General Election

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.

 

Today all of the Dunfermline General Election candidates united together in a show of solidarity to remember murdered former Labour MP Jo Cox. Liberal Democrat candidate James Calder joined with Douglas Chapman (SNP), Cara Hilton (Labour) and Belinda Hacking (Conservative) by visiting the new Museum and Art Gallery that has just opened to the public.

James Calder has said,

This showed an important message today- that no matter what some individuals may try to do, politicians from across the spectrum will unite to show we will not bow down to evil. Jo Cox was an MP who served her community and her murder was a tragic event. All of the candidates today showed though that we are united in wanting to make our community a better place and in honouring the memory of Jo.

Today’s event in Dunfermline mirrored other events around the UK to remember Jo Cox.

Today the Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto for the General Election. The manifesto offers the chance to Change Britain’s Future and offers a positive alternative to the Tories and their hard-Brexit agenda as well as Labour’s inability to oppose them.

Some of the pledges include:

  • To oppose the Conservatives’ hard-Brexit agenda by avoiding a disastrous Single Market exit and giving people, not politicians, the final say on the Brexit deal.
  • Opposing Scottish independence and instead delivering  stronger devolution powers.
  • Investing extra in our schools and NHS

James Calder, Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate for Dunfermline has commented, “The Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only Party that offers an alternative to regressive nationalism. The SNP obsess about independence, the Tories pander to xenophobia and an economically damaging agenda, and Labour are nowhere to be seen! If you want a brighter future which is based on hope rather than using fear and xenophobia. then the Scottish Liberal Democrats are your best possible choice here in Dunfermline.”

The Dunfermline Liberal Democrats have announced that James Calder has been selected as the Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidare for Dunfermline and West Fife. James is the Councillor for Dunfermline South and has lived most of his life in the Constituency.

James Calder has said, “Dunfermline and West Fife deserve an MP who will put the local community first, rather than being another Cheerleader for Independence. I want to see improvements to our education and NHS as well as a positive approach to Brexit negotiations which allows Britain to retain Single Market access and gives tthe British people the final decision. I also oppose any attempt at another Independence Referendum in any circumstances.”

The General Election is on the 8th June.

Our General Election candidate Gillian Cole-Hamilton

Our UK Election candidate Gillian Cole-Hamilton

James Calder, our Dunfermline South By-Election Candidate

James Calder, our Dunfermline South By-Election Candidate

Tomorrow (Thursday 7th May) is Election Day and our candidates are Gillian Cole-Hamilton for the General Election and James Calder for the Dunfermline South Council By-Election.

Gillian and the Lib Dems nationally are fighting to take the lowest paid out of income tax completely, improve on our NHS and education as well as having a stronger Scottish Parliament in the UK.

James is campaigning on local issues and is putting local residents first, including improving road and pavement surfaces, dealing with litter problems, encouraging community sport and improving education provision.

James has commented, ‘Tomorrow is going to be one of the closest elections in years and I encourage everyone to come out and make their voice heard. The Lib Dems will provide a strong voice for people locally. If elected, my priority is to serve the local community.’

Polling opens at 7am on Thursday 7th May.

Workers across Scotland will benefit from a further £400 tax cut under Liberal Democrat plans to raise the Income Tax threshold to £12,500 in the next Parliament. The Lib Dems delivered on their top election pledge from 2010 to cut taxes for Scottish workers – to the tune of £800 a year – but now they want to go even further.

The Conservatives are trying to take credit for the tax cut but let’s not forget that they said it was unaffordable in the run up to the last election. The Lib Dems had their commitment to cut taxes for Scottish workers on the front page of their manifesto, and cutting taxes for those on low and middle incomes will be a top priority for them again.

Our General Election candidate Gillian Cole-Hamilton would fight for a Stronger Scotland

Our General Election candidate Gillian Cole-Hamilton would fight for a Stronger Scotland

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are leading the campaign for a stronger Scotland within the UK

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have a strong and proud record of delivering more powers to Scotland. They have led the fight every time more powers have been taken away from London and given to Scotland, and were instrumental in the formation of the Scottish Parliament.

The Liberal Democrats are now working to strengthen the Scottish Parliament further, with control of major taxes and a new £3 billion Scottish welfare system. The Scottish Parliament needs to be strengthened so that it can raise much more of the money it spends through new tax powers. That way Scotland can determined its own destiny on domestic issues while retaining the strength and security that comes with being part of the UK.

 

The Liberal Democrats in Westminster will work hard to ensure that David Cameron and Ed Miliband honour their pledge to Scotland, and secure the powerful change that Scotland needs.

Lib Dems only party with plan to fill NHS funding gap

The Lib Dems have committed to increase the money available for the Scottish health service by £800 million.

They are the only party to do so, as part of a fuly costed plan to give £8bn yo UK services. Both Labour and the Conservatives refuse to commit to the extra funding our NHS needs, despite leading doctors warning that it is essential.

Senior Lib Dems Charles Kennedy said, “We want to build a fairer society and that’s why we are committed to giving the NHS the funding it needs to cope with the future challenges of an increasing population and people living longer.”

A senior Conservaitvie has even admitted that NHS spending may have to be CUT under George Osborne’s plans to cut deeper and faster after the election.