Skip to main content

Reflections on Perth

Spending a couple of days in Perth was a real pleasure, and I sense that the Scottish Liberal Democrats are in the best shape that I have seen them for years: just as well since in 2009 we have a tough fight to keep a Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP, in 2010 the British general election will take place and in 2011 the next Scottish Parliamentary elections will also provide some interesting fights.

Tavish Scott has certainly steadied the ship, and I was impressed also with the way that Jeremy Purvis- who I must admit I did not know before his election- has emerged as a solid, rather owlish, figure in the financial brief.

The star of the conference, though, was clearly Vince Cable. His own address to the conference- an unscripted and extremely thoughtful tour d'horizon of the current state of the British economy and British politics- was exceptional. In the face of the inadequacies of Darling and Osborne it is perfectly clear how far ahead Cable is of the competition. As one who has written about economics professionally myself, I remain awe struck by his clarity and lucidity of purpose. It is not just amongst the Liberal Democrats that the idea that Vince Cable should be the Chancellor of the Exchequer is taking a very firm hold. Whereas once our opponents considered that the Liberal Democrats were rather flaky about economic realities, now they fear to take us on even on such critically important issues.

As to the overall state of Scottish politics, the Nationalists and their oft-time allies the Conservatives are now seeing the chickens coming home to roost. the over-promising and under-delivering SNP has been caught flat footed again and again. As Malcolm Bruce put it, the Nationalists have abandoned so much of their programme that their is little left for them to abandon further- except office.

Meanwhile it becomes ever clearer what a mess the Scottish Labour Party is in. Across the whole Scottish Liberal Democrat conference there was much talk of rejuvenation and opportunity. The party is making progress back from its nadir of two or three years ago, and there is the real hope that far from going backwards at the next elections, there is instead every chance of gains.

That is a prospect that the Scottish Liberal Democrats must relish- and our opponents should fear.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…