Scotland needs to be both part of Britain and part of Europe
Many people spontaneously told me how sad they were at the death of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.
It is striking how he was seen as different to most politicians, more straightforward, more “grounded” in the world outside politics, someone to be trusted.
Charles famously said that he regarded himself as a Highlander, Scottish, British and European and saw no conflict between them. If anything, being a Highlander was the most important.
So it was natural that he fought for Scotland to stay part of the United Kingdom, and also argued the case for Britain to be in the European Union.
It is very odd how UKIP want us to come out of Europe but stay in the UK while the SNP want us to stay in Europe and come of the UK.
Scotland needs to be both part of Britain and part of Europe. A new United Kingdom
We need a more federal Britain whose institutions reflect the needs of the different parts of the country – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the English regions – as well as covering the things on which we should make common UK decisions.
We need political leadership – healing the divisions of the referendum and building a new United Kingdom. South Lanarkshire Youth Film Festival
Recently I had the good fortune to attend the Youth Film Festival. The films were superb and showed the talent of youngsters in South Lanarkshire in all aspects of film making. But, sadly, it is very difficult to get into a career in film making in Scotland.
One huge step would be to establish a Scottish Film Studio to provide a base both for major commercial films to be made here and for smaller, local filmmakers to get started.
The Scottish Government has dragged its heels for far too long on this – with the result that major projects like Game of Thrones go to Northern Ireland or to Wales.
I have asked South Lanarkshire to look at this to see whether there might be prospects for a Scottish Film Studio in our county. Liberal Democrats add 15,000 new members
Finally – and almost miraculously after the disappointments of the election – over 15,000 new members have joined the Liberal Democrats since the General Election, most under 30 and most inspired by the need for a strong Liberal movement.
This is the best political news for a long time!
Working for you Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat councillor Robert Brown