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The Scottish Tories need new blood. There are too many bedblockers and dinosaurs who cant chime with 21st centry Scots, if they were autonomous they would die within a few years.

>>The Scottish Tories need new blood. There are too many bedblockers<<

Doesn't say much for the "young talent" if it is so easily scared off, does it? Anyway, how many Tory "beds" are left to block in Scotland.

More to the point, how much evidence is there that new blood is coming into the English party. According to the Telegraph, party numbers are once again in decline.

The Scots Party is undountedly much further gone than the English one, but that's been the case for years. Personally I blame Heath and his fellow leftist snobs for turning their backs on the lower-middle class sectarian base that nourished Scots Unionism.

"Personally I blame Heath and his fellow leftist snobs for turning their backs on the lower-middle class sectarian base that nourished Scots Unionism."

As easy as it is to do so, I blame Goldie herself. She has done absolutely nothing since she has became leader of the party. The two policy announcements made on Thursday were both announcements that will not win us votes, more rehab for junkies and an 8 minute train to Glasgow. Goldie just does not get it at all. We as a party are floundering in the polls and a lo of it has to do with her pathetic leadership. The idea of going into coalition with labour is another terrible idea on her part. She will be proping up a party who DC will be trying to oust in 2011. Does she not understand anything at all?

Go now Goldie, go now

Apparently she's in favour of gay adoption though, so that should make her Cameron's #1 pinup north of the border.

Well, i watched some of the scottish conference of last year... The hall was virtually empty- even with DC braving coming up to the wilderness. I suggest this farce stops,for the time being,and the money spent on holding a 'conference' spent elsewhere- either on 'winnable' seat(s), or a party re-brand. The suggestion of propping up a rejected labour admin was a BIG mistake.

You are correc Simon, it is a BIG mistake and one that further highlights how Goldie just does not get it. Time's up Goldie

I remember when Mrs T was PM, I was on a visit to Edinborough, duscussing Scottish politics with a local, he told me, 'The day will come, when you can be a Scot or you can be a Tory, you won't be able to be both' Looks like he was right.

*sigh* I'm getting rather sick of ignorant Southerners spouting lies on my country. If you can't make informed comment, please don't bother demanding resignations of people you clearly know near to nothing about.

If you'd actually read Annabel Goldie's comment properly the Scottish Party has never talked of a coalition. It's simply said it'll vote on an issue by basis, whether that be with Labour, the SNP or all on their own.

The Scottish Party is still trying to recover ground in a country where the poll tax is still remembered all to well, where people see themselves as the victims of English politicians using Scotland as a testing ground. Cameron does not help that as he epitomises the stereotype. He does not win the party votes up in the highlands or the north east or Glasgow. Annabel Goldie is a different type of politician - one that comes across as down to earth and approachable, as opposed to smooth, but insubstantial Englanders.

So, George Osborne insists there are no plans to end the Barnett Formula - WHY ON EARTH NOT? He'll annoy far more English voters by keeping it than he would Scottish voters by scrapping it.

Censorship of freespeech by candidates by the Scotish Conservatives "Leadership" in Edinburgh Central Office is being used to restrict debate and sell out the Union. The decision in September 1997 to abandon opposition to devolution was taken without asking the membership. Ask the membership - repeal devolution.

What part of "The Conservatives will NEVER EVER gain power in scotland and win no more than a handful of seats" do you and the Conservatives themselves not understand????.

Offer an English Parliament, and a referendum on EUssr membership and the COnservatives will win the general election buy a landslide.

But they wont, WHY!????.

Seeing as an independent Scotland would no longer receive an English subsidy I don't see why suggesting that the subsidy be reduced will encourage calls for independence.

To what extent will emphasising their Unionism give the Scottish Tories a boost? It may not be a majority view at the moment but a significant minority of Scots must surely oppose the end of the Union?

Mark, if question marks and exclamation marks in posts such as yours could directly be turned into votes, then there would indeed by electoral logic in pursuing your suggestion. But as there is no way of doing that, and given that there is no survey that indicates that your suggestions would in fact turn votes around from Lab and LD to Con, I suspect this answers your last question.

Cameron was in Reading recently. On the face of it that didn't achieve a great deal either, but since he's not the Messiah nobody should expect miracles. At least he wasn't chased down the street by a gang of placard-waving OAPs and sundry other Labour suppporters and thugs, which is what happened to Portillo six years ago, because the Reading West MP Martin Salter no longer has the support to conjure up "spontaneous demonstrations" of that kind. Similarly as far as I've heard nobody actually insulted or assaulted Cameron and Osborne while they were in Scotland, in fact there seems to be more a degree of regret that the Tories are so useless because there it leaves a gap in the political spectrum.

Cameron should ignore those Tories who want to split up the UK - some of whom were partly responsible for creating the present unhappy situation. It should not be impossible to devise Tory policies which are both socially and geographically unifying, but first of all there has to be a conscious decision to do that.

That who "reads properly" is right - the Conservative Party and its leadership in England never convincingly gave a 'mea culpa' for using Scotland as a testing ground for the poll tax, did it? Part of the problem I suspect is that by neglecting to do this for so long, the romanticism of the mythology of 'hating the Tories' has now become so deep-seated as to become part of the modern Scottish national identity.

What's more, those that post on this site with their frustrations for England, and the lack of an English parliament, etc etc, never seem to recognise that it was really, really dumb politics for English politicians to do that to Scotland - for all their praise of Scotland, the SNP, the idea of independence, etc.

Policy developed in the abstract by politicians without an appreciation for how it will go down for the punters don't deserve to get re-elected.

