the way to a better future. Hat-tip, by the way, to Cllr Andrew Chamberlain from Ayrshire for coming up with the name Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism that was overwhelming loved from the Scottish Bloggers.

* Stephen Glenn is a Lib Dem activist and former PPC based in West Lothian and blogs at Stephen’s Linlithgow Journal. (You can find the first article in this series, by Bernard Salmon, here).

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This entry was posted in Conference, Op-eds and Scotland.
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8 Comments

  • Stepehen, no matter how it is dressed up the decision by Tavish Scott to deny the people of Scotland a chance to vote in a referendum is hugely hypocritical. For the unionists among us there will never be a good time for this referendum but for the democrats? Whats to be afraid of? Do you not think the Lib Dems should use their pivotal ,position within the Parliament to get the multi option referendum pushed through to enable the Parliament to have fiscal autonomy at the very least. For those that dont want this referendum, there will always be the exzcuse that its not a good time etc..No one is fooled and being that it is such a huge issue its embarrasing that Tavish wants to deny us the chance. Im glad more enlightened members such as John Farquahar Munro have voiced their support for a referendum.Is achieving fiscal autonomy not a better way to help kickstart our economy?

  • Dont_let_democracy_get_in_your_way 12th Mar '09 - 9:29am

    Oh dear, too busy for democracy? don’t want to allow the prols to vote?

    I’d like to hear your take on whether this is a valid approach to be taken at the next general election – The economy is in the toilet and we need to focus on that, so we’ve decided not to have a general election and just let the Labour Government in Westminster carry on, ok?

    Didn’t think you would be for that somehow ………..

    spin, spin, spin, spin ….. all spinners think that if they dash past it quickly, no-one will notice the giant hole in their argument

  • “the decision by Tavish Scott to deny the people of Scotland a chance to vote in a referendum is hugely hypocritical.”

    How so? Wasn’t he elected on a platform of opposition to a referendum?

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