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My earliest political memories were of sneaking into the front room to listen spellbound to Brian Walden presenting Weekend World. I didn't understand much of it to start with (was v young) but it's probably the last time someone intelligent talked intelligently to me from the television about politics. It also gave me delicious illicit feeling to be kept secret from my mum and dad, who were toasting cheese in the kitchen (Scotland, 1970s, remember). He's been someone I admire for ever. I still love listening to his talks on Radio4, he's heaps better than any of the other talking heads, & how fantastic that he attended the Tory retreat. Thank you Brian and please write another book soon!

PS I agree with him re Broon!

Ive always liked Waldens style of interviewing - something I wish I could get even close to!

Interesting views on the Brown class attacks that we may see. DC needs a lightening rod to counter all the class nonesense that Labour will come up with.

We should play the "Jock" card mercilessly. We can win without a Scottish seat.

"We should play the "Jock" card mercilessly." Only if you're determined to recklessly endanger the Anglo-Scottish Union for the sake of your own narrow and short term interests. Do that, and you definitely won't get my vote.

"We can win without a Scottish seat" Or you could win by recognising that Scotland is part of our British homeland, and that the people who live there are British citizens just as much as those in Bromley, then asking yourselves why the ones in Scotland stopped voting for you, and work out some policies which will help you to win more than 1 Scottish seat out of 59, bearing in mind that in 1955 you won more than half of the votes and the seats. You might even learn how to win more seats in the north of England and in Wales at the same time.

Denis Cooper is right, and Desmond Haynes should be ashamed to call himself a Conservative.

I'd like to see the leadership in London paying more attention to sorting out the problems facing the Party in Scotland.

David Cameron will want to govern with a broad mandate, and he'll have little without a respectable amount of votes and seats in Scotland.

We're eager to do better in the north of England, and David Cameron knows we have to appeal outside of the southern heartlands. Why should we abandon that at Berwick?

The Conservative Party is nothing unless it is a party for all of Britain, and mindless little englander rubbish just makes things harder up here.

Denis - it was the Scottish Unionist Party (with a few Liberal Unionist/National Liberals) that won over 50% of the vote in Scotland not the Conservative Party.

It seems the right in Scotland did better when demostrably Scots and pro-union rather than an adjunct of a mainly English Conservative Party. Perhaps the SNP, Labour & Libs play the English card?

I agree with you that for a unionist party to play the Jock card would be a betrayal of what we stand for.

I could not agree more with Tartan Tory.

For too long Scottish Tories have been left to struggle on their own, without decent support from London.

Cameron talks about our problems in the North of england and seems to offer little for Scotland. Yet Scotland is not Liverpool or Manchester, every single Scottish city has tory Councillors.

Even Question time the other day, in Perth, yet the Conservatives are the only party who opted to have a non-Scottish panelist, and we wonder why the Scotts think the tories are anti-scottish?

"Even Question time the other day, in Perth, yet the Conservatives are the only party who opted to have a non-Scottish panelist, and we wonder why the Scotts think the tories are anti-scottish?"

Oh right - which part of Scotland is Labour's Mike O'Brien from then?

In any case, from what I understand, the BBC invites panellists to appear on the show, rather than the parties 'opting' to have certain panellists appear.

Brian Walden would do well not to make forecasts - especially about the future. Who cares about doing deals with Lib Dems? OK if we absolutely have to, but fight the b****** first.

He's right about Gordon Brown being vulnerable to ridicule though.

We should play the "Jock" card mercilessly. We can win without a Scottish seat.

Posted by: Jonathan Sheppard | June 30, 2006 at 21:38

No doubt Jonathan Sheppard asks his friends why the Scots don't want England to win a game of football, while totally unaware of his own narrow-mindedness.

Firstly, you are being deliberately offensive by using the term "Jock". Secondly, I always thought it was racism to discriminate a Briton on the basis of where they were born?

FAO Jonathan Sheppard

I apologise over the above statement. The original poster was Desmond Haynes.

I am new to this site and I presumed the name within the dashes was the author.

Again, I apologise for the mistake.

It would be good to improve our position in Scotland, but I cannot see any way of doing that. The Scots are having more taxpayers money spent per head on them under the present government- something which many of us want to see reversed, but that's not going to be a vote winner in Scotland.

Perhaps the best thing we could do is to attract more jobs up there - but would anyone believe we could do it? It seems a bit of a lost cause.

Thats an odd photo! William Hague looks more like Bob Neill or do I need my specs changed??

