Tag Archives: christine jardine

Edinburgh West profile: Labour candidate accepts that voters will vote tactically to defeat the SNP

Radio 4’s PM programme covered Edinburgh West the other night and the profile was surprising in some ways. The Labour candidate, Mandy Telford, was pretty candid about tactical voting to stop the SNP:

Labour is out there fighting for every vote but ultimately we are dead set against the SNP and their desire to have an unwanted second divisive independence referendum. That’s the message we are getting back on the doorsteps very strongly. People will use their votes in whatever way they want to defeat the SNP.

It’s a cleverly crafted comment. She’s obviously not endorsing any other candidate but she’s summed up the reality of the situation on the ground pretty well.

People want a decent MP who will champion what is important to them and fight their corner. In Edinburgh West they know that Lib Dems deliver on that score. They are also highly motivated to get the SNP and to do whatever it takes to do so. Here and elsewhere I have been staggered by the intensity of people’s desire to see the back of the nationalists for all sorts of reasons. It’s primarily independence, but they are also sick fed up of falling school standards and an NHS lurching from one crisis to another.

Our Christine Jardine had this to say.

People are looking for the party who are more likely to beat the SNP and in this election stopping that independence bandwagon is the most important thing.

Conservative and Labour voters recognise it’s the Liberal Democrats who can beat the SNP.

That was certainly backed up by two Tory voters who were interviewed saying that they were voting Lib Dem.

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Canvassing in the sunshine

The idea of knocking on strangers’ doors and asking them how to vote can be a bit daunting. Even those of us who are experienced at it can feel a bit nervous about doing it sometimes – but the good news is that as soon as you are out and you have knocked on a few doors, you really start to enjoy it.

Last night I headed out for my first big canvassing session with the fantastic Edinburgh West team.

We were in an area of the constituency which is not part of Alex Cole-Hamilton’s Scottish Parliament seat. It was a beautiful evening, with warm sunshine and pink cherry blossom. It’s an area where we have in the past successfully persuaded people who support other parties to vote tactically for us. With the Tories surging in Scotland, would they still be willing to do so?

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In pictures: Tim Farron in Edinburgh West tonight

Tim Farron has been in Scotland today. He started off this morning in East Dunbartonshire with Jo Swinson, went on to North East Fife with Willie Rennie and local candidate Elizabeth Riches and ended the day in Edinburgh West, at Davidson’s Mains Primary School in the Almond Ward with Alex Cole-Hamilton and Christine Jardine. As Alex pointed out in his speech, 13 months ago, that area had no Liberal Democrat representation. Thanks to the power of that #libdemfightback, we now have an MSP and Cllrs Kevin Lang and Louise Young elected with a massive majority.

I was there, for the first time in a long time doing duty as a Lib Dem diamond bearer behind the leader as he spoke to a crowd of around 100 activists.

The advance team spent a while getting us in the right position for the camera shots and got us to practice our cheering.

Then we saw The Bus reversing down the narrow school lane.

And then he was here.

Alex and Christine spoke first and then Tim delivered what in the West Wing would be called “modified stump” – our basic pitch with embellishments for topical events (immigration targets today) and venue). It’s absolutely bang on.

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Rennie, Cole-Hamilton and Campbell launch Christine Jardine’s campaign to take back Edinburgh West

You know that wonderful post-election Saturday morning feeling, that you can lie in bed for a bit longer and you don’t have to rush off and do anything? When you can lie about all day reading trashy novels and drinking gin and tonic in the sunshine?

Well, it will be lovely when we get it in 5 weeks’ time.

Today, we had to drag our weary limbs out of bed sooner than we would have liked and head out campaigning.

In my case, it was to the Edinburgh West campaign launch. Regular readers will know that last week, the Edinburgh West campaign moved into the old SNP office next door to what is now Alex Cole-Hamilton’s constituency office.

Some considerable pleasure was taken in removing the giant poster of Nicola Sturgeon on the window. It has now been replaced with this:

So, this morning the office was jam packed with party members, including our new councillors Kevin Lang, Louise Young and Hal Osler, a film crew making the party election broadcast, a bunch of photographers and Tom Gordon, political editor of the Sunday Herald.

