« Tough on the causes of hoodies | Main | Tory grassroots think Cameron's trustworthiness is at stake on EPP »


Clarity on the devolved & non-devolved areas would enable the Scots Conservatives to create a separate Scots manifesto for those while being part of the overall conservative Manifesto for UK issues. Its nonsensical for a single size fits all manifesto to be considered with separation of powers.

The Scots Conservatives main objective in next year or so should be winning as big a representation as it can in the 2007 Scottish elections - what David Cameron or others propose for the English NHS, English Education & English Police/Law & Order may or may not be attractive to the Scots but the party in Scotland should be developing policies on those areas on basis on Scots needs.

On last paragraph can we campaign for the restoration of the Witenagemot (Witan) as the devolved assembly for England rather than continue to accept the foreign terms certain Europeans enforced on us.

Anglo-Saxons Unite, the end of Norman Hegemony is at hand. Hereward the Wake did not die (if he did) for nothing.

It brightens up a wet Monday morning.

A seperate scottish manifesto is vital for Tory success north of the border. One of the main problems with the 2005 election campaign was that a seperate manifesto wasn't used enough to shelter the Scottish message from that core vote nonsense that grates against the vast majority of scots.

I'd go further - the Scottish Party and the UK Party's should be like the CDU in Germany and CSU in Bavaria - a seperate Party. But this has to happen from a position of strength.

The latest MORI poll shows 41% in favour of an English Parliament and that's BEFORE the debate even begins.

How can you come to a proper conclusion if you use outdated information? Cameron should stick to hugging trees and hoodies. The EVoEL is unworkable

If only the majority of Scots held the same political views as Bavarians... Sadly this is not so.

Old Hack: "If only the majority of Scots held the same political views as Bavarians..."

That deserves the 'comment of the day' award!

It is interesting the way the debate on Scotland is going. But i think a lot of Scottish Conservatives feel that we need less independance from the rest of the Conservative party, not more.

It feels to many of us up hear like we have been forgotten by the rest of the party. We support the rest of the party at every opertunity, from Cheadle to Bromley, yet there seems to be very little help comes our way. We don't get consulted over issues like fisheries policy, or dozens of other policy areas that have huge impacts on Scotland.

Most Scottish Conservatives feel deeply let down by the rest of the party, and are left to struggle on on our own. The problems for the party in Scotland have not been fixed by leaving us on our own, it is about time we got the assistance we need.

Next year could be a golden opertunity for the party in Scotland, but we need the support of Cameron and and central office to make the breakthrough we deserve.

if 21% said yes to an independent English Parliament, we should go with that and run wih it.Britain in Europe is finished and they know it.

The English need a proper referendum,then we would see i am away to give a hoody a hug.

Coming back on this

Its obvious something has to be done!

When Portillo who only a few years ago was favourite choice (with some) to be leader of the Conservative Party, and next Tory PM. Can say on a TV programme, as representative, (although not official) of the 'Conservative and Unionist' party that the 'UNION IS NOT SACROSANCT' then we are obviously moving into a different political world.

This was the most astounding thing for a Tory to say. Its comprobable to the Pope, saying he doesn't believe in GOD. Thats how big it is, It's clause four times 1000.

The Tory party is indivisible from the Union. Its a fundemental belief, if you reject the union, then you are not a Tory. You maybe on the political right, but you are not a Tory.

If anyone in the Conservative party believes that the union is no longer viable, then they must campaign for a change of name, and a new constitution. A constitution which accepts the superiority of: private enterprise, free markets, individual freedom over the state solutions etc. In the light of the such a change, even the Tory Party's relationship with the Monarchy would have to be re-appraised. After all what would the Monarchy be without the union, the act of settlement would have to be srapped and replaced.

The Monarch would have to sign an act, which would in effect end, his/her rule over parts of his/her realm. The United Kingdom would come to an end. There is no guarantee, that the Scots or Welsh would accept the 'English Monarch' as their Head of State.

Now I'm not opposed to the ending of the union, it might be the 'right thing' to do', but there's more to it than telling the Scots and Welsh to P**s off.

Many of the comments here remind me of Henry Higgins wondering "Why can't a woman be more like a man" and I'm afraid I have to view them in the same way as Higgins deserves to be viewed (see here if you're in the mood to remind yourselves of A Hymn to Him from My Fair Lady!).

There seems to be an undercurrent to many of the contributions which can be summed up as saying that Scotland doesn't deserve a subsidy because it's Scottish! The level of debate never passes beyond to a consideration of why Scotland might have needed a larger contribution in the same way that, say, parts of Northern England needed larger government interventions than those of, say, London.

Take one example - much of Scotland is unlike England in that it's very rural and there are great distances that impose their own costs (and we generally pay our way with fuel costing anything up to 10p per litre more than in London). Roads outwith the Central Belt region can be dreadful (parts of the main Mallaig/Portree road for example are still single track) which imposes its own costs both in terms of upgrading roads and the time wasted in delivering goods anywhere.

