Tag Archives: christine jardine

Lib Dems step up attack on Universal Credit

Liberal Democrats have played their part in making sure that the inadequacies of Universal Credit have been highlighted. In the debate on Wednesday,  Christine Jardine said:

We hear that, instead of it helping, as many as 1 million children could be pushed into poverty by 2020. That surely cannot be the legacy that my Conservative colleagues would want to leave for future generations. They surely cannot be content with what they are hearing in this Chamber from constituents and even their own Back Benchers: that families are facing rent arrears and the threat of losing their homes; that there is anxiety about missed payments; and that people are choosing between making those payments or feeding their families.

Citizens Advice Scotland has already seen more than 100,000 people, one in five of whom have waited more than six weeks for payments—and only 14 areas in Scotland have UC. We stand at an important crossroads: the Government have the opportunity to pause UC, address its many flaws and say to those coping with the cruel reality of this botched benefit reform, “We hear you. We recognise the problem and we will fix it.”

Stephen Lloyd caught Iain Duncan Smith out one of those economic with the truth moments:

Secondly, the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), a former Secretary of State, said that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has supported universal credit. I was a bit surprised by that, so I did a quick check. The JRF actually said that it would support universal credit if it was properly funded—I just mentioned the £3 billion—and if payment and waiting times were reduced, which is exactly what many people have been saying today.

The media reports yesterday that the Government is ready to make changes on the amount of time people are waiting for money, but that isn’t the only problem with Universal Credit. It’s interesting that Labour now accepts the principles behind Universal Credit – that it should end the poverty trap. Until the Tories got a majority, that’s exactly what it would have done. There was enough money in there to ensure that people could move into work and not lose their benefits. Then May 2015 happened and George Osborne took billions out of the system.

So, our Work and Pensions Spokesperson Stephen Lloyd and Leader Vince Cable have written to the the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask him to sort this out in the budget. They said:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

WATCH: Liberal Democrat MPs slam Government’s contemptuous approach to Parliament

This afternoon, Alistair Carmichael led an emergency debate, which he had secured, to raise the many ways in which the Government is marginalising Parliament. From ignoring Opposition Day debates to curtailing debate on legislation to the Henry VIII powers.

His speech introducing the debate was excellent. Watch it here.

My favourite bits are this:

The best Governments—and if ever there was a time in our country’s history when we needed the best possible Government, this is surely it—are those that are tested by Parliament, by the Opposition parties and by their own Back Benchers. Time and again, our system fails when the Government and the Opposition agree and arguments remain untested. How different might the debates on the case for going to war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003 have been if the then Opposition had been prepared to take a more questioning approach to Tony Blair’s case? I am sad to say that this Government, however, do not welcome scrutiny by Parliament, but rather seek to avoid it.

and the bit where he challenged MPs to get assertive:

In one sense, the Government have done us a favour by bringing this issue to a head, because it forces us as a House to decide what our role in the future of this country is going to be. Is it to be an active participant, with a strong voice and a decisive say, or is it to be a supine bystander as the Government continue to do as they wish, regardless of their lack of a mandate and, as is increasingly obvious, their lack of authority.

I have been a member of many debating societies over the years. They have all been fine organisations that provided entertainment and mental stimulation in equal measure. I mean them therefore no disrespect when I say that I stood for Parliament believing I was doing something more significant than signing up for a debating society. The difference is that in Parliament—in this House—we can actually effect change. Whether we choose to do so is in our own hands.

I loved the fact that the Tories responded by slagging off the Liberal Democrats in the most immature way as they clearly had no defence.

Christine Jardine said that MPs were there to serve the electorate, not to play games. She talked about seeing Parliament as others see it and the impression it gives to people outside who were not involved in politics.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Liberal Democrats mark World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day.

For me it’s a day to reflect on how far we have come since I started to suffer from mental ill health as a child. Forty years ago, nobody understood the desperate, isolating, all-engulfing Depression that I couldn’t shake off, that took every ounce of my energy just to get through the day. I remember trying to talk about it to a friend once, and she scared the living daylights out of me, telling me I’d be locked up in a hospital if anyone found out.

