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A very sensible idea. Dissapointing as it is, the image of the Conservative party post the Thatcher era amongst many Scots is very poor, therfore some kind od disassociation is required to break away from that legacy. To continue with the status-quo was never really an option for Cameron. This move makes lots of sense and should benefit the party on both sides of the border.

Excellent news - I called for this whilst ago:

http://ewanwatt.blogspot.com/2006/11/d-i-v-o-r-c-e-why-scottish.html

Might just work and as an alternative to continuing on the current moribund path in Scotland is worth a try. It will be interesting to see though what happens when the Scottish party is in complete disagreement with the English and Welsh one.

"It will be interesting to see though what happens when the Scottish party is in complete disagreement with the English and Welsh one."

Having more than one MP would be a good start. However, when the National Liberal Party and the Unionist Party were at their peek, they often disagreed with the party in England.

Very interesting indeed.

Whilst the SNP's model for Scotland may be Norway or Ireland - the Conservative model for Scotland is now Bavaria. Looks good to me.

Fab. This is the sort of bold leadership we need from Cameron. It's win-win as you say Tim.

Please please tell me this means we can at least begin an internal debate about the benefits of Scottish independence rather than a continual knee-jerk 'the Union must prevail' which has done us no end of harm north of the border.

As a right-wing party surely we should be at least open-minded to the idea of smaller, more local Government?

As an Anglo-Scot Tory, I think this move is the best for all concerned and is a vital pre-requisite for a renewal of the conservative cause north of the border. This will give Scottish Tories full parity with the SNP in the Scottish-ness stakes.

Terrible idea. The Union is already divided enough. This would only drive it further apart. The Tory Party is the Unionist Party and it stands for the Union or it stands for nothing.

It will be interesting to see how they manage the funding.

In CF terms, the current position is that Scotland CF is totally separate. They do not have votes at CF England and Wales elections. They have their own Chairman etc. But they are welcome at all conferences and events that we run in England and Wales- and we have quite good attendance from Scotland at events.

However, the Scottish Freshers materials are paid for and produced by England and Wales CF.

I wonder if this new Party structure will mirror CF in which London continues to pick up a good slice of the bill.

Sounds good - conforms to the decentralisation policy the Comservatives are pushing on all other major issues - such as the NHS - and allows for better debate on the issues for the Scots and helps stop the English paying for the result.

Win! Win! Win!

My sympathies are with you Paul Cope but we have watched our party fall to pieces over the last 20 years north of the border so what is the alternative?
I would expect a Scottish Conservative party to continue to argue the merits of a United Kingdom 'though as it should in England and Wales or as you say we 'stand for nothing'.

What would be so very depressing is if the Scottish party saw Unionism as its central raison d etre, rather than reducing government spending from its Soviet levels. Scotland is never going to prosper so long as government spending continues to squeeze out entrepreneurialism, the more Scots see their own future being in their own hands, the more important it is going to be to deliver the message there is an alternative to the Lib-Lab-SNP statism.

As to disagreements between the Scottish Party and Westminster, so? There are a host of differences between Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Bush, but no one doubts they are both Republicans. Let’s be a bit mature about this and not run scared of a tough questioning session on the Today programme.

I have not heard of Scottish Conservative Party MSPs or members being consulted on this issue. Yet again the members and activists are treated with contempt by the party leadership.

Yes, give up on Scotland Blue Labour. It's in line with your EU masters carving up of Britain into easily to consume parts.

What a bunch of spineless losers you lot really are. Hurry up and implode so all of Britain can get a real party of opposition.

Yes, give up on Scotland Blue Labour. It's in line with your EU masters carving up of Britain into easily to consume parts.

What a bunch of spineless losers you lot really are. Hurry up and implode so all of Britain can get a real party of opposition.

What shallow analysis from CH - some critical thinking would have been nice.
This "plan" doesn't even begin to address the larger problems, more a case of abandoning ship as quickly as possible. Frankly a name / branding change ain't going to solve this problem. It's already called the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. Do you propose that we should stop being conservative and only focus on the union? It doesn't sound like a very clever way to engage in devolution whilst strengthening the union.

