David Steel, Cyril Smith and how the establishment still looks after its ownGerry HassanScottish Review, March 4th 2020 Last week, as Harvey Weinstein finally faced justice in America, the UK’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse gave its verdict on David Steel. It damned him for his years of silence and inaction on the child sex abuse of Cyril Smith, Liberal, then Lib Dem, MP for Rochdale from 1972 to 1992; saying that Steel had ‘abdicated his responsibility’ and had not been motivated by ‘the lens of child protection but through the lens of political expediency’. The backstory
Jo Swinson, Govan and Social JusticeGerry HassanScottish Review, June 4th 2019 The Liberal Democrats have a spring in their step. After years of taking a kicking and coming to terms with the near-complete wipeout of 2015, they have stormed back into the reckoning winning second place in the European elections. They feel that with Labour and Tories in trouble, the wind is blowing in their favour, and that they can offer a pan-British voice for Remain. There is the hope of a fresh start with a leadership contest. This pitches Scottish MP Jo Swinson against Sir Ed Davey.
A Man of Principle and the End of an Era of Liberal RadicalismGerry HassanSunday Mail, June 7th 2015 Politics and public life in Britain caught its breath this week with the tragic death of Charles Kennedy. MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber for the past 32 years; leader of the Lib Dems from 1999-2006; the youngest MP elected to the Commons in 1983 at the age of 23 - none of these do justice to the talents, principles and wit of Kennedy. He got, as many people have said, many big things right. He was the most successful
After Cleggmania: Sorry Seems To Be The Easiest WordGerry HassanThe Scotsman, September 22nd 2012 Is there a future for the Lib Dems? Is there one for Nick Clegg after Cleggmania and after he has become the nation’s favourite whipping boy? Nick Clegg’s mea culpa this week certainly marks a watershed of some kind coming as it does nearly half way through this Parliament and coalition. It is an attempt by Clegg and the Lib Dems to ‘move on’: a textbook move from the Blair guide on how to do to politics. Clegg’s apology isn’t actually an apology