In keeping with many public lectures in the Highlands, albeit of a somewhat different nature, I start with a text: from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, chapter 51, verse 1 –
“Look unto the rock from which you are hewn.”
It is an enormous privilege to have been asked this evening to deliver the inaugural Charles Kennedy memorial lecture; to speak about one of my closest friends in politics, Charles, and how his politics were shaped by his roots in this Highland community, and the Highland Liberal tradition.
Ten years ago, the Scottish Executive signed an historic co-operation agreement with the Government of Malawi.
Building on ties first established by David Livingstone, the explorer, medic and missionary, this agreement has seen successive Scottish and Malawian governments work together and deepen these historic links.
Aird and Loch Ness is a large rural ward straddling areas of the Parliamentary constituencies previously held by Danny Alexander and Charles Kennedy. A by-election was called following the resignation of the former SNP council leader.
So how did we win?