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.
"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......"
"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.
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