The Conservative Party has never given a convincing "mea culpa" for anything, not least the folly of locking the pound to Deutschmark. As the Scotland on Sunday article says: "Party members still find themselves being called to account for the destruction of Scotland's traditional industries in the 1980s, the failed poll tax experiment and Black Wednesday, when the UK was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism." But it would be a mistake to see this as a problem only in Scotland, because it also applies to Wales and large swathes of England.

In my view every policy proposal should be subjected to a number of tests, one of which is "Would this policy tend to unify, or to divide, the United Kingdom?" On which basis, for example, taken by itself Osborne's proposal to scrap stamp duty on share transactions is self-evidently geographically divisive, and it would have to be one element in a package of proposals, carefully balanced by policies which primarily benefited the parts of the country remotest from the City of London.

As a Scottish Tory who moved to England to work for a firm dominated by Labour activists I was amazed to find that they didn't 'get' Scotland either.

Ignorance of Scotland and the Scots is a problem which exists in both parties - unfortunatly due to tarten raj Labour can get away with it.

After the smallest political triumph we need a CDU/CSU setup - its the only was the Scottish Party can rejuvenate.

Sunday Telegraph:

Mr Cameron's attempts to boost his party in the North were dealt a blow last night when David Caldow, an industrialist and leading Conservative donor in the region, defected to the UK Independence Party.
Mr Caldow, 74, who is estimated to be worth £40 million, has also donated £25,000 to Ukip. He said: "Obviously the direction I have taken indicates I'm not entirely happy with things as they are."

"Sadly, it's hard to see if the trip had any positive effects whatsoever."
Well if you just take all your information from a few London/Glasgow based newspaper columns and Brian Montieth then I am not surprised you feel like that.
I actually thought the coverage that the Shadow Cabinet got on the Scottish news was good and that is what most voters will see.
As for Brian Monteith, well it seems getting rid of one leader was not enough and he has decided to try and undermine Annabel Goldie before the very important Scottish elections in May.
Well this foot soldier is not impressed!

UKIP's drip drip of "defections" has been brilliantly stage-managed. I wonder if Max Clifford is working for them again?

Of course it's damaging Cameron's image. It may well be that Lord Dartmouth (I remember him decades ago when he was a Young Conservative - he was Lord Lewisham then) hasn't bothered to do anything for the party for years, but as far as the press and therefore Joe Public are concerned he's yet another "Top Tory" causing a "Tory Row" "Tory Split" or whatever stock phrase the sub-editor has decided to use.

Cameron seems to have hardly any friends in the press these days apart from that pudgy prat d'Ancona and his introspected little circle on the Speccie - Oborne and the like.

Nor must we forget "The Brute" who simply attaches himself to anybody on the make and drops them like a sack of rotten spuds when their luck turns.

Pitiful, really.

>>Well if you just take all your information from a few London/Glasgow based newspaper columns and Brian Montieth<<

What's the name of your local paper Scotty?

Assuming you haven't used it to wrap up the haggis, would you care to give us a few key quotes on this issue from the Ayrshire outback?

Mark McCartney, I agree with you about the demented Cameroon d'Ancona, but Oborne left the Speccie some time back. Oborne was dead keen on Cameron to begin with but I believe has since sobered up.

Thankfully, Rod Liddle and Charles Moore are still in place. Both of them should still be there long after d'Ancona has been chucked out by Brillo Pad Neil.

Amazing. I sometimes wonder whether other posters here live in the real world or are absorbed into some little bubble.

Whilst eating my lunch in my local pub earlier this afternoon, washed down with a quiet pint of Adnams, I was listening to the conversation. Most people were talking about football, tennis, Big Brother etc. There were a couple of questions aimed at me about the plans to split the Home Office (as a local councillor people recognise I might have the occasional political opinion) and the general view that DC was likeable but had he brought the party with him...

Nobody asked about a UKIP defection, which I only discovered by reading about it here. Nobody in the electorate cares, except for the odd UKIP member and those of us dedicated to navel gazing.

The electorate want to know what we are going to do about the state of the NHS (closed by New Labour for remodelling) the failings in our Criminal Justice System (soon to be closed by New Labour for remodelling) Iraq (destroyed by New Labour during remodelling) and what we are going to do about Climate Change. Nobody in the real world gives a flying f*** about UKIP or the EU. They aren't aware that they even exist. Or they seem to think, as do many people here, that they are an off shoot of the Tory Party.

The point is that we need to stop asking ourselves why we hated in Scotland and just get on with asking the Scottish people what they want from a Scottish Conservative Party (other than it's destruction, thanks Mr Reid) and whilst we are at it, why don't we allow the Scottish Party to suggest some sensible policies for the rest of the UK? We are still one kingdom, long may we remain so. So why make Scotland out to be a basket case?

"The point is that we need to ... get on with asking the Scottish people what they want from a Scottish Conservative Party"

And if they tell us, Ben Redsell, that they want cradle-to-grave welfare, 50% of GDP taken in taxes and spent by the state, that education should continue to follow the comprehensive model, and that the government should be the main employer in Scotland, do you suggest that the Scottish Tories embrace such suggestions?

You don't seem to have got the hang of politics. If it was all about asking the voters what they want and giving it to them, there would be no need for parties, or politicians. All you would need is a sophisticated system to record the voters' wishes and a civil service to carry them out.

If the Scottish Tories are to survive, it will be as Conservatives. There is nothing to be gained by ditching conservative values and embracing Labour, SNP and LibDem values.

