Some thoughts on the 2024 General Election
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
1w ago
This has been a General Election in which I've probably been more active than ever before. I don't know who thought that a summer election was a good idea (well, I do actually - his name is Rishi) but from my personal perspective it's been a terrific experience.  It's been a long six weeks and a long night - but before the dust settles and the real analysts try to make sense of the vote, here are some of my own thoughts on what we have learned from this election. a) This is the most disproportionate result in living memory. It is even worse than 1983, when the SDP-Liberal Alliance w ..read more
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What would be a good outcome for Israel?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
2M ago
As the "war" in Gaza continues and the death toll increases, efforts at bringing about a ceasefire have also stepped up. Earlier this week talks mediated by the US, Qatar and Egypt briefly gave cause for hope that some kind of arrangement, however temporary, may be within reach. However, with Israel determined to press on with its assault in Rafah and raising objections on "several central issues" no deal has been reached. Israel's intransigence and outright rejection of a plan that involved a captives-for-prisoners exchange and the return of displaced Palestinians raises the question: what ..read more
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Yousaf resigns - what next?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
2M ago
Photo: BBC No-one can deny that Scottish politics has been interesting in the last week or so. As Harold Wilson once remarked, "a week in politics is a long time". A lot has changed in that time. So much so that I intended to write a very different blogpost this morning considering the options open to Humza Yousaf - but his sudden resignation as SNP leader put paid to that idea. Fundamentally, the situation was created by the First Minister overreaching himself in terminating the Bute House Agreement. It's difficult to see why he felt he needed to do this when it may have been eas ..read more
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Rwanda bill passes
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
2M ago
Rishi Sunak (Photo: Yahoo News) The Rwanda bill was finally passed last night when the House of Lords meekly surrendered, meaning that summary deportation will shortly become law.  It is difficult to see any advantages to this scheme, other than perhaps saving Rishi Sunak's political skin. Even that seems temporary. The inefficient, immoral and frankly eye-wateringly expensive plan is not designed to "stop the boats" - it is too impractical to address the actual problem. Instead it is just another gimmick aimed at appeasing right-wingers.  In short, this is one of the most ..read more
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Lib Dem candidate suspended in Rochdale - right or wrong decision?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
3M ago
Rabina Asghar stands beside George Galloway in a video that appeared on Twitter yesterday.   A Lib Dem council candidate has been suspended after being endorsed by George Galloway MP. Rabina Asghar, who was to contest the Spotland and Fallinge ward for the Lib Dems as she has three times previously, has been suspended by the party after the Workers' Party MP used a video to urge voters to support her in order to "Get Labour out" of Rochdale Town Hall.  In the video, he said: "In Spotland and Falinge I am backing Rabina Asghar who has grown her vote share from 7 per cent t ..read more
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UN Security Council calls for ceasefire - will it make a difference?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
3M ago
The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict. The wording of the resolution is significant. It calls for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan and demands the release of all hostages currently held by Hamas. The resolution is not binding on Israel, but it sends a very clear signal that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated. Perhaps more significantly, the US's decision to abstain from the vote rather than use its power as a permanent member to veto it - as it has on three previous occasions - would appear to su ..read more
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Does anyone care about Nagorno-Karabakh?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
4M ago
For a couple of days in early October 2023, the world's news media suddenly became interested in Nagorno-Karabakh, a semi-autonomous largely Christian enclave within largely-Muslim Azerbaijan. After months of unrest an Azerbaijani offensive in September 2023, which followed a nine-month long blockade - essentially, a starvation blockade - resulted in Nagorno-Karabakh becoming quickly overrun. Unsurprisingly, Nagorno-Karabakh capitulated within days with the end result a hastily negotiated ceasefire that required the republic to dissolve itself by 1st January 2024. Nagorno-Karabakh entered i ..read more
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The two-state solution: has its time finally arrived?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
5M ago
From the official Israeli perspective, the war in Gaza has one aim - the elimination of Hamas. So far, it's not going particularly well.  That is not surprising. Despite the IDF being well-equipped and well-funded, a ground war is Gaza was never going to be a walk in the park.  Also, for reasons I previously explained in my post of 25th October entitled "How do you solve a problem like Hamas?", a war with a terror organisation is seldom won through conventional military means. As I pointed out in the early days of the war, "any 'solution' achieved purely through the use of force ..read more
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Blessed are the peacemakers?
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
5M ago
Anyone watching business in the House of Commons this afternoon will have witnessed the undignified sight of the SNP, the Conservatives and the Labour Party using the plight of Gazan Palestinians to play an absurd game of political football. None of them come away with much credit from a charade in which party interests come before human rights.  Oh, what a circus it's all been... but the bottom line is that what is happening in Gaza appears to be of secondary interest to the players at Westminster than the usual political games we have come to associate with Opposition Day Motions ..read more
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There must be no room for antisemitism in the Lib Dems
A Scottish Liberal
by Andrew
5M ago
(Photo: Equaliteach) The preamble to the Liberal Democrats constitution reads: "The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity." It shouldn't really be too contentious that a party with such beliefs and values would be opposed to racism, sexism, or other forms of discrimination. And yet today it has been confirmed that a Lib Dem councillor - previously leader of the Lib Dem group on the loc ..read more
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