The party in Scotland has been totally wrong footed by devolution. We are ham strung by being largely still a London based party with a shell of operations in Edinburgh. What is called for is more autonomy not a divorce to revive the party (and it can be done form the grass roots up). The above plan won't work because there is no one at the right level clamouring to create the machinery needed to run a fully independent party. If there were, they’d be doing it now. As it is, we need more help from London to nurture talent and good practice for the future. David Mundell wasn’t wrong when he said there was a lack of thinkers in the Scottish Party.

To adapt to the political situation in Scotland there needs to be a more robust SCCO, where the chairman is appointed by the regional not national leader, where the head of the volunteers (Deputy-Chairman) isn’t emasculated by the role of Chairman, where the is a closer linking of the parliamentary party and the SCCO and methods adopted to generate more policy relevant to Scotland are developed (i.e. a dedicated Scottish right of centre think tank). Further, the precarious funding situation needs to be resolved by the development of a Scottish funding base that is UK-wide.

I know this is subsidising a failing partner and that much of the above sounds like an independent party but it is still a strong partnership and we are in a union. And whilst in that union we deserve a consistent and union wide conservative and unionist party.

long overdue but essential nevertheless

Following Scotland, what will be the reaction of the Welsh Conservatives?

I don't think somebody who doesn't even have the courage to post using their real name is in any position to give lectures about 'spineless losers' 'Game Over'.

Following Scotland, what will be the reaction of the Welsh Conservatives?

Can't see why the Party doesn't go further and also give autonomy to the Welsh Conservatives & English Conservatives.
As for the leader of the confederal Parties we seemed to manage to elect a Scottish Unionist leader in 1963 to the leadership of the C&U party so can't see why they would be excluded for selecting the UK leader or indeed UK parliament MPs standing for leader.

I think that "Game Over" is Chad Noble who made similar comments on ukiphome.com.

Exactly HOW independent are the Scottish Unionists going to be allowed to be? Will the Conservatives allow their potential coalition partners (if the Scottish Unionists are to be a separate party altogether) to have a free hand, able to call for lower taxes, withdrawal from the EU and every other policy written off by the present leadership, despite how out of kilter it is with Cameron's way of thinking?

Dare I even suggest that given the likelihood of the Scottish Unionists being to the Right of Cameron's 'conservatives', Cameron could jump into bed with the Liberals and not the Unionists up north? A possibility, no?

My feelings about the split of the Conservative party are bivalent. On the one hand the party in Scotland has been particularly inept since the formation of the "Holyrood Disgrace" and should have been much more robust in opposition as Scotland really needs a voice to defend its people against the P.C. lobby in the Labour party with its ban this and ban that mentality which G. Brown will emulate for the entire United Kingdom. (Rather than call him a Stalinist he should be renamed a Bolshevik who brooks no dissent and retorts to the firing squad as his answer to his opponents both within and without his own party.)

I am also particularly dismayed by this news as I am also a grat believer in the Union and feel that Scotland will become an economic and political backwater if Salmond ever attains his ambitions and only an UK wide Conservative party can prevent this.

The trouble with politics in Scotland is that too many parties have conceded the high ground to the Scot Nats. Scotland and Scottishness is great but Britain and Britishness is greater. It is time that the Scotish Tories got up off of their knees, stopped apologising for their past, and proclaimed their pride in Scottishness within a greater and more embracing Britishness. Fight the Scottish Parliamentary elections on good old fashioned Tory policies of low taxes and tough on crime. Above all, be proud to fly the Union Flag which, for those who have forgotten, incorporates the Cross of St. Andrew.

"think that "Game Over" is Chad Noble who made similar comments on ukiphome.com.

Oh no that ol' China. But apart from that, there are a number of doubters in the thread, and I can understand the trepidation some may feel over the move, we are conservatives after all, and scepticism of change is a founding principle, however so is the Burkian “change in order to survive”, and many of you living south of the border may not fully appreciate the dire straights the party is in in Scotland, and this is a massive drag-sail on the ability of centre right politics in the country, something must change. I was writing about this 18 months ago on Your Platform, “Scotland Needs Conservatives”. No we must have a change, and give the people of Scotland a credible alternative to left-wing policies.