The tide may be out for the Tories in Scotland, but at some stage in the future it will turn, most likely after a generation of mismanagement by the present jokers holding executive posts at Holyrood. Meanwhile, the party needs to stick to its principles and hold its nerve.

Scotland faces a monetary choice if it quits the UK. Will it go into the Euro which will probably double house prices as it has in Ireland? Inflation will be hard to contain with interest rates at 3.5%.

Or will they try to shadow/link to sterling? For Scotland to hold value against sterling, they will need at least 1.5% higher interest rates than the UK - probably around 7% to begin with.

Either choice has big drawbacks. The third option of remaining in the UK and enjoying the advantages of being in a free floating, respected and stable world currency, must at least be considered by the headstrong nationalists who base their appeal mainly on emotion.

Whatever happened to the Scots' interest in their wallets?

>>Nobody in the real world gives a flying f*** about UKIP or the EU. They aren't aware that they even exist<<

Is that why UKIP gained all those seats in the last Euro election Ben, or was that just my imagination?

The EU is one of those political subjects that can stir up "ideological" passion between individuals who are diametrically opposed to each other.

The same might once have been said about the NHS but with the modern consensus on the alleged necessity of spending vast sums of money on its continued existence, it simply comes down to a question of which party claims it can manage the NHS better. Personally I think both are likely to make a hash of things.

Incidentally, the younger people Cameron claims he wants to electrify have little or no interest in the NHS. Until you reach a certain age you tend to assume that you will live in rude health forever.

Well said Ben Redsell!
Another thing to be noted would the simple message that the Shadow cabinet sent out by coming up to Scotland.
"Sadly, it's hard to see if the trip had any positive effects whatsoever."
That is like saying that having taken the first step to the North Pole we should just turn back because it might snow!
I know that the David Cameron has got voter appeal but even he will not be able reverse a decline that happened over 20 years in one visit.
Og, "that they want cradle-to-grave welfare, 50% of GDP taken in taxes and spent by the state, that education should continue to follow the comprehensive model, and that the government should be the main employer in Scotland" Will you stop making these insulting and sweeping statements about a nation of 5 million, many of whom work bl**dy hard and contribute to the UK.
But I suppose if you can come out with this about the Scots, why should I be surprised that you followed it with this.
"You don't seem to have got the hang of politics. If it was all about asking the voters what they want and giving it to them, there would be no need for parties, or politicians. All you would need is a sophisticated system to record the voters' wishes and a civil service to carry them out."
Priceless comment! So any voters out there who might have an idea of what they want from their politicians are wrong, and should do as they are told. Just remind me who pays the politicians wages, and as the employer doesn't the voter have any say in this?

"Well if you just take all your information from a few London/Glasgow based newspaper columns and Brian Montieth then I am not surprised you feel like that."

Let's consider that statement. The newspaper columns were written by Douglas Friedli, a business correspondent in the EDINBURGH-based Scotland on Sunday. Iain McWhirter writes from DALKEITH, just outside EDINBURGH for the GLASGOW-based Sunday Herald. Gerald Warner, former advisor to Michael Forsyth when he was Secretary of State for Scotland, lives in GLASGOW but writes for the EDINBURGH-based Scotland on Sunday. I don't know Ruaridh Nicoll but he doesn't sound obviously English to me and his article I suggest supports my suspicion. As for me I live work and breath Edinburgh, write a weekly column for the EDINBURGH Evening News and yesterday wrote for the GLASGOW-based Sunday Herald. I'm not sure what Scotty's real point was but if it was to suggest that there is some group of people that is out of touch because they are from only London and Glasgow then he couldn't be more wrong.

I should also point out that while we were all generally critical of the performance of the Scottish Tory leadership this week (did anyone notice Goldie on Wednesday's Newsnight?) and the disappointment surrounding a lack of conservative policies (sound familiar?) the writers come from across the political spectrum - rather suggesting their is a consensus abut the fate of the SC&UP. The prescriptions for bringing the Tories back also vary but everyone seems to agree a resurgent Scottish Tory party is badly needed.

May I reiterate, I do not want Goldie to resign. I want her to stay on and take her likely defeat on the chin. She will take it with her good sense of duty and some sense of humour (two of her attributes) but the idea that she should be presented as hard working (when she is held by her own MSP colleagues to be lazy) and full of common sense (is it common sense to accept the 20% higher level of public spending in Scotland that ruins our economy, ensures a dependancy culture, threatens the Union by antagonising English conservatives and makes it harder for Tories to win seats?) cannot be allowed to pass without comment.

Goldie started with a clean sheet but has squandered that opportunity. I have sat in meetings when she has made positive noises about more tax cutting powers for a Scottish parliament and having a tax cutting manifesto. Now that she is in charge her true beliefs are being revealed - as rather bland and uninspiring. It's a great pity.

I shall be helping a number of Conservatives in the forthcoming elections but their cause is not being helped by the leadership's decisions - if you expect this to go unremarked then there would be little point in having newspapers - or ConservativeHome for that matter. The Scottish Conservatives will have one last chance to sort the mess out after May 2007 - by explaining what is happening now will help us to be better prepared for that moment.

One final point, David Cameron has said it is good news that the Scottish Conservatives have opted for spending an extra £100 million on drug rehabilitation - instead of offering tax cuts. He is also set to be closely associated with Goldie's campaign. He must be hoping it works. If it doesn't not only will it associate him with a practical example of defeat (as opposed to opnion polls) it will suggest that foregoing tax cuts is not the solution to rebranding the Conservatives that he and George Osborne appear to think it is. His enthusiatic support for Goldie is a double edged sword he may regret wielding.

