Many thanks from Dundee Liberal Democrats

John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, and Dr Clive Sneddon, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee East would like to thank the 8518 voters who backed the Liberal Democrats across the two constituencies yesterday.

Despite the potential for squeeze in both seats, the Liberal Democrat vote held up well and in Dundee West, the LibDems outpolled the Conservatives.

Clive and John said, “We are very grateful to everyone who supported the Liberal Democrats yesterday – it is greatly appreciated.”

More at the hustings!

John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, today addressed a hustings meeting sponsored by the University of Dundee and the College Union.  It speaks volumes that the SNP candidate did not even bother to turn up.

John is pictured at the university earlier today.

Ming Campbell in Dundee

Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP, former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, was in Dundee today (30th April) to visit the headquarters of Alliance Trust in the city and to also support the candidacy of John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West.

Pictured above are Ming and John with me at the Alliance Trust Headquarters.

Sir Menzies undertook a tour of the company’s impressive headquarters building in the city’s Marketgait and met Mr Douglas Connon, Alliance Trust’s Managing Director – Corporate Affairs

Thereafter Sir Menzies undertook a walkabout in Dundee City Centre to meet Dundee voters.

John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, said, “I am delighted that Sir Menzies came to the city to support my candidacy and visit the Alliance Trust offices. The Liberal Democrats have fought our most vigorous campaign in many years and it is clear that support is growing both in Dundee and right across the UK .”

John Barnett at Dundee West Hustings

John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, today took part in two hustings meetings – one, tonight, at St Peter’s Free Church and the other, this afternoon, at Dundee High School.

The audience at Dundee High School voted after the debate and John was the run-away winner with 54.7% of the poll.

John said tonight, “The latest opinion polls in Scotland show the Liberal Democrats second to Labour with the SNP third and Tories last. If you want real change in Dundee West, vote Liberal Democrat next Thursday.”

John is pictured (above) at St Peter’s Free Church before tonight’s debate.

John Barnett helps the Dunfermline effort!

Today John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, joined St Andrews Liberal Democrat Councillor Robin Waterston on a day trip to Dunfermline to support the campaign of Willie Rennie, winner of a spectacular by-election in 2006, in Gordon Brown’s home constituency.

Speaking to Liberal Democrat activists later, John said:

“There is no seat in which the Liberal Democrats are not able to mount a serious challenge, especially Labour-held seats where the voters have been taken too much for granted. A vote for the Liberal Democrats in Dundee West is a vote for fairness in politics.”

John Barnett’s campaign galloping across Dundee West …

The Liberal Democrat campaign in Dundee West is galloping ahead, following another excellent performance by Nick Clegg at the second Prime Ministerial Debate last night.    John is pictured above with me and some other members of the team at the Kingsway West retail park today.
John said, “Nick Clegg gave another excellent performance again last night and the Liberal Democrats are continuing to soar in the polls. The response on the doorsteps across Dundee West has been superb.”

Rage against the LabCon machine … Nick Clegg for PM

Been out in Dundee West tonight with John Barnett and the team – and it is very clear that the move to support the Liberal Democrats is huge – really huge. The old politics is over and the panic amongst the Tories and Labour is palpable.

Liberal Democrats in the Dundee West constituency today formally adopted John Barnett as their candidate for Dundee West in the forthcoming General Election.

Married with two children at school, John has a law degree from the University of Dundee. He has been an active member of the Liberal Democrats since school and has been a campaigner and office bearer in London and Scotland. With experience in institutional finance, management and fundraising consultancy; as well as heritage and educational management in the charity sector, John draws upon a wealth of experience and is currently a member of the University of Dundee Audit Committee.

John has served as a member of the Steel Commission whose Report proposed a workable and sustainable blueprint for Scottish Home Rule within a modernised federal United Kingdom.

John’s particular interests are in the fields of education, international relations, public finance and human rights. Working with the two Liberal Democrat councillors in the constituency, John offers an alternative to the approach of Labour and the SNP by addressing the real issues of concern of local people.

A strong supporter of the project to bring the V&A to Dundee, John believes that serious investment in the transport infrastructure will be needed to support the forecast numbers of annual visitors to the city.

John said today, “The events of the last week and in particular the Prime Ministerial Debate show that there is great momentum behind the Liberal Democrat campaign. More and more people I meet in the constituency are turning to the Liberal Democrats this time.”

