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A big thank you to scotty-the-footsoldier for that post. It powerfully rebuts a lot of the 'this was not a story until ConservativeHome mentioned it' nonsense.

If anyone is seriously looking for an answer to what is wrong with the Scottish Conservative Party, then the contributions to this thread give the clearest insight possible.

The attacks made on David Mundell are of an entirely personal nature, made by the same kind of people – and most likely many of them are in fact the same people – who for years have mounted a concerted campaign of destabilisation north of the border.

Quite what the aim of this campaign is has never been clear. At various times it has been inspired by disgruntled candidates, passed over for selection, it has masqueraded as the purported voice of the ‘grassroots’, it has been for one member one vote for the ranking of candidates, although critical when that process yields a democratic result that it dislikes, it has called for changes of policy direction, although offered no constructive suggestions as to what that policy should be and has condemned the Party’s structure, organisation and staff, but remains silent as to what reforms should be instituted.

Problems aplenty exist in the Party in Scotland, but nobody should be taken in for a minute that the posters on this site who are calling for sackings, resignations and whose personal animosities are only too apparent, are any part of a solution.

To be clear; the Shadow Secretary of State offered a candid assessment of what he perceived to be the condition of the Party in Scotland. Although it is not certain, it seems apparent that this was at the behest of the UK Party Leader. What should he have done? What message should be have conveyed in a document which was intended to be private and confidential? Pretended that the problems he saw did not exist?

Incidentally, when is the earlier post inquiring as to the identity of the Editor’s MSP source going to be answered? Probably no point, as the answer to that is also obvious.

There is no mention of Cameron requesting the memo in the Daily Record article. It would be useful if Alan Simpson provided the basis for his statement.

I have just seen the Mercer sacked article. This is not a good day for the Conservative Party.

In response to the question in your final paragraph, Bill, I never reveal sources.


Apologies, I misread the article. I thought it had said that DC had requested the memo. However, I still do not deem this as a sackable offence. The person that leaked it yes, the author no.


Resign for composing a confidential memorandum stating his views on the state of the party??? Can we take it that Conservative Home will be encouraging all other MSPs/MPs/MEPs who have written confidential memos on such issues to resign too? The only resignation should come from the individual who committed this breach of confidence. Frankly I can't think what the team at Conservative Home were thinking when you published this bizarre piece ...

PTC, there's a big difference. The Shadow Minister for London is only "Scottish" in the sense that she was born and spent her the first part of her life there, as far as I understand she moved to England in 1985 - some twelve years before being elected as MP for Beckenham. Would you be against an MP representing a London constituency being Shadow Minister for London if, say, twelve years before being elected they had lived or been born in Sheffield or Manchester?

For my part I wouldn't actually have a problem with a Shadow Scottish Secretary of State for Scotland "from Surrey", even if they represented a Scottish seat or not. James Gray was a fine chap who thought outside the box, and we need more like him.

Thanks, Alan. I thought that I had missed it. Ideally, the leaker should be found and disciplined but that will be difficult as the memo is several months old.

The problem, however, with memos that attack colleagues in such vitriolic terms is that they can be leaked. David Mundell should have used more measured language in his written comments. He could have conveyed his more controversial opinions to Cameron in person.

I just cannot see how Mundell can continue to work with senior colleagues that he has no confidence in, especially as they are seeking re-election in May. This week's conference was supposed to mark the start of the election campaign. Someone has to go.

We need more James Gray's - as if today wasn't bad enough already!

Just kidding Meat Loaf :-) agree with ur point concerning Jacqui Lait though. cannot imagine there would the same objection if Sadiq Khan (Tooting) was Minister for London as there seems to be at Lait (Beckenham) being the Shadow.

The Mundell issue is a hard one and I dont think Con Homes suggestion that he be replaced is in any way ridiculous though im undecided myself. The veracity of the memo and the rightfulness of him writing it are utterly irrelevant as is the relationship which he may now have with those in the Scottish Party that he has attacked for now at least. The sole question must be how do we best limit the damage of this ahead of the SP elections. Im undecided as to whats worse - removing him will give the story very wide coverage over the next few days and our opponents will still be able to use it against us. On the other hand there will be wide coverage of this in scotland anyway - no doubt at all about that. the contents mean i really dont know if its possible for him to remain in post without causing us even greater damage and hurting the whole campaign.

I know nothing about this idiot Mundell except that he is getting support from all the usual far left Camerloons including Beam me up Scotty from the vibrant but curiously anonymous Camerloon association which allegedly exists somewhere in the neighbourhood of John o' Groats.

By their friends shall ye know them.

Unless somebody has something actually worthwhile to say about this blundering windbag it's clearly time to give him the boot.

"I know nothing about this idiot Mundell except that he is getting support from all the usual far left Camerloons including Beam me up Scotty"

Get lost Alex.

You think anyone who supports Cameron is a socialist - I'm sick of it.

We're all committed Conservatives, as is Cameron, stop blackening everyones name on this forum and questioning their motives.

