Sunday, 17 April 2011
LIB DEMS DONT LIKE TORIES SAYS WILLIE RENNIE
Yesterday’s Dundee Courier reports that a Leading Fife Liberal Democrat has been accused of hypocrisy after a leaked e-mail revealed that Scottish Lib Dems “don’t like” working with the Tories because they “remember what they did to Scotland”.
Ex Dunfermline West MP and leading Lib Dem central Scotland and Fife list candidate Willie Rennie was responding to a former constituent who expressed concern at the Lib Dem’s Westminster coalition with the Tories. The e-mail reads:
“I’m sorry you feel let down by the Lib Dems. We don’t like working with the Tories. We remember what they did to Scotland in the 1980s. However, we had to get involved to stop the Tories doing their worst”.
He then goes on to highlight the very short list of so called achievements that he believes have benefited Scotland, including the end of child detention at Dungavel. Of course he won't have mentioned that the Tory Home Secretary, speaking last year, continued to defend child detention, and in September the immigration minister Damian Green said the policy was only to minimise detention of children. Then in January this year the English High Court ruled that the UK Border Agency were held to have breached the families’ rights to liberty, privacy and family life (their Article 5 and Article 8 rights), though not Article 3, which relates to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. So not such a huge Lib Dems achievement after all when their partners were clearly doing the usual Tory back-pedalling until the High Court stepped in and, hey presto its a Lib Dem achievement!
Next reduce income tax for low earners. Remember that threshold that the Lib Dem manifesto said should be £10,000? But the Tories watered it down to £7,500, for the tax year 2011-2012 the rest going up in tranches over the length of the English parliament to the magic 10K (if possible say the Tories and it may of course never happen at all due to the usual unforseen exigencies). So more Lib Dem jam tomorrow! And even more ludicrously they have taken steps to reduce tax evasion apparently, God knows what they are seeing as the most successful tax dodgers are actually in the English cabinet with the Lib Dems.
How well we remember Tavish Scott’s lamentable performance on Newsnight the other day. When if one were inclined to be charitable he looked and sounded more like the transport spokesman for Shetland Council than a major national party leader with aspirations to be (Deputy) First Minister. But Tav did his best to distance himself from what Nick Clegg was up to. Why then is Rennie acknowledging that the Lib Dems don’t like working with the Tories. Should he not have told his potential constituent that what the English Lib Dems did was nothing to do with him and he stood by the Scottish Lib Dems record and what he was doubtless hearing on that mythical doorstep with Tavish; now that he wanted to be an list MSP having been told to sling his hook by the actual voters of Fife as an MP?
It was Labour’s election co-ordinator John Park who accused Rennie of being a hypocrite saying that he should not be standing if he disagreed with the coalition. Once again that really, really gray area of the Lib Dems associations north and south of the border comes into play. It seems that what the Scottish Lib Dems mean when they talk of their relations with their English counterparts is that the good stuff is down to them but the bad stuff is down to their English cohorts. Confusing?