“I don’t want to be in a politics driven by fear”: Willie Rennie

Following his decision to stand down as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, Willie Rennie has given an interview with The Scotsman:

“I don’t want to be involved in a politics that is driven by fear and even if I don’t win as a result I am not going to be driven by that,” he said.

Highlighting the debate in the House of Commons around international aid, which led to a cut in overall aid funding and the decision to remove the £20 uplift in Universal Credit, Mr Rennie said both results “chips away” and “undermines” public trust in the Union.

He labelled the Conservatives as the “main recruiting sergeant for the SNP” and insisted that despite the [last Scottish Parliament election] result, the Liberal Democrats were on the right path in Scotland to returning to a meaningful electoral force.

Mr Rennie said: “The Conservatives ran the darkest, negative campaign that I have probably seen them and that is saying something.

“They cast themselves as the defender of the Union, but every step they take undermines the union.

“It’s not the UK that is the problem, it is the Conservatives that are the problem.

“That is an utterly depressing set of politics and myself and I think [Scottish Labour leader] Anas [Sarwar] too worked really hard to present a positive alternative to those twin nationalisms. It didn’t work, but would I have done anything different? No, because I am not going to go down the route of an utterly depressing, negative, dark campaign that I think both sides ran.”

You can read the interview in full here.

Sign up to get the latest news and analysis

    If you submit this form, your data will be used in line with the privacy policy here to update you on the topic(s) selected. This may including using this data to contact you via a variety of digital channels.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

2 responses to ““I don’t want to be in a politics driven by fear”: Willie Rennie”

  1. Yes, the Conservatives (Brexitervatives??) are the problem. It is the divide and conquer, the spread of fear of the ‘other’ and the lowest common denominator that they use.We have to campaign on the old adage of hope for the future, of cooperating with others for a better one for all people regardless of party they vote for. To instill positiveness in all.

  2. There is an argument that the longterm logic of the SNP-Tory dualism threatening Scottish politics suggests the best way for Lib Dems and Labour to commbate their ‘dark narrative’ and fight for a non-sectarian centrist and centre-left politics built on constitutionalism, is merger. (Scottish Democratic Alliance?) This would, of course, be extremely difficult, make for some awkward conjunctions of political views, and almost certainly resisted by both party leaderships in England / Westminster who would have to both sign up to a non-interventionist approach to make it work – and would risk the defection of Corbynites on the left of Labour, and classical liberals on the right of the Lib Dems. But just saying. Ironically, if Scotland left the UK, this might be less of an issue because of the loss of the FPTP system forcing things towards a 2-party system in the Westminster elections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.