You misread me, Scotty. It is not that I disrespect the electorate, but that I disrespect parties that are a feather for any wind that blows. Every election should offer the electorate a choice of manifestos, consistent with the principles of the party that offers that manifesto.

Four options, all of a pink/yellow colour, is no choice.

My suggestion of cradle-to-grave welfare, 50% of GDP etc etc was used to illustrate what can happen if a party seeks to follow an electorate's whim rather than propose a raft of policies that seek to identify the task ahead and the means to achieve it successfully. I might just as easily have said that if the Scottish electorate sought a halving in the size of the state, vouchers for education and health, withdrawal from the UN and EU and a total ban on immigration, that the party should embrace all those ideas?

DO you get my drift?

Well said Brian! Good to see that the old Celtic robustness is not dead.

I notice that Scotty (who claims to live in Ayrshire but I have my doubts) has not taken up my challenge to prove his credentials by quoting from the local paper - the one he says gives a positive take on the latest Cameron stunt.

A number of people believe that he is actually a deracinated expatriate Scot posting from London.

Extensive articles on DC's visit to Scotland in the Scottish edition of the Sunday Times - not available online yet, including info re conservativesforindependence.org

"May I reiterate, I do not want Goldie to resign. I want her to stay on and take her likely defeat on the chin"
How touching, and what about everyone else in the Scottish conservative party who is working hard, should we just roll over now and accept defeat in May?
I don't worry about this being mentioned in the paper's, I am sure you will continue to point it out right up to the elections.
"One final point, David Cameron has said it is good news that the Scottish Conservatives have opted for spending an extra £100 million on drug rehabilitation - instead of offering tax cuts. He is also set to be closely associated with Goldie's campaign. He must be hoping it works."
Judging by the coverage of an ever growing issue, which is of concern to families right across the UK I think that this is an excellent policy. Remember the slogan "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" I wonder how much crime in the Scotland and the rest of the UK is down to be people with a drug addiction, also has the problem got worse over the last 10 years. Just maybe the police might see this as a priority which needs to be seriously dealt with.
The SNP certainly thought it was worth trying to spike Annabel Goldie's guns on Thursday at Holyrood questions.

Sadly, Cameron is in a bit of a catch 22 in Scotland. To apply his chosen tactic of moving much closer to the opposition parties, which he has pursued in England, means taking the Scottish Tories still further to the Left, where established parties Labour, Lib Dems and SNP all sit.

But Scottish left-of-centre voters are even less likely to consider the Tories than their counterparts in England. And Scots Tory voters see no point in a party that has embraced the Left and, if Cameron's politics were fully applied in this situation, would move closer to it still.

Cameron's triangulation policy may well win more Southern Labour and Lib Dem voters than the Tories it makes stay at home or drives into the welcoming embrace of UKIP (whether or not it provides a sturdy foundation for a future Conservative government is an entirely different matter), but the further you travel North of the Watford Gap (no matter how many Shadow Cabinet members come along for the ride), the fewer converts and more disenchanted Tory voters there are.

Scotty, would you care to offer a scrap of evidence to prove that, as you claim, you are a current activist within the Scottish Conservative Party?

Because if you aren't, it rather invalidates a large number of your contributions, almost all of which are based on the premise that you are a hard-working Cameron-inspired activist in Ayrshire calling for your party to succeed by becoming more Cameron-like.

Why don't you put your money where your mouth is by telling us your name?

Neither Ben Redsell nor Scotty, aka the usual suspects, seems to have studied nor learned anything from NuLabour circa 1995. First you win the opinion formers in the tv and print media then you win opinion amongst the voters, once they are told what to think. Stories about UKIP aren't read by the majority of voters and don't immediately affect votes but they are read by opinion formers and affect their judgement about whom to back in print. That is why we elected Cameron (Etonian, metrosexual and no discernable principals) not David Davis (a conservative with a smashed nose and an off hand manner). As you back Cameron you understand the logic, you're just fuzzy on the details.

"Because if you aren't, it rather invalidates a large number of your contributions, almost all of which are based on the premise that you are a hard-working Cameron-inspired activist in Ayrshire calling for your party to succeed by becoming more Cameron-like."
I have never said that I am from Ayrshire, it is just one of many assumptions made by Tory Loyalist.
I quite often find your comments to me and others on this site unpleasant. Your continued targeting of posters without any attempt to engage and argue the points in the thread, just defeat the whole object of this site for many regulars.
I am a member of the Scottish conservative party and I live in Scotland, you can try debating the issue's instead of trying to discredit the posters because you cannot make a valid and useful point against their argument.

In the Scottish media it is clear that the PR was bad for us.

English representatives flying into Scotland on some pretext of "we know best" just goes down badly in any game. People in any country resent "foreigners" swanning in and making statements and lording it up.

I trust that DC and Co will learn their lesson. There should have been no PR pre-publicity as there was nothing to be gained from it and instead it provided an opportunity for a "slag off the english tories". Of course wise PR people would have known that, which brings me back to the excellent point that our Editor, Tim, made in December about the fact that Dave's PR team needed to be strengthened. (WAKE UP CCHQ and SMELL THE PR COFFEE).

That said I am sure that a clearer understanding will have been gained by DC etc of what needs to happen to re-build the Scottish party. Annabel has been in the job for 14 months and should be allowed to see it through to May under her Leadership.

Maybe she just comes across awful in the media but may have done some wonderful work in re-building the organisation. I do not know the reality on the ground and the May elections will be the best judge of that as Labour are badly weakened.

