Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leadership and Listening

Well, I guess you have to admire Ming Campbell's honesty and fair play to him for being so upfront about his views. In a Sunday Times article, he urges the new Scottish Lib Dem Leader, and he's supporting Tavish Scott, to vote against a referendum on independence even if the Party votes in favour of it.

The Lib Dems have a great tradition of the Conference being the sovereign policy making body of the Party. Clearly the Conference only meets twice a year and the Party needs to respond to issues a bit quicker than that. However, on something as fundamental as a referendum on independence, I would prefer it if the leadership stuck to the will of the Party. The Sunday Times could be seen as an indication that a Scott leadership would ignore Conference backing for a referendum.

That's not the sort of regime I would feel comfortable under. We have to keep in mind that our finest performance in recent years came when the leadership listened to the members over Iraq.

For the record, I have long favoured a referendum on independence, although I am opposed to independence itself. While I thought the stand we took during the 2007 election was wrong, it was right to stick to that position when it came to talking coalitions.

Let's hope that the new leader listens to the view of the Conference.


youngdegsy said...


When I saw this my blood boiled. Like you, I have toiled away in this party to try and secure some change in our society and our country. Whoever is the Leader - and as you know I'm strongly supporting Tavish Scott - we have always prided ourselves in being a party that fully involves its members. An off-hand dismissal of the views of conference is at best bizarre, and at worst inconceivably arrogant. Ming may be great at certain things, but it appears that taking the party with him is not one of them. The tenure of a Leader who ignored a clear conference decision on something like this would be, to quote Thomas Hobbes, "poor, nasty, solitary, brutish and short."


Unknown said...

I hope that we never have to find out the hard way the truth of what you are saying.


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