Lib Link: Christine Jardine – Scottish Lib Dems on the ropes but definitely not down and out

Christine Jardine was until recently the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ very own CJ inside Downing Street as special adviser on Scottish affairs. She’s now returning to full time politics in Scotland and is looking towards Westminster and Holyrood elections in 2015 and 2015. She’s started off by writing in yesterday’s Scotsman about what she sees as the way forward for the party in Scotland.

She puts forward a robust defence of the calm professionalism of our ministers, MPs and advisers and argues that we activists need to get out on the doorsteps and take the message of their achievements directly to the voters.

For the past two years it has put repairing the economy first and accepted that some Conservative policies were part of the coalition bargain to allow them to achieve the Liberal goals of a fairer society and a rebalanced, greener economy.

I know first-hand that this is a team which takes a mature reasonable approach. Yes, there are frustrations to coalition, but they are worked on. It’s a team that sticks tight and remembers there’s a bigger picture.

Time and time again Lib Dem ministers and MPs have delivered the clear contractual commitments that were part of the coalition agreement.

In return, they have won the raising of the tax threshold so that 96,000 Scots now pay no tax at all and two million more have had their tax cut. Pensioners are now guaranteed an annual rise linked to the real increases in their living costs and the Scotland Act has delivered the extra powers that opinion polls tell us the majority of Scots want.

She also points out, as I did just after the Scottish local elections, that in the seat of the Scottish Liberal Democrat MP most closely associated with the coalition, we made gains and did well across the rest of the highlands. I recently spent some time with Danny’s team when I was up north and have been really impressed with the vigour and enthusiasm with which they are getting out on the doorsteps. It’s something we need to repeat across Scotland.

You can read the article in full here.

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

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5 Comments

  • Another reminder that I really must watch the West Wing to avoid not getting all these references. Thanks Caron!

  • Martin Pierce 19th Jul '12 - 7:51am

    “Another reminder that I really must watch the West Wing to avoid not getting all these references. ”

    Took me a moment too. For those of us of a certain age, CJ can only mean Reggie Perrin. “I didn’t get where I am today…”

  • David Evans 19th Jul '12 - 9:28am

    @ Caron

    “She also points out, as I did just after the Scottish local elections, that in the seat of the Scottish Liberal Democrat MP most closely associated with the coalition, we made gains and did well across the rest of the highlands.”

    Caron

    I struggle to see where you get this statement from.

    As far as I can see there are nine wards in Danny’s constituency, where in 2012 our gains and losses were:-
    Aird & Loch Ness 4 seats 1 Lib Dem no change
    Badenough & Strathspey 4 seats 1 Lib Dem no change
    Culloden & Ardersier 4 seats 1 Lib Dem no change
    Inverness Central 4 seats 0 Lib Dem 1 loss
    Inverness Milburn 4 seats 1 Lib Dem no change
    Inverness Ness Side 4 seats 1 Lib Dem no change
    Inverness South 4 seats 2 Lib Dem 1 gain
    Inverness West 4 seats 1 Lib Dem no change
    Nairn 4 seats 0 Lib Dem 1 loss

    So it looks to me that we made one gain – not gains –
    And we made two losses – not mentioned.

    As for doing well across the rest of the Highlands – on Highlands council we made a net loss of six seats.

    Can you clarify?

  • @David Evans

    Also worth remembering that in and around the HIghlands there was in Aberdeenshire ( with a long standing Lib Dem MP) a net loss of 12 seats (50% of the previous total), a loss of 3 seats in Perth and Kinross ( 38% reduction) and a wipe out in Stirling where all 3 Lib Dem councillors lost their seats. In Fife where there is a high profile Lib Dem MP there was a loss of 11 seats (over 50% loss) and in the Scottish Borders where there is another there was a loss of 4 seats (40% loss).

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