Friday, September 2, 2011
Jackson ‘caretaker’ Carlaw joins race for leadership of Scots Tories but Murdo Fraser does a ‘Herr Schneider’ to spoil Carlaw campaign launch, opps!
The heat is on, the debate is starting; who will be the new leader of the Scottish Tories?
For the rest of the general public pottering around the place, they don’t care; Tories are dead political party in Scotland.
They have nothing to offer the public and don’t connect with ordinary Scottish working class values.
There are different reasons for this but deep burned into the Scottish psyche is the memory of Thatcher and her treatment of Scots.
Every dirty little pilot to make people’s lives worse was tried out on the Scots first, the most notable being the Poll tax.
Holyrood 2011 saw the leaders of all mainstream opposition parties announce their intention to resign.
The reason was they done so badly as a massive landslide ensured for the first time the SNP having a majority in a parliament specifically designed to prevent that.
Iain Gray, Tavish Scott and Annabel Goldie all duly took out their ceremonial rubber dagger and fell on them.
The Lib Dems changed from Tavish Scott to Willie Rennie, both Labour and Tories are still trying to find a ‘leader of men’.
The Tories it appears; will be next to crown someone as the new face of the right wing politics in Scotland.
Choice is desperately poor.
Three names keep coming up, current deputy leader Murdo Fraser, Jackson Carlaw and Ruth Davidson.
Today sees the campaign launch of Jackson Carlaw’s pitch for the job at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, will anyone be there? Will the Scottish masses see him as a saviour? Will his election if successful change anything?
Probably not but if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Of the three, Jackson Carlaw is the second worse candidate in my opinion, the worst being Ruth Davidson touted by some as a ‘rising’ star.
Carpetbagger Ruth Davidson isn’t a leader of men type.
The only option of any real credibility is current deputy leader Murdo Fraser.
Carlaw is already trailing as a number of MSPs have given endorsements Fraser.
However Jackson Carlaw said:
“I have been encouraged by the many messages of support from members of the party from all across Scotland ahead of the launch of my campaign. As well as making an important new policy announcement designed to safeguard the Union, I will be detailing how, under my leadership, Scottish Conservatives will develop election-winning policies.”
Did he really say important?
The Westminster Tories abandoned Scotland to the Lib Dems.
Does Carlaw have a vision of the new Scotland?
Carlaw is arguing that the Scotland Bill based on the Calman Commission proposals should be an end to further changes to the powers of Holyrood.
So, almost immediately he sets out his stall as the caretaker leader in waiting.
Talk about misjudging the mood of the people.
Murdo Fraser is more pragmatic about future reform, which he calls “New Unionism”, this is to embrace what he calls “financial devolution”, with the Scottish Parliament made more responsible for raising the money it spends.
It is a step up, a vision of sorts, not something to set the heather on fire but rather an awareness of reality, times have changed.
“I support a new form of Unionism that will give the people of Scotland the ability to shape their own future; a New Unionism that will provide financial devolution to the Scottish Parliament, because with power will come responsibility; a New Unionism that calls for a more decentralised United Kingdom, at ease with itself, knowing that the whole will always be greater than the sum of the parts.”
He will reject full fiscal freedom as “independence in disguise” but added:
“I strongly support the principles of financial devolution, where the Scottish Parliament is more responsible for the money it spends. This is an important discipline for any level of government. I believe it will lead to more accountable and better government in Scotland.”
And to show no love lost between Tories, Fraser announced this today in order to take credibility away from Carlaw’s launch.
So, given Fraser is saying something other than the status quo, he steals the limelight away from Carlaw.
Now, there are two in the race.
The potential third candidate is the Glasgow list MSP Ruth Davidson, she lives in Edinburgh not Glasgow.
As the carpetbagger candidate she might throw her hat into the ring to show her London Tory masters she is a force for the future, a kind of leader in waiting after Fraser steps down.
Whoever wins will not make any difference to the people of Scotland, Tories are a dead political party.
After independence, their limited future will change further, and no one is articulating that or even put forward a vision when that happens, even policies to help local people are beyond them.
Unionism is dead, the real discussion the Scottish Tories must address is who has a vision in the event of independence being realised?
So far, it’s none.
Murdo Fraser will be leader in the same way that Labour MSP Ken Macintosh should become Labour leader.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University