This isn't a very good idea. It serves Cameron well, but does nothing for the Scottish Tories. Remember that one of the greatest problems throughout the 1980s was that Scots voted in their millions for Labour and couldn't impact on the government. This helped lead to the collapse of the Tory vote in Scotland. This kills it outright - then you could still vote for the Tories, now you can't.

What happens when the Edinburgh based party disagrees with a London based government?

Cameron comes to Scotland and complains that Blair is not positive enough when talking about the Union - this will just help the SNP dismantle it.

This is music to my ears. I, and many others, advocated this idea ages ago. Well done Annabel and David!

this is a very shit idea. what will happen to all the scots mps in westminster? for a start, scots can give up on ever winning an english constit ever again. second, scots from scot consits wouldn't be under CCO and every time they were approached by a CCO whip or whatever, there'd be cries of SCAM!

Probably the only way forward from where we are now. But, after the West Lothian Question, does this create a West Sussex Question: West Sussex is unique, too. Just substitute a few words:

It gives the [West Sussex] party - with a new name and a truly [West Sussex] leadership team - the opportunity to break free from the long-held belief that it is a fully-owned subsidiary of the London party.

Yes, very interesting, but where will their alliance lay when it comes to the European Union. Cameron didn't say I will withdraw the English Conservatives from the EPP, it was all the Conservatives.

It's a first step, but it's what happens afterwards that I'll be keen to keep an eye on.

We're talking about creating the new Ulster Unionist Party that took the Conservative whip during the 70s.

Strategically, it won't hurt that much in terms of controlling Westminster. 1 MP now is an irrelevance. 2 or 3 more that the Cons might get at the next election will only be important with such a thin majority as to not be worth it.

This is a bad idea, and I would not be happy about it being pushed through without further debate and consultation with Scottish Conservative members.
I find it incredible that we are even contemplating such a move at a time when Labour is so unpopular and David Cameron is proving a poll rating winner.
We have the May elections coming up but we need to lay the ground work for the next GE which is where the Westminster leader of the party becomes vital!

Good. We are now free to continue being traditional conservatives (look at our Scottish manifesto) without being led into Cameron's liberal conservative agenda.

It will be more difficult for Scots to become Conservative MPs though. That is a shame considering the talent of both before and now from Scotland in the party...

For a Unionist party the split is unfortunate. It is best for both sides however. The Scottish Conservatives won't be going anywhere without changing their brand until this adult generation who remembers the poll tax dies.

What does seem strange is how the English Conservatives will form a government, to preside over the UK as a whole, when Scots are not allowed to join that political party due to their geographical location.

I mean, in theory, English people should be allowed to join the SNP, and stand for election in England on a SNP ticket. That is pretty hypothetical considering they will never form a government.

I think there is a potential constitutional crisis at the heart of this move.

About time! Eight years on and the Scots Tories have still not come to terms with devolution. Little wonder no-one takes them seriously. Devolution is a process and not an event - it is also here to stay! If the Scottish Tories don't start to lead the constitutional debate they will play catch up to the SNP and the Union will go whether we want it to or not.
We all know that it is wrong to have Scots MPs voting on English-only issues. We all know that it's wrong to have English tax-payers subsidising the Scots public sector dependency culture. But we have ignored all of this and hoped it would all go away and when we woke up it would be just another bad socialist dream.
The constitution needs to be rebalanced to become stable. Simply bleating on about the Union will do nothing. I would rather have a Union which was stable, albeit more federal, than no Union at all.

Brilliant news - The decline of the Scottish Conservatives and its image as an 'English party' have their roots in the decision to amalgamte the Unionist Party and the Conservative Party in the 1960's.

This is a small step to changing that - reform of SCCO and the wider party must be the first priority of the new party leadership when it comes.

I do like the Baveria analogy. Is there more inormation on how the Germans arrange things.

"what will happen to all the scots mps in westminster?" - Jockey

If you mean the tory ones, he'll probably find something to do.

