Willie Rennie: Lib Dems will provide a clear, hopeful, optimistic, moderate and progressive voice at Holyrood

Willie Rennie with Neil Slorance cartoonAs the new term starts at Holyrood, Willie Rennie writes to Scottish members to outline what he wants the Lib Dems to achieve. He plants the Lib Dem flag firmly in the pro EU, pro UK space, a unique position. The photo shows him with a framed copy of the brilliant cartoon of the party leaders by Neil Slorance, a reminder of the exuberance and humour of Willie’s Scottish Election campaign:

As the Scottish Parliament resumes after the summer break I want to set out my ambitions for the year ahead.

We return with a spring in our step after the results in the May elections that showed progress with gains from the SNP in Edinburgh and Fife and whopping big majorities in the Northern Isles.  It is now our job to spread that success across the country, starting with the council elections next May.

Just as I did in the Holyrood elections I intend to use this next parliamentary year to provide a clear, hopeful, optimistic, moderate and progressive voice.

In a No Borders approach we will oppose independence, we will support strong relationships with Europe and we will work for public services that can liberate people to achieve more in their lives.

We will work for better mental health and GP services, a penny on income tax for education, and action to exceed our climate change targets and to guarantee our civil liberties.

The blow of Brexit and the threat of another independence referendum means that divisive constitutional politics remain at the centre of our national debate.

From the push for English votes, to the demonisation of Scots in the general election, to the chaos of Brexit the Conservatives will always put their party before our country. From the snoopers’ charter, to immigration scaremongering, to scrapping the Human Rights Act, their vision for the future is not one that liberals share.

And make no mistake, if we leave the campaign for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom to the Conservatives it will fail.

We need progressive moderate, optimistic, hopeful voices that advance a No Borders approach in relation to the UK and Europe.

The current Labour Party shows little sign of providing that voice so Liberal Democrats must speak up.

People rallied to that progressive pro-UK cause in Edinburgh and Fife in May when we won seats from the SNP.  We will make that case again across the country.

It is why I now ask for your help.  We must give our council candidates the support they deserve for next May.  Please offer your help so that they can win and so that we can spread our positive message. If you want to get more involved with your local party you can let us know here.

Thank you for your enduring support for the Liberal Democrats.

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5 Comments

  • BUT first what is the policy, have we a policy to knock out the Greens in Scotland.

  • Conor McGovern 6th Sep '16 - 11:18am

    When did Liberals decide we should be moderate?

  • Liberals didn’t. Some people who are not liberal decided it for them.

  • Dan Falchikov 6th Sep '16 - 4:48pm

    Lots of wishful thinking and sub Tory unionism. That’s bound to end in success no?

  • Conor McGovern 7th Sep '16 - 12:44pm

    David – indeed. One of the reasons Corbyn’s popular on the ‘left’ is because he looks radical even though his policies are old-fashioned social democratic ones we should have no trouble supporting ourselves.

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