Saturday, January 26, 2013

Scottish Conservative Ruth Davidson says she wants to give Tories a fresh Scots image, if she was serious about re-branding then she needs to adopt radical social policies to reconnect with ordinary voters, where’s the beef?

Dear All

It seems that Conservative leader Ruth Davidson wants a fresh start between the Tories and the Scottish public.

For decades the Scottish Conservative Party has been wiped out electorally in Scotland, in areas such as Glasgow, there is a single Conservative Councillor, no MP’s and only one list MSP, Ms. Davidson herself and not a single first past the post MSP seat held or even coming close.

As part of her efforts she has announced plans to take her party down the route of extended devolution for Scotland.

It is surprising because if people think back to last year she ruled out such a move.

In the leadership contest, Murdo Fraser put forward an agenda for change, including scrapping the current party and starting from scratch.

It was at the time, too big an idea for the Conservatives to wrap their heads round.

Scotland doesn’t vote Tory.

Its part of the Thatcher legacy; and with recent changes affecting the poorest in society, any rebirth is going to be still born.
Her appetite for change through possible greater tax powers was met by a sardonic response from her defeated leadership opponent Murdo Fraser because during the leadership contest he was attacked on the issue by Ms Davidson..

He tweeted:

"Looks like a very good speech from Ruth Davidson. Could almost have written it myself."

Ms Davidson told her supporters in Edinburgh:

"The debate has moved a great deal in the last year. We now know what the parameters are for a referendum on independence. But the conversation on the constitutional future of Scotland doesn't begin and end with that referendum. It will continue and the Scottish Conservatives must have a voice, a strong and positive voice, in that conversation."

If she thinks tinkering with devo will solve her party’s problems then she is looking at things from the wrong end of the telescope.

Change for the Conservatives has to be much more than this, if this is the offer to the Scottish people, then it will business as usual for Scots, don’t vote Tory, don’t listen to Tory and keep them down and out from power.

In her speech she spoke of older Conservatives as "products of their environment" born into a past era when the Tories commanded popular support.

Products of their environment who acted in the most vile fashion in their treatment of people struggling to make ends meet, recently Alex Johnstone MSP gave a ‘fuck the poor’ speech.

Its 2013, Mr. Johnstone is alright because he owns a farm which is now run by his wife and son, so he is financially fixed for life, but many people don’t and have never had the opportunities that he has.

Scottish Conservatives have never stood up for the poor and disadvantaged in Scotland, so no one votes for them, decades have passed and still Scotland will not vote Conservative.

Ms. Davidson can stand and speak and continually say the word change till Alex Johnstone’s cows come home, but until there is a radical change on social policy on an epic scale then her speech will just be another one of many that have gone before.

Eventually someone will have to grasp the nettle and say that the Scottish Conservatives are going to stand up for the poor with real policies of help and assistance.

Given their track record, they will have to get someone in to write new social policies for them and then sign up to the hilt and smile.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

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