This is a very good move, one I'm sure I remember Murdo Fraser calling for it a few years ago.

It will be interesting to see how the Welsh party reacts to it, with more powers going to Cardiff it could also be a good opportunity to put an end to '& Wales', allowing it to become an equal member of this union.

"Separating the parties is a good idea, but a joint leader is needed. If you look at the German CDU/CSU, they jointly vote to select their candidate for Chancellor, and the same must apply to the CON/UNI set up."

http://chameleonsonbicycles.wordpress.com

im not in favour of this at this point i dont think, although i see its merits. the new party will have no influence over the English Party on CFP, funding arrangements and general policies. the governing party will be purely english and welsh. unlike in bavaria we wont be able to influence the larger conservative party by virtue of holding lots of seats - the only hope of doing so is by remaining part of a uk wide party. i think this will weaken the Union and further independence. the government will have precisely zero authorit to govern in scotland.

on the point of asserting our scottishness i assume that the new scottish party will say it will still support the English party as the governing party so our opponents will be able to say we are still the same as we were. will the scottish party have the money and firepower tomake this work? will we have any influence over UK policy? Will this be seen as the english party dumping the scottish party as being useless? it may be that this is a precusor to a move to english nationlism by the tories in which casde the game is up for a centre-right unionist party in scotland. and i say this as a pretty nationalist scottish conservative.

had there been a big fallout over WLQ, CFP or barnett i could see that this would provide a good founding myth for the new party - they split as they wanted to fight for the scottish interest against the nasty english tories. as it is i think this will be seen as DC dumping the scottish party. any moves to english nationalisms will render the unionist centre-right completely useless.

Any one aware of attempts last night to de-select Chris Smart as the no.2 candidate on the south wales west list for the forthcoming Welsh Assembmly election?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/election07/wales/

Excellent and inspired decisions. *This* is the kind of leadership I (a since disappointed "May Cameroon") was expecting. Now I really hope that the Scottish sister party will drop the word "Conservative" from their new name.

High time this happened . There is no reason why Conservative and Unionist parties throught the countries of the Union cannot cooperate on Union matters in the British parliament whilst being free to grapple with the internal politics of their own countries at home . They don't necessarily have to be called by the same name. The bonds go on . The Scottish Unionist party is an excellent name for a grand old party , they should consider re-adopting it if that is their wish
(I think it was that d-mn man Heath who renamed them in the first place )

The Union needs a strong and unabashed champion in each of its member countries.

Now to England and Wales .
The party in Wales is already called the Welsh Conservative party , which is appropriate since Wales is a separate country to England .

The party in England is called only The Conservative Party . Why the obvious and specific neglect of England ?
It is also high time that English Conservatives and Unionists can hold their heads high and call themselves members of the
The English Conservative and Unionist Party .

Agree with the bicycling chameleon (now there's a sentence I never imagined writing in my childhood).

I also have no desire for a divorce, velvet or otherwise. Instead we should act like a family; recognise that devolution has meant that we need the greater autonomy for our party in Scotland to succeed but that this should be autonomy within a union.

At the UK level the Scottish Unionist (or whatever name they select) and the Conservative Party would need a common UK manifesto and leader. This means that at UK level there must be continued involvement of the Scots Party. For devolved matters I would expect there would be differences in policies as each constituent part developed, these could well inform and cross-fertilise the shaping of each constituent element.

Our previous experience was with Northern Ireland, there the ending of devolution and the imposition of the UK party's views against the wishes of the NI Unionists led to a divorce. While the UK respected the autonomy of the Unionists in devolved matters and at national level shared common principles it worked.

The centralisation of the 60's removed the nationalist attraction of the Scots party - noticeable that when voters were faced only with UK parties the SNP started winning seats. There are I am sure a number of voters, not wanting independence but nationalist enough to prefer to vote for the SNP to the perceived Anglo-centric Conservative Party, who would be attracted back to a Scots party. That perception was deepened by our leadership being dominated by three very English leaders from 1965 to 1997 in Heath, Thatcher and Major.

