Meeting Lib Dems in Government

We took the train (ever conscious of our carbon footprint) up to Edinburgh and back as part of the cycle of university visits. with my oldest son.  I was also able to visit the new Scottish Parliament building.  It is a remarkable complex of buildings and you can see where all the money went in the quality of the fittings and finishes - but I think it is just a bit too whimsical in its details to carry conviction as a parliament.

In the main debating chamber, the politicians are simply lost in the elaborate fret of woodwork! However I was really pleased to catch up with my old university friend Jim Wallace, Scotland's first Deputy First Minister and the first Liberal to be a government minister in peacetime in Britain for nearly 100 years.

I also met Nicol Stephen MSP, Jim's successor as Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, and Ross Finnie MSP, Minister for Environment and Rural Development. The Lib Dems have achieved huge success as partners in government in Scotland including abolition of student tuition fees and free long-term care for the elderly.  Sadly the London media is so London-centric that there is hardly any coverage of what is happening north of the border.

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