I was therefore thrilled to bits that Willie Rennie, our new leader, has signalled that we will be supporting the SNP Government's plans on minimum alcohol pricing. It's not just the actual policy, but more the fact that it shows the sort of willingness for constructive engagement that we see so little of in politics.
And Willie also gets a really, really big tick for saying that the plans will be ratified by Conference. It's nice to know that he remembers we exist, because there's been a feeling of disconnect for many years amongst grassroots members. I think that many members were uncomfortable with a number of the policy stances we took, without any sort of consultation, in the past. I think that Conference will be very supportive of the move as the vast majority of members I've spoken to from all over the country have been in favour of the change anyway.
When I interviewed Willie for Liberal Democrat Voice a few weeks ago, he said that the party is not "easily led" and that he wants his approach to be more of a collective one. He has been putting that into action over the last few weeks, really getting out there and listening to members. He is actually quite good at remembering he has two ears and one gob. He's also been helping campaigning around the country - he was up in Tain yesterday giving support to Council by-election candidate Antony Gardner:
Update: Willie has written his own article for Liberal Democrat Voice, saying that it's time for radical action on alcohol misuse in Scotland.