Now we have a posh Englishman with a Scots name perhaps returning to the pre-1965 set up will restore us to the position we had Scotland under our last version of that, Harold MacMillan.

The Scottish Unionist Party already exists, though.

Its worth trying. It would put Labour in a real bind also.

Will the Welsh want the same ? If so we will finally get an English party !

What about the Conservative Party in Ulster and in Wales? A Federation would have been an alternative consisting of English, Scottish, Welsh and Ulster Parties with an Alliance of sorts running nationally.

What effects it will have if done are hard to say - supposing at some point Scottish & other UK Conservatives take different sides in the House of Commons, David Cameron will be kicking himself if the new Scottish Party either refuses to participate in a Conservative Party Government or Coalition with the Conservatives, it increases opportunities for UKIP who could forge links with the new party bringing forward the prospect of UKIP being in government in coalition perhaps also with the Unionist Parties in Ulster, able to achieve what the 3 main parties have not done.

Let us be sensibile about this and call us 'The Scottish Unionist Party',after all that is one of the titles which we already have. Why don't we just come out and say it! Say it loudly.

Another nail in the coffin of the Union. John Major returned the Stone of Scone and now Mr Cameron shows all the political imagination of a squashed peach.

Let us be sensibile about this and call us 'The Scottish Unionist Party',after all that is one of the titles which we already have.
The name is already taken, a small party mainly standing in areas where the Orange Order is strong.

Good idea but will Welsh voters feel they are second because they don't cry Independence every 20 years or so as a post above said we should stop saying ... and Wales.

"The name is already taken, a small party mainly standing in areas where the Orange Order is strong."

Thats right YAN I fear the name Scottish Unionist will have secterian connotations which will go down badly with Scotland.

Dave: What sort of result are we going to get in Holyrood?
Steve: "We're" going to get a bad one. Smashed in fact, down to maybe 15 seats. It won't look good.
Dave: Oh dear. I thought you told me that if we did everything the Gould way, we'd win everything between now and the general?
Steve: We will.
Dave: But how if we're going to lose in Scotland?
Steve: "We" won't.
Dave: How do you mean?
Steve: Let's get rid of the Jocks, then it's their fault when *they* lose, and you're blameless.
Dave: . . . okay. Make it happen.

If any of you posters believe in the Union then you better start doing something about it like supporting the repeal of legislative devolution and the introduction of equal representation.
The sell outs especially in the will say it cannot be done. They said that in 1938.

Excellent idea - go for it!

Who to be leader then? Stick with Goldie or go for change? Anyone but Murdo Fraser

Thats right YAN I fear the name Scottish Unionist will have secterian connotations which will go down badly with Scotland
No I mean, the name is taken as in no other party could use the name while this other party continues with the name even though at this stage they are a small party, I know little of the Scottish Unionist Party except that they were formed as a breakaway from the Conservative Party by those who were furious about the Anglo-Irish agreement and I fully agree with those sentiments, they hold similar policy positions to those of the Ulster Unionist Party.

We should have protected our old Party names better - Liberal Unionists, Scottish Unionists and National Liberals all taken by other parties now.
There doesn't seem to be a Scottish National Liberal Unionist Party though - could confuse LibDem suporters, SNP ones and the Orangemen :-)

What happens if the Scotish Party brings out an election manifesto which contradicts the English one? Or won't that be 'allowed'

"Please please tell me this means we can at least begin an internal debate about the benefits of Scottish independence rather than a continual knee-jerk 'the Union must prevail' which has done us no end of harm north of the border."

Great idea Marcus. We are the Conservative and Unionist Party afterall. If we're considering dropping unionism, how about dropping conservatism too? Or is that Dave's master plan?

This is utterly ridiculous. We are one country, one party. Because of the Scottish Parliament, obviously the party above the border shall be coming up with a separate manifesto for different elections. We can allow more freedom to the party in Scotland, in a similar way that the Lib Dems do it. But to actually cut the party in two is not a good idea at all.

Our friends in Scotland will lose all say in the party, as well as our support (financial and otherwise, not to mention morale). They'll be cut off completely.