Conversely, South East England enjoys a mass of people and networks that make transactions more efficient meaning that less government intervention is required.

In the context of the Union, if Scotland doesn't 'deserve' its allocation of public funding, then the least I would expect is that unproductive parts of England were also treated in the same way.

Let the flaming begin...

Andrew Hardie

I agree that the national Party should do much more to support the Scots Conservatives. There is too much dismissing Scotland and its role in both creation of our country & our party on basis of what 9 years of a Scots dominated Labour Party has done. After all we in England get the watered down version the poor Scots have to take the full strength party.

I do think however that within the Conservative union creating more Scots/Welsh/English focussed manifestos and supporting a degree of autonomy on all the non-reserved matters with targeted campaigns around the home nations backed by an overall UK one will demonstrate both our localism and our unionism.

I think we need to be very cautious here. While the Scottish Party should always have as it does, a great degree of autonomy we should never go down the route of a separate Scottish party. I realise that this may sound very old fashioned but I joined the Conservative and Unionist Party and if we are to be seen as a national government we should be a national party.

Saying that a Scottish MP can never be Prime Minister in essence says that Scots are second class citizens. We need to be incredibly careful that we do not use political opportunism to make an already botched devolution process even worse.

The labour argument has been pretty weak on this. All I seem to recall is that Scottish Mp saying this is a personal attack on Gordon Brown and it's a return to the nasty party, and that question of Howorth's about not letting London MPs vote. All rather pathetic and unsubstantive. If we can get a real debate going, then the results could be very interesting.

I agree there will either be a federal or group of independent states.

If this happens it will be interesting when England finds that the power it has over Scotland melts and far from having more power England has less over the island it forgets it actually shares.

As for david - whose to say the English people will support the Queen of Scots?

"In the context of the Union, if Scotland doesn't 'deserve' its allocation of public funding, then the least I would expect is that unproductive parts of England were also treated in the same way."

I would also like to see the end of the subsidising of Northern England as well as Scotland and other areas of high state expenditure. The problem is that high state spending criples the ability of these areas to achieve high economic growth. If we were to slash Scottish taxes to Hong Kong levels then its economy would take off. But that isn't politically possibly so we're stuck with the subsidy system.

Toryism and support for the Union are NOT indivisible I'm afraid David, one is a political philosophy and approach to Government, the other is a last relic of English imperialism. And those who are on the right of the party will understand better than most that what we should stand for is the least amount of government necessary devolved down to the lowest possible level. This is what is comletely at odds with continued support for the Union.

The Mori poll


actually shows:

In response to Question 1, 44% prefer "England to be governed as it is now, with laws made by the UK Parliament", as opposed to 27% preferring an English Parliament and 18% preferring regional assemblies.

But in response to Question 2, only 32% prefer "England to be governed as it is now, with laws made by the UK Parliament even though this means that Scottish and Welsh MPs can vote on English-only issues", as opposed to 41% preferring an English Parliament and 14% preferring "England to be divided into Regions with each having its own Assembly".

It does depend on the questions asked, so Della, how about re-running the poll with Question 3, offering the option of "England to be governed as it is now, with laws made by the UK Parliament but without Scottish and Welsh MPs being allowed to vote on English-only issues"?

Incidentally there are no real differences between the responses from England and those from Great Britain as a whole, ie adding in the Scots and the Welsh pro rata to their populations did not affect the answers given, suggesting that they don't strongly disagree with the English on any of the questions.


you are obviously of the right as I said but not a Tory

Peel On Conservative principles

By conservative principles I mean and I believe you mean the maintenance of the Peerage and the Monarchy the continuance of the just ppweres and attributes of King, Lords and Commons in this country, By conservative principles I mean, a determination to resist every enroachment that can curtail the just rights and settled privileges of one, or other of those three branches of the state. By conservative principles I mean the co-existent with equality of civil rights and privileges, there shall be an established religion and imperishable faith, ant that established religion shall maintain the doctrines of the Protestant Church.

By Conservative principles I mean a maintenance of the settled institutions of church and state, and i mean also the maintenance, defence and continuation of those laws, those institutions..

Thats just an extract suggest you do a study of the great Rober Peel

The problem is since Thatcher, the 'Tories' have adopted a philosophy very similar to the 'Republican Party of the US' hence the confusion..

The problem of various parts of the UK apparently still having to provide taxpayers' money to be spent in other parts of the UK, not just in Scotland, was considered by Frazer Nelson yesterday in Political Notebook, in Comment & Analysis on:


"Tories need a message to connect with the disadvantaged areas in the North"

Despite the promises from Labour politicians pre-1997 that they would end what they called "the north south divide" they have knowingly adopted policies which mean that it is continuously widening.

