Monday, 22 September 2008

Well said Andy Myles

Fellow Scottish Lib Dem Andy Myles has strong opinions on many issues and, whether or not you agree with him, is always worth listening to. As it happens Andy's take on Scottish politics, especially Lib Dems, nearly always resonates with me.

The Current edition of Liberator (an excellent collectively produced periodical which I thoroughly recommend to all fellow "Social Liberals") has a two page 'open letter', penned by Andy, to newly-elected Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott.

In his piece Andy expresses some concerns regarding Tavish's leadership style - concerns which I share, although he expresses his feelings far more eloquently than I can.

Andy says:
"There are people in the party who are genuinely afraid that you are going to be exclusive - and lead the party from so far out in front that large sections are going to be out in the cold. Please prove them wrong. Leading Liberal Democrats is going to be like herding cats - frequently frustrating and always demanding - but we need all the cats. Skilled as a leader you might be, and with a group of talented friends, but we don't have talent to waste in the party......"

He continues:
"We need an inclusive style of leadership that leaves nobody out in the cold and uses every ounce of talent that we've got."

We need to start from first principles and find ways of making the organism that is the Scottish Liberal Democrats work better. Please don't think that this can be ignored or brushed off or over. It can't. Not without causing massive friction. The leader needs to be able to lead all the cats - and that takes affection. All the best with the job. you're a braver man than me to take it on."

I do hope that Tavish takes Andy's advice to heart and acts upon it and now is the time to do it.

Andy was Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 1992-97 and a Special Advisor (SPAD) to the Deputy First Minister from 2005-07.

Liberator is published 7/8 times a year an a UK subscription costs £23.
Cheques made payable to "Liberator Publications" should be sent to:
Liberator Publications
Flat 1
24 Alexandra Grove
N4 2LF

(It's worth the £23 sub for Lord Bonker's Diary in itself!)


Anonymous said...

More self-destructive shite from you. I'm glad I'm not on your side. He's only been in the job two weeks and you're at him!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Liberator is very worthwhile publication. But the main problem for (and with) Tavish Scott is not his relationship with the party members. It is rather that he incarnates the inability of the Scottish Lib Dems to find any purpose or direction since the May '07 shambles.

Look at his recent comments on the local government strikes:

"“Pay policy is the Government's responsibility. How serious does the situation need to get before Ministers get around the negotiating table?

“These strikes have a direct impact on the services that everyone relies on. Ministers must make sorting this dispute out a priority.”"

It's principle-free opposition-itis at it's worst - attacking the government's position but offering nothing of substance in return. Of course, a genuine liberal response would be to point out that the public sector unions are self-serving parasites, but that's another story...