Og don't be stupid. Yes there will be people who want that from their Government. But there are those in the rest of the UK who want that. There are even elected MPs who like the expansion of the EU and think Aliens exist. Lembit for one...

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, equally you cannot blindly leap forward without breaking with a bit of tradition. As things stand the Conservative Party is basically f****d in Scotland as far as Westminster goes. But we do still have a considerable vote there. It may be thinly spread across the whole country, but it exists. What we need to do is ask those people who used to back us who they are voting for now and why. We also need to find out what we can do to get them back out on the streets for us. Basic politiking actually.

Someone earlier suggested that we should properly atone for using Scotland as a testing ground (the way in which Labour are using Northern Ireland) and there is something in that. But please, if anyone from CCHQ is reading this, don't let it be Theresa May! I do think however that we need to stop being seen as the English Party. As much as it grates on the English voters that half the present Government is led by Scots, it must grate on the Scots that NONE of the senior Tory team is a Scot...

Mark McCartney asked my why UKIP got so many votes in 2004. Well probably because they were seen as a safe protest vote. Also nobody cares about the EU elections. Not only that but look at the turnout. Only those people who actually cared voted, and many of them voted on a single issue topic.

>>I have never said that I am from Ayrshire, it is just one of many assumptions made by Tory Loyalist.<<

Well then Scotty, you will have no problem in substantiating your earlier statement by quoting from your local paper which - so you tell us - took a favourable view of the "Cameron Jaunt"

"In the Scottish media it is clear that the PR was bad for us."
HF, two articles apiece from the Sunday Herald and the Scotland on Sunday and one from the Observer. Now if you want to go by that guideline, things would be dire for any party this weekend.
Now go and look at where the conservative vote is strongest in Scotland and where we would hope to make gains, not in Glasgow that is for sure.

Policy.
Votes do follow policy even at this late stage in the destruction of our Parliamentary nationhood.
If you are a Unionist then act Unionist. At all general elections since 1997 all seats in Scotland instructed their MP to go and sit in the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Zero abstention. Repeal devolution and introduce equal representation for all 646 constituencies.


Scotty - interesting point you made, one day Tory Loyalist goes, next day Mark McCartney appears continuing the same line of attack on you. Ignore him I think.

I don't suppose people like Scotty would come under attack if they didn't adopt ridiculous IDs and then show suspicious coyness about their identity.

Personally I'm quite happy to give my full name and constituencies on here. I think it's about time every poster was required to say who they are, whether or not a member of the party, and be required to substantiate that if necessary.

The problem is not, as fatuously alleged, "UKIP Trolls". It is large numbers of pro-Cameron posters hiding behind nicknames.

Personally, I strongly suspect that multiple posting is going on, probably on both sides, but most heavily by the pro-Cameron camp backed up by anonymous posters from CCHQ.

James Cox's suggestion of an arragement similar to that of the CDU/CSU is an excellent one. Seeing the Scots Tories as a branch of an English party must be the single most important thing that puts Scottish voters off. Perhaps Dave and the others should stay away for a while! Much of Scotland is as c_onservative as England and if the distortion of politics created there by the 1980's and by the disconnention between local taxation and local spending is corrected, a Scottish centre right party might thrive. Another arguement for Localism!

Ted, good advice I intend to keep from now on.
Are you the same Ian that did not know your Highland clearances from your potato famine, while claiming to live both sides of the border?
So giving half a name does not prevent you spinning a line!
"The problem is not, as fatuously alleged, "UKIP Trolls". It is large numbers of pro-Cameron posters hiding behind nicknames."
Amazing that, lots of pro Cameron posters on a Conservative site, anyone would think that David Cameron was the leader of the party.
This is an open forum which anyone can post a comment on within the rules, it is not an anti Cameron conservative site any more than it should be a CCHQ mouth piece. You can go to Labourhome, Liberal Review or UKIPhome if you want that kind of site, here we can a least debate the issues from all sides.

DCs moves to have shadow cabinet and other meetings outside London are correct and demonstrate a recognition that we must start to show respect for ideas outside of London. Frankly its ridiculous that those who criticse this do so on the basis that it hasn't achieved anything immediate. This attitude is symptomatic of a problem that lingers in the party ie that if we just change one simple thing we will suddenly do well. In fact we have to set the right basic direction (which broadly we are doing with a few exceptions) and then work at it at every level.

Matt

I really find it hard to believe some of the stuff that I am reading on the site today.

"two articles apiece from the Sunday Herald and the Scotland on Sunday and one from the Observer. Now if you want to go by that guideline, things would be dire for any party this weekend.
Now go and look at where the conservative vote is strongest in Scotland and where we would hope to make gains, not in Glasgow that is for sure.'

Excuse me but the Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday are not parochial wee papers selling only to a readership in the cities that they are printed in. The Sunday Herald and SoS sell 53,000 and 69,000 respectively and both have a good spread across the central belt, with a broad reach into the rural areas. The idea that what they print is unimportant beyond the boundaries of their cities of origin is just plain laughable. The Observer at 20,000 is of less importance, but should not be dismissed lightly as it is the target market that Cameron is aiming at.

Furthermore, the coverage in today's Sundays was essentially a reflection of the coverage in the dailies for most of last week. A review of The Scotsman, The Herald, The Daily Mail, The Courier, The press and Journal, and others will show that while a fair wind was given to Cameron's visit the general view of the Scottish Conservatives themselves is where are they and what do they now stand for? The open criticism from many conservative columnists is not aimed at foot soldiers like you Scotty (I'm happy to give you the benefit of the doubt) but at the MSPs and their leadership.

