Malcolm Bruce MP writes: The unlimited variety of 30 years in Parliament

Malcolm Bruce and Charles Kennedy have issued messages to mark their 30 year anniversaries as MPs. First up, Malcolm’s:

Thirty years ago this weekend, I was elected as Member of Parliament for Gordon –  for the first time and at the third attempt. It had taken nine years of sustained campaigning. I was of course exhilarated and excited but little realised that that was the first of seven successful elections.

Campaigning has changed beyond recognition. Then we had 60 plus public meetings and there was no Facebook or Twitter. Technology was limited too. Then there were no mobile phones, no e-mail and no desktop computers.

The boundaries, which in 1979 included not only Bucksburn, Dyce and Bridge of Don, but Donside and Deeside, have changed four times, seeing the seat move northwards, for eight years taking in Keith and Turriff before reverting to boundaries that again included the northern parts of the city.

There are too many events to recount. Nevertheless they include the winter of 1983/84 when we suffered massive power outages for thousands of premises over several weeks; then there was the BSE crisis when 1000 jobs were lost overnight because of the beef export ban; helicopter engineers captured in Nigeria, Sandra Gregory arrested in Thailand, both involving years of work to secure release.

Throughout I have campaigned on a variety of local issues – bypasses for Ellon, Bucksburn, Blackburn and Inverurie – and other road upgrades, the new Meldrum Academy, upgrades and replacements for other schools; campaigns for health services, community hospitals clinics etc.

Nationally I have spoken for my party on a variety of issues especially on the economy and the environment and of course Home Rule, including four years as Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

For the last eight years I have had the privilege of chairing the International Development Select Committee, which has given me a deep insight into the challenges of eliminating poverty in many of the world’s poorest countries.

I have also been involved with campaigns on behalf of deaf people as a Vice President of the National Deaf Children’s Society, and vice President and former trustee of Action on Hearing Loss and founder and chair of the All Party Group on Deafness.

The nights necessarily spent away from home add up to ten years. The diary pressure has always been relentless but the variety is immense and the opportunity to meet so many interesting people, most of them polite, and learn about so many areas of life makes it all worthwhile.

* Malcolm Bruce was the Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon until 2015 and was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2014-15. He led the Scottish Party from 1988-92 and is now a member of the House of Lords.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in News.

One Comment

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 ...?


Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    @ Joe, Meant to add this this link. There are lots of similar studies which are easily found if you Google the key words.
  • Peter Martin
    @ Joe, “We might all of us be willing to contribute to the relief of poverty, provided everyone else did.” Or we might not....
  • Alex Macfie
    @Peter: The electoral politics was a lot more complex than that, as I think you know perfectly well. There was no great collective decision by the "electorate" ...
  • Peter
    @Alex - I was referring to those in the Tory party who tried to scupper the result of their own government's referendum. The electorate did not forgive them. T...
  • Peter
    @William - To put your billions of tonnes into perspective, it is a mere 0.04% of the atmosphere. Water vapour is a much more powerful greenhouse gas and that c...