Tag Archives: scottish lib dems

Lib Dems and Europe – Scotland shows the way

We know that if the UK were in the European Union, GDP would now be £120bn higher, and tax revenues £40bn higher every year. We know that the UK is the only major European economy not to have returned to its pre-pandemic size. And polling shows us that there is a growing majority view that Brexit was a mistake which has delivered negligible benefits and has done substantial damage to Britain. Yet the Party’s leadership at Federal level still does not seem keen to explain these things to voters, nor to offer leadership to the large number of people across Britain for whom becoming part of the EU again is a political and economic priority.

Grassroots members, fortunately, see things differently. On Saturday, the Scottish LibDem conference in Dundee considered a motion calling for the party to re-commit itself to re-joining the EU. Conference unanimously supported the motion, which also called on the UK government to develop a roadmap towards re-joining the EU and initially re-joining the Single Market and Customs Union. Speaker after speaker stressed internationalism as a fundamental thread of Liberalism, and the personal, cultural, and economic gains that would accrue if the UK could work its way back to full membership of the European Union. There were calls for MPs and MSPs to mount a communications campaign explaining the benefits of membership, and for activists and party members to support this.

The motion ended with a call for Liberal Democrats to put campaigning for our European future at the heart of our approach. Gratifyingly, Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton gave a speech on the same day in which he committed himself wholeheartedly to a European future and stressed the importance of internationalism to his Liberalism.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Lib Dems on the march in Ayrshire

The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald reports:

The Scottish Lib Dems say they have now relaunched the Ayrshire party with residents now volunteering to stand as candidates.

The Scottish Lib Dems say membership has trebled in Ayrshire with residents now volunteering stand as candidates and the party ‘on the march’.

At the constituency event, Scottish Convenor Sheila Ritchie said: “The Liberal Democrats are on a big upwards trajectory in Ayrshire. The local party membership has trebled in the last two years. We have realistic hopes for the Scottish elections next year and to get candidates volunteering for council seats in 2021 this early is a major boost.

Posted in Local government | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Student hopes to become the Scottish Borders’ youngest councillor

Following hard on the heels of our post about the Isle of Wight’s youngest candidate on Sunday, here’s news from Galashiels via The Southern Reporter:

A teenage student from Peebles is the youngest candidate standing in next month’s Scottish Borders Council elections.

Caledonia Bhatia, 18, a chemical engineering student at Edinburgh University, has been selected as Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for the Galashiels and district ward.

No stranger to political life, Caledonia is the daughter of outgoing Tweeddale West councillor Catriona Bhatia and granddaughter of Liberal Democrat grandee Lord David Steel of Aikwood.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

In other news… Hemming “resignation threat”, Rogerson on second home tax, Russell on Israel & more

MP John Hemming’s fury over ‘cover-ups’ (Daily Express)

A LIB Dem MP threatened to resign the party whip last night and sit as an independent unless child protection was treated “more seriously”. John Hemming said the Government was “dangerously complacent” about the level of cover-ups at ­children’s homes and in the ­wider family justice system. He said if ministers did not demonstrate “a change of attitude”, he would withdraw his “personal support for the Government”.

Mentally impaired people ‘exploited by court-appointed deputies’ (BBC News)

Action is needed to prevent vulnerable people being ripped-off by those appointed by the courts to manage

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

LDVideo: Tavish Scott in Scottish Lib Dems’ latest election broadcast

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Scottish Lib Dem conference: your LDV reader

On Saturday, LDV reported the news that the Scottish Lib Dems were uniting behind leader Tavish Scott’s opposition to the SNP referendum on independence, ahead of a special private conference for party members. And so it came to pass, as the BBC reports:

Tavish Scott has consistently opposed a referendum, but some divisions within the party have emerged and the issue was debated in a closed session at the party’s autumn conference in Dunfermline, Fife, on Saturday.

Senior Lib Dem MSP Ross Finnie, who has been asked to lead a consultation with members about the party’s stance,

Posted in Scotland | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #2

This is the second in a regular, and now named, series of articles by Scottish-based bloggers giving their thoughts about developments in Scottish politics.

On Friday evening I’d just completed a long week at the office in one sense wishing I was in Harrogate with my fellow Lib Dems – but at the same time too exhausted for a full weekend of Conference, having squeezed one full extra day into the week that would go without payment as a result of a freeze on overtime. But as I walked to the bus through Edinburgh Park I saw that lights were …

Posted in Conference, Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments

Scottish Lib Dems win anti-independence vote, call for new Holyrood powers

As anticipated on Lib Dem Voice here, the Scottish Lib Dems’ call for a referendum on Scottish independence to be postponed until at least 2011 – the date of the next Holyrood elections – received a substantial majority last night. The FT reports:

Labour and the Conservatives backed a Liberal Democrat call for the SNP to ditch its plans for an independence referendum, and the amendment was carried by 72 votes to 47. …

Mike Rumbles, the Liberal Democrats’ chief whip, said Thursday’s vote was a “reality check” for the SNP. “They need to ditch the referendum and ditch it

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Scottish Lib Dems call for end to “chatter about the constitution”

Lib Dem Voice reported last week that Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott had made clear his opposition to a referendum on Scottish independence:

Liberal Democrats do not support independence and we will not support a referendum that could let independence in through the backdoor.”