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Watch: Christine Jardine in BBC Health debate “Let medical professionals do their job”

On Tuesday night, Aberdeenshire East candidate Christine Jardine took part in a BBC Scotland debate on health. This is one area in which the SNP has consistently failed. We are going to be 700 GPs short by the end of the decade, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get a GP appointment, there are no mental health beds for children north of Dundee, and there’s a LOT of Scotland north of Dundee and mental health care is even worse than it is south of the border. In addition to all of that, health professionals often find that top-down targets get in the way of them doing their job.

Watch Christine take on the SNP Health Minister on all these points. The Minister at one point suggested that criticising the SNP’s health policy was in some way talking the NHS down – their usual refuge when they know they are on the losing side of an argument.

Here are Christine’s highlights:

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Christine Jardine quizzes Salmond on his “curious” view that he prefers people “of faith”

It was never likely that I’d make it on to Alex Salmond’s Christmas card list. After all, he thinks that people who don’t support independence are making the case “against Scotland.” Now, it appears, there’s another reason for him to disapprove of me; I don’t have a religious faith.

Pink News has a video clip of him saying:

I  am biased of course because I am a Church of Scotland adherent and I prefer people of faith to people of no faith or people who have lost their faith.

Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Aberdeenshire East seat next May has written to him to question this rather odd opinion:

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Christine Jardine selected to fight Aberdeenshire East for Holyrood election

Christine jardineChristine Jardine put up one hell of a fight against Alex Salmond in the Gordon constituency this year. She got 1500 more votes than Malcolm Bruce had 5 years earlier and is in a very clear second place to challenge the SNP in the future.

She has now been selected to fight the Aberdeenshire East constituency in May next year for the Scottish Parliament.

The Ellon Times has the story:

A delighted Christine said: “Its very humbling to know that people are prepared to put their faith in you. I had a lot of support in the general election – 19,030 votes – and, while it’s clear we have a lot of work to do, I know those people, and the many others who have joined the party, are looking to us to repair the health service, improve education and protect jobs.

I am determined that the next Scottish Government will give us here in the North East a better deal on health, education, housing and more.

I’m a Liberal. I believe politics is not about nations or states it’s about people, about individuals and should always put them first.

Nobody should have to travel to another town to find a GP, or to the central belt for an operation or wonder if their child will have a teacher when the term resumes.

Those are the things I want to change. That I will work to change and I will ask the electorate to help by making me their next MSP.

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Alex Salmond tries to claim SNP credit for policies introduced by the Lib Dems when he wasn’t even an MSP

Alex Salmond must have been too busy with his book signings to actually check his facts. Literature going out in his name in the Gordon constituency makes some interesting, and easily disprovable claims. From the Scotsman:

Free personal care and the Scotland-wide free bus travel pass scheme was brought in by the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition which preceded the current SNP administration at Holyrood. But literature being distributed by Mr Salmond’s campaign team in Gordon claims the SNP “led the way” on this policy.

Even for Salmond that is a cheek, as our candidate Christine Jardine pointed out:

Experience has taught us that Alex Salmond sometimes has problems remembering the fine detail of the actualité, but, even by his standards, these are blatant untruths. It’s typical of the SNP’s attempts to rewrite history, but I’m confident that voters in Gordon will see past these false claims and remember that the Lib Dems have a genuine record of working with like-minded colleagues to deliver real improvements

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Alex Salmond postpones US book tour as Christine Jardine’s campaign goes from strength to strength

Salmond New YorkThe Herald reports that Alex Salmond has postponed a trip to the US to promote his book which had, incredibly, been due to take place in just 10 days’ time, after the start of the general election campaign.

His publishers pencilled in signings in New York and Toronto for the week after next, during the annual Scotland Week festivities.

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford was also lined up to appear at a hustings in Gordon, where Mr Salmond is the SNP candidate, during his absence.

Jean Marie Kelly of HarperCollins in New York said yesterday: “Unfortunately, we only have him in Toronto for one day and in New York for one day so a very whirlwind trip.

“We are just firming the exact dates and times, but all indications are the week of April 6.”

However after press enquiries to the SNP, Mr Salmond’s plans melted away.

His rival candidates in Gordon said a transatlantic tour mid-election would have demonstrated an ego “spiralling out of control”.

