In his keynote speech to the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference, Willie Rennie has called on his party to stand up for progressive politics after a divisive year.
THE SCOTTISH Liberal Democrat leader has called on his party to stand up for progressive politics.
Willie Rennie told the Scottish Lib Dem autumn conference in Dunfermline, that the party had invoked the memory of Robert the Bruce who refused to give up, saying that his party will make an optimistic case for the UK, Europe and the USA.
The North East Fife MSP told the conference: “No matter how disturbed by the results in June and this week, as liberals, our response must be one of hope, not despair. A mile from this venue is the Abbey Church, the final resting place of Robert the Bruce.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.” Willie Rennie
"Perhaps we should be inspired by his relationship with that famous spider. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. This is a Robert the Bruce moment for us.
"Just because the progressives have failed on Europe and the United States does not mean that we give up on the USA, EU and UK. We don’t give up on people.”
In a speech where Rennie promise that his party will deliver the “hope, optimism and change” that was set out in last May’s Holyrood elections, where he cited the Hailesland Centre in south west Edinburgh as an example of how the life chances of young people and families have been transformed by the nursery school.
“That is why Liberal Democrats are dedicated to early years expansion investment like no other,” said Willie Rennie. “We made change for early years when in government in Scotland and in the United Kingdom.”
“Every child aged from two to four should receive 1000 hours of early years support within five years.” Willie Rennie
Rennie added: “In the last parliament we won the argument to expand the provision for two-year-olds.
“We have stated our new ambition. Every child aged from two to four should receive 1000 hours of early years support within five years.
“We have identified the funds to make it happen faster through our penny on income tax.
“This is the kind of investment we need to make so that no-one is left behind.” Willie Rennie
“This is the kind of investment we need to make so that no-one is left behind.”
Rennie said that the change his party is offering was needed for the country as the SNP government is failing to deliver.
He cited SNP failures that include delayed hospital discharge, GP shortages, and failing to meet climate change as a list of SNP failures.
Also, according to Rennie that there has been a dereliction of duty in relation to the deal that was signed with the Chinese state company CR3.
“Public services get worse whilst they argue for independence.” Willie Rennie
This was despite the SNP Government denying that it is a deal when asked by the Scottish Lib Dems about the Chinese firms’ human rights record.
Last May, the Scottish Government released correspondence relating to a £10bn memorandum of understanding with Chinese firms. The information was released after a freedom of information (FOI) request was made into the background of the investment
Opposition parties questioned the transparency of the deal as well as raising concerns of the parent firm of China Railway, which was blacklisted by Norway’s pension fund amid fears of “gross corruption”.
“No wonder people feel let down.” Willie Rennie
Rennie said: “Human rights get ignored whilst they pretend they know what they are doing. Big business gets the breaks whilst everyone else gets left behind. Public services get worse whilst they argue for independence.
“And all along the SNP point the finger of blame everyone else but themselves. No wonder people feel let down.”
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