The Conservatives are seen in Scotland, as representing England.
That's right, Dave "I have a lot of Scottish blood flowing through these veins" Donald Cameron is seen as being favourable to England.
That's insulting, considering the Conservatives keep a stoney silence on the English Question in PMQs, in case they offend the Scots.
When the Scots have the SNP and we English only have the Conservatives, it's a joke.
The Scots don't want you. I don't blame them. Spinless to the last man.

"Thats an odd photo! William Hague looks more like Bob Neill or do I need my specs changed??"

"Bob Neill is pictured with David Cameron, Angela Watkinson and William Hague"

Neill's in the middle with Cameron & Watkinson to the left and Hague to the right.

Nothing odd about it...

Dee, I agree that we are spineless on the Scottish question. Someone should have the guts to say that the Tories (and most of the English) don't like subsidising the Scots. (It's rare I agree with Ken Livingstone, but at least he got that right).

At the last election, The Tories had a majority of votes in England. We would have a bigger majority if we promised to at least review the vastly unfair way that Scotland takes money from England.

The Scots don't want us? Fine by me. But they do want English money, and New Labour is only too pleased to give it to them.

I have asked this question many times here, and no-one has ever answered it:

"what are the ECONOMIC benefits to ENGLAND of the Union with the Scots?" I can see the emotive ones, but can't see any financial ones.


I agree with you, except in reverse. I believe Scotland would eventually be much better off in the long term as it would mean standing on our own feet, which of course would happen - just like countries of a similar size in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Ireland.

However, I believe in the Union because it is better for this island that there is stability and "union" of purpose.

In saying that though, I am coming more to the independence side because I feel the narrow-mindedness of my English friends is indefensible. It is no different in content to the narrow-mindedness of some Scots.

It is only in the last decade or so that England has been shocked into realising it is not Britain as a whole.

It is easy to whine that England cannot vote on Scottish matters while Scots have no say on many matters that England dominates.

Regardless of the strength of these arguments the truth is: Most Scots do not want Nuclear weapons stored in Scotland but cannot change it because England says so.

Most Scots did not want to go to war in Iraq by cannot change it as that is what England wants. Most Scots did not want to be the experimental ground for the Community Charge or have it after that but England said so. Most Scots would increase immigration to raise the population but England controls the borders so cannot do so.

Imagine England shared a border with a nation with the population size of Russia AND the USA and tell me that the other nation of 500 million people was being run by England. Laughable isn't it? Well, that is what most people are trying to say with similar population sizes of England and Scotland.

And lastly, without being too vulgar, I think Scotland has more than paid the blood price of this Union, and continues to do so. How many Scots have fought and died for you and your family and this country (more per population than England)? How many are still fighting and dying?

However, that means nothing Jon, we must follow the balance sheet.

For three hundred years we've lived together, married each other, defended each other, shed our blood side by side. But none of that counts for anything with Jon - his sole concern is that at present Scotland is less profitable than England and appears to be receiving a small subsidy. Which may not in fact be true, but even if it was true it would not a good reason for dissolving the Union.

Who would be next on the list of potential disposals? On the face of it, Wales is another poorly performing business which is receiving a net subsidy - dump that - so too are large parts of northern England - we'd be much better off without them - and Cornwall - dump that as well, it's become an unjustifiable drain on resources.

However, let's face it, this is not really about economics at all - it's more about some Tories hoping to misuse resurgent English national pride to pick up votes at the next general election, and then to gerrymander future elections by splitting off a part of the country where their past policies have made them unelectable.

That's assuming that they're not simply working to the Brussels "divide and rule" regionalisation agenda - Scotland being just a European region as far as Brussels is concerned - which unfortunately cannot always be ruled out as a possibility.

Denis Cooper

This may interest you:



Most ENGLISH people did not want to go war in Iraq either. We went NOT because "Enland wants", but because the PM lied to the country, and took British troops there.

Most Scots don't want Nuclear Weapons stored in Scotland. Many English don't want Nuclear Weapons stored there either. Both sets of people were happy enough to enjoy the protection against tyranny that having the deterrent afforded us for so long, however.

Of course many Scots have fought and died for Britain. Have fought and died very bravely, and their sacrafice should not be undervalued or diminished. But with great respect, I question your assertion that the Scottish sacrafice in war has been "more per population than England". Can you back that up with figures? Likewise, do you really think, for example, that Scotland could have resisted Nazi Germany if not tied to England?

Your arguments are all valid - but they are emotive. I still await to hear what the economic benefits for England of the union with Scotland are. I am NOT 'jock bashing', I just want to know how England benefits from subsidising Scotland. It's a fair question, but no-one has answered it yet.

Maybe I should add that I do not want to see the Union dissolved. I too emotively support a UNITED Kingdom. All I want is an equitable Union. The current arrangements are far from that.

Thanks for the reference to the article, Dulouz.

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