Skip to main content

Scottish Tories show their Colours

The election for the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives has become increasingly rancorous. Murdo Fraser, the current deputy leader has put forward an interesting and brave idea that the "Conservative" brand in Scotland is so toxic that it needs to be changed. The remaining four candidates reject his analysis and suggest that the way forward is simply to be more vehement about where they stand now.

The fact is though, that the Conservatives stand nowhere. They long ago lost the support of the urban proletariat, then the Kirk, then latterly even industry, and now farmers. Without renewal, they are condemned to die out- and the greatest part of this renewal is to stop reminding the Scottish people how much they opposed the new constitutional arrangements. 

A huge number of erstwhile Conservative voters have defected to the SNP, and yet the message does not seem to have come home to the party as to what this means.

The backbiting, both in public and in private against Murdo Fraser's stand suggests that he is facing an uphill task to say the least. However, if he does not win, the outlook for the Scottish Tories is even more terminal than if he does. The backward looking nature of the whole debate shows how far some Tories still have to go in order to recognize that much of their predicament is down to their own political choices. As old dinosaurs such as Michael Forsyth or light-weights like David Mundell emerge to "defend the Union", it is hard to even recognize what kind of Union it is that they want to defend.

While the Scottish Liberal Democrats begin to lick their wounds, it is possible to see where and how they can address the incredibly strong hostility to the Lib Dem participation in the coalition- the Lib Dems are toxic by association, but the Tories are just toxic. It requires the  kind of thinking that Murdo Fraser is putting forward for the party to even arrest its decline, never mind to make progress at the next Holyrood election or defeat the referendum on Separatism that Alex Salmond wants to time for maximum political advantage in a couple of years. 

Yet the SNP- lead by "His High Excellency" (allegedly Salmond's preferred form of address after any independence was established)- are far from invulnerable, even if Labour may lack the ability or desire to land the killer blow. A rejuvenated Progressive Party (or whatever brand that the Conservatives choose) could reanimate a new Federal relationship with the rest of the UK, which is what opinion polls repeatedly tell us that the Scottish People would prefer instead of SNP-style separatism. 

Of course if Murdo Fraser is defeated, the risk is that the Conservatives remain in the cold and can not participate in, let alone lead, a drive to overturn the dead-end socialism that has dominated and stagnated Scottish politics for half a century.

Murdo Fraser has demonstrated the kind of courage that is needed to lead his party out of the desert- the question is whether the Conservatives still choose to worship the dead idol of "Unionism" or to embrace the new political reality that can lead them back to the political heartland, and coincidentally rescue the common state from the risk of total dissolution.


GHmltn said…
I totally agree with this.

Although as a Scottish LibDem I wonder what the route back is for us and who have we lost and why?

The difference is we have not been on a downward trajectory for over 40 years - in fact we have on the whole strengthened until an abrupt fall - at the Holyrood level at least - after 2010.

But as a breed we too are challenged at the moment. What, Cicero, is your musing on this?
Newmania said…
Were the Conservative Party to abandon the Union, as you seem to wish, it suit the English rather more than it would the Scots and English Conservatives most of all.

Is that what you really want? I could be convinced
Cicero said…
Newmania... if you want to end the common state, that is how you would do it. I think it benefits all of us, but I understand the work required to make it so...

Popular posts from this blog

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…