What’s interesting is that there seems to be some new law of the universe that requires every mention of Salmond’s book to be accompanied by Paddy Ashdown’s memorable review of it. The Liberal Democrat election chair said that the book was:

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Campaigners flock to Gordon to help Christine Jardine

Christine Jardine canvassing selfieI wasn’t surprised to see Alex Salmond ahead in the Ashcroft poll on Gordon. After all, he’s been everywhere at the moment. He has even, entirely coincidentally, of course, started a regular column in one of the local papers.

The thing is, Christine Jardine and her campaign team have always known that they faced a challenge. She doesn’t have the benefit of incumbency, apart from anything else. That’s why they have been working so hard in the year since she was selected to fight the seat. What the Ashcroft poll put beyond doubt was that she has firmly established herself as the clear challenger to Salmond and the SNP. If you are an undecided voter in Gordon who doesn’t want Salmond or the SNP to win, the poll makes it clear that you need to vote for Christine.

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Oops! 15 Ashcroft Scottish polls published early by mistake

With a hat-tip to Mark Pack, LDV alumnus.

We were expecting Lord Ashcroft’s Scottish polls today.

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Christine Jardine attracts cross-party support in her quest to become MP for Gordon

Christine jardineLiberal Democrat PPC for Gordon is receiving offers of help from people who campaigned for a No vote in the independence referendum last September. These include supporters of both Labour and Conservative parties who are prepared to vote for her to stop Alex Salmond’s return to Westminster.

There will be no official pact between the parties but Christine won a lot of friends during the referendum campaign with her infectious enthusiasm and endless energy so it’s hardly surprising that they think she’s more than a match for Salmond.

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Malcolm Bruce: People will realise the positive impact Lib Dems have made in Government and will want more of us there

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Sir Malcolm Bruce told the Herald recently that Nick Clegg is “strong and resilient” and that the Liberal Democrats have achieved much in government. When people reflected on the last five years, he said, they would want to see us in Government again:

The MP for Gordon said voters would in the next few months have to “think very hard” about what outcome they wanted on May 8.

“At the moment, people are in protest, they don’t like the fact we’ve had a really hard economic time and, therefore, they are not prepared at the moment to reward the Coalition government. But when they consider what the alternatives are and what the outcome might be, they will firm up their support for the Coalition because they will recognise that it has brought about a recovery that the other parties could throw away,” argued Sir Malcolm.

When it was pointed out that the Lib Dems were fourth in Scotland and fourth or sometimes fifth across the UK, the deputy leader insisted people should not prejudge the outcome of the election.

“There are people out there yet to make up their mind and when they reflect the positive things the Liberal Democrats have achieved on tax, pensions, the green agenda and schools, they will want to see more not fewer Liberal Democrats in the next parliament; that’s what our campaign’s going to be about.”

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What does Alex Salmond think he’s playing at?

 

When he saw the writing on the wall and was desperate to get people to vote Yes, Alex Salmond made a last ditch appeal on the Andrew Marr Show the Sunday before the independence referendum. He said that people had a once in a generation or even a lifetime chance to vote for independence and they should take it.

Now, it was fairly clear to me and I expect most other people that he absolutely didn’t mean what he was saying. There was no way that the entire nationalist movement was just going to give up and take up crochet if they lost. Of course they were not. They sincerely believe that independence is the best option for Scotland in the same way that I believe that a liberal approach to our problems is the best way to run a society. I’ll never give up my quest to see a truly liberal world.

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Game on in Gordon: Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine has to defend seat against former First Minister Salmond

imageIn the biggest surprise since the sun last rose in the east, Alex Salmond will announce today that he’s going to be standing for the Westminster Parliament in the Gordon Constituency which is currently held by Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Sir Malcolm Bruce.

It’s almost a year since Christine Jardine was selected to fight the seat. She has been leading a fun and spirited campaign since then which saw voters in Gordon reject independence by almost 2:1. Her campaign manager is the party legend who masterminded Nicol Stephen’s election campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s. Mr Salmond should underestimate them at his peril.

Salmond represents part of the Gordon constituency at Holyrood. He no doubt thinks that he can do as he did in 2007, swan in to the seat and win. Certainly the SNP will resource his campaign to the max and there are plenty new members in that party to help out.

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Alex Salmond to make Westminster comeback – threat to Lib Dem seat of Gordon?

Alex Salmond - License Some rights reserved by Ewan McIntoshFormer Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has hinted he might make a comeback at Westminster, as the BBC reports:

Alex Salmond has said he has not made up his mind whether or not to stand for a Westminster seat at the next general election. The outgoing Scottish first minister was asked on the BBC’s Question Time programme if he would consider becoming an MP again. Mr Salmond said he had “absolutely decisively” not made up his mind, but agreed that the door was not closed.

