By a Newsnet reporter
Lib Dems Michael Moore and Willie Rennie have been challenged to use their speeches at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton to follow their leader Nick “I’m sorry” Clegg’s lead, and apologise for their party’s broken promises to Scotland.
The SNP has today called on both men to say sorry after the party were accused of abandoning their opposition to nuclear weapons.
Contrasting the SNP’s approach to free education in Scotland with the Lib Dems who abandoned their pre-election pledge to free education in England, the SNP have accused David Cameron’s coalition partners of breaking promises on other issues that have impacted on people living in Scotland.
According to the SNP, the failure of the Lib Dems to stand firm on opposing the replacement of Trident means that the only way left for Scotland to avoid a new generation of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde is by voting Yes in the coming referendum.
The SNP also pointed to the recent abandonment of Lords reform, saying it left Scots at the mercy of an unelected chamber. The nationalists attacked the Lib Dems’ inability to oppose new nuclear power which has left Scotland’s renewable sector facing the unacceptable threat of subsidies being diverted into propping up nuclear energy.
The Scottish Lib Dems have haemorrhaged votes in the last two Scottish elections, and their Scottish MPs are vulnerable to the same backlash that saw the party reduced to just five MSPs in the Scottish parliament.
Commenting, SNP MSP Chic Brodie, a former Vice-Chairman of the Scottish Lib Dems who left the Party after 36 years to join the SNP, said:
“Nick Clegg’s apology has opened the door for Lib Dems to salve their consciences and say they’re sorry for their shameful list of broken promises.
“On blocking new nuclear power stations, on reforming the undemocratic House of Lords and on opposing the renewal of Trident, the Lib Dems have systematically and comprehensively broken their word.
“Now that Nick Clegg has said he is sorry for his party’s disgraceful U-turn on tuition fees, people in Scotland will rightly be expecting the Lib Dems’ senior Scottish figures to follow suit and apologise for the issues they have betrayed people in Scotland on.
“In particular Willie Rennie should also take this opportunity to publicly apologise for the unlawful activities of the anti-independence campaign, which he as a director shares responsibility for.
“With support for the Lib Dems in Scotland vanishing without a trace, Michael Moore and Willie Rennie cannot possibly hope to be taken seriously in Scotland again until they hold their hands up and apologise for systematically breaking promise after promise to people in Scotland.”
[Newsnet notice – We would like to draw our readers’ attention to the new Radio Scotland series by Billy Kay on the history of Scottish nationalism. The first episode was broadcast yesterday and can be listened to here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mwwjx]