There was the exhausting anxiety which punctuated every day – not helped by the fact that round every corner there might be another bully lurking to shout “Yak” at me. That’s what they called me at school. I just wish I’d had Google then to reassure me that, whatever my tormentors meant, these beasts were actually kind of cute.

My teens were a struggle and because I didn’t get the help I needed, I either didn’t cope very well or developed some fairly unhelpful strategies to deal with it. Comfort eating for one.

We can perhaps be a little bit proud of ourselves as a society that four decades on, we are at least attempting to tackle the stigma around mental health, so that no young person need fear that they are going to be locked up.

However, we should also be ashamed that this new openness has not been accompanied by the provision of sufficient support services for people with mental ill health.

There is one area I want to focus on – the transition from child to adult mental health services. Once you get into the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, you can actually get some pretty reasonable support. It’s arranged in a fairly logical way with consultants, psychologists and nurses working together to support young people. Unfortunately not every young person who needs help can get it at all, and most have to wait far too long.  It is not uncommon to wait for more than a year to even see a specialist.

Mental health issues generally aren’t resolved overnight, so you have a year of turmoil while you are waiting to be seen and, maybe another couple of years of reasonably intensive support – and then you turn 18. All the effort put into helping you is now at risk as you are put into the virtually non-existent twilight world of adult mental health services which are disparate, insufficient and as suitable for the scale of the problem as  trying to surf the Atlantic on a My Little Pony lilo.

This country is being robbed of the talents of some wonderful individuals simply because it does not invest in the services they need to stay well.

Even the most cruel and heartless government should surely recognise that the cost of not supporting these people is enormous to both our economy and our society.

I’m incredibly proud that Nick Clegg and Norman Lamb have done so much to improve mental health services and tackle the stigma around mental health. One of the most horrible things about the run-up to the 2015 election was the almost certain knowledge that Norman wouldn’t be mental health minister any more.

Today, Liberal Democrats have been marking Mental Health Day in a variety of ways:

Kirsty Williams made this video highlighting mental ill health in the workplace:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Christine Jardine wants your WASPI stories

We know that women born in the 1950s are facing real struggles because of a steep rise in the age at which they become entitled to their state pension. They were not properly informed of decisions taken years ago and so have not had time to prepare.

If we think that this is unfair, the most important thing that we can do is to gather evidence about the real impact of this on women’s lives.

Women are more likely to be in lower paid jobs and so will have less entitlement to occupational pensions. This means that many women will find themselves suffering poverty and hardship as they approach retirement.

One of the first things that Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West Christine Jardine did in Parliament was to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality. She is the co-sponsor of a Bill aimed at reviewing the impact on women.

She wants to find women to tell their stories about what the delay in their entitlement means to them.

I want to make sure that we have as much evidence as possible of just how much hardship has been caused by the way these changes were made.

It’s heartbreaking to hear what women who have worked all their lives and planned for their retirement have been put through simply because they weren’t warned about what was about to happen.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 11 Comments

WATCH: Christine Jardine on the challenges facing Generation Y

BBC Scotland tonight held an online debate to end a week of special features on Generation Y. The theme was to discuss why millennials were likely to be poorer than their parents.

Subjects such as education, employment, housing and life after Brexit were covered.

I was particularly moved by Charlotte’s experience in the workplace – being made to work a trial shift with no training and no pay. It’s all too common in retail and hospitality these days and should be outlawed.

Our Christine Jardine MP was on the panel. The audience overwhelmingly agreed with a point she made – that the Government had failed to get the balance right on education. She added that university was not the only route to success and nor was leaving school and going to uni the only way you could get a degree.

She highlighted her dislike of the phrase “affordable housing,” saying that all housing should be affordable.

On employment, she emphasised that people need to be guaranteed a certain number of hours of work because they have financial commitments to meet. Watch the whole thing here. It’s pretty disgraceful that neither the Scottish nor the UK governments sent anyone along. Enjoy.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

LibLink: Christine Jardine: The country cannot afford a Summer of Brexit discontent

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has set out some thoughts on our strategy as we respond to the total mess that the Tories are making of the Brexit negotiations.

