Lib­eral Democrats

Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Countdown -

Ewan Hoyle

The Lib­eral Democrats have never been a party that could take power for granted. We don’t have a wealthy base or a union base that we know will al­ways turn out for us. We have to work very hard in or­der to earn the op­por­tu­nity to in­flu­ence at the high­est level in pol­i­tics.

In 2010 we were sud­denly in a po­si­tion where that hard work had pre­sented us with a poi­soned chal­ice. We had to ask our­selves whether we could en­ter coali­tion with the Con­ser­va­tives in or­der to en­sure po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity at a time of eco­nomic chaos. Ul­ti­mately we had to choose be­tween the long term in­ter­ests of our coun­try and the short term in­ter­ests of our party. I’m glad we put the coun­try first. I’m glad that Bri­tain is re­cov­er­ing steadily af­ter a time of great dif­fi­culty. I’m glad that our in­flu­ence in gov­ern­ment meant the low­est earn­ers got a tax cut while we closed loop­holes and ramped up pros­e­cu­tions to tackle tax avoid­ance and eva­sion by the greed­i­est rich.

Plac­ing our­selves be­tween the Tories and the most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety has been an in­cred­i­bly bruis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and with Labour say­ing they will be tougher on benefits than the Tories, it looks like many peo­ple will need us to per­form the same role again with a dif­fer­ent coali­tion part­ner.

We re­main the only party that will ex­am­ine the facts on is­sues like drug pol­icy and men­tal health, and show de­ter­mi­na­tion to break through the stigma, to place th­ese is­sues cen­tre stage.

We are the party that can reach across divides, and calmly refuse to de­monise. I think deep down you know that Scot­land needs the Lib­eral Democrats now more than ever.

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