For a superb MP for Dundee West, vote John Barnett in Dundee West on 6th May.

Dundee West LibDem campaign gathers pace

As the Liberal Democrats soar in the polls and Labour and Tory fall back, John Barnett’s LibDem campaign in Dundee West is galloping ahead throughout the constituency.
Here’s John with some of the LibDem team (Munwar, Bill & Chris – with John on the right of the photo above) pictured in Nethergate near to DCA this morning, where John was interviewed by STV News.

John Barnett welcomes LibDem Manifesto

John Barnett, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, today welcomed publication of the Party’s General Election manifesto.

John said, “This manifesto is a radical and responsible blueprint for the future prosperity and integrity of our country – a Liberal Democrat manifesto you can trust; a manifesto for fairness.”

There are four key themes :

  • Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket
  • A fair chance for every child
  • A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener
  • And a fair deal by cleaning up politics

John added, “This week we have seen yet again the tired old formulas from the Labour and Tory Parties – and witnessed the total irrelevance of the SNP on the margins of the debate. Our fully-costed programme for fairness in government addresses the real future challenges and opportunities in Scotland, England and Wales.

“In Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, we have an able and energetic leadership team. In our candidates we have strong local campaigners. I urge all those looking for real change, for an end to the two party dominance which gives us ‘boom and bust’ and holds our country back. If you vote for Liberal Democrat, you will get Liberal Democrats implementing Liberal Democrat policies.

“We look forward to the election on 6th May.”

John is pictured (below) campaigning in Grosvenor Road in the West End tonight.

John Barnett campaigning with Sir Menzies Campbell

John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, attended the adoption meeting of Sir Menzies Campbell, former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, last Friday.

The adoption meeting took place in our neighbouring North East Fife constituency and, before a weekend of campaigning in Dundee West, John spent time campaigning in St Andrews with Sir Menzies.

Here is John pictured with Sir Menzies Campbell MP and Iain Smith MSP.

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign launch : Tories’ tax bombshell

The Scottish Liberal Democrats launched our general election campaign today in Glasgow with Nick Clegg revealing the £13.4bn VAT bombshell at the heart of the Tories’ tax plans. 

Nick pointed out that an analysis of the Conservatives’ proposed tax cuts or reversals shows that they will cost over £13.5bn a year in 2011-12 prices – yet just £100m has been specifically identified to fund them.

This leaves a £13.4bn black hole, equivalent to a 3% rise in the standard rate of VAT. This would mean an extra tax of £389 on the average household.

The Liberal Democrats have fully-costed plans to raise the starting threshold for income tax to £10,000. This would put £700 back in the pockets of the vast majority of people, and lift around 4m of Britain’s – including half a million of Scotland’s – lowest earners out of paying tax altogether.

It would be funded by ensuring the very well-off pay their fair share, through measures including:

• taxing capital gains as income
• a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m
• giving tax relief on pensions only at the basic rate
• tackling tax avoidance

Commenting, Nick said, “Every Scottish person knows from the Poll Tax that you cannot trust the Conservatives on tax. It was the Poll Tax that drove the Conservatives out of Scottish politics. It is tax that will make sure they never return.

“Liberal Democrats have costed, in full, our proposals for tax cuts. We can tell you, penny for penny, pound for pound, who pays for them.

“We will not have to raise VAT to deliver our promises. The Conservatives will. Their tax promises on marriage and jobs may sound appealing. But they come with a secret VAT bombshell close behind.

“So if you’re on an ordinary income, you have a choice. If you want your taxes to rise: vote Labour or Conservative. If you want your taxes to fall: choose the Liberal Democrats.”

Here in Dundee, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West John Barnett added, “On the doorsteps, the Liberal Democrat message of fairer taxes is being well-received. People can see through Tory empty and unfunded promises.”

Friday …

A very busy day with the ‘day job’ that unfortunately meant I missed today’s Dundee West Transition Town Group meeting, but good to see the good write-up about the group’s momentum in tonight’s Evening Telegraph.
Later today, I joined John Barnett and team, campaigning in the West End.    Here’s John and me, pictured in Logie Avenue late this afternoon.

