Tag Archives: scottish conference 2022

Open letter to the Scottish Conference – don’t turn right

It may be tempting for the Liberal Democrats to move to the right to capture support from Conservative voters following the collapse of their party at Westminster.  But let’s not do that.  Remember what happened the last time we moved in with the Tories – years of austerity and near oblivion for our party.

Instead we should see the opportunity presented by the Conservatives’ collapse as a chance to become the party of new ideas.  Ideas like decentralisation, green growth and an economy which is an equal partnership between the government and independent organisations.  Successful modern economies across Europe are moving towards a 50/50 relationship between the state and commercial companies, social enterprises and charities.

The Truss government proved once and for all that the “low tax, high growth” model does not work. Even the financial markets don’t believe in it any more.

We need to shake off the nostalgic picture we have of Britain as a manufacturing and exporting country.  We are a service-based economy. Manufacturing only accounts for 10 per cent of our national income, exports account for only a third, and most of those are services, such as finance, insurance, scientific expertise, education and tourism.

We should expose the Tory myth that foreign investment, or indeed any commercial investment, is the key to growth.  Companies will only invest if there is a demand for their products or services and that depends on enough people having enough spending power. Tax rates are only a consideration once you have made a profit.

And while we are at it, let’s destroy another Tory myth, that the only way to tackle poverty is by growing the economy.  We could just divide up the existing cake more fairly.

In short, the Liberal Democrats should become the party that tells the truth.

Posted in Op-eds | 23 Comments

Scottish Conference to debate a 4 day working week and nuclear power

Regional and national conferences will give Liberal Democrat members a much needed chance to get together over the next couple of months.

Last week, the preliminary agenda for Scottish Conference was published. The three day event will take place in Hamilton between 28 and 30 October.

There are going to be some controversial debates.  Proposals to reverse our long standing opposition to new nuclear power stations,  backing a 4 day working week, and a new model requiring local authorities to provide new homes for social buy sit alongside  more classical liberal fare on restricting employers rights to snoop on employees working at home and giving more powers to local government.

Conference will also debate a constitutional amendment, proposed by current leader Alex Cole-Hamilton, that future Scottish leaders should be allowed to be either an MP or MSP and future deputy leaders could be councillors as well as parliamentarians.

Posted in News | 13 Comments
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