This is of course a reflection of the media's general take on the Scottish Conservative's at the moment - in the course of my work I meet them all the time and there is no one, not even Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph talking up the party's fortunes. No one on telly, no one period. This is not because they don't want to (as today's papers show - they long for a real debate) it's simply because the Party hasn't got anything newsworthy to say that they think will impact on the election. Without Cameron there on Thursday to give it a leg up the drugs rehabilitation policy - a reheated version of what was said in 2003 - would have attracted little coverage.

Nicola sturgeon could easily spike the Tory announcement because it was not unique to any party. If the contest in May is going to be about who spends the most then the Tories will lose - and lose every time. It is not a Conservative policy it is just a practical policy that any party can adopt and will therefore be copied and the Party marginalised.

People that have made the right choices in life and avoided drugs will find little in it for them. They will not find their taxes being reduced, they will not find a choice in Scottish schools or Scottish hospitals – or even their Council tax come down, because they are not old enough. The vast majority of Scots so far are waiting to hear what the Tories will do for them that is so different from what the other parties are offering. The difference is likely to be marginal and for that reason many, many conservatives in Scotland will simply stay at home uninspired to vote in the elections of a Parliament they never wanted in the first place.

I think it's about time every poster was required to say who they are, whether or not a member of the party, and be required to substantiate that if necessary.

Perhaps you'd like to ask to see their National Identity Card at the same time?...

We have discussed this before on here. I don't think would be a good move for a conservative site to introduce addtional "regulation" if it's not absolutely necessary. Trolls are usually pretty obvious, and are dealt with by the Ed and his deputy if needed. The rest of it I would hope we can just be adult about.

Scotland is only left wing because it receives a huge tax payment from England.

Once Scotland has to stand on its own two feet it will move the right.

At that point the Scottish Nationalist Party will have lost is reason to exist and become a Scottish version of the Tory Party to oppose Labour.

"This is of course a reflection of the media's general take on the Scottish Conservative's at the moment - in the course of my work I meet them all the time and there is no one, not even Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph talking up the party's fortunes."
Brian, with all due respect lets not talk about the unbiased Scottish media because the thread is not long enough. Suffice to say the close relationship shared by the Scottish political elite and the media luvvies of the centre belt is has been discussed on many occasions.
I don't think it would have gone down well if Jeremy Paxman had regularly gone on holiday with Tony Blair.
I watched Holyrood questions on Thursday and I think that the fact that Nicola Sturgeon tried to steal Annabel Goldie's thunder on the drug funding policy says it all. In fact most of the half hour was taken up discussing it.
You seem to think that the current trend of drug addiction is not important or of concern to many Scots, where as I think that it is. It is a problem which effects everyone from the addict and their family, to the general knock on effect for many people who suffer from the crime it generates. It is a problem blighting the lives of many in all area's rural and urban.
I have just taken a drug awareness course along with others in my community who help out with Youth Groups, so I was delighted with the announcement.
I find it amazing that the Scottish conservatives would be any more interested trying to sell tax cuts while we are sitting being starved of local services and seeing local hospital units being closed in rural area's. Better management of funding is needed before we can make those kind of promises.
I live in an area where the conservatives are relevant, and have been improving at local level. I have no time for people who wish to spend the valuable months left before the election talking up defeat and the ambitions of others. Annabel Goldie has been visiting here regularly and made herself accessible to ordinary activists like myself.

Mr Monteith - it is a matter of months until the next Scots election. All your points regarding the policies, capabilities and structure of the party in Scotland may be valid, however they will not be addressed before the election unless there is a massive revolt among activists which would ensure the public didn't vote for the Party in any numbers.

Polls show that we are likely to obtain support from about 1 in 6 voters - if the results are disappointing then after the election there will be time and reason to reform the party. I cannot find any reason why someone who claims to have the best interests of the Party in mind would choose this particular time to highlight splits other than a desire to furthen weaken those you oppose without consideration to the many hardworking activists and supporters working to build a stronger representation.

"Aftermath of the Scotland visit"

It's all rather different from someone else's first visit to Scotland as Leader of the Opposition in 1975:

From The Times, 22 February 1975:

"Thatcher ‘walkabout’ stopped by huge crowd in Edinburgh

Mrs Thatcher, in her first major public appearance since being confirmed as leader of the Conservative Party, was mobbed by thousands of people in Edinburgh yesterday, and had to abandon a "walkabout" in a shopping centre. She confessed herself "totally astonished" by the reception.

Six policemen accompanying her tried unsuccessfully to hold back the crowd of more than 3,000 that packed the arcade of the St James Centre, near Prince's Street. At least three women fainted, and others had to be helped clear.

More police arrived and, with party officials, made a wall about Mrs Thatcher as she retreated to a car after having taken refuge in a jeweller's shop. There were a few shouts of "bring back Ted", but the reception was overwhelmingly warm.

Mrs Thatcher said afterwards: "I have never seen anything like it, anywhere. It was a fantastic reception. I was not worried about myself but I was worried about the safety of people who were being pressed against the shop windows."

The new leader had arrived earlier at Edinburgh airport to the tune of "A Man's a Man for a' That", played by a wry-minded piper. The high priority given to a Scottish visit clearly reflected the alarm felt about the party's performance north of the border and its mauling by the Scottish Nationalists.

The number of Scottish Conservative seats at Westminster fell from 23 in 1970 to 16 at the election last October, when the Scottish National Party gained 11 seats and came second in more than 30 others, it pushed the Conservatives into third place in the number of votes polled."