Don't these idiots in the Westminster village realise that the whole reason we have this problem with Scottish nationalism is because for centuries we've had Scottish Arts Councils, Scottish Offices, Scottish Secretaries, Scottish Judiciary, Scottish education. We've made no effort to harmonise our political/legal systems and now we're reaping the terrible results.

A further divide is not going to make anything better.

Scottish Conservatives of course want to stay in the EPP in the European Parliament. So do the Welsh!!

"Excellent news" - "Fab" - "Excellent idea" - "Brilliant news" - "About time!" - "Sounds good" - "long overdue" - "Looks good to me"
I concur with this gentleman - a managed decline is the sensible way to go.........

I'm terribly sorry this is off topic but I was wondering if anyone could tell me the URL for the local campaigns site that was on one of the latest conservatives.com e-mails? Thanks very much.

If this article is accurate, it's not just the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament that would be independent of the main party - the whole Scottish Party would.

That being so - and of course this scenario isn't likely for a while - what if an MP from a Scottish constituency became a strong leadership candidate?

How could that person lead both parties? The CDU-CSU thing in Germany worked, but that was all in the same country.

Are we really saying that because it (supposedly) makes some sense now, we should take this massive step that could affect our party for the next 50 years?

It also gives the very strong impression that Cameron has nothing to offer Scotland. That is how it will be spun.

Moreover, whilst it's not wholly contradictory, I wouldn't want to launch a Scottish Unionist Party with the words 'we have just broken away from England and Wales'. It's an odd way to show your commitment to unionism. Now THERE'S a challenge for Tim Bell or Lord Saatchi!

And why let this leak just before the Scottish elections?

This looks incredibly clumsy, and unless someone senior in the Party produces a BRILLIANT defence, I'm not going to support this. (Not that anyone will care, I'm just saying.)

"Scottish Conservatives of course want to stay in the EPP in the European Parliament. So do the Welsh!!"

Richard I think that you mean some of the Scottish and Welsh Conservative MEPs and not either the Conservatives membership or voters in those nations. Conservatives en masse are strongly against continued membership of this quisling eurofederalist sell out of a parliamentary grouping and it is a total disgrace that some of our MEPs are putting their own self interest before the best interests of both the Conservative Party and Britain in general. It is an even bigger disgrace that they are now attempting to pervert the democratic selection process for MEPs in order to save their own sorry arses.

"Great idea Marcus. We are the Conservative and Unionist Party afterall. If we're considering dropping unionism, how about dropping conservatism too? Or is that Dave's master plan?"

Well, if unionism no longer serves any discernable purpose (whether for Scots or the rest of the UK), it's legitimate to question the party's position on it, no matter the union's historical significance.

There are many that are more concerned with furthering Conservative economic aims and values in Scotland, regardless of the state structure this occurs in. Indeed, I'd suspect it'd be an easier process in an independent state.

The splitting of the Scottish party from the UK party is a good idea, therefore.

Excellent idea - now give the English Tories freedom from Cameron as well.

One of David Cameron`s boldest moves? What happened to his first bold move; a promise to take his MEPs out of the federalist EPP. We are still waiting.

Excellent News!

Because, let's face it, the Union is already SCUPpered so we might as well start making the various transitional moves nice and early - for example separating away the SCUP.

But seeing as most Conservative voters are in England, when is there going to be a specifically ENGLISH Conservative Party?

Why should we English always have to subjugate our interests to the minor countries of the Union? After all, the scale of the abuse is so great it's actually even more unjust than what we suffer from the EU, and there is now an even greater case for English Independence from UK domination than there is from European domination.

The more I think about it the more awful this sounds.

Several people have already highlighted areas where real clashes could take place; will Scottish Conservative MEPs have to leave the EPP-ED when their English counterparts are asked to in 2009 and if not won't that just give succour to pro EPP-ED MEPs in England? What happens if Conservative MEPs in Scotland refuse to sit with us in Westminster or if Conservative's in Scotland decides to fight for British withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy, we could have Scottish Conservative Politicians arguing in the media with English and Welsh Conservative politicians. The list of possible problems is endless.

