Tag Archives: Scottish liberal democrat conference

WATCH: Willie Rennie’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

It was a speech full of warmth, positivity and passion. Willie Rennie knows that a second referendum on Scottish independence needs the positive, emotionally resonant pro UK argument that was so lacking in 2014. He planted the Lib Dem flag in the progressive pro UK/pro EU space in Scotland, saying that we represented the views of the Scottish people. The challenge for the party is to turn that into votes. Watch his full speech here.

The text is below:

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Today at Scottish Conference -“Turning back the tide of division”

Scottish Liberal Democrats gather in Perth today for our Spring Conference. Some of us gathered last night and enjoyed a delicious meal in a French restaurant. Sorry if I breathe garlic fumes on everybody I meet today.

We meet just seven weeks before every council seat in Scotland is up for election. A better than expected result in last year’s Holyrood elections, with solid parliamentary work on mental health, education and justice since has heartened the party but the national opinion polls are yet to show any significant movement in our favour. ┬áThe political environment up here is very different from south of the border where we have the advantage of being the only party standing up against the Tory and Labour compete with each other to get to the Brexit cliff first.

Up here, the SNP are making a great deal out of the fact that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain. Of course they are going to use it to call for independence although even a former nationalist leader said this week that they were being forced into it at the worst possible time.

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Scottish Conference Countdown: What’s on the agenda? And get writing your amendments today

Scottish Liberal Democrats gather for their Autumn Conference in Dunfermline on Saturday 24th October. The agenda contains no fewer than 8 policy debates – not bad for an event that lasts for just 7 hours. There are keynote speeches from Willie Rennie and Tim Farron and the day ends with a tribute to Charles Kennedy.

The policy motions to be discussed are:

A penny on tax for the NHS: This one will be controversial. The MSPs will be very scared of it passing because it’s way more radical than they can cope with. Perhaps Conference needs to give them the confidence to say something bold. One of the great tragedies of the current constitutional debate in Scotland is that nobody seems to have any great ideas for using the powers we already have, which are pretty significant. Paisley and Renfrewshire local party have put the cat among the pigeons with this motion. Will it pass? Expect to see an amendment from the Policy Committee.

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Nominations sought for Scottish Party Awards

Scottish Liberal Democrats have their Spring Conference in Aberdeen from 20-22 March. At that event, a series of awards will be presented for outstanding service and commitment to the party. Nominations are sought from members for the following:

  • The Rae Michie Quaich for best contribution to membership recruitment and retention
  • The SWLD Quaich for the Liberal Democrat who has done the most to advance diversity within Scotland in the past year
  • The Robin McSkimming Award presented by East Dunbartonshire Liberal Democrats to the person who has done most for their community
  • The Russell Johnston Award presented by Argyll & Bute Liberal Democrats for Best Conference Speech
  • The John Morrison award presented by the Office Bearers for outstanding leadership/dedication/success in local government
  • The Sheila Tennant award presented by LYS for an outstanding contribution from an LYS member
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A sneak preview of the Scottish Autumn Conference Agenda

This year’s Scottish Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference takes place much later than usual. It’s been delayed by the Referendum and will take place in Dunfermline on Saturday 22nd November. There’s just about enough time for Presidential candidates to come and chase some last minute votes.

The preliminary agenda has just been published and it’s busy. Six policy debates, two keynote speeches, a ┬ádevolution discussion, a thank you reception for our former MEP George Lyon and two lunchtime fringe meetings crammed into one day.

The policy motions include:

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In full: Nick Clegg’s contribution to the “sunshine strategy” at Scottish Lib Dem Conference

Forth Railway Bridge at North Queensferry Fife ScotlandI’ve been saying for a long time that the pro UK side of the independence referendum campaign in Scotland needs to make sure that there’s a positive melody to go a long with the necessary deconstruction of the SNP’s arguments. Nick Clegg stepped up to that plate with aplomb yesterday in his keynote speech, saying that the case for staying in the UK must be as “thrilling” as that for independence.

There was one hilarious moment when he slipped up and talked about he and …

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My highlights of Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

I’m a bit bleary eyed today. One conference is exhausting, two on successive weekends is positively foolhardy. Following that up with a trip to London for Federal Executive is craziness.

I spent the weekend in Dundee where Scottish Liberal Democrats held their main Conference. Over three days, there were no fewer than twelve policy debates, some of them incredibly powerful or controversial. Here are my highlights.

The Secret Courts debate

Yes, I’m biased as I proposed the motion rejecting the Government’s proposals, but the debate itself was very high quality. Liberal Youth co-chair Kavya Kaushik won the Russell Johnston award for the best …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim Hill 16th Oct - 10:23pm
    The Ashfield Independents are not independents. They are a rag bag of assorted political rejects led by the ex-LD Zarodny who couldn't face the music...
  • User AvatarTim Hill 16th Oct - 10:22pm
    Paul Barker. It's a gain. The seat was held by the Tories. It's now held by us. It's a gain.
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Oct - 10:10pm
    Thoughtful as ever, George, thank you for joining in. People do want to find support and comradeship in their local parties, I suppose, and if...
  • User AvatarTim Hill 16th Oct - 10:01pm
    Top speech Mathew. Couldn't agree more. Ignore the faint hearted and the nay-sayers.
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Oct - 9:49pm
    Not a tendency I am prone to, however. One attempts to be realistic, to continue to contribute a little to our excellent cause, and generally...
  • User Avatarfrankie 16th Oct - 9:45pm
    Mathew, A major part of the leave vote was indeed the left behind, but as has been pointed out a greater share came from the...