In fact it's not so much "north south" as "south east Britain v the rest" - hence

"... the farther you travel from London, the worse shape the Tory party is in."

Matt, you say Toryism and support for the Union are not indivisible.

You might as well say Toryism and support for market economics are not indivisible.

Or Toryism and support for the Rule of Law are not indivisible.

Because, with respect, Matt, you'd be no less wrong.

What you are saying is that the Conservative Party doesn't necessarily believe in Britain! I'm sorry, but that's a load of Prescott.

Our party deserves great credit for standing by the Union, when other parties have sought to weaken it for political advantage. Labour exploited Scottish nationalism during the 1990s to such an extent that they do not deserve to be called a unionist party. We have always stood by our principles, at least on this.

Firstly, Unionism isn't just an economic equation. The who-subsidises-who question is nuanced and, more importantly, transient. You don't base support for an institution that has stood the test of time for mutual advantage for 300 years, based on the fiscal condidtions on 2006.

I am a proud Scot and a unionist. If the manufacturing hyperproductivity of Lanarkshire were subsidising the rural poor of Surrey, I would still be a unionist.

And you certainly don't base support for the Union on current electoral expediency. You might as well hive off Wales, Yorkshire and the North East. That'll bed in a Tory permanent majority!

Apart from being of pragmatic mutual advantage to each constituent part, the United Kingdom is an *idea*. One which has brought hope and progress to the world, and placed human freedom at the heart of our shared moral code.

The UK has, for centuries, brought together the traits of its member nations to create something bigger than the sum of its parts. What we as a party need to do is find a way to bring that to life in the 21st Century.

Four things need to happen now:

1. We need to find a workable solution to the West Lothian Question - the current situation is palpably unfair - and present it in a careful, moderate tone.

2. The UK Party needs to invest time, energy and money in rebuilding the Scottish Conservative Party.

3. The Scottish Party needs to get up off the mat. 1997 was nine years ago and it's time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. Let's develop imaginative, bold policies that are relevant to modern Scotland, and loudly and proudly offer an exciting alternative to the socialist consensus, or rut. It will take time, but it is an argument whose time has come.

4. Some English Tories need to take a long, hard look at themselves and drop the English nationalist rhetoric. It does them no credit and gains them no advantage. It damages the Party further in Scotland. And worst of all, it betrays one of the core values of the Conservative Party - we are unionists.

Tartan Tory

Great piece, agree with every word.

Well Matt if you are still there.

Tartan Tory has proved my point, very comprehensively.

He/She Has also shown the problem, facing the Tory Party. A party that does not really know what it stands for.

All Political parties are coalitions of interests, but the glue that once held the Tory party together, is no longer there.

There never was much glue holding the Labour Party together, apart from hating the Tories that is. You can slag Blair of all you like, but anyone who can turn the Labour Party into an organisation that can win three general elections in a row, is a political genius. How did he manage it, its a mystery to me.

If any Tory had stood up in any Tory Club in this country, fifty years ago, and said, 'I don't believe in the Union,' That person would have been thrown through the door head first.

Because you are a free marketeer (A Manchester School concept) does not make you a Tory, because you are a libertarian does not make you a Tory. You are a Tory for all the reasons Tartan Tory gave.

If you are prepared to accept the end of the union, then you are ending the Conservative and Unionist Party.

My own belief, is that one day, the British political scene, will become like the American one, two main parties, very similar to the Republican and Democratic parties. Which I always suspect was Mrs T's hope. Whether it will be within the UK or whether the Scots/Welsh will go their own way, its to early to say.

I think it is worth asking why various shadow cabinet members have been given the roles of improving conservative fortunes in various English cities- but yet none have been given similar roles in Scottish cities.

Edinburgh and Aberdeen- two of the UK's richest cities by quite some way have no Tory MP's, yet somehow Newcastle seems to be a higher Tory target?

We have conservative councillors in every Scottish city, which is a lot more than can be said for the cities that are tory wastelands accross the north and midlands.

Some of the top party talent at westminster is Scottish, they should be making more of that fact, it would certaionly make our party seem a lot less anti-scottish and a lot more representative of the UK as a whole.

Why does Scotland get sidelined by the main party so much? Its a serious issue, because unlike the North of Englad, much of Scotland should be solid conservative heartland, much of it used to be, yet we don't seem to be making any impact. We don't seem to campaign outside election time or by-elections, and we let the media talk us down all the time. Cameron and the Scottish talent down south need to get up here sharpish and get some positive stories going for the Scottish Conservatives.

Mundell is a great MP, and we have terrific MSP's, but none of them have the media personality that can give us the boost and credibility that we so need. Especially since Mcletchie has faded into the background these days. The Scottish Conservatives need to be seen as a credible realistic alternative, and the best way to do that is through the media with slick presentation and credible public faces.