Campaigning, Belfast, Surgeries, City Council …

A very busy few days – with the Liberal Democrats campaigning across the West End and the Dundee West constituency as a whole.     Pictured above is John Barnett, Dundee West Liberal Democrat candidate, in Cleghorn Street yesterday.
I missed much of Sunday’s campaigning as I have been in Belfast with the “day job” (photo below!) and returned just in time to attend my afternoon surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and Harris Academy, followed by City Council meetings tonight.
At tonight’s Council’s committees, I raised questions about the Bike Boost initiative as part of the Dundee Travel Active project, the review of ‘out of hours’ social work service, and welcomed the decision to give the job brokerage services contract to the Dundee Employment and Aftercare Project (DEAP).      The handling of this matter by the Dundee Partnership and the SNP council administration has been unimpressive, the tendering process wasteful and unnecessary and – in terms of the future – I made the point that now is the time for all councillors in the city to get behind DEAP and the excellent work it does to secure job opportunities for Dundee people.
I also raised my concern at the expenditure of nearly £80 000 to change the car parking and access at the East District Housing Office – an office barely three years old.    Why is the council spending such a large sum of rent-payers’ money changing parking arrangements so soon after the project was completed?    The SNP Housing Convener appeared disinterested in the matter and I have written to the Chief Executive of the City Council asking further questions about the concern.    City Council tenants are entitled to know that their rent monies are being properly spent.

Weekend campaigning across the West End …

The Liberal Democrat campaign team was out in force over the weekend in the West End and across other parts of the Dundee West constituency.
The photo (above) is of John Barnett, LibDem candidate for Dundee West, pictured this afternoon campaigning in Dunmore Gardens in the West End.
John said, “I am really delighted at the really positive response the Liberal Democrats are getting right across Dundee West. Nick Clegg is leading the way in showing why fairness should be at the heart of government and politics. It is clear that this is a positive message that is being well-received on the doorsteps.”

IoD Scotland & ACCA Scotland Westminster Hustings meeting

This morning, I attended the Westminster Husting meeting at City Quay, organised by the Institute of Directors – Scotland and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in Scotland, and hosted by Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce.
John Barnett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Dundee West, spoke and answered questions, along with Dundee candidates from the other three main parties. It was a good opportunity for candidates to discuss issues with the Dundee business community.
John is pictured (above) after the hustings meeting.

Tavish in town …

Dundee LibDems are most grateful to Tavish Scott MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who today spent more time in the West End campaiging with John Barnett, Liberal Democrat Westminster candidate for Dundee West. John and Tavish are pictured above during an interview in Nethergate.I also attended tonight’s West End Community Council meeting. There were excellent presentations on Discovery Credit Union and the Hannah’s Highway project – it was a very constructive and participative meeting of the Community Council.

This evening, I met with the team leader of the Street Lighting Partnership and Blackness Road residents about changes to street lighting there (where the old SOX (Orange) lights have been changed to High Pressure Sodium SON lights) and although this should result in improved lighting, concerns from residents about the extent the lighting covers across the road to the opposite footpath. The Street Lighting Partnership will further investigate the matter and report back to me in due course.

Dundee West Parliamentary campaign – weekend team effort!

The Liberal Democrat Dundee West Parliamentary campaign saw a superb team effort this weekend, concentrating on the West End and in Kirkton.

Pictured above is John Barnett, LibDem parliamentary candidate, campaigning in the West End in Blackness Avenue.
Following today’s polling news of SNP meltdown across Scotland and the Tory lead across the UK disappearing to nothing, John pointed out that there is all to play for, in a close-run general election ahead.

London MP visits Dundee

Leading London MP Tom Brake has visited Dundee to learn about the city’s Waterfront project, the Victoria & Albert Museum project and to tour Dundee’s cultural quarter, taking in a visit to the DCA and Dundee Rep theatre.

Accompanied by my colleague John Barnett, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Dundee West, Tom received a briefing about the exciting plans for the V&A on the city’s Waterfront which is expected to attract many new visitors to Dundee. With the recent announcement of all-party support for the proposed high-speed rail link from London to the north of England and Scotland, they discussed prospects for the service to hopefully be extended in time to Dundee.

John said “The first step is to build the new line to Edinburgh and Glasgow which will greatly improve the rail travelling experience to Scotland from London and continental Europe. Whilst the railway line north of Edinburgh, with two bridges and tunnels, would pose major engineering challenges, improved transport links to Dundee will be a vital factor in securing future visitors to the new V&A and Dundee’s other attractions.”

Above  :  John and Tom in Tay Street, near to the Rep

Above :   Tom and John outside DCA