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Independence-supporting Lib Dem candidate ‘saddened’ by party’s No campaign involvement

31 May 2017

A Liberal Democrat candidate said she was “saddened” by the party opposing separation in 2014, and has even written pro-independence poetry, it has emerged.

Jenny Blain, who is standing in Dundee West, said in 2014 that she couldn’t “begin to tell you how much I have been saddened by the Scottish Lib Dems’ support of No”.

Urging former leader Nick Clegg to “break the outdated union”, the former lecturer also described Willie Rennie’s support for the Smith Commission as “laughable”.

The candidate wrote on a blog that Scotland had been “betrayed” by the 1707 Act of Union.

Ms Blain, a “pagan with an interest in shamanic rituals”, also penned pro-separation poetry, including the line: “I know that you know, when I vote for independence, that this is not about you, or your hopes or aspirations.”

The revelations come as the party in Scotland launches its manifesto, claiming to oppose a second referendum on independence.

However, as with Labour, the party and candidates on the ground are split on the constitutional question.

Scottish Conservative Angus candidate Kirstene Hair said:

“Willie Rennie is today appealing to pro-Union voters by insisting he will oppose a second referendum.

“At the same time, he is fielding candidates who supported independence in the 2014 referendum and who have described the union as ‘outdated’.

“It is typical two-faced Lib Dem hypocrisy.

“If Willie Rennie wants to re-brand himself as the defender of the Union, he should explain why he’s backing independence-supporting candidates.

“The truth is that only the Scottish Conservatives can be trusted to stand four-square behind our decision to stay in the UK.

“You can’t trust the two-faced Lib Dems.”


 

Posting in the group ‘Lib Dems for independence’, Jenny Blain said she ‘cannot tell you how saddened’ she was by the Lib Dems supporting No in 2014 (Liberal Democrats voters for Independence, 9 September 2014, link)

She described herself as ‘a Yes in the referendum’ – and gave a number of biographical details confirming she is the same Jenny Blain as the Lib Dem candidate (Lib Dem voters for independence, 9 August 2014, link)

She suggested that Nick Clegg should do a ‘break and start – break the outdated union (Lib Dems for independence, 20 September 2014, link). She said that she was a ‘yes voting liberal’ (Lib Dem voters for independence, 21 September 2014, link)

Jenny Blain runs a blog – where she wrote poetry about supporting independence.

In her poem, ‘To my good English friends and kin’, she notes in a preface ‘Most of my English friends have shown quite a bit of support for the Scottish ‘Yes’ campaign. I would like to thank them – and to make a wee statement about this.’ The poem starts: ‘I know that you know, when I vote for Independence, that this is not about you, or your hopes or aspirations’ (Jenny Blain blog, link).

In her poem ‘It’s not the economy (stupid)’, she says the economy doesn’t matter and the union ‘betrayed’ Scotland: ‘It cannot be about ‘Economy’…Three hundred years ago, it was not so/Scotland, bankrupt, betrayed by ‘allies’,/one outcome only, union. The economy ruled./But that is past, three hundred years ago.’ (Jenny Blain blog, link)

And she wrote that Willie Rennie’s support for the Smith Commission was ‘laughable’: “I mean that. Ridiculous. Laughable. The comments are laughable for people with no knowledge of the Liberal long-standing commitment to federalism, who’ll see Rennie’s claim that ‘we argued for these Home Rule powers’ as irrelevant – and also laughable, in a very sad way, for people who do know of that long-standing commitment and see this claim and ‘welcome’ as a serious backsliding, and as a serious inability to take any kind of critical view of what’s going on here (Jenny Blain blog, 27 November 2014, link).

The Sunday Herald also described her as a ‘pagan with an interest in shamanic rituals’ ‘Jenny Blain, a heathen with an interest in Shamanic rituals, will be marking Mother’s Night, a heathen tradition on the eve of the solstice, celebrating “the maternal”. Guests will bring offerings for their maternal ancestors and she will leave candles burning overnight in their honour.

“The sun is always considered female, so this is an appropriate time to think about our mothers,” she said.

“I will also be celebrating Christmas in a secular way. Really, it is an adaptation of the heathen festival of Yule.”

(Sunday Herald, 18 December 2016, p.20)