Michael Moore

Amirecan cinematic director.
Caricature published in _Funon journal_Damascus

Michael Moore was born in Northern Ireland in June 1965. His father was a Chaplain in the British Army and when he left the forces in 1970 the family moved to Wishaw.

Michael attended Strathallan School in Perthshire until the family moved to the Borders in 1981. At Jedburgh Grammar School he became involved in politics and joined the local Liberals. He worked on Archy Kirkwood MP's first campaign in the 1983 general election before going to Edinburgh University. Graduating in 1987 with an honours degree in politics and modern history, he went to work as a researcher for Archy in the House of Commons.

After a year at Westminster, Michael joined Coopers & Lybrand in Edinburgh where he qualified as a Scottish chartered accountant and obtained a wide range of business experience over the following few years.

Political career
Following Sir David Steel’s retirement from the House of Commons at the 1997 general election, Michael retained the Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale seat (expanded to include Penicuik) for the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 1,489 over Labour. In the 2001 general election, his majority increased to 5,157, again over Labour.

Following the major revision of the Scottish constituencies by the Boundary Commission last year, Michael was elected as the Member of Parliament for the new seat of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk in the General Election on 5 May 2005. This seat comprises the central Borders area previously represented by Michael and all of the seat which was held by Sir Archy Kirkwood MP until the dissolution of Parliament for the General Election.

Constituency work
In the constituency Michael’s focus has been on the economic difficulties of the area, most notably in electronics, textiles, farming and tourism.

Working with colleagues and local agencies, his joint campaigns over a number of years have resulted in a number of successes: Assisted Area Status for the region has been regained, ensuring access for local businesses to millions of pounds of government assistance; over £20 million of European funding has been secured to underpin jobs in the area; and the first serious steps have been taken to ensure the return of a railway to the Borders.

He has also been working with colleagues and the Scottish Low Pay Unit on low pay issues in the region and promoting campaigns to encourage pensioners to claim all their entitlements.

In addition, he is currently hoping to secure the future of the local army regiments, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Scots, which have come under threat from the Government’s defence review. He is also fighting to retain over 40 civil service jobs at risk in the Department of Work and Pensions in the Borders.

Parliamentary work
Michael was appointed Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats in November 2001. In this role he focused in particular on European and African affairs. For the last three years he has been a Governor and Vice Chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which supports democracy building projects in Africa and other parts of the world. In 2003-04 he was a Parliamentary Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford. In July 2004 he was elected to the Council of The Royal Institute of International Affairs ("Chatham House").

Before the 2001 general election, he was the UK Transport spokesman in the party’s Shadow Cabinet. Prior to taking up this role, Michael was the Scottish spokesman on the economy and a member of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee.
He was the party’s campaign chairman for the 1999 Scottish Parliament elections, and retained this role for the 2003 elections. In October 2002 he was elected Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.