My Speech to Lib Dem Conference

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.

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One year on

This day last year I was so relieved that Scotland opted to continue our partnership with the United Kingdom. Together we’ve created some of the best things in the world: the NHS, the BBC and the pound and together we can do so much more.

It is unbelievable that with problems in the police, NHS and schools the SNP want yet another referendum. The SNP government need to get on with the day job rather than plotting another referendum.

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Free our public sector workers to perform

Speech by Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, on the future of public services in Scotland:

It would only be right to congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his emphatic victory on Saturday.

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Listen to teachers - not Tories - on standardised testing

Last week in parliament the Education Secretary defended the Government's return to national school testing by quoting to me the apparent support of the EIS teaching union.

But this week that claimed support evaporated. The EIS said this:

"… it will be almost impossible to put in place safeguards which would stop national assessments leading to a league table, target-setting agenda…".

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Jim Wallace's Response to the Government on Syria

Probably nothing is more important than the Government’s primary responsibility of security of the realm and its citizens. The Prime Minister acknowledges that in his Statement. Clearly, we do not have the evidence, nor would it be appropriate to share that evidence publicly, and therefore we must accept the judgement of the Prime Minster in responding to perhaps one of the most serious calls that has been made on him. However, it would be interesting to know whether this is a matter that the Intelligence and Security Committee will be able to look at.

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Borders Railway - Open at Last

It is very exciting to see the new Borders railway opened at last.

It brings back many memories.

The reopening of the Borders Railway was one of the issues that we included in the Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto for the 2003 election.

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SNP must break the link between reoffending and homelessness

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes MSPhas urged SNP Ministers to take action to break the link between homelessness and re-offending.

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A celebration of the Liberal Democrats who made the Borders Railway possible

The campaign to restore the railway to the Borders, enthusiastically championed by David Steel, was already a couple of decades old in the late 1990s, pre devolution. But in 1998 the region was hit by the economic tsunami of the closure of the Viasystems factories, a major printed circuit board manufacturer, and the world famous Pringle knitwear operation in Hawick – thousands of jobs were lost with some clicks on a financier’s spreadsheet.

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Hume calls for extension of Borders Railway

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume today repeated his calls for the Scottish Government to commit to a feasibility study into the extension of the Borders rail link to Hawick and Carlisle.

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McInnes disappointment at glacial pace of youth justice reform

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes has expressed disappointment at the glacial progress of efforts to reform youth justice.

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