I rather suggest that if you are going to rubbish the media as your basis for disputing what is in the papers or what influence they may have then you have to take it on the chin when I refute what you say by laying out the facts about Scottish media. I know which scribes and papers are biased and unbiased - I have the scars and brusies to show for it – but you are unable to refute anything I say about them. Yes some are biased, but not all - and yet to a man they all say the Scottish Tories are off the radar.

The point I have made about the drugs policy is that it is not new - we have always been committed to spending more money on it. That we have a figure of £100 million will not be enough to distinguish us from the electorate. What do you propose to say if the SNP matches it, for instance. What, I pray ask is especially CONSERVATIVE about the policy that prevents the Trots, the Greens, the SNP, Labour or the Lib Dems not only aping it but trumping it by announcing £150 million? After FMQs on Thursday who do you think the public thought cares more about drug rehab - Nicola or Annabel? The truth is it was a score draw - how do you suggest that takes us one vote forward? The policy was already undermined before it was launched.

This is not conservative policy - this is vote buying.

You are surprised that I can suggest tax cuts when services are facing spending constraints. We spend 20-30% more on services in Scotland than England and you are willing to accept this is necessary? I suggest you read the papers published by the Auditor General for Scotland who regularly (and independently) exposes the failure of the high spending on services. Let me repeat myself, cutting taxes and improving services (including spending £100 million on drug rehab) are not mutially exclusive.

You also seem to think you can read my mind - nowhere did I say that the drug problem is unnimportant. I suggest you stick to what I write rather than what you think I think. You conveniently miss out many of the points I reply with - I can only surmise this is because, rather inconveniently for you, you cannot refute them.

I live in an area which was once a Labour marginal with the Tories only 4,000 behind. Now they are 4th, 11,000 votes behind. Meanwhile I have fought two elections as a Conservative on a low tax robustly Conservative programme where I have seen Tory fortunes recover. The Tory standing there this time, whom I shall be helping, is now well placed to win the seat and will be offering the same low tax message whatever is in the party manifesto. I think I have a reasonable idea what plays with the electorate and what doesn't.

And Ted, if you follow what I write in the media you will find that I comment on all parties and spare none. I compliment Conservatives (including Cameron) when I think they have inspired and shown courrage or leadership, when they have come up with some good ideas. When they try and pull the wool over not just the public's eyes but the activists in particular I shall not let it rest. The politics of sound bites, spin, focus groups and followship will not serve Conservatives well and to let any of our leaders use them without criticism is counterproductive. It is only the fear of public criticism - especially from fellow conservatives - that prevents the leadership from acting with even more disregard for members, supporters and their beliefs.

I think everyone in England should vote Tory. It's the only way to give the Scots that hard push into Independence, that's needed. They won't jump themselves, so they need a hard nudge from the English to finish the job off properly.

They've fallen out of love with the McLabour Party, certainly, but would rather crunch razor blades than accept a Tory government.

Always willing to assist our neighbours. A Tory government it is, then.

Brian Monteith's interventions are particularly welcome and not only because what he says is so eminently sensible.

Of course everything he says about Cameron, focus groups etc is 100% true, but Brian's posts show how utterly clueless are the sort of people who post here endlessly and vacuously praising the present Tory leadership, which is the worst for many years. These people have nothing new to say. Just the same tired old cliches being churned out endlessly - "Change to Win", "Hug a Hoodie" etc etc etc.

It's not just Cameron. The appalling Andrew Lansley was on TV last night - until I switche it off.

Was not Brian Monteith chairman of the Adam Smith Foundation which used to come out with so many excellent ideas for advanding the fortunes of our nation? We badly need the help today. Above all we need a radical tax cutting agenda to give we the people our money back

If the Tories have become a joke in Scotland they are heading that way in the rest of the country also. Only the other day I heard of an election where they were beaten by the BNP!

I can see more of that in the future.

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=109272007

"George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, commenting on the loss of Google investment to Ireland, says Scotland has an "uncompetitive tax regime" (your report, 18 January). He favours a low tax regime, but a Tory government "would not cut corporation tax in Scotland for fear it would steal jobs and investment from England". In other words, he admits he is prepared to discard his beliefs and disadvantage Scotland against the rest of the world, lest it gets an advantage over England. It would appear that the Scottish people are working for the Union, but the Union is not working for the Scottish people.

MICHAEL N CROSBY, Muiravonside, by Linlithgow, West Lothian"

"In other words, he admits he is prepared to discard his beliefs."

Er, no. He doesn't have any beliefs.

This is the person who thought it would be a jolly wheeze to say that the Tories rail policy was to take the railways back into public ownership. Also famous for having rubbished the flat tax idea in private.

I thought Osborne was supposed to be in favour of flat rate taxes. It seems that he is as unreliable as David Cameron.

This morning a friend sent me links to the following short clips which really say it all about the state of our party.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ5aJeGsBYw

http://bluelabour.blogspot.com/2007/01/death-of-conservative-party.html

Sorry. Here are the correct links.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ5aJeGsBYw


http://bluelabour.blogspot.com/2007/01/death-of-conservative-party.html

Personally, I feel the sooner Brian Monteith is brought back into the fold the better. I doubt very much that any activists in England really know just how bad it is up here. Scottish Conservative Central Office continue to stick their heads in the sand, whilst many in the tory MSP group continue to sit on their hands and wait to do one more term before picking up their pension. I'm afraid it will take more than a day trip to Scotland by DC and the shadow cabinet to sort this farce out.

"This is the person who thought it would be a jolly wheeze to say that the Tories rail policy was to take the railways back into public ownership. Also famous for having rubbished the flat tax idea in private."