In an article for the Times Red Box (£), she sets the scene:

The internal squabbling of our chancellor, foreign secretary, and Brexit secretary — to name just a few of the clowns at play — is making the chances of a poor deal for the UK, or a catastrophic failure to get a deal at all, all the more likely.

Instead of knuckling down and approaching negotiations with a seriousness befitting the task, Davis has so far shown up to a photo-op without even pretending to have the necessary papers and briefings, then taking the first Eurostar home. No doubt heading straight back to the journalists to criticise his leader. It rather undermines the negotiation of critical issues like EU citizens’ rights, a solution for Northern Ireland and the UK’s debt to the EU when your so-called chief negotiator would rather be at home leaking cabinet papers.

But this is all part of a hard hearted strategy. She thinks that they are trying to create such a bad atmosphere that in a year’s time, they walk way blaming the EU for the failure.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Willie, Christine and Jo celebrate Scottish Lib Dem wins

I could cheerfully have swung for Willie Rennie on Friday afternoon when he suggested an event on Sunday morning to celebrate our 4 Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs. I mean, it’s the first Sunday morning in 7 weeks most  of us could have had a lie-in. I thought nobody would want to go and it would be a disaster.

I was wrong. It was well-attended, there were broadcast and print journalists there and the atmosphere was great. There are, however,  two very important lessons to learn from the event, but more of that later. A huge crowd of people turned up at Jo Swinson’s campaign office in Milngavie. One person brought his two gorgeous and friendly  dogs, Caleb and Bella, who looked resplendent in their Jo Swinson rosettes.

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton came across from Edinburgh to join in the celebrations. Christine used to live in Bearsden and told how it was Jo who had inspired her to get involved in politics and stand for Parliament.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

The day Tim Farron cooked my breakfast

Eighteen years ago today, at around 5:30 in the morning, I was being wheeled back to the ward with my new baby. Try as I might, I couldn’t sleep because I was too besotted to take my eyes off the gorgeous bundle in the little hospital cot.

At that time this morning, I was hitting the M8 to drive into Edinburgh. What could I possibly be doing at a cafe in Corstorphine at 6 am with Edinburgh Western MP Alex Cole-Hamilton and Edinburgh West Lib Dem candidate Christine Jardine?

The answer duly emerged – after a slight detour for this vehicle. There are, apparently, two establishments called Cafe Vigo in Edinburgh and, you guessed it, they went to the wrong one.

Tim was kicking off a tour of key seats in Edinburgh West, one of the best prospects for a gain on Thursday. He later went to another – East Dunbartonshire.

They disappeared into the kitchen surrounded by a gaggle of hungry journalists.

Tim made fried egg rolls, Christine made bacon rolls. And they were good, too. I had a fried egg one. Normally, I like them with a softer yolk, but it was just as well this one a tad over-cooked to avoid mess.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 13 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

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?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 6 Comments

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 11 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 12 Comments

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

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.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 23 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 84 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

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.”

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 41 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 31 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 36 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 26 Comments

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.”

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

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,

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments

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 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 23 Comments

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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGlenn 26th Sep - 8:21am
    Frankie' The problem a lot post-cold war end of history centrists thinking is that like Marxism it's based on the idea of the inevitability and...
  • User AvatarOld Liberal 26th Sep - 3:49am
    No Michael1, it really is much more than just a very clear message and massive massive hard work as Kingston shows. It is having a...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 25th Sep - 11:58pm
    @OnceALibDem Um.... I appreciate the point. We did do well in Haringey – up from 9 to 15 - and held our ground in Ealing...
  • User AvatarDan Falchikov 25th Sep - 11:19pm
    Possibly the least accurate account of any campaign I've ever been involved. No reference to the appalling arrogant previous Tory administration that switched voters off...
  • User Avatarfrankie 25th Sep - 11:06pm
    They must be improvers Glenn they wish to improve things. Unlike most Brexiteers who wish things to return to a by gone age. One set...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 25th Sep - 8:32pm
    Yes, take away the areas we gained and we made no gains at all. Funny that.