Spot on Tartan Tory, on every point you make. I also agree with Andrew Hardie's point earlier about Cameron et al having to lend their support AND presence next year for the Scottish Parliament elections.
The party is in a mess up here (evidence that old dinosaur Bill Walker winning a prominent role - I forget his title - in the voluntary party), so we need London's support, not to be cut adrift and left to fend (or wither) for ourselves.

The problem with all this is that the Scottish party does not have the imagination to embrace the Cameron agenda. We need to be lead by the UK party. Our MSPs are obssessed with appearing devo fanatics to such an extent that they have conviced themselves that promoting Cameron in Scotland will make the Party appear too English! Problem is there is not one of them with the potential to have half his voter appeal.

"You can slag Blair of all you like, but anyone who can turn the Labour Party into an organisation that can win three general elections in a row, is a political genius. How did he manage it, its a mystery to me."

Nah, he had a lot of help from outside, above all from the Tory europhiles who first decided that sterling should shadow the mark (cut interest rates, boom), and then put it into the ERM (raise interest rates, bust). Fourteen years on, the voters are just beginning to forgive and forget, and now it's Brown who is hurting them.

Agreed Edward.

But if the Tories had been the same cohesive/highly organised party they had been say back in the fifties, yes they might have lost, but not by a landslide and not three times.

In 1955 the Tories had close to 3 million members. I think I'm right to say, that in 1955 When Reginal Maudlin was MP for Barnet his local party had 12000 members. In 1997 Labour could match the Tories for organisation and even financing. That to me is amazing.

Well said Tartan Tory but I fear the English Nationalist section of your party and it's little England mindset is in the ascendant at the moment .

Why is it that for a Scottish Tory to speak up for Scotland is accepted as normal and yet for an English Tory to speak up for England is derided as nationalist .
There is a huge element of double standards here in that anyone who defends English interests is atacked and yet anyone who defends Scotland's or Wales'interests is lauded .
I think that there ought to be an English Conservative and Unionist Party which should be allied with Conservative and Unionist Parties in Scotland , Wales - and Ulster . And that is the way it should always have been .

Bang on Tartan Tory----- I hope that someone in CCHQ is reading this-- and perhaps emailing your post to the Leader-- Mr. Swane?

Cameron must grasp the stumbling horse and cart that the Scottish Tory Party has become and sort it out BEFORE the 2007 elections; it simply cannot be left to rumble on as it is any longer. It needs time and money invested but the returns could be enormous.
The 2007 election is a formidable opportunity for this party, not just in Scotland but in the whole of the UK, to demonstrate that it can defeat socialism and reconnect with the hardworking aspirants that carried Margaret Thatcher to power in 79. How? By offering a policy agenda that is imaginative and bold, uses the limited powers for tax variation (reduction) already granted to begin the creation of an enterprise culture and defeat the state dependency culture. It is time for the Scottish Parliament to start behaving like a Parliament, not a centrally funded parish Council that only thinks about spending and not creating wealth.
There is no reason on earth for example that Corporation tax could not be varied on a regional basis, to attract investment, as a policy that doesn’t need to be exclusive to Scotland. Instead of wasting vast sums of public money on Regional Financial Assistance aka corporate bribery and corruption, why not legislate for say a 5% variation in Corporation tax dependent on location. Taxation is the key, we don’t need an army of jobsworths to monitor this scheme and that, do it through the Revenue. Vast amounts can be done by creating a tax regime that challenges investment thinking. If you create the right environment the jobs will come.
In March this year Shadow Chancellor George Osborne gave a speech in Perth when he effectively said to the Scottish party its up to you , be as bold as you like seize the opportunity, we won’t hold you back. He quoted the example of The Irish Republic who adopted radical and innovative policies to build an economy that is now four times more productive than ours. But was anyone in the Scottish party really listening?
Well George some us were, we came away uplifted enthusiastic even, but sadly not for long. We looked about us and what did we see? A group of MSP’s whose main interest is not in rebuilding our party, but naked self interest in the best pension deal in town.
We have a Candidates Board that has genuinely tried to nurture new talent, and damned fine some of it is too , but then what do they do? At a stroke undo any possible good they might have done by loading the dice in favour of the timeservers at the expense of the potential stars of tomorrow, in the ranking system for the list members.
I could go on but in the hope that Mr. Swane you are indeed logged on I will go now and before turning in I will offer my prayers---
Dear Lord, please hear my prayer, ask the young Cameron to come to our aid, send us a small band of Tartan Tories to turn us around. Amen.

My own belief, is that one day, the British political scene, will become like the American one, two main parties

but they are not monolithic or centralised but regionalised.

There should be a split in the Parties here on regional lines - with London reduced to a confederation headquarters

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker