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Who needs a Liberal Party?*

October 10, 2020 1:53 PM

Whether you have ever voted Liberal Democrat or not, most of us do. We live in a liberal democracy. To suggest there is no room for a genuinely liberal party poses worrying questions about where we are heading. Philosophy apart, there are urgent and relevant reasons why a strong Liberal Democrat presence in our politics is needed.

*This post borrows heavily from the content of a recent article by Malcolm Bruce in the P&J - but a bit of it is my own take as well.

Much of society has degenerated into angry, polarised camps, recognising no compromise and demanding people conform to identity slogans or resign themselves to being the "enemy". I cannot tell you how sad this makes me.

It does not lead to a good or kind society. It prevents genuine exchange of views. Evidence is trashed in favour of fake news and alternative facts, and rash decisions follow. Buoyed by current polling, the SNP are revving the engine for independence as fast as possible and at any cost, forcing us to choose between being Scottish and British and prejudicing our shared identity as both.

Britain is divided. Scotland is divided. Brexit has split us and the debate over independence is doing it again. Shouldn't politics be bigger and brighter than that?

Liberal Democrats recognise and celebrate diversity. Forcing people into opposing camps will never make society prosper. It will not make us happier nor more hopeful. On the contrary, the evidence is plain to see - it makes people more bitter and angry.

Building bridges is better than raising barriers.

Liberalism has deep roots in Scotland. Far from flirting with irrelevance, we invite voters to reject identity politics, celebrate our personal freedoms and care for those who need us - whoever they are. There will always be a need for that.