Alex Salmond made his name at Westminster, as MP for Banff and Buchan for 23 years (1987-2010). However, two factors will be in his mind.

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LibLink: Christine Jardine – From the fourth estate to Westminster

Christine Jardine, who was recently selected as PPC for Gordon, has been interviewed by the Deeside Piper – the newspaper she used to edit – about her selection and her journey from journalist to politician.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

DEESIDE PIPER: What do you hope to achieve if voted for by the people of Gordon?

CHRISTINE JARDINE: Over the last 30 years, Malcolm has been a strong voice for the people of Gordon and that is what I would want to be as well. For both the urban and rural communities. I believe rural communities need a strong voice particularly at the moment. The most important thing is listening to what is important to the people of Gordon and, if you like, what I aim to achieve if I am elected after 2015 will be dictated by what they want me to achieve

If I was the MP at the end of five years, I would hope that I’d continue Malcolm’s work and had worked hard for the oil industry-won investment for the North-east, particularly in infrastructure and being a strong voice in getting our road and transport network improved. What would be important to me as an MP would be making sure that I work for the people and what they want to happen. I would hate to think after however many years that people felt “We voted for her but what has she done for us.”

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Christine Jardine selected as PPC for Gordon

S Delaney A McInnes W Rennie C Jardine M BruceChristine Jardine, who was widely recognised to have put in a great performance as candidate in the Aberdeen Donside by-election last June, has been selected as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Gordon, the constituency currently represented by our new Deputy Leader, Sir Malcolm Bruce. She is pictured second from the right here next to Sir Malcolm.

Christine is a journalist who previously worked in Aberdeen for the Deeside Piper and the BBC. She also spent a year as a Special Adviser in Downing Street.

Nick Clegg was quick to tweet his congratulations, although he needs to learn that the hashtag from that energetic and happy campaign in the Summer is actually #teamchristine:

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LibLink: Christine Jardine: Campbell-Bannerman, School Meals Pioneer

There has been some controversy about Nick Clegg’s sudden announcement last September that schoolchildren would get a hot meal every day at school for the first 3 years. Some within the Party feel that resources could be better spent. Others argue that it does make a difference, having a direct effect on children’s learning ability.

Clegg though, is not the first liberal to be associated with such a policy, as former Special Adviser Christine Jardine wrote in the Scotsman this week:

Exactly a century ago, the last Liberal government to win a majority at Westminster made their policy compulsory to ensure councils

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LibLink: Christine Jardine: Privatised Royal Mail might prosper

Former special adviser and Liberal Democrat candidate Christine Jardine writes in today’s Scotsman about the prospects fora privatised Royal Mail.

She first talks about her shock when she heard that our government was going to take this step:

Were they really going where Peter Mandelson had failed and Margaret Thatcher had not dared?

But gradually as I researched beyond the tabloid headlines and thought about it in detail it began to make sense.

After all, when was the last time I ordered a delivery and expected it to arrive in the daily post?

That same daily post that arrives after I’ve left for the day,

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A Level Results: are we too university focused?

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, A level students find out their results today. Will their grades be enough to get them into the university course that they want? For those who don’t, it’s likely that they’ll feel that their whole lives have been blighted and their opportunities for career success blighted. This is because we have come to equate success with a university education when in fact there are many other routes to a happy, fulfilling, lucrative career. Do we put too much pressure on our children to go to university?

Christine Jardine, former Special Adviser to Nick Clegg and …

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AD LIB preview – August 2013: bringing communities together, campaigning success and bringing up children in Parliament

AD LiB August 2013It’s been a few months since I’ve reviewed an AD LIB. Partly that’s because I’ve never got round to doing it, although there was one month, June, I think it was, when I almost spontaneously combusted while reading it on a train. If the dominance of articles about men wasn’t bad enough, the photographs were even worse. I counted something like 26 photographs of men to 10 containing any women at all.

And then there was the recipe. A whole crayfish and a whole lobster? Do they think we’re …

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Moore and Jardine remember Piper Alpha disaster 25 years on

It seems incredible to think that it’s a quarter of a century since 167 people lost their lives in the explosion on the Piper Alpha oil platform.

