Monthly Archives: June 2017

James with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

Last week the General Election took place and in Dunfermline and West Fife our candidate was James Calder. Although he was not elected, he increased the Lib Dem share of the vote locally from the previous election and gained a significant number of votes.

Nationally the Liberal Democrats were successful in gaining seats, including big hitters such as Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire and Vince Cable in Twickenham. In Edinburgh West, one of our neighbouring constituencies, Christine Jardine gained the seat back from the SNP.

James Calder has commented,

It was an honour to stand as a candidate for Dunfermline and West Fife. I would like to take the time to thank all those who supported me and I will continue working for Liberal Values locally. Nationally  I was delighted with the Liberal Democrats’ improvement in our support. It sends an important message to both of our Governments:

This was a  big no to another divisive second Independence Referendum to the SNP Government at Holyrood, who lost huge numbers of seats.

This was also a big no to Theresa May’s plans for a Hard-Brexit – she lost her majority and she should now be seeking to compromise and look for access to the Single Market to keep our economy strong.

 

 

James Calder with Willie Rennie

With the General Election approaching, the Scottish Liberal Democrats offer many strong reasons why they could best represent Dunfermline in the UK Parliament. Some of the reasons include:

  • As a Pro-UK Party, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently supported a strong Scotland in a strong United Kingdom. We will oppose another divisive Independence Referendum.
  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats have a strong track record locally for getting things done with local Councillors like Tony Martin and former Dunfermline MP Willie Rennie.
  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats believe in getting the best deal with Europe. We want to avoid an economically damaging hard-Brexit by negotiating Single Market access and giving the British people the chance to have the final word on the deal.
  • Willie Rennie and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have backed additional funding for our schools locally to meet the challenges of the Dunfermline Schools’ Capacity Crisis. We will seek to ensure education spending is increases locally.
  • The Liberal Democrats nationally have backed extra funding for the NHS which will also improve funding available for the Scottish NHS.

On Wednesday Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate James Calder attended to Fife Equality Hustings in Kirkcaldy along with candidates from the Conservatives, Labour and SNP. The evening provided an interesting forum to debate many issues, especially in the field of equality, between representatives from all the Parties standing in Fife in the General Election.

Some of the issues that were highlighted included the impact of Brexit on equalities, diversity in politics, the Refugee crisis and impacts on disabled people regarding equalities.

In the hustings James argued vigorously on these points. On Brexit, he made the point that in some quarters of the Conservative Party there was a suggestion that this could lead to a Singapore-style economy with reduced workers’ rights. He also described the fact that he was proud that the Liberal Democrats had fought in Parliament for the right to stay for EU citizens living in Britain.

On diversity in politics, James mentioned the work of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in ensuring all-female shortlists in target seats as well as the formation of the Diversity Working Group in the Party to improve our performance. He made the point that this was something all Parties needed to work towards.

On the refugee crisis, James mentioned that he was ashamed of the British Government for not doing more and was pleased at how Tim Farron had been campaigning strongly on this issue.

He also mentioned his disappointment that cuts on the local level that affected people with disabilities were made due to SNP underfunding Councils and that the Liberal Democrats had proposed a modest tax increase to avoid this, which the SNP rejected.

James also mentioned his disgust with the Rape Clause and the fact that he is opposed in General to the two-child limit to Child Tax Credits.

Overall the evening provided a lively atmosphere with the audience getting involved.