Tomorrow, Liberal Democrats from across Scotland will come together for our Autumn conference in Dunfermline.
Conference is always a good chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. And with one third of those attending having joined the party since the general election, there will be plenty of new friends to be made!
Over the summer, I met hundreds of new party members as part of a policy roadshow that took me from the Borders to the Highlands. I was hugely impressed by the enthusiasm that our new members brought to the table.
I have always taken the view that party members who support independence are perfectly entitled to campaign for it if they wish. This is not a new position and is one that I have taken ever since becoming Leader. I think it speaks volumes that so few, and no parliamentarians, take the option to do so. Yet, I will always defend the right of those who support independence to campaign for it.
I also want to attract liberals back to the party even if they support independence. Many feel compelled to back the SNP even if they are unhappy abut the performance of the SNP in government. I want them to know they have other options.Read more
This morning I had the chance to address delegates at Lib Dem conference down in Bournemouth. This is what I had to say:
What on earth is going on in Scotland?
That's the new greeting for all Scots in Bournemouth this week.
Well, I'm here to help.
I'll tell you what's happening. The unvarnished truth.
I want to tell you about the challenges and the threats as well as the opportunities.
And I want to tell you what Scottish Liberal Democrats offer for next year's elections - our positive, liberal, centre ground vision.Read more