See if you can spot the flaw in The Scotsman’s reasoning

LDV reported this week on the Scottish Lib Dems’ decision to open talks with the SNP, following the casting vote rejection by the Holyrood parliament of the nationalists’ £33bn budget. In its budget analysis, The Scotsman poses the question, Why did the Lib Dems change their tune?

The article begins by mounting a fierce attack on the Scottish Lib Dems for ditching their principles:

Why had the party, which had adhered to its principle of a 2p cut in income tax throughout the process, suddenly thrown it all away to offer the SNP its support in getting the Budget through? In short, why had it ditched its principles? One opposition MSP offered a succinct response: “Because they are Liberal Democrats: it’s what they do.”

It then continues by mounting a fierce attack on the Lib Dems for standing up for their principles:

Senior Liberal Democrats explained their change of heart by arguing they had put forward their proposals for a cut in income tax, and the parliament had rejected that idea so they were now moving on. … However, that does not really stack up. If it was really the case, the Liberal Democrats would have backed down on their 2p income tax cut after it was clear it commanded no support in parliament, maybe even as early as after the initial stage-one vote on the Budget.

But they did not; they carried right through and caused the defeat of the Budget bill on Wednesday night purely on a point of principle, even though they knew the parliament did not support their tax plans.

Thanks for clearing that one up, The Scotsman – perhaps next time you can work through the distinction between principle (what Tavish Scott and his colleagues displayed) and dogma (what Tavish and his colleagues are avoiding).

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


  • You’re misrepresenting what the article is saying. It’s not “mounting a fierce attack on the Lib Dems for standing up for their principles”. The author is simply saying that he doesn’t believe the reason given by “senior liberal democrats” is consistent with the party’s previous actions.

  • Personally, I wouldn’t get too concerned about what the Scotsman thinks – it’s trying (and failing dismally) to turn itself into a tartan Daily Mail, and hasn’t been on a centrist platform since Andrew Neil adn teh Barclay brothers came along – it hasn’t chanegd since they left.

    Funny though. The Scotsman ditches the political views of its main readership, and then wonders why its circulation is falling off a cliff? (And no, I don’t work for the Herald!)

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

  • User AvatarDoug Chisholm 4th Jul - 7:36am
    Really great article, comforting to read something so reasoned and realistic. I really hope you get elected next time. We need you.
  • User AvatarPramod Subbaraman 4th Jul - 7:06am
    Ah! Chris Cory, well observed. We are brilliant at talking the talk. As for walking the walk, that’s another story. Don’t forget that Sam came...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 4th Jul - 5:59am
    It might be a good idea if the leadership hustings could include sessions in which each candidate was interviewed individually by Andrew Neil, Cathy Newman...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 4th Jul - 5:23am
    The words right and left wing were invented by people. Like any words they have the meanings that people give to them. If we want...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 4th Jul - 2:29am
    Some define their left wingness by how much they hate Conservative policies rather than any positive criteria.
  • User AvatarMike Read 4th Jul - 12:23am
    Good post, thank you. As someone who voted in every leadership contest the party has ever had I am very undecided this time! In the...