“Christmas is a time for reflection, and I think it’s important to take stock of the challenges we’ve faced over the last year.
“In February we saw the return of war to Europe for the first time in decades. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has rewritten international relationships and prompted an astonishing wave of generosity from Scots opening their homes to take in those fleeing Putin’s war.
“The soaring cost of energy bills and inflation has bitten into household finances, and our health service has faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and more than a decade of SNP mismanagement.
“On each of these issues Scottish Liberal Democrats have sought to offer considered and constructive solutions, from pressing the government to support refugees, to an emergency national insultation programme and new support for mental health.
“Despite these challenges, I remain optimistic about the future of our country. The spirit of Christmas reminds us that no matter how difficult things may seem, we can always find hope in the love and support of our friends, family, and community.
“It would be strange to end any reflection on the year gone by without mentioning the death of Queen Elizabeth II. For many she has be symbol of constancy in our lives and it will be strange for a Christmas to pass without her address to the nation.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of the key workers in our hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries, transport, schools and supermarkets, many of whom will be working today. I want you to know that my party appreciate your work and will fight your corner.
“As we look ahead to the coming year, I pledge to continue working tirelessly on your behalf to address the challenges we face and build a brighter future for our country. May this Christmas season bring you and your loved one’s health, happiness, and the joy of the season.”
PICTURE: Overtoun House in Dumbarton in the snow.
Picture by Bill Heaney