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The Scottish Lib Dems Just Had The Most Fun Manifesto Launch Imaginable

Leader Willie Rennie slid down a volcano no less than three times.

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The manifesto, released ahead of May's Scottish election, promised to "make Scotland the best again" through pledges to add a penny to income tax and invest the money raised into education, put mental health on the same legal footing as physical health, and stand against any plans for a second Scottish independence referendum in the next five years.

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Party leader Willie Rennie made a determined beeline for the volcano slide as soon as he arrived and went down it with the kids of Lib Dem candidates.

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In fact he went down it a grand total of three times, on one occasion accidentally colliding with a small child and making them cry.

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But did it faze Rennie? Did it bollocks, although he did say afterwards that it was "faster than [he] expected".

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Perhaps noticing that not the whole Scottish political press pack was enjoying spending their morning watching him go down various different sizes of slide, the Lib Dem leader then held a press conference to explain what his manifesto was all about.

Asked by the Scottish Sun if people can take him seriously after he spent the morning sliding down volcanoes, Rennie was defiant: "I'm having the best campaign of my life, I'm thoroughly enjoying it, and actually politics can sometimes be a little bit fun.

"I'm sorry to say, guys, I know you're reporting on it all the time, but actually having a bit of fun does no harm. We have tackled the big issues in this campaign: investing in education, challenging Amazon on tax, people being paid below the proper living wage, making sure we get proper investment in mental health services."

He added: "You're allowed to do both – you can raise big issues and have a bit of fun at the same time. It's fine, and I noticed you've printed the pictures."

All through the press conference, journalists were munching on Percy Pigs provided by the Lib Dems in reference to an incident last week when some pigs secretly had sex behind Rennie's back.

BuzzFeed News asked if the Lib Dems' new motto – "make Scotland the best again" – had been pilfered from Donald Trump, who wants to "make America great again", but Rennie denied there was any connection.

"I don't think you could get someone as far different from Donald Trump as me," said Rennie. "I'm a liberal, I don't think he is, and I don't want to build at a wall at the border, and I certainly don't want to make England pay for it. We're very different."

After the launch, there was only one thing left to do. We challenged Rennie to a political grilling while going down the slide.

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Will the Scottish people be won over by Rennie's pitch from the waterfall slide? That is something we won't know until voters go to the polls on 5 May.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at jamie.ross@buzzfeed.com.

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