Earlier this month, we reported that talented Earlston High student Calum Brydon-Leigh had earned a VIP trip to the Palace of Westminster for being the only Scottish winner, out of thousands of entries, in the prestigious Write On competition, organised and promoted by the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
Entrants were asked to imagine they were a party leader and write an email to rally concerned grassroots members and the 14-year-old from Blainslie selected perhaps the most challenging option by being Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg defending his decision to go into coalition with the Conservatives.
“Seeing his entry I can understand why he won and I have written him a note to say how impressed I was,” said local Lib Dem MSP Jeremy Purvis.
And Scottish Secretary and Borders MP Michael Moore has apologised to Calum for not being able to greet him in London, but wants to meet him personally to discuss his email which TheSouthern is delighted to print.
Dear supporters of the Liberal Democrat party,
Following our coalition with the Conservatives in forming the new UK government, I am conscious that many of you have concerns in respect to the direction we are heading.
It is my firm belief that this ‘union’ should not only be viewed as a positive, but also an opportunity to both influence and implement future policies that meet with our party ideals and agreed manifesto.
Prior to the General Election we were very much seen as the ‘third party’, however we now find ourselves in a pivotal position within a coalition tasked with resolving the numerous flawed policies introduced by the former Labour government.
I share your disapproval regarding the current ‘First Past the Post’ voting system and looking ahead, one of my main priorities will be to convince the Conservatives that a fairer system for the UK electorate would reflect who voters really want in power of the UK.
I would like to assure you that I did not come into politics to make cuts but difficult decisions must be made and we have agreed that we have to make massive savings due to the legacy left by 13 years of Labour government. Whilst efficiency savings must be made, we aim to safeguard jobs by stopping Labour’s proposed jobs tax whilst also supporting economic growth.
Public sector services must also look to make significant savings, although we realise this is going to be difficult.
We are, however, adamant that any child needing additional support or care within education will receive it; this is something that is especially close to the Prime Minister’s heart and which he feels equally passionate about.
It will also be necessary to hold a strategic security and defence review, and, in addition, we will continue to press for multilateral disarmament.
We have also agreed to pursue our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy, and therefore we intend refusing the building of extra runways for Gatwick and Stansted airports.
We will also take measures to encourage marine energy as we feel this is one of the key steps towards cleaner energy.
A further measure is to establish an ‘emissions performance standard’ preventing coal power stations from being built unless they are fitted with the appropriate carbon capture and storage (CCS) equipment to meet these standards.
I hope I have given you a good insight as to the future direction of our party working alongside the Conservatives within the newly formed coalition government.
Remember, there is no ‘I’ in team, so therefore it is crucial that we continue to forge a close working relationship with the Conservatives.
I am confident that, together, we can put the ‘Great’ back into Britain and that we are viewed as a major contributor within the European Union.
Thank you for your continued support.
Deputy Prime Minister