It is very sad that we only control one council in Scotland, that we only have one MP, two MEPs and around 18 mainly list MSPs, but what we do have is a base to move forward. No one on this site is suggesting that we shouldn't give the Scottish Conservative's more autonomy, just that we shouldn't make them independent.

There is much wrong with the party structure in Scotland, but many of the problems faced by the Scottish Conservatives are mirrored in some parts of Northern England as well. We need to address the problems of ideas and funding and not just opt for the easy option of cutting them adrift because we can't be bothered to role up our sleeves and get down to the hard work. We still are the Conservative and Unionist Party; Scotland is as much apart of the Union as England, Wales and Northern Ireland!

Ash Faulkner - My point is that as a right of centre party our position on the Union is inconsistent.

Most right of centre parties around the world believe in smaller, more local and less intrusive Government closer to the people. So do we. One of our main arguments against the EU is the move to larger more remote Governance.

Yet when it comes to maintaining the United Kingdom we become irrational and emotional, and completely backward looking.

We have been entirely wrong-footed by the devolution debate and continue to be so. This has left the party out of touch with public opinion across the UK, not just in Scotland, where a growing minority are interested in independence and a thumping majority support the devolution that we so aggressively opposed.

I believe an open debate about the benefits to Scotland (and we are stupid to imagine that there aren't any) and drawbacks of Scottish independence from a right wing viewpoint is long overdue.

will Scottish Conservative MEPs have to leave the EPP-ED when their English counterparts are asked to in 2009 and if not won't that just give succour to pro EPP-ED MEPs in England?
Given that the European Elections are done on a list system it might be simpler to have more than one Conservative Party - there could be three parties, strongly pro the EU, "the Eurosceptic in Europe" but not run by Europe position and a party opposed to membership of the EU and it could be seen how they did, I wouldn't be surprised if both Labour and Conservative went along such lines if they actually ended up with more MEP's overall between the different groupings than otherwise.

The list system for the European Parliament elections isn't terribly friendly to parties that fragment the vote. Look for example at the North East in 1999 - Labour got 42% of the vote, non-Labour parties 58%. That became 75% of the seats for Labour and 25% for non-Labour - because the non-Labour vote was shredded. No voting system is totally proportional and most tend to favour larger parties. Running three separate parties in the Euro elections would deliver fewer MEPs for the same number of votes.

And does anyone remember great successes by the "Pro European Conservative Party" founded by dissident MEPs? No I dind't think so.

I like the balls of this, just hope that the professional party north of the border doesn't become more ofa little cliquey club than it already is!!!

I see the "Deputy Editor" has been sitting on this story-

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/04/scottish_manife.html#comment-65126352

Steve, is it not a sensible halfway house to make the Scottish Party independent (CDU/CSU style)? I think this will happen.

Posted by: Deputy Editor | April 02, 2007 at 15:26

I'm glad the Conservative & Unionist Party is going to embrace Independence.. Funny sort of Unionist that does it though.

Excellent news.

Those worrying about the Union are overlooking the fact that if we want to save it we have to adapt it. Nothing guarantees eventual dissolution more than the absence of a credible small c conservative party in Scotland (and the same goes for Wales too IMO).

The problem with this idea is that the 'rump' Conservative Party will have absolutely no legitimacy in Scotland. For example, If Cameron (as Prime Minister) tries to implement some unpopular policy in Scotland, where is his mandate from the Scottish people to do so?

Mark my words, this will be the final nail the coffin for the Union.

Good move, English Parliament next on the Agenda please

Can the leader of the Scottish Party run for Prime Minister of the UK? If not, then the Scottish Party would have to have a vote on the leader of the English/Welsh Party if selecting a PM candidate...?

To be bereft of policies is one thing, to have no name is sinster at best, The English Consevative Party has a nice ring to it.
Scottish Conservatives - crap - ditch them.
Welsh Conservatives - crap - ditch them.
N. Irish Conservatives - none
Which leaves the "English Conservatives" sounds very much like an English Parliament if the Tories get in. The English Democrats party can wrap up and go home, Yippeee!.

