I have always considered myself a Liberal Democrat and have blogged about this a few times:
However I never felt that I could join the party so joined the SNP and voted YES in the referendum. The Liberal Party for myself were anything but Liberal and their actions and language with Better Together was very difficult to stomach. Their coalition with the Conservatives, even though I suspect they were harshly judged, was also very difficult to watch. Danny Alexander smiling at every bad news announcement and Vince Cable not reforming the banks to the extent he said he would all felt like betrayals to Liberals everywhere and something I wanted no part of.
But I never really felt like I was a part of the SNP due to my Liberal beliefs so never got actively involved. Although I voted SNP and congratulate them on their unbelievable election success, the SNP was always a means to an end for myself. They deserve their success due to their hard work and now have to live up to the expectation that this success brings. The voters have trusted them so it’s up to them now, but I don’t think their first week has went well, it’s all felt like a school trip to Westminster but I wish them well and hope that they use this mandate to forward the interests of Scotland.
The Liberal Democrats had a very bad election, no one would deny that. I won’t miss Danny Alexander, Charles Kennedy or Jo Swinson as I felt they lost touch of why they were there but did feel sorry for Michael Moore whom I considered a decent man. This defeat however means that the Liberal Democrats now need to re-build to a huge extent and I decided I want to be a part of that.
I appreciate that it won’t be easy to influence entrenched views but Scotland needs a strong Liberal Party. One party politics is dangerous, it’s not good for the SNP and it’s not good for Scotland. I will continue to vote for independence if Federalism remains off of the agenda but I will argue for Federalism in all its glory as I believe it’s what a lot of Scotland wants.
I would be happy to continue to share sovereignty around defence and foreign affairs, happy to share a national bank, but I believe that everything else must be decided in Scotland and elections fought under proportional representation.
I am looking forward to being involved in the local Liberal Democrats in Dundee. I have met a few of the members and they seem really nice and involved for the right reasons. I will not get involved in gutter politics and rubbishing the SNP or the other parties, I did not like what Willie Rennie tweeted about Alex Salmond this week, those politics have to end. I have done that myself and it’s not something we can do anymore. The public are sick of nasty politics, by all means be critical, I certainly will continue to do that, but the rest let’s put aside and consign to the gutter.
I want to thank the SNP for having myself as a member, I hope I didn’t waste your time but I suspect I did not as I never got involved. To the Liberal Democrats I am looking forward to what I hope will be an interesting and engaging political debate as I move forward as a member.
To anyone who feels I am a sell out please don’t judge me harshly, I have never hidden my political beliefs and my being a member of the SNP was actually my denying them. I feel that I have now joined the party where my beliefs belong, where I will grow politically and continue to learn. In some ways it’s a relief to finally and publicly acknowledge in all its glory that I’m a Liberal.