Today Michael Moore as Secretary of State for Scotland, laid a wreath on behalf of the UK Government at the memorial in Aberdeen. Ahead of this, he said:

It is important that we never forget those who have lost their lives in our oil and gas industry.  25 years on from Piper Alpha, the loss of 167 lives is something that families and communities across the whole country are still coming to terms with.
Since the

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LibLink..Christine Jardine: Lib Dems taking high-minded road

After her excellent performance and decent result as our candidate in the Aberdeen Donside by-election, Christine Jardine has been back writing for the Scotsman. She argues that voters are much more positive about the Liberal Democrats and are starting to respect what we are going in Government.

She started off by highlighting a problem that wouldn’t be resolved by independence – bias towards the Central Belt:

But for me the one disappointment is that so many of the Scottish political establishment still don’t understand that politics in Aberdeen is different from the central belt. And it’s not just Aberdeen. The Highlands, Borders,

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Vote up, share of vote up and up to 3rd place – good result for Team Christine in Aberdeen Donside

aberdeen donside hqChristine Jardine and her team delivered an excellent result for the Liberal Democrats in the Aberdeen Donside Scottish Parliament by-election. Bearing in mind that we had come 4th in the seat 2 years ago, many pundits thought we would lose our deposit and might even come behind UKIP. In the end, we leapfrogged the Tories to grab 3rd place, with a vote share up from 6% to 8.3%. All that on a fraction of the budget enjoyed by Labour and the SNP.

The seat was won by the SNP’s Mark …

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Tim Farron says: “Help get the vote out for Christine Jardine”

For the last month, Team Christine has done a power of work in the Holyrood by-election in Aberdeen Donside. They have delivered an incredibly good campaign which has gone down very well on the doorsteps in Bridge of Don, Dyce, Danestone and Kingswells for our energetic, warm and generally wonderful candidate Christine Jardine.

Today is polling day and, for the occasion, Tim Farron has recorded a video. He has been doing some phoning for Christine, which has been very much appreciated. His spies have obviously told him how fabulous Liberal Youth Scotland have been, with many of them putting their lives on hold to be part of the campaign team.

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Can you help Christine Jardine’s campaign in Aberdeen Donside this weekend?

aberdeen donside hqHave you recovered from the May elections? Are you raring to go again? Well, obviously you will have things in your own patch to do, but you might also want to help our candidate Christine Jardine in the Aberdeen Donside Scottish Parliament by-election which takes place on 20th June.

For those of you far away from Aberdeen, you can phone bank through Connect. If you are within travelling distance, though, Willie Rennie is there today and Jo Swinson is there tomorrow to help Christine’s campaign. In an email to Scottish …

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Opinion: The Scottish Liberal Democrats fight back

“It’s not the end, it’s not the beginning of the end but it might be the end of the beginning of the fightback” were the inspiring words tweeted by Paddy Ashdown on the day of the English council election results. The Liberal Democrats down south are moving out of the recovery period and moving into the fight back stage. The question however is how are the Liberal Democrats doing in Scotland?

The recent Leaderdale and Melrose by election, also on May 2nd, saw John Paton Day increase the vote by just over 9%. Following on from the success of Eastleigh, the …

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Christine Jardine selected for Aberdeen Donside by-election

S Delaney A McInnes W Rennie C Jardine M BruceChristine Jardine, a former Downing Street Special Adviser, has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Aberdeen Donside Scottish Parliament by-election caused by the death o SNP MSP Brian Adam last month. She is seen second on the right in the photograph, which also features Cllr Steve Delaney, Alison McInnes MSP, Scottish leader Willie Rennie MSP and Sir Malcolm Bruce MP.

The by-election will take place on June 20.

Liberal Democrat Voice readers will be familiar with her name because of occasional …

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LibLink…Christine Jardine: Referendum drowns out more pressing issues

Former Downing Street insider Christine Jardine, now back in Scotland and selected as a Liberal Democrat Euro-candidate, highlights in the Scotsman how more urgent problems are being forgotten as Scotland gears up for the Independence Referendum.

While all the attention is on 18th September 2014, Christine reminds us that there is some serious stuff going on now:

Traditionally, conferences, like the SNP’s recent gathering in Inverness, are where policy announcements are made, government plans set out and ministers take the opportunity to highlight their successes in the full glare of the media spotlight. But not this time. This time I waited in

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