Today the Scottish party will go one stage further and move an amendment in the Holyrood Parliament calling for any idea of a referendum to be dumped until after the next elections in 2011. It is thought likely that Labour and the Tories will rally behind the Lib Dem amendment, which would ensure the SNP was …

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

Tavish makes BBC webcast date

BBC.co.uk reports:

An online interview with Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott will see him answer questions submitted by members of the public at the party conference. BBC Scotland’s political editor Brian Taylor will quiz the Shetland MSP in the half-hour webcast at the conference, being held on March 13-15. … You can watch the webcast live by clicking on the BBC Scotland news website at bbc.co.uk/scotlandnews. The interview will take place during the Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference in Perth.

Any member of the public may submit questions to Tavish using the form at the BBC website

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Tavish vetoes SNP independence referendum hopes

Despite Lord (Paddy) Ashdown’s public declaration last week that the Lib Dems should support a referendum on Scottish independence, Tavis Scott has made it clear he won’t budge – here’s today’s Daily Telegraph:

Tavish Scott, the Scottish Lib Dem leader told the Daily Telegraph he would rebuff any offers made by the First Minister because he did not want to be drawn into a constitutional “trap” that could threaten the Union. … The rejection leaves Mr Salmond with an almost impossible task to win the parliamentary majority he requires at Holyrood to get his Referendum Bill passed. Without the

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 5 Comments

Our correspondents in Scotland

This is the first in a regular series of articles by Scottish-based bloggers giving their thoughts about developments in Scottish politics. Bernard Salmon is a Lib Dem activist based in Inverness and blogs at thesoundofgunfire.blogspot.com.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond proved himself to be a wee sleekit cowerin’ tim’rous beastie last week.

His betrayal of the SNP pledge to abolish the council tax and replace with a so-called ‘local’ income tax (in reality a nationally-set tax of 3p in the pound) was supposedly motivated by the fact that the parliamentary arithmetic was against him. Although the Scottish Lib Dems supported …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Paddy: Scottish Lib Dems wrong to veto independence referendum

The Scotsman reports on the intervention of former Lib Dem leader, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown:

THE Unionist parties in Scotland should back a referendum on independence to finish off the SNP as a political force once and for all, former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has claimed. Lord Ashdown told The Scotsman that he believes his own party has got its tactics wrong in Scotland in dealing with the Nationalists. And he said that Wendy Alexander was on the right lines when she challenged First Minister Alex Salmond to “bring it on” and hold a referendum on independence. …

The former Liberal

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Lib Dem Scottish and London budget news

Okay, okay I admit it – that title isn’t likely to entice in hordes of readers. But it is kinda important, so read on…

In Scotland:

The SNP will be able to pass its budget, second time around, thanks to the support of the Lib Dems. As the BBC reports:

In return for the party’s backing, ministers have agreed to take forward a strategy for boosting the economy. … The agreement was reached after Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens combined to vote down the budget in parliament last week, saying it would fail to help the Scottish economy through the

Posted in London, News and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

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?

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

Scottish Lib Dems offer to “get round the table” with SNP over budget

Tavish Scott, Lib Dem leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, has offered to open discussions with the SNP government in Scotland to resolve the budget breakdown triggered by the Holyrood parliament’s rejection of the SNP’s budget for 2009-10.

Though the Tories fell in line with the SNP, the 16-strong Lib Dem group, together with Labour and the Greens, voted against – the budget was ultimately defeated on the casting vote of the presiding officer. But this morning the BBC reports:

The Liberal Democrats want discussions with the Scottish Government about what concessions might gain their support for a revised budget.

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • John Waller
    Part 2. So, we swapped the Black Sea cruise for a research trip to Svalbard and Greenland, to learn about retreating winter Arctic sea ice and melting glaciers...
  • Martin Gray
    Exactly Peter....The Social aspect of the EU is a myth. Didn't save one factory or one job loss . And those workers who were on the MW zero hours contract in ...
  • Peter Martin
    I'm somewhat puzzled by continuing assumptions, shared by both former remainers and former leavers, that the EU is somehow a leftist/progressive organisation v...
  • Jeff
    Marco 14th Apr '24 - 1:37pm: The OBR estimates that GDP is 4% lower due to Brexit,… No. They forecast a reduction in “long-run productivit...
  • Jeff
    expats 14th Apr '24 - 4:00pm: I’m only surprised that you haven’t referenced more Daily Express trade bonuses… I don’t often cite the ...