I've heard this idea mooted around since the 97 wipeout. In my opinion it stems from the somewhat erroneous link between with incorporation of the once separate Scottish Unionist party with the UK Conservative party and the decline in our electoral fortunes north of the border.
Our success pre-1965 particuarly in Glasgow and the west was linked to the sectarian divide, which has steadily been reducing, thus removing our USP in this area. Additionally we were very much linked to the imperial working class nationalist vote, which was displaced after the 'Winds of Change' hit in the 1960s. Almost identical psephological trends have taken place over this period in Liverpool and Manchester, where we once help a majority of votes across both cities and now don't even hold a single seat. No-one suggests a separate party here.
If we are to gain back the 'liberal' vote which has gone to other parties, we need the Cameron image to remain firmly linked. Likewise if Cameron wants to form an administration that doesn't consist of a coalition, he needs to do all he can to prevent a split....This is a very dangerous path to tread

According to 'The Scotsman' today (Friday), Annabel Goldie completely denies any plan to split Scottish Tories off.

If she hasn't yet been informed, was that not a bit lax & discourteous of someone down here?

Assuming the original article is correct?

To be honest, this seems like a totally unjust move. If the [English] Conservative Party wins the next election, they will form a government. Will the Scottish party have to be taken into this government as well? If they are totally independent, rather than just a rebranding exercise, then the answer is no?

And if that is the case, we have a crisis. This will spell the end of the Union. One whole nation within the country has no government representation at all - nor even the hope of getting it.

Although when Cameron wins, Scotland might only return two Con. MPs, at least there would be constitutional legitimacy as Tory MPs presented themselves for election in Scotland. Under these proposals, they wouldn't be able to. Unless Scottish people join the English Conservative Party, then stand in a Scottish seat.

And if that is barred, well then, we have taxation without representation.

I always thought this was the reason why we had a tiny following, albiet still active, party following in Northern Ireland. Sure, NI has their own parties, but people must be free to join a political organisation that can form a government (as SF, DUP, UUP, SDLP cannot - not enough representatives).

So those who support a Liberal government can join Alliance. Those who support Labour can join the SDLP (whose members sit among Labour MPs anyway!), and those who support the Conservatives can join the Conservative party... and constitutionally proberly be allowed to stand as well.

Thats the way it should be. A party that can govern the Union must have membership across each of the nations of the Union. That won't happen if Cameron cuts the Scottish Conservatives loose to be their own totally independent party, and it will result in flawed democracy if it happens.

Finally, perhaps a better idea would be to keep Westminster representation in Scotland fully under UK Conservative control (averting the constitutional problems I mention above) but allowing the Tories standing for Holyrood ONLY to become independent. This may operate better.

As I said earlier, an English Parliament by any other name.

How charming of Conservative Home to advocate ditching the underperforming Scottish Conservatives because they might be tarnishing Mr Cameron's image. Will you perhaps be advocating ditching Scotland as a whole before long? Espousing Scottish/English Nationalism would seem the logical conclusion of your position, as it would allow England to ditch not just an underperforming Tory Party but the whole blasted lot of those money grabbing, leaching Jocks (as English nationalists would doubtless say).

On a further matter, one of detail, were Mr Cameron to advocate separating from the Scottish Tories, it would hardly seem to be his preprogative to tell a wholly unaffiliated Scottish Tory Party what to call itself. If I were Annabel Goldie, I would certainly tell anyone who had just 'ditched' me precisely what I thought of their temerity in advising me what my Party should be called. Yet, you speak as if Mr Cameron will decide on any name change North of the Border. Sorry, but that can't be right.

Besides, it's not the name that counts, but the polcies. The Party North AND South of the border is failing to espouse sufficently radical, libertarian policies to offer voters a geuine right of centre choice. That's the problem we should be addressing, not silly irrelevancies like this issue.

Fantastic news for the party, and for English and Scottish politics. Hopefully might even push English conservatism towards supporting a more radical approach to the West Lothian question as Iain Dale argues in today's Telegraph.

I don’t want to wait till the end of Summer :( , I want it now. Who with me?
save your time and join me. ;)


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