His policy direction is as good as his sense of geography then:

From 'The Scotsman' 21st January 2007:

"GEORGE Osborne looks out of the 12th floor Edinburgh office window and points at the snow-capped Pentland Hills. "That's Arthur's Seat, right?" he asks, hopefully. Then waving towards Murrayfield: "We must be near Waverley Station, yeah?"

Hmmm, not really."

Although Monteith is not in my side of the party, I would take him back in a flash as a Tory MSP.

I will identify myself immediately as has been suggested by some posters. I am a Scottish National Party activist (since 1959 when we were achieving less than 0.5% of the Scottish vote). As I remarked on another topic on this site I would rather eat my scrotum than vote Tory. I have been a teacher, lecturer and businessman with a huge variety of interests over the years. I do not however dislike Tories - just disagree very fundamentally with the basic premises of Toryism. If it came to the crunch(and this is the crunch)I would rather be ruled by a democratically elected Scottish Tory government than by any British Government at all. I have many Tory friends,many of whom will be voting SNP this May. More anon.
I hugely enjoy reading this site and more so since the appearance of Brian Monteith who always was worth listening to. Brian was assasinated by those who don't like a free-spirit in the Tory Party on the grounds that he was undermining McLetchie. The only difference between Brian and a number of others was that Brian got caught. And those of us in politics know that the Letch did not resign over taxi fares but rather to stop something a bit more distasteful coming out.
It would be useful if this discussion was conducted on sensible grounds. Firstly, the Barnett Formula was devised to cause public per capita expenditure betwwen Scotlnd and England to converge. This it is doing on an annual basis and any notional Scottish annual advantage in this respect is steadily lessening. This is the opposite of a needs-based formula and this convergence is the wrong thing to do - particularly as the figures it is all based on are furiously contested and completely unreliable as they are politically motivated.
However - on to the Tories and their dire situation in Scotland. The only other political grouping experiencing free fall of the nature the Toies have suffered over the last two decades is the Labour party in Scotland right now. They are in internal distress, appear on their own canvass to have lost about 40% of their support and Labour party internal polling puts them as far as 9% points behind the SNP.
As one of your respondents has pointed out London Labour doesn't "get" Scotland either. The recent sally north by Labour's Scottish London big guns if anything went down worse than Cameron's fleeting visit.
May 3rd will be interesting but my bet is that it will drive a stake through Grim Gordon Brown's ambitions and nobody will notice the Tories limping in with about 12% of the vote.
Why is this?
Well to be blunt the Tories have lost a complete generation in Scotland and it will take at least a generation for the Scottish Tories to revive. My guess is that they will not - unless they change completely and become - as Michael Fry is advising - the patriotic party of Scotland. It may be hard for English Tories to understand but people in Scotland only admit to being Tory as an apology. There are many who would sooner admit to coprophilia than Toryism.
This is all the work of Margaret Thatcher and her sorry band of Scottish sycophants who continually sided with Thatcher against the Scottish national interest. The poll tax is often cited but if you live in Central Scotland the wilful destruction of Scotland's industrial base was a much more significant issue. I was deeply involved in the campaign to save the Scottish Steel industry. The background to that was Thatcher's determination to build a "Golden Triangle" of British Industry from Teeside across to South Wales and serving into the Channel Tunnel. Might have made good sense in a British context. Made no sense at all for Scotland, historically one of the world's great steelmakers. The most disgusting aspect of this national disaster were the lies told about Scottish steelmaking to make the case for assasinating it. To their discredit not a few scots actually believed that the scottish Steel industry was out-moded, underproductive and generally buggered by a bolshie workshy workforce. The actuality was that the Scottish steel industry was about the most productive in Europe, Ravenscraig was smashing world production levels when it was closed and Gartcosh had an orderbook full for nearly two years as the renowned "preferred steel" for European moptor manufacturers as the plant was being dismantled and sent down to Alpha Steel in South Wales - the same plant that was described as "clapped out" by the Tory placemen in British Steel. I was at the gates of Gartcosh as they carried the plant out. Exactly the same was done to what was left of Scottish shipbuilding and the rest of Scotland's industrial base which was tied up with the avaiablity of steel and iron. At a stroke many whole towns in Central Scotland ceased to have any reason for existence. And no, none of this was due to a downturn in demand for British Steel. Production remained at the same levels for a number of years after Scotland was closed down. Only the jobs were elsewhere. No British steel plant since has approached the levels of production achieved in Scotland in then eighties.
Mrs Thatcher dislked Scotland and the Scots. Too few of her lieutenants in Scotland were prepared to stand up to her and face this issue. If truth be told they are the reason for the Tories Scottish demise. Many of them still infest the Scottish Tory Party.
One of the feaures that has chnged Scottish politics today is the huge economic expertise on the SNP front bench. These are no starry-eyed idealists. Alex Salmond, John Swinney, Alex Neil, Jim Mather -every one an economist - are wiping the floor with the Labour Party on a daily basis in a way that is beyond the capacity of the threadbare Tory representation in Holyrood.
There is a steady and increasing flow of estwhile Tories into the SNP and many more who will vote SNP in May because they see - for the first time since the 1950s - an opportunity to beat Labour in Scotland (and Independence no longer frightens them).
The buggers in the wood pile at this point are the slippery LibDems who may also make hay in May - and from this Nationalist's perspective I'd rather the SNP was in coalition with the sad rump of the Scottish Tories than be second in the embrace of a whore (which is what the LibDems are politically)

David McEwan Hill

I had expected robust rebuttal of some of my points above.
I can only imagine that there is broad agreement about most of them

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