If you want to debate the issues, fine. But stop your petulant childish rants and insults and start acting with some maturity.

Peter Hatchett
Had Cameron acted on the Editorial advice Alex and those others who have no constructive views would already have leapt to Mundell's defence.
Mundell provided his views to the leadership some months ago. A number of memos to Cameron went missing some months ago and I've no doubt Labour HQ is doling them out when they will be most embarassing. If the author of each had to resign our leadership would be denuded pretty fast.

The Scottish Party should be abolished. It has nothing to offer Scotland, as shown by the paucity of talent on the Holyrood benches.

It's time to bring back a separate Unionist Party.

Scottish Conservative, I suspect that many Scots would agree with Mundell that

"There is a "simple lack of thinkers" on the Conservative benches at Holyrood",

but they wouldn't restrict that criticism to the Conservative benches.

I keep reading on the Scotsman website that they're all a load of "numpties",
and isn't Jack McConnell sometimes described as the "head numpty"?

The SNP answer seems to be that post-independence the brightest and best would stay in the new vibrant Scotland rather than being poached by London.

This story isn't news at all - it merely confirms what those in the know already realise. Having lived in Scotland, and been an active member of the Scottish Tory party until recently, I can confirm that the Scottish Tories are entirely hopeless.

Mind, that doesn't really set them apart from the English and Welsh branches of the Party :-D

You think anyone who supports Cameron is a socialist - I'm sick of it

"Think" isn't the operative term, Peter.

I've read enough of their anti-freedom views on this blog to know that they are socialists.


yeah thats right the poor standard of MSP's across all the parties is widely recognised by the Scottish electorate ours included though i feel ours, though politically lacking, are still better than the average. This poor standard is often commented upon even by pro-devolutionists and just by your avergae punters. Mundell is merely stating the obvious on this point. Some of our MSPs are alright and bright enough but none of them have shown any ability to develop a new agenda for the conservatives in scotland or demonstrated that they understand the reasons for our decline or have any means for addressing this. I dont get the feeling that there is sufficient drive in the group to develop such an agenda and drive it forward. They may well be reasonable in the committees/Parliament etc but I dont get the feeling there is any real debate about how to tackle the party's problems in scotland.

i mean a real debate - what is the natural base of support for a centre right party in scotland? How do we get them? How should the Scottish Conservative message differ from an English Conservative one? What images of the Prty do we want to alter? What specific policies should most urgently be changed? how do we redefine Unionism and defend it in a post devolution Scotland? How do we reclaim rural voters in Scotland? How do we preempt and deal with the likely increase in English nationalism in the English Tory Party in coming years? How do we appeal to people who consider themslves primarily or solely Scopttish but are not left wing? How do we address the fact that the Cameron agenda has had less impact up here than in the South of England? What are the best means by which to differentiate ourselves from the other parties in Scotland? Is the "Unionist" vote in West/Central Scotland reclaimable and if so how? If not what other cultural sentiments in Scottish society can form a base for a centre right Party in Scotland? How do we best exploit the divisions in the other Partyies - ie the Lib Dems are a combination of rurals and urban/suburban middle class, the SNP rurals and an urban working class - what issues could divide these alliances?

It all just seems a bit ad hoc and isnt really rooted in a strategy at the moment.

"I've read enough of their anti-freedom views on this blog to know that they are socialists."
Priceless comment from someone who does not believe in democracy being the best form of freedom in society.
Alex, you would be more respected if you posted a decent argument to back up your points instead of resorting to cheap insults against those you disagree with!

As I cast my mind back 10 years ago to who was running the party in Scotland when it was electorally wiped out and then look at the MSPs who have been castigated amazingly enough its the same people. Not much has changed and no they haven't had any original or decent ideas in 10 years either. Whether its because they're not allowed to develop seperate policy initiatives or whether its because they don't have the wit to, its a moot point. Though I suspect its probably a little of both.
In truth Mr Mundell's analysis was spot on and I don't believe that the Party north of the Border will really have a renaissance until more of the "veterans" have retired.

David Mundell should be congratulated not berated for telling the truth about the state of the Conservative party in Scotland. It is obvious to all that most Tory MSP's are not fit for purpose. The party has failed to modernise and embrace the dynamic and exciting policies being proposed by David Cameron. The Tory group at Hollyrood are very nice people but don't really get what the future is about.

Scottish Conservatives should be creating an air of excitement in the run up to the elections. A move to a fully federal UK would gain a lot of support. The Conservatives are at their best when they are a radical reforming party, fizzing with good ideas. Why on earth did they appoint Bill Walker ex maverick MP to high office within the party - he typifies everything wrong with the Tory party in Scotland.

Even in local government there is lack of fresh talent amongst Tory candidates, we need young people with fresh ideas not the same re-cycled party hacks. Many candidates again nice people give the impression of representing the Saga Party or in it to top up their pensions.

Its time for Scottish Tory's to be bold and more imaginative, let's congratulate David Mundell for telling the truth.

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