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LibDem commitment to home rule cannot be taken seriously

I cannot be the only person tired of reading earnest letters from supporters of the Liberal Democrats such as Allan C Steele boasting about the party's century-old commitment to Scottish home rule, albeit within a federal UK framework (Letters, November 7).

Surely the harsh political reality is that whenever there has seemed to be the remotest chance of achieving that otherwise admirable objective the LibDems have backed off from taking any decisive action that might conceivably bring it about.

Thus in the aftermath of the 2007 Scottish Election, in which the SNP emerged as the largest minority party at Holyrood, the LibDems refused to enter discussions with the Nationalists with the aim of forming a coalition administration, committed to holding a multi-option referendum in which the LibDems would have been free to campaign for their preferred constitutional option of federal home rule or devolution max against the SNP's preferred independence option.

This contrasted with their conduct in the aftermath of the two previous Scottish elections, when they had been happy to form an administration with Labour and its hardline Unionist commitment, and even more disreputable conduct in the aftermath of the 2010 General Election when they jumped into bed with the Tories, subsequently breaking their promises on student fees.

And in the aftermath of last year's Scottish Election, in which the SNP won an overall majority (and consequently the right to stage an independence referendum), the LibDems conspicuously failed to campaign for the inclusion of a second question on the referendum ballot paper, despite the fact the SNP leader made it clear he was open to that suggestion.

Even if we could bring ourselves to believe the latest reiteration of their federal home rule commitment was worth the paper it was written on, the idea it could be achieved in the aftermath of a No vote in the 2014 independence referendum is lacking in credibility. Remember 1979.

Ian O Bayne,

8 Clarence Drive, Glasgow.

The petulance shown by Nicola Sturgeon at not being invited to speak at Glasgow City Council's State of the City Economy conference is not only amusing but also instructive of the small minds of the SNP leadership ("SNP anger at council 'snub' to Sturgeon", The Herald, November 8).

In their tiny world, Ms Sturgeon, with little known economic expertise, has more authority to speak on the subject than Alistair Darling, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer of a G8 country, who called the world economic crisis correctly, before his own Prime Minister, and was responsible for saving the banks and banking system from collapse.

Peter A